Hints

HOPSPRO TIP # 01 - PH OF MY WATER
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What is pH?
pH stands for potential hydrogen. The H in pH is always a capitol letter because it stands for the element Hydrogen. The term was first used by a Danish biochemist Søren Peter Lauritz Sørensen in 1909. pH is actually the level of Hydrogen ions in a solution.
The scientific formula is pH = -log[H+]. negative logarithm of the hydrogen ion????
You say ‘huh’? Me too..
No need to explain the science. Better to explain the practical use and need for pH.
So what is pH actually and why is it so important to us hops growers?
PH is the measure of acidity, neutrality or alkalinity in a solution or mixture. The pH level can be 0-14. Zero is very acidic, 14 is very basic or alkaline. 7.0 is considered neutral. Distilled water is pH 7.0.
The pH scale is exponential. Which means that a solution with pH of 4.0 is 10 times more acidic than a solution with pH of 5.0. And a solution at pH 3.0 is 100 times more acidic than a solution at 5.0.
An example of something very acidic would be lemon juice which has a pH of about 2.0.
Something ver basic would be bleach at 13.0.
And coffee at 5.0 would be 1000 times less acidic than lemon juice at 2.0 !!
This chart shows why the proper ph is important for hops. it shows at what pH certain elements can be absorbed by your plants. As you can see a pH between 6.0 and 7.0 is ideal.
Although there are certain varieties of hops (and other plants)that prefer slightly more acidic water and soils, at our hopyards, we use 6.2-6.5 pH for our soil and our water. At those levels, all nutrients can be absorbed quite well by the roots of our plants.
One of the biggest mistakes we can make is to use water with an incorrect pH.
I cannot express how important it is to test (SEE tip #1B) and, if needed, to adjust the pH of your water! (SEE tip #1B)

HOPSPRO TIP # 1A - TEST THE PH OF YOUR WATER
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The pH level of the water that you use for your hops is very important. (SEE tip #1). It is very important to test and adjust the pH of your water prior to use with your hops.
There are lots of inexpensive kits that are available to check the pH of your water if needed.
The simplest form of pH test kit will have small strips of paper that you detach and then wet. When wet, the strips turn color depending on the pH of the solution. We then compare the color of the strip to a standard pH color chart to determine the actual pH of your solution. PH color charts are always included in test kits also. There are also other similar kits with small separate plastic strips that are used in the same way.
Another type of simple kit gives a test liquid and a small vial.
By placing your water to be tested in the vial and mixing with a small amount of the test liquid, the clear water will turn color. In the same way, you can compare the colored water to a pH color chart to deduce it’s pH.
There are other electronic pH measuring tools with costs starting at about 10 dollars US. And there are machines that are extremely accurate that costs 1000’s of dollars. I would not recommend these very cheap tools as they can be very unreliable. and the very expensive tools are unnecessary(unless you are very serious about growing and testing your water very accurately).
It is good to check with others and online for advice and for information about a good brand of electronic pH tester before making the investment.
Electronic testers usually come with a “ standard pH kit”. This kit contains a three different powders of known pH which when mixed with distilled water can be tested to verify the accuracy the accuracy of your ph tests and testers.
There are also pH standard kits that come in a pre-mixed liquid form.
It would be a good idea to keep a kit handy to verify all of your pH testers! A typical pH standard kit will have an ácidos solution, an alkaline solution and one neutral solution with pH of 7.0. By testing the pH of each solution, you will know if your test equipment is accurate, be it simple test strips or a more expensive electronic tester. The better electronic machines actually allow you to calibrate the tester by using a “pH standard kit” as a guide.
Now you know how to test the pH of your water, it is time to adjust the pH of your water!
(SEE tip #1B)

HOPSPRO TIP # 04 - Make hops a part of the family
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One important thing to consider if you want to grow hops on a large or small scale is the time involved. Especially, starting in the early years, when you have to do everything … and with little help.
Plan the hopyard, build the structure, irrigation system, fertilizers, fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, harvest, drying, sales, and much more !!
It is very important to include our families in our hops experience. This is an excellent opportunity to teach our children about nature and to instruct them how to care for the plants and to discuss the importance of plants for the future of our planet and the conservation of the environment.
You can also show children the importance of certain insects (even if mom doesn’t agree) haha. My little girl loves earthworms, they are just like pets to her!
And on those hard long days trying to spray the product before the rain comes, and you feel tired and horrible … don’t forget all those who are at home always waiting for you with care and love !!!
Never forget your wife or husband, who is doing everything so that you have more time to take care of the responsibilities that the hops demand, partnership is necessary.
It is very important to provide opportunities to include the whole family, because during the harvest, you will want them to help !!! Haha.
Seriously, if we can turn our work into fun and include those we love, it won’t be work anymore!

HOPSPRO TIP # 06 - HOW MUCH WATER DOES MY HOPS NEED?
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How do you know how much water each plant needs? If you sunbathe all day until sunset, how many times would you need to have water that day? ALL DAY !!! Do you agree?

What happens to humans, also happens to plants. When they are small and during the growing season, your plant may need water every day to live.

The hop plant needs a lot of water..but at the same time it doesn’t like to always be wet !!! Hops need soil with good drainage. If you use a pot, confirm that the pot has enough drainage holes.

If you look and touch, and the soil is dry, it’s simple … water the plant.
We water our small clones at least 2 times a day in the summer when it is very hot!

Large farms water hops with an irrigation system. During the growing season your plant may need up to 12 liters per day. ( or more !)

The amount of water needed can also depend on the type of soil you have. Sandy soils will allow for better drainage than clay soils and will normally need more water.

It is always good to consult an agronomist or professional with experience with hops to help calculate your water needs.

And other tips that can help:

1. The ph (acid amount) of the ideal water should be 6.2-6.5 for hops. If you use street water, it may be good to buy a kit to correct the water ph before watering your plants. Your plant has a hard time absorbing nutrients if the water has a Ph very different from 6.2-6.5.

2. When the rhizome has not yet sprouted or if the cutting is small, we put plastic film over the pot to help stay moist inside!

3. Place your seedling / rhizome in a place where it only gets direct sun in the morning and where it gets sun indirectly all the rest of the day until your plant gets bigger !!!

4. If you use a hose, be careful not to give your plant hot water with the water inside the hose … turn on the water and wait until it comes out of the hose cool before you water the plants !!

5. If you can collect rainwater, it’s a thousand times better than street water !!

Good luck !!!!

HOPSPRO TIP # 12 - Bull shoots
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Now your plant is in the second or third year and it will sprout soon and super strong! Each year when your plant sprouts, the first shoots are very thick and they rise very quickly. These are called ‘bull shoots’. In fruit farms in Brazil, they are called the thief branches! These shoots, even though they look strong, they are very fragile. And they only steal energy from the plant and they give very little production.  How do you know if the new shoot is a ‘bull shoot’? Here are six tips to help you identify a bull shoot!

1. They are always the first sprouts to appear in spring
2. They are usually very purplish in color
3. They usually have small hairs that are very prickly
4. The distance between each pair of leaves (nodal distance) is very large
5. When bent or folded, they break very easily
6. They are hollow

Now you know how to identify a bull shoot, stay tuned for more tips on how, when, and why we cut bull shoots at the correct time !!

HOPSPRO TIP # 18 - Sidearms !!!!!
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“My plant is branching, what do I do? Cut them? Prune them? Train to climb the string?

Do not do anything!!! We want a lot of sidearms on our plants !!

A hop plant normally produces 50% of its potential in the first year, 75% in the second year and only until the third or fourth year do we have to wait for to get 100% production from your plants!

The sidearms are very important because the more sidearms you have, the more cones you will have also! Depending on the variety, the sidearms can be from 12”” to 5’-6’ long.

Part of our breeding program includes creating varieties that branch out quicker. This may help growers in areas where daylight hours may be less than the typical 35°-55° latitude historical growing areas in the world.

We must be careful though with plants that have many large branches. Normally we should let only 2-4 bines grow up each string. This will help avoid too much shade after the plant branches. Too much shade can hinder the amount of cones that will grow on the plants.

Remember, we want to grow cones, not leaves!

HOPSPRO TIP # 19 - TIP OF MY PLANT BROKE-NOW WHAT?
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One of the saddest days I remember growing hops was that first year in 2010. I was so proud of my first two rhyzomes that had grown into 3 foot tall plants ! They were growing quickly and wrapping around a piece of bamboo at a rate of 6 inches a day !
The day came to transplant them into a larger container so they could climb up a string. As I gently removed the first plant from it’s container, I inadvertently broke the tip of the plant. I almost fainted with shock and sadness 😵😵
But, to my surprise, within a few days, my plant sprouted two new tips at the leaf node just below where the original tip had broken. In a few weeks I had two tips growing up my string !!
If you break the tip or the wind breaks the tip of your plant, no worries ! Your plant will regenerate new tips shortly! And this also sometimes will help branching ! If your plant already has branches, you can train a few of them and they will also grow up the strings.

HOPSPRO TIP # 22 - Hops seeds
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Hops seeds are not used in making beer but are usually only used for breeding purposes when making new hops varieties. Hops are dioecious, which means that they have separate male and female plants. The flower or hops cone of the female hops plant is the only portion of the hops plant used to make beer. Male hops plants have small flowers that retain the pollen that is used to pollinate female plants. If a female plant becomes pollinated, the hops cones will have seeds. ( which are undesirable for use in beer making). We intentionally introduce our males with known superior genetics to our females in order to create new hops varieties better suited for their growing environment. At times it can be pure luck because a typical new variety takes thousands of seedling trials and about 10 years to validate and bring to market!

HOPSPRO TIP # 24 - MALE vs FEMALE
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Male and female hops plants? Really ?
Yes, Hops are dioecious, which means that they have separate plants with male and female genders. In other words, there are both separate male and female hops plants.
For use in making beer, only female hops plants are desired.

When hops plants are small, both male and female plants look the same. Until they are full grown and they begin to flower, their sex is indistinguishable.

Male plants, once full grown and starting to flower, will develop small ‘ balls’ which are flower pods. These flower pods evolve into small 1/4-3/8” white-yellow flowers that hang in bunches from hops plants.

Females, when flowering, will start with small white hair-like pistils. These will eventually evolve into hops cones which are the only part of the hops plant used to make beer.

If a male plant is placed near a female plant, the wind will carry the polin from the male flowers and they will germinate pistils on the female plants and the female cones will have seeds.
Although seeds are said to not be harmful for hops use in beer, they are generally not desired in your hops cones. Seeds are normally only bred intentionally to be used to make new hops varieties.

If you purchased rhyzomes and/ or hops plants from a hops farm, they are clones of the female mother plants that they came from. If treated well, they will turn out to be 100% seedless females full of cones ! Perfect to make beer !!

HOPSPRO TIP # 25 - ANGEL WINGS
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Some of the prettiest hops cones that you will see are the terminal cones at the very tip of a bine that have small leaves protruding from the cone itself. In the hops industry, they call these small leaves ‘angel wings’ .
This typically occurs when your plant has absorbed an excess of nitrogen at the wrong time during the hops season.
Hops need a lot of nitrogen during thier growth stage and up until about the summer solstice, which is June 21st in the US and the Northern hemisphere. After this date, your plants will typically begin to branch and then bloom. During this flowering period, the nitrogen requirements of your plants diminish greatly.
Adding too much nitrogen during flower stage will only create more leaves. And always remember, we want to create hops cones, not hops leaves !!

HOPSPRO TIP # 26 - GENUS-SPECIES - “VARIETY” OF HOPS
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FAMILY – Cannabinaceae
GENUS – Humulus
SPECIES – Lupulus
VARIETY -?????

Almost everyone has heard of the “genus and species”, which is the scientific name and classification of any certain living creature.
Hops are part of the larger family cannabinaceae family of plants which includes a close cousin, genus cannibas ( marijuana).
The genus of hops is Humulus and the species is lupulus.
We can further separate hops into 5 sub-categories which are called varieties. In this case we are not discussing individual different types of hops such as CASCADE or MAGNUM for example. In scientific terms, these are actually called cultivars. ( not varieties).
The varieties that we discuss here are sub- species based on physiological differences (the way the plants look and grow) in the plants and where they grow.

The five subspecies of hops are:

    1. Humulus lupulus var. lupulus
    2. Humulus lupulus var. cordifolius
    3. Humulus lupulus var. neomexicanus
    4. Humulus lupulus var. pubescens
    5. Humulus lupulus var. lupuloides

Each variety is native to a certain area of the world.

  • Var. lupulus – Western Asia/Europe
  • Var. cordifulus – Central/Eastern Asia
  • Var. neomexicanus – Western US
  • Var. pubescens – Central US
  • Var. lupuloides – Canada and Eastern US

Humulus lupulus var. lupulus is the most common variety used in beer making, but other varieties of wild hops have been used in many breeding programs to create some of the most noteworthy hops in the world!
This picture is of leaves from our male variety neomexicanus ‘ ROCKY’ and our female variety lupulus ‘ALPHAROMA’ .


Observação: O envio de comprovante serve somente para agilizar o processo de confirmação. O seu pedido só será liberado quando o depósito/boleto compensar em nossa conta.


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