Erik’s Hopgarden – part 2

Please welcome articles written by the Brewie Ambassadors. Get familiar with ingredients, recipes, homebrewing techniques and get every must have knowledge from first hand! Find Erik’s first article on his gardening journey here.

Pictures of environment

Seven months after pre-ordering my Brewie, we moved to this house in another region of Zwolle, The Netherlands in december 2015. It has a few tiles of front garden, just enough for two hop plants I bought in a garden center. Luckily the hop names were listed: Nordbrau, a double purpose hop. I planted them in juli 2016, this was very late in season and the hops only reached halfway the lower windows. In 2017 however, they sprouted in March and reached the attic window early august. To let the bines climb I throw rope outof the attic window and secure it to a wooden post in the attic.

This is the front view of our house. Currently 2 Northern Brewers on the right side, room for several more. In spring and summer the plants will have sun from 14:00 o clock till 20:00:

This is our house viewed from the backside. The absence of afternoon sun and also my wife thought another plant here was not such a good idea.

But there is more to our backyard. There is this small piece that we own collectively and is not used alot, other than once a year for a BBQ. After consulting the neighbours a hopgarden was approved, provided it would make it into the BBQ-beer.

Orientation: the orange roof behind the tree at 1/3 of the frame left at 10 meters, is our roof. This area is mostly used by children playing in a treehouse.

From the previous picture we now look to our right and up, to see where I want to make a trellis in order to support more hopplants.

Planning ahead, I had to make a decision on how the trellis would support the hops. When it comes to harvest I read that especially with young plants, you want to be able to pick by hand. Doing this will allow the plant to catch more late summer sunny days, which it can use to develop its roots further in to the soil. This will benefit you next year. However, not every hope is ripe at the same moment. I want to prevent picking hops from a 6-8 meter ladder and I want to prevent cutting the bine down in order to harvest. Therefore I need a system that will allow me let a hop bine come down and pulling it up again after picking.

I plan to use two pulleys in the tree to hold up a massive, horizontal line, to which several smaller vertical lines will be attached, to this the bines can then climb. In chapter 6 I will further dive into the specifics and installation. I plan to do this in 3-4 weeks, say mid April.

In this final picture you get a clear sense where the pulleys and horizontal line will eventually be.

Erik Guldenaar

Want to know more about how to use hops in practice? See Wesley makes his own NEIPA, using the hop whirl-pooling method with the Brewie.

Beer at the push of a button

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