Home > Hop growing > Congratulations! It’s…. a BOY?!???!?

Congratulations! It’s…. a BOY?!???!?

So hop harvest time is coming up very soon – towards the end of August and beginning of September, hop cones mature, get that nice papery feel to them, the alpha acids are at their peak, and they are the most aromatic – so picking time ensues. This means I’ve been keeping an eye on my bines alot more closely than I had in the past few months, and a closer inspection revealed something shocking – I had boy parts on my female Zeus hop plants… HOW IS THIS EVEN POSSIBLE?!??!

Instead of having big, plump cones, boy hop plants have these bizarre broccoli-looking things that are no good for brewing, and apparently cause your hop cones to seed if not caught early enough. Since I hadn’t been all that diligent this year, we’ll see if that becomes an issue. I am still completely baffled how the same bine can have both male and female flowers, since they are supposed to be only one or the other, and these male buds were growing right out of the same plant, often right next to female cones… Maybe it’s because Zeus is a hybrid plant, so messing with the chromosomes made it hermaphroditic? Hell, I’m not a botanist so I don’t know if that’s even a valid idea.

Nonetheless, my bines still have plenty of cones, so I forsee a good harvest and a few “homegrown” batches in the fall. Maybe Brian and I will even do another wet-hop harvest ale like last year – It turned out really well.

Categories: Hop growing
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