Harvesting hops - Use The Automatic Leaf Trimmer
Hops are herbaceous vines that are best known for their importance to the beer manufacturing industry. The green cones or flowers of the hop plant goes into the flavouring of beer. More specifically, it is the female flower clusters that are of interest to the beer brewers. Even though hop is used in other areas like medicine, the beer manufacturing industry uses almost 98% of hop for flavouring purposes. Its most extensive history is in Germany where beer making has been centred on the use of hops for several hundred years now.
Typically, hops are harvested over a period of a month or so beginning from the middle of August. This period may vary depending on the species of hops. Most cultivators rely on planting hops which may come to maturity at slightly different time periods so they can enjoy a longer harvesting season. The decision for harvesting hops is taken when the flowers show the following signs:
• Being dry and sticky when they are touched
• Having a distinctive aroma of being sharp and mellow
• When touched, they leave a yellow, powder residue called lupulin
Further confirmation of the cones' readiness can be determined by cutting open one of them. If they are abounding in the sticky yellow matter then it is harvest time.
Methods of hops harvesting
Most cultivators prefer to cut down the vines entirely, giving them the opportunity of building new and sturdier crops every time. One can also hand pick the hops alone from the vines. Protective gear such as gloves and thick clothes are highly recommended during harvesting since the hop plants have tiny hooks and may cause rashes too.
Culling the cones alone can be done by manual methods or mechanical methods. Picking machines will take out the cones and leaves from the hop vines. An automatic leaf trimmer such as the twister leaf trimmer will be a great advantage.
This matter is then cleaned to segregate the cones alone. In case the entire vine is being cut down, it is important to ensure that there is still around three feet of plant still left in the ground. This will prevent damage to the crowns and roots of the hop plants. Once harvested, the moisture content of the hops has to be decreased to around 10% so they can be stored safely.
Author Bio: I am a writer with special interest in agriculture, farming and machinery. I have written various articles on these subjects and you can find more info at
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Author Bio: I am a writer with special interest in agriculture, farming and machinery. I have written various articles on these subjects and you can find more info at http://www.thetwistermachine.com