Our local pub grows hop vines around its patio. Scott, ever one to simply ask, inquired as to whether we could pick some. Yes, but please limit yourselves to one grocery bag. And so we found ourselves along the sidewalk and parking lot of the pub on a busy evening, picking hops.
Although I have long been interested in growing hops and making beer, this is Scott’s project. He learned that hops are ready to pick when you squish them and they bounce back. They should also make a squeaky sound. Hee.
A bit tedious, it was, and I was self-conscious to pick right next to patrons on the patio (‘Hello, don’t mind me, I am just picking hops’). At a heavy 3/4 of a grocery bag, we called it quits (and went into said pub for a beverage!).
At home, I pulled out the dusty dehydrator and fired her up. A few hours at the lowest temp setting and they were dry. The house smelled delicious! Fruity! Hoppy! Like our favourite beer.
Two trays packed into one quart ziploc freezer bag. Squish the air out for a quasi-vacuum seal and she’s ready to freeze. Each quart bag is enough for one batch of beer (about 3 oz. dry weight). Our 3/4 grocery bag yielded enough for 6 batches of beer.
Let you know how our first batch goes!