Grow Your Own Hydro Hops!


Grow Your Own Hydro Hops!

Are you a beer enthusiast? Do you love the hoppy aroma and tang of a great IPA? Have you ever thought about making your own brew? Well, it might be easier than you think to grow fantastic, flavorful hops in your own home! With a hydro system and some premium nutrients, you could be well on your way to crafting the finest beer in the land. Let us help you get started!

What are hops?

Hops are the flowers of the Humulus lupulus plant. They are responsible for the bitter, zesty and/or citric flavors in you beer, with different types being used for different kinds of beer. The hop plant is a vigorous, climbing, herbaceous perennial, usually trained to grow up strings. 

Why HYDRO hops are better!

Protection: As with any hydroponic, indoor crop, the incidence of pests and disease is greatly reduced when you have greater control of the environment. Hops prefers temperatures between 41 and 75 degree F, so it's easier to maintain a much longer growing season when growing in a controlled environment, as well. 

Nutrition: Hops plants are notorious Nitrogen and Potassium hogs. When you grow hydroponically, you are able to give the plant the exact nutrients it needs, exactly when it needs it. This isn't as easy with traditional soil growing, in which the plants typically have to wait for slow-release nutrients to become available. 

Resin/Essential Oil Production: Terpene hydrocarbons, mostly myrcene, humulene and caryophyllene, represent 80 to 90% of the total essential oils in hops. Myrcene is responsible for the pungent smell of fresh hops. Many hydroponic nutrients are formulated to increase the essential oil/resin production in plants such as cannabis. For example, Cyco Nutrients has a product called Supa Stiky which (according to their product catalogue) "encourages the production of plants essential oils as well as enhanced aroma, yield, and quality of the end product." As myrcene is a common terpene in cannabis, as well, hops has been shown to respond very well to nutrient lines formulated in this manner. 

Easy, Peasy Setup

Growing your own hops could be as easy as gathering a few products from your favorite hydro store (maybe!). 

1. Beginner hydroponic system:  Something like the General Hydroponics Waterfarm is super easy to use, comes with everything you need to get started (except the plant), and can easily fit into a corner of your garage or a small closet.

2. Lighting:  An HID kit, including a ballast, reflector, hanging hardware, and bulbs, can be the cheapest initial startup for a beginning indoor grower. For example, this 400W Economy Grow Light Kit would be awesome for taking 1-2 hops plants all the way to bloom!

3. Nutrients:  If you're wanting to really get the best out of your hops plants, using a nutrient line such as Cyco Nutrients will get you the best yields with the strongest and most flavorful oils and resins. While they're not the cheapest on the market, they will get you fast on your way to that bitter, tangy, wonderful flavor you want out of a great home brew!

4. Support:  Since it's a climber, your hops plant is gonna need some form of support. Bamboo or steel stakes will give the plant the structural stability it needs. 

*If you're wanting a one-and-done purchase for your indoor grow, or you don't have a closet available, but you want to grow in a closed-off area, consider an all-inclusive Hydro Grow Kit. You get the hydro system, the lighting setup, and a grow tent, so all you have to provide is the plant, itself!

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