Once your hops have matured fully you are now ready for the harvest. Generally you will harvest your hops in late August-early September.
You want to give your hops a good squeeze to see if they are mature.You should notice a very papery feeling, and they should spring back. If you notice your hop feels a bit squishy and doesn’t spring back into shape, they are more than likely not ready for harvesting just yet.
Now its time to harvest your hops. It is best to get a big bowl or bucket, something to put the hops into. You can accomplish this one of two ways, cut the bines down from the top and lay them down making it easier to pick. Or, you can just pick them off the bines as they are.
Once you’ve picked all your cones, spread them out over a window screen. This will allow air to pass over all surfaces of the hops allowing for quicker drying times. To increase drying use a window fan under the screen. Allow 2-3 days to fully dry before packaging, if you package too early the hops will go bad.
After the hops have dried its time for packaging, the best way to do this is to weigh out specific portions of hops that can later be quickly used in your brewing process.
After you’ve weighed out your hops you can now package them up for storing. I chose to use a vacuum sealer for my hops because it allows for longer storage times without degredation of the hops.