HVG Germany: Hopfen



The Hop-growing Year: The Harvest*


The timing is important

It should be possible to obtain a maximum yield with best quality hops by harvesting the respective variety at the right time and by perfectly picking and drying the hops. The following factors are influenced by the harvest-time: 


  • content of bitter compounds (% alpha-acids)
  • bitter quality (e.g. cohumulone proportion)



  • total content of oil (aroma content)
  • composition of oil (aroma quality)


Exterior quality

  • colour and lustre
  • infestation by pests and diseases


The right harvest-time Is Important for a high yield and good quality. Hops which are harvested too early are not yet fully mature and therefore produce lower yields. Whereas the content of bitter compounds has soon reached its climax in the case of most of the bitter varieties, if harvested too early in particular the yield is wasted; If they are cut back ahead of time when harvested too early the hops can also react with weaker growth and a lower yield the following year. When harvested too late past the optimum time range then above all the exterior quality and the aroma suffers.