I have a Willamette variety vine that I want to get harvested, however the rains have started here in Western Washington. Right now the cones are quite wet, but i think they are ready to harvest, and some have already gone bad on the vine. Are there any special considerations that I need to worry about when harvesting them? I plan to dry them on a window screen in my garage.
I was in Yakima for Hop and Brew School about a month ago and asked a hop grower the same question. His answer was "we're gonna dry 'em anyway!". Dry them as soon as possible...hops start to compost themselves within one hour of harvesting, and if they're wet it will happen sooner. After many years of playing with drying temp, I've found that about 130F for 3-6 hours is perfect. That also correlates with what the hop growers do when they dry theirs.