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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.

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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.

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  • Hop growers will tell you rain okay, wind okay, wind and rain together is bad. – Wayne In Yak Oct 12 '16 at 13:29
  • Yep. Fortunately the OP doesn't have to deal with wind! – Denny Conn Oct 12 '16 at 16:33
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You'll need to dry them pretty quickly or mold will start to set it. If you feel like they must be picked, I'd plan on an active drying process with a fan and some heat if possible. You may want to try and build a small oast for drying.

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