September 1, 2010

A toast to the oast

AKA, the place where at you dries your hops.

I wish you guys could have smelled my garage last weekend. 

There is nothing in the world like that Scrooge McDuck feeling you get when your backyard hop harvest comes in. When all those months of sitting on your ass watching plants grow pays off in a resiny, lupulin-tinged, tangible fashion with bags of fragrant dried inflorescences.

My oast is a couple window screens laid across sawhorses in my garage. It's hot in there in summer, citizens, and box fans pointing up at the hops from underneath the screens keep air circulating. This season blessed me with several warm sunny days with low humidity before harvest, so I was able to get the cones from bine to freezer in a matter of hours.

What's your oast?


  1. My oast is much like yours except I put them in a spare bedroom under the ceiling fan for 2-3 days. And I usually try to sleep in there at least one night while the room smells fantastic.

  2. I friend of mine uses a few furnace filters, sticks the hops in between them (usually stacked a few high) and then straps the whole thing to a box fan. The filters are about the same size as the box fan so it works pretty well. I have a food dehydrator so I use that.

  3. I have a cylander I build with fine mesh chicken wire. Hangs over the dehumidifier, so 4lb of wet hops will be done drying in about a day or so.

  4. One to two days on a window screen in the attic did the trick for me.

  5. I just tossed last year's harvest into some paper bags in the living room. Seemed to dry out fine.

  6. What's the best way to know when to harvest? I am getting my first crop this year.