Whether you’re drying a decorative hop garland or drying hops to brew beer, there are tips to consider to ensure that your hops can be used for their chosen purpose once dried.

Read on to find out how to dry fresh hops at home.

Drying fresh hops for decoration

If you’ve bought a fresh hop garland to hang in your home, this will dry naturally over time. There’s nothing that you’ll need to do to enable this drying to progress, simply ensure that you’ve hung your garland correctly so that it dries evenly. Find out how to hang your fresh hop garland.

Your hop garland’s cones will stay looking their best if:

  • They’re positioned out of direct sunlight
  • They’re not touched
  • They’re kept away from drafts and breezes

This will help them to keep their shape and dry with a nice colour.

Most importantly, don’t store your fresh hops in a sealed box at any point as this can cause them to become mouldy and disintegrate.

Once your fresh hop garland has dried, it can last for many years with a vintage golden colour. However, many people chose to purchase as new hop garland each season to replace their old one. This could be due to tradition, or simply because they love the fragrance and aesthetic of fresh hops.

Drying fresh hops for brewing

Drying your fresh hops correctly will ensure that you get the best possible results from your beer, including an enhanced flavour and fragrance. This is because moisture will negatively impact your hops and could lead to mould growth during brewing.

There are numerous ways to dry your hops. Sun drying is the traditional method, although this isn’t always reliable in the UK due to the changeable weather. Lay out your chosen hops in direct sunlight where they won’t be disturbed by wind and are protected from moisture. This process can take around a week and your hops will need to be turned frequently to enable them to dry evenly.

If the weather isn’t sunny enough for the sun drying method, you can choose your hops and lay them on a tray in the airing cupboard or above a radiator. This will dry them out and give them a fantastic fragrance.

You can use a good quality moisture meter to check the moisture level of your hops – it should ideally be between 8% and 10% before you start brewing.

How to store dried hops

Once your hops are dry, it’s important that you store them correctly until you’re ready to brew with them. To keep your hops moisture-free, put them in an airtight container and store this in a cool, dry place. Don’t be tempted to open the container until you’re ready to use your dried hops – even the smallest amount of moisture can ruin them.

During hop season, we sell fresh hop garlands grown on our farm in Kent for delivery or collection, perfect for decorating your home or brewing your own beer. Find out more about our fresh hops.