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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Anyway to tell AA from wild hops?
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Old 09-17-2008, 11:24 PM   #1
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Default Anyway to tell AA from wild hops?

So I found some wild hops growing in NE Arizona. I quick search told me that they're "common hops" (and there's of course 100s of varieties).

Anyway to figure out the AA%?

They smell really good, and I'm probably just gonna try a small SMaSH recipe to see how they work - 1 oz. 60 min, 0.5 oz. 20 min, 0.5 oz. 5 min

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Old 09-17-2008, 11:30 PM   #2
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You nailed it right on the head. Unless you have an HPLC and equipment to digest the hops you will never be able to know for sure.

I guess being a chemist would allow me to do that, but I still need to get the chemicals for the standards. /end geek rant

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Old 09-17-2008, 11:42 PM   #3
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You could do a Scoville-type test... Keep adding sugar water to a hop puree and see how many drops it takes until you can't taste the hops anymore

Not sure how to convert that to Alpha Acid, however...

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Old 09-17-2008, 11:44 PM   #4
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yeah it would probably cost about $50 in chemicals to do it, IF I had access to the proper equipment!

Oh well, mini-batch it is!

2.5 gallon batch

6lbs Maris Otter
1 oz AZ hops (60 min)
0.5 oz AZ hops (20 min)
0.5 oz AZ hops (5 min)

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Old 09-17-2008, 11:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bernerbits View Post
You could do a Scoville-type test... Keep adding sugar water to a hop puree and see how many drops it takes until you can't taste the hops anymore

Not sure how to convert that to Alpha Acid, however...
I need Alton Brown's assistant for this one!

I've got a feeling these are pretty weak. They smell good (nice light citrus), and I just tasted a couple small leaves and they do have some bitterness. hmmm....maybe this will work!
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Old 10-03-2008, 06:26 PM   #6
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I brewed a small batch last night with the wild hops -

2.5 gallons H2O

3 lbs (- 1/2 cup) light DME

1/2 of the hops @ 60
1/4 @ 15
1/4 @ 5

yeast starter with washed Notty

O.G. 1.060 (maybe should'a used less DME - oops!)

I don't think it will taste bad; but the hydro sample had very little hop bitter, flavor, or aroma. A teeny bit of citrus though...

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Old 10-03-2008, 07:19 PM   #7
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There was a lab-rat around here somewhere that had offered to do it in his place of work for a small fee, but forgot who it was, you might want to look at some old threads..

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Old 10-03-2008, 07:22 PM   #8
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No true way really other than the aforementioned. Trial and error is your friend. What I would do is brew something that is in general low hops. That way if you overshoot the error is in your favor because although it may push it 'out of style' at least you'll probably be able to live with the results. But if you try to brew something hoppy and the AA is way high then you could easily overdo it. I'd say an American Wheat or a very lightly hopped Pale Ale.

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Old 10-03-2008, 09:22 PM   #9
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I'm doing a little Modern Jackass here, but I would expect wild hops to be well on the low end of the AA scale. The high-alpha hops have been from a long cultivation effort, and the noble hop AA levels are normally in the 3% range (and even down to close to 1%, sometimes)


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Old 10-17-2008, 05:53 PM   #10
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Default Trying an unknown wet hop

Well, tonight or tomorrow I'll be trying an unknown wet hop that was growing up a telephone pole in my yard. I harvested about a pound of cones that smelled pretty "clustery" to me, with a fair amount of yellow glandular stuff up in the bracts. I stuffed them in a bag and froze them. I'm going to try boiling about 6 cones in two test cups of wort and taste it along at 5, 10, 30, and 45 minutes to get some idea of bittering, flavoring, and aroma potentials, then adjust for additions in the main batch.

Or just forget it if it's nasty. I'll report back. There doesn't seem to be much feedback on how to go about this or how it comes out.

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