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Old 08-28-2009, 02:03 PM   #1
BrokenBrew
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Default Brewing with wild hops

It's amazing. It seems everywhere I look I see wild hops growing alongside the road. Maybe it's because I now know what they look like!

I'm an avid runner, and love to run on dirt trails and roads. Just yesterday, I saw two different wild hop bushes loaded with huge cones. I picked a couple and rubbed them between my hands. Smelled good, just not as much aroma as my home-grown cascades. I'm assuming the AA content is fairly low. I look at the lupulin glands are somewhat small, but deep yellow (almost gold).

I was thinking about doing a SMaSH with them as a wet hop - a 'Wet and Wild SMaSH'. Something like:

8 lbs. 2-row pale malt
5 oz. (wet) 60 min.
5 oz. (wet) 30 min.
5 oz. (wet) 5 min.
S-05 or WLP Calif. Ale Yeast

Has anyone brewed using wild hops? I searched the forums, and saw a lot of interest, but couldn't see how any of the batches turned out.

I live in Colorado, and from what I can gather, there have never been any hop farms where I'm finding them. So these must truly be wild (feral?).

I'd love to hear if anyone has had success with wild hops.

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Old 08-28-2009, 02:28 PM   #2
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Yeah, I bet running in the beautiful area you live is nice. I flyfish around that area a few times a year.

I would do it. Maybe one with loads more and one with less in a split boil if you can do it. Then dry some cones and dry hop one. There really is no downside to it. I have picked some wild hops out of a few yards, people plant them as ornamental vines where I live (lots of brick houses), so they aren't wild per se. I never used them because I never had enough.

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Old 08-30-2009, 05:27 PM   #3
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A garbage bag full of wild hops ended up in my office last week. I picked and dried 7 ounces. I'm pretty sure they are Cluster hops and I'm going to throw them all into a Cluster F@cked IPA soon.

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Old 08-30-2009, 05:45 PM   #4
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Do it! I've brewed with home-grown hops but never wild hops. Let us know what the beer is like.

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Old 08-30-2009, 06:56 PM   #5
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I just noticed that my neighbors have hops growing over my fence, UNDER my fence, and up high into their tree. The hops have a low bitterness and aroma, but I don't see why I couldn't try a simple mellow recipe with them.

Give it a shot. It would be cheap since you aren't paying for the hops, and to keep it cheap go with dry yeast or your own washed yeast.

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Old 08-31-2009, 01:48 PM   #6
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There are Fuggles all over the place here. Mostly mixed with blackberry canes, so you can pick hops, gather blackberries and donate blood all at the same time.

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Old 08-31-2009, 01:56 PM   #7
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there is only one species of truly wild hops in the west and it is var. neomexicanus seen here NCGR-Corvallis Hop Expedition 2002 i have no idea how they smell or if they are of use to brewers other than as a n experimental batch but at least you can find pics of them on the web. the 2 strains that are native to the eastern US don't seem to have been studied as thoroughly as the ones in the west so i haven't been able to find pics of them, which sux since i live where both varietals grew historically.

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Old 08-31-2009, 03:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42 View Post
There are Fuggles all over the place here. Mostly mixed with blackberry canes, so you can pick hops, gather blackberries and donate blood all at the same time.

How do you know they're fuggles? The wild hops I've picked around here (and there are many) are floral, slightly citrusy, and very low on the AA's, I'd gues around 3-4% AA. Does kinda sound like wild American-grown fuggles.
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Old 09-07-2009, 09:34 PM   #9
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Now I am thinking...this time probably won't get me into trouble. What if the next time my LHBS has the rhizomes, I plant them and let them grow wild in a neighboring field? Without being string trained are they weaker? Or could I get a season or two out of them? Anyone know?

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Old 09-07-2009, 09:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtbeerman View Post
A garbage bag full of wild hops ended up in my office last week. I picked and dried 7 ounces. I'm pretty sure they are Cluster hops and I'm going to throw them all into a Cluster F@cked IPA soon.
That is the best beer name I've ever heard
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