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Old 09-15-2008, 02:01 PM   #1
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Default Aphids in Harvested Cones

Got a bunch of unknow hops from a local guy. After I set them out to dry, I noticed millions of aphids emerging from the cones. Are these junk, or is there a way to salvage them. I notice no signs of sooty mold (black spots) but I did notice "honeydew", the liquid secreted by the aphids on some of the cones. What should I do????

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Old 09-15-2008, 02:35 PM   #2
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Well, you can use them or not. I will be your guinea pig if you want to wait and see as I will be using mine. I have a wicked aphid infestation. I did not pick many of the cones that were really nasty looking, but I do have some black sooty mold spots on some. The honeydew will dry out with the hops. It is just a carbohydrate secretion.

Many of the aphids fled the scene once drying commenced. Those that did not are dried out and dead. I am trying to look at it like this. I brew all grain. There are most certainly various extraneous organic life forms in the grain I use. Regardless of how fresh the grain is. It is a fact of life with grain. There will be some critter or larvae present. Has it affected the flavor of my beer? I do not think so. Also, are commercially grown hops completely free of pests and problems? No way to realistically check on that scale.

I was pretty freaked out at first but I am going to use them. Perhaps I will do a test gallon batch to be sure first. I was planning on doing that with the feral hops I planted anyway just to see what they taste like before commiting to them. Doing a SMaSH batch.

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Old 09-15-2008, 02:57 PM   #3
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I'm in the same situation as Zumurgizfdhjsfdhfdjhs. I figured, lots of them fled when the fan was blowing over them. Those that stayed behind, get to deal with an O2-free environment, since I vacuum-sealed them. Those that hold their breath, get to survive freezing temps. Any survivors get the joy of a 212° hot tub.

It's all pre-boil, baby! I won't dry-hop with them, but I'm not giving them up now. I'll do a simple pale ale soon to see how "good" the hops are (ultimately, I want to use them in a big-ass American IPA).

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Old 09-15-2008, 11:49 PM   #4
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Any logic to piling on some lady bugs, or perhaps some sort of "bath"? I too would like to use them, but I really don't know. At this point, I will continue drying them and wait to see what happens.

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Old 09-20-2008, 11:22 PM   #5
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Default Regarding ladybugs & aphids

This is my first go at it and I have a billion aphids, and many ladybugs and ladybug larvae doing their best, but alas, I don't think that they make any difference. Curiously, the yellowjackets enjoy the sticky plants as well.

I agree with the_bird & Zymurgrafi in that bugs are inherent in food, etc. and the drying, freezing & boiling ought kill them, and/or extract all the flavors out of the little buggers.

I plan on using my blend of Cascade, Magnum & Kent Goldings regardless of the bugs. And, silly me, planted them on a trellis in such a way that I have a tri-cone blend that is going to stay that way.

What I would like to know, though, is how to kill them now & prevent the infestation next year.......

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Old 09-22-2008, 05:35 PM   #6
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As you guys mentioned, the vast majority of them seemed to die during the drying process. I made a tent and increased the temp to 120*. I could't really see very many of them as I packaged, so all will work out I hope.
Aphids over-winter in various species of the Prunus genus, and come back to hop plants during the next growing season. I plan on clipping lower leaves on the bines early on and a healthy dose of lady bugs. Should that fail, diazinon or malathion.

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Old 09-23-2008, 06:34 AM   #7
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brew um up!

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