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Old 09-24-2009, 03:13 PM   #1
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Default Found wild hops, already brown...

So yesterday a friend told me he found a bunch of wild hops near his house. I went over, but it looks like they are at least a week past their prime. Most of them are brown, some still have a bit of green color. I decided to pick them anyway and filled up a bucket approximately to the 2 gallon mark. They still have the sticky feel and smell, but I'm not sure if they are worth using. I'm brewing today and would like to make a wild hop IPA or Pale Ale. Anybody have any experience or insight into brewing with over-ripe hops? By the way, I have no idea of the hop variety. Thanks in advance.

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Old 09-24-2009, 03:44 PM   #2
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Make a tea with the first. This will give you an idea of the flavor profile and bitterness.

If you look in the thread "Testing HG Hop Bitterness", Andrea gives an old school method for using the tea to determine the alpha acid content of the hops.

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Old 09-24-2009, 04:00 PM   #3
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I brewed with over ripe wild hops last fall, and my advice would be to not do it.

The beer came out "okay" - pretty much no hop bitterness or aroma or flavor, but it did have a slight oily taste which I attributed to a ton of seeds in the hop clusters that I was too lazy to pick through.

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Old 09-24-2009, 04:55 PM   #4
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OK, thanks. I haven't found any seeds at all, so I think this "wild" hop plant may have been intentionally planted a long time ago. I may use a high alpha hop for bittering and use the wild hops for flavor and aroma.


Edit: I just took another look at the hops and decided it wasn't worth experimenting on a 10 gallon batch. I may dry hop 2-3 gallons worth as a test, but I'll be using store bought hops for today's brew.

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