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Old 07-06-2014, 01:00 PM   #1
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Default How to identify unknown hop vines?

My neighbor informed me that he has some hop vines growing, but he didn't plant them. Apparently the previous owner of his house planted them. Anyway, they keep growing year after year at his place. He has no use for them. They currently are over 20 feet tall, scaling the pine trees on his property.

He has told me I can do whatever I want with the hops & vines.

My question is, how do I identify what kind of hops they are?

Thanks

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Old 07-06-2014, 03:27 PM   #2
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It is very difficult to identify a hop vine. They all look very much alike. There is some differences in the structure of the cones between varieties but they can be very subtle. The best way to identify the variety is to take a couple of the cones and make a hop tea out of them to judge the flavor and aroma. If they produce puff balls instead of true cones they are a Japanese ornamental variety and not good for brewing.

I'm in the same boat you are in. Two different varieties made it into my yard from a neighbor. One is the Japanese variety and I've identified the other as EKG after brewing a couple of batches with it.

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Old 07-07-2014, 03:27 AM   #3
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Interesting - I did not know about ornamental varieties of hops. When making a hop-tea, do you still need to dry the hops like you normally would to brew with them?

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Old 07-07-2014, 04:33 PM   #4
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No, there is no need to dry the hops first. Just drop a couple of cones in some boiling water and let them steep a little while.

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Old 07-08-2014, 06:06 AM   #5
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I'll add to say that you may not get a positive ID, but you can, based upon the leaf shapes, eliminate a suspect or two along the way.

I have 5 different hops in pots right now, along with one I found on the farm. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f92/new-...e-hops-477098/ that I as yet have not ID'd other than that it obviously is neither a Japanese variety, nor is it the same as a couple of my rhizomes, as they are putting out leaves without the big multi lobes that the unidentified one has.

The Magnums so far seem the closest, with a leaf that looks almost like a dope plant when it was small, and has spread out a bit as it develops.

Between pictures of the leaf and hop shapes, you can make a list of likely suspects, but that seems about all I have been able to find out.

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Old 07-08-2014, 12:59 PM   #6
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Thanks for the link. I'll look through those pictures and see if any of mine match or are similar.

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Old 07-08-2014, 01:25 PM   #7
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That link is to my first thread here but has the pictures of the potted up rhizomes I have.

If you click through on the picture of the pots all lined up, you get to the full size versions, in which you can see the differences in the leaves.

Some of them have only a single spade shaped leaf, some have 3 lobes, some have 5 or 7.

Just threw that out there as a example, not as a database, if y'know what I mean.

Seems to me that I had run a cross a site that had some pictures, both of the bines/leaves, and of the developed hop cones, but I cannot find it at this point. Figures.

Like I said, not so much a tool for a positive ID, as a tool for eliminating a suspect. The only person that will be sure, might be the one that planted it, and even they may not have known more than "Hop".

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Old 07-08-2014, 10:33 PM   #8
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Snipped a couple leaves today - will upload the pictures shortly and see if they yield any identifiable results.

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Old 07-09-2014, 08:29 PM   #9
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It looked like all of the leaves were the same. I pulled a couple of the bigger ones off. Attached is a picture. The main stem had a rough texture to it. Tiny little prickles on it. No cones yet.

Thoughts?

img_0059.jpg  
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Old 07-09-2014, 11:03 PM   #10
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I just found this site. About half of the American varieties have a picture of a leaf. Many of those have a very similar leaf. I have three different varieties growing and they all have leaves like that one including the Japanese ornamental.

http://www.skotrat.com/skotrat/hops.cfm

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