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Old 09-09-2012, 01:24 AM   #1
SunyJim
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Default Identify these Vintage hops

Most people say that wild hops in Eastern USA and Canada are likely Cluster. But these seem more intentionally planted for brewing in the town they were picked in, and the size and smell does not match

Here's the back story. I live in Ontario Canada, and picked and cut a rhizome from St.Thomas Ontario a small town known for it's railways, in the center of good agricultural land that grows a lot of Tobacco for the past many years. It's had it's share of breweries in London Ontario and 3 in the little town of St. Thomas that existed until prohibition (1916-1920). This location may have been from a German settler who ran a brewery, I think I have eliminated the English settler as having a brewery on the other side of town. Dutch might be possible. The location is beside a rail line that runs from London Ontario to the shipping port on Lake Erie. So picked hops lost along the railway line is possible but it's just at the outskirts of the town boarder in 1880 and probably within the town boarder by 1900. And I'm still researching the 3 breweries to see if one was close to where I found them.

The hops are currently growing along fences, up trees, over bushes etc. in a man made 300ft ditch that appears to have no drain and no other function than for the hops. And it's located between a cemetery and rail line.
The rhizome i cut was not a stick the size of my finger, but just a part or the many cord like roots the size of my wrist that spread from one of the many crowns that are about 3ft in diameter
My rhizome has taken off like mad, grown quite nicely, and i will have a good harvest.
But I have no idea what kind of hop it is.

I made tea with it, it's low Alpha around 5%
the smell is fresh pine needles, maybe cedar hedge, and a nice lemon sent. The flavour is more towards pine and cedar than lemon.
There doesn't seem to be a floral, or resin character.
If the Alpha was higher, and I was on the other side of the world Southern Cross describes a similar smell. If it helps the hop is just ripened now Sept 8th

I've checked http://www.americanhopmuseum.org/varieties.htm but it wasn't helpful
The thing is there can't be that many varieties from 1880-1916, and with the German, English or Dutch heritage I thought it would be easier to track down.

group-mystery-hops.jpg  
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Old 09-09-2012, 03:14 AM   #2
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You know, you may be onto something. I've found hops growing along the roadsides from Upstate NY back down to NE Ohio and most have all had that 'wild' North American character that is very similar to Clusters and the cone structure all looked very similar with the tips of the bracts flaring outward. The cones in your picture have a much tighter structure than what I've found so you may want to brew with them and if it seems worthwhile, contact the research center in Corvallis, Oregon to see if they want some samples. They're mostly looking for seeds but it may be a place to start if you're interested. Keep us posted.

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Old 09-09-2012, 03:31 AM   #3
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Default hops

Looks just like the ones found on the edge of the woods in the next yard growing wild. Its an old neighborhood and no one knows who planted them. I will be making a one hop beer soon to try them out.

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Old 09-09-2012, 04:31 AM   #4
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Oh I think I will defiantly try them
I was thinking John Palmers "Your Fathers Mustache" http://www.howtobrew.com/section4/chapter19-4.html
a pre prohibition lager using 6 row and some corn.
I'll use some cluster pellet hop for the bittering, and this new hop for the favour and possible dry hop.

I may just do that with the research center, that could be really interesting!
Here's a picture of them growing where I found them

hops-yard.jpg  
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Old 09-11-2012, 05:18 PM   #5
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Here's a picture of my leaves.
The three pointed and single pointed leaves seem to alternate along the main vine, but it seems just to be single pointed leaves on the runners where the hops are.

09-09-12_1621.jpg  
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Old 09-15-2012, 12:47 AM   #6
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Looks like Columbus variety to me.

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Old 09-15-2012, 09:27 PM   #7
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Real cool read:
So if you see a wild hop, how do you know what it is?**First of
all, look to see if the leaf stem is longer than the length of
the leaf or not and how many lobes are on the leaf.* * H.
japonicus has long leaf stems and 5 or more lobes per leaf.**
H. lupulus varieties have leaf stems the same length as or
shorter than the leaves and 0 to 5 lobes.**If it’s a H. lupulus
plant, next look at its location.**In general, if you see a hop
plant near a road, a railroad or near an old farm, it is
probably the brewer’s hop, possibly crossed with a native
hop.**If you see a hop plant in a remote area populated only
by native plants, it’s probably one of the native varieties.

And the source:
http://www.gorstvalleyhops.com/pdfs/July_09.pdf

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Old 09-27-2012, 02:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OntarioBeerKegs View Post
Real cool read:
So if you see a wild hop, how do you know what it is?**First of
all, look to see if the leaf stem is longer than the length of
the leaf or not and how many lobes are on the leaf.* * H.
japonicus has long leaf stems and 5 or more lobes per leaf.**
H. lupulus varieties have leaf stems the same length as or
shorter than the leaves and 0 to 5 lobes.**If it’s a H. lupulus
plant, next look at its location.**In general, if you see a hop
plant near a road, a railroad or near an old farm, it is
probably the brewer’s hop, possibly crossed with a native
hop.**If you see a hop plant in a remote area populated only
by native plants, it’s probably one of the native varieties.

And the source:
http://www.gorstvalleyhops.com/pdfs/July_09.pdf

Wow great answer!

I think the answer is that it's some sort of fuggle or cascade like cross, the citrus and grapefruit with a fresh green pine or cedar, low mild AA and I think it will make some great beer.
I'm thinking a pre prohibition lager with some pellet for bittering, and my Ferrel hops for the end of the boil and maybe some dry hop.
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Old 11-11-2012, 02:24 PM   #9
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SunyJim! I think we may have the same hops!!!

Your pics, flavour, and aroma description are very similar to what I've been trying to ID. I found this thread by accident - my hops are from a farmyard in SE Saskatchewan, transplanted to the Peg.

Everyone in the small Sask. town grows the vines, a few old-timers threw 'em in kit and kilo beers, and no one knows where they came from initially.

I suspect they might be the same variety inasmuch as the descriptions are so close, AND most of the settlers who found the town came from Dashwood, ON...very close to London. Everybody's family claims they came to the town with their neighbour...small-town weirdness aside, we may have the same hop.

This summer, mine tested out 5.5% AA, have definite citrus/pine aroma, with a piney flavour.

I like you idea of using pellets for bittering - I've done a couple brews using all home-grown, and bittering runs through a lot of homegrown hops at 5.5% AA, and most of anything you can't find elsewhere just gets boiled away.

I've been plugging mine in to brewing software as Cascade...when people ask about the variety, I've just been referring to them by the name of the Saskatchewan town.

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