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Old 04-26-2010, 06:28 PM   #1
Blackwill
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Default Male Hop Identification

Hi guys and gals,

Just a quick question, but a bit of background first:

I purchased some Hop seeds a few months ago, planted them, and they are coming up now. I also planted a Horizon rhizome, which is also coming up (gangbusters). The seed-grown hops and the rhizome-grown hops are seperated in different parts of the yard. Now the question:

I know the rhizome was taken from a female plant, but can't be certain about the seeds. Is there any way to tell, before pollination, which vines are male and which are female?? I have never grown hops before, so any information would be helpful.

Thanks in advance,

Chris
Southern San Joaquin Valley, California.



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Old 04-26-2010, 06:40 PM   #2
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The flower clusters for the male and female plants are much different.

Male:



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Old 04-27-2010, 12:57 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42 View Post
The flower clusters for the male and female plants are much different.

Male:

There like pod people, and they are bad!
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Old 04-27-2010, 02:25 AM   #4
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This is an excellent lesson for all home hop growers on what to look out for. I have an older cascade plant that throws out some of the above pictured flowers every year. Last year my first year Zues did the same. This is not a warning simply a public service announcement: The boys are out there, hiding, waiting to jump out and goose our girls. You need to get them young, when you first notice a sign of their intentions. I think I spend about a half hour a day for about two weeks on a ladder looking for them and every day I find one I missed the day before. I could probably skip it and be just fine with minimally seeded hop cones but who's kidding? I'm out there staring every damn day anyway

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Old 04-27-2010, 02:32 AM   #5
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I think if the goal is seedless, start seedless with ordered (female) rhizomes. Props to cutting them, but thats time I don't have. Still an interesting discussion.

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Old 04-27-2010, 04:28 AM   #6
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i don't know what the big deal is about seedless hops. actually, when seeded, there is more surface area for lupulin formation. many varieties tend to throw out a little male bloom which is not a real concern as any seeds that are formed will not be viable.

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Old 04-27-2010, 04:33 AM   #7
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I've never thought about it. Would it be that it's easier for the Pro to make them into pellets? I've always heard, seeds=bad. My hops don't have them, so I've never cared. Now I'm curious if there is a "pro-seed' arguement.

Question, you wouldn't want seeds if you were growing multiple hops? You would eventually cross contaminate, right? Is that an issue?

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Old 04-27-2010, 05:30 AM   #8
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a problem may occur if a seedling were allowed to grow from the seeds produced from a wild male (or domestic male for that matter). rogue seedlings have the potential to be carriers of diseases (while not exhibiting any of the symptoms). i'd imagine the commercial growers have an herbicide program in place to hopefully take care of such problems before they can take hold in their yards. i've read that certain european countries have regulations pertaining to the eradication of wild male hop plants prior to cone set to minimize the chance of this situation from coming about.

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Old 04-27-2010, 06:57 PM   #9
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Great! That's what I was looking for. Thanks for responding. If the seed-planted hops start putting out male clusters, I'll up-root them.

As for the reason seedy hops are considered "bad", I have read a few reasons, none of which I have any real experience with. But, here goes:

1) Seeds of the pollinated hop cone can clog the pores in lauter tuns, filtering screens, etc.

2) Once the female hop plant is pollinated, and produces seeds, it has "done it's job" and begins to stop production. This is, in my opinion, the most likely reason, having experienced similar situations with non-hop plants in the garden setting. In the garden, the removal of flowers before seed-set is called "dead-heading", and will cause most plants to re-bloom or continue blooming. Once the flowers go to seed, the plant begins to die or return to dormancy for the season.

3) Cross-pollination. Many hop-yards contain multiple species/varieties of hops, and un-wanted cross-breeding between species can lead to undesirable results in the following year's growth. Hops, from what I've read, are primarily wind-pollinated (like corn), so pollen from male plants can pollinate females from great distances. You can't control which plants the wind decides to carry the pollen to, so there is no guarantee of consistency and purity in the strain.

4) Hop breeding programs rely on male plants to propogate new vines or create new hybrids, but these are generally run under very close scrutiny and in controlled and isolated conditions (such as in a lab or enclosed propogation area.)

Anyway, thanks for the help, and I hope I can help someone else later on.

Chris
Southern San Joaquin Valley, California

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Old 07-21-2010, 05:28 PM   #10
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Sorry to post to an old thread but found this discussion interesting. I also found this information from a hop farm in the UK:

"Seedless hops are grown without male plants and are in burr for longer, which makes them more susceptible to disease ... international brewers insist that the presence of seed is undesirable (usually with no explanation) ... There is no experimental evidence to support these objections but the hop trade outside the UK continues to promote derogatory information about seeded hops."

Original page: http://www.charlesfaram.co.uk/NewsSummer2002.htm



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