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Old 03-10-2009, 06:50 PM   #1
goetzUM
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Default Mystery Hops

My neighbor gave me a gallon ziplock bag stuffed full with hops that grew from the vine in his yard. He doesn't know what kind of hop plant that he has but he did a great job of drying and freezing the hops. I would like to use the hops but first I would like to know

1) approximately, how many ounces of hops do I have? It's a gallon ziplock bag stuffed with dried hops. Can anyone venture a guess? 1 oz? 5 oz?

2) Are there any reference guides out there that will help me to identify these hops from the cone shape, color, smell, etc? I have no idea what the AA content of these hops are, but I know they smell fairly mild.

Thanks for any suggestions.

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Old 03-10-2009, 09:03 PM   #2
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IDing unknown hops is tricky unless you have some experince in brewing or growing. The important thing that is needed is aroma, cone shape, lupulin(the yellow glands inside) content, leaf shape, and most importantly is taste in a batch of beer. I'd advise smelling them and taking a picture of a couple of whole bracts with one sectioned down the middle. This along with the aroma may help someone with more knowledge than myself in IDing. Hopunion has some pics of a few cones and an online search may yield some leaf pictures.

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Old 03-10-2009, 11:39 PM   #3
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Real good chance they are Fuggles. It was commonly grown back before Prohibition and has gone feral all over the area.

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Old 03-17-2009, 07:37 PM   #4
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I have some that I transplanted from the UP a few years back. Its starting to grow like a champ now that its been in the ground for a few years. I too would like to find out type and such. I'll have to do a search online for pics and such.
BTW your not alone.
Thanks!

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Old 03-18-2009, 02:15 AM   #5
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Wingnut I'd love to check out your plant and share a couple brews in late summer. I just made a beer with locally grown ditch hops and am less than enamored at the moment. Hopefully yours are better. Wouldn't mind checking out your TJ as well .

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Old 03-18-2009, 02:11 PM   #6
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I had a similar experience with my neighbor- he has a whole side of his house that has hops growing on a chainlink fence. He knew that they had a "weird" name and were good for german beer. So, I ran a bunch of names by him, and he thought both Hallertau and Tettnanger sounded right...so I bought a sample of each, and matched them to Tettnager. You might want to share the hops you have with other brewers or bring them to Steinbarts (you are in Portland OR ...yes?) and ask them what they think. I bet you could narrow it down to a category of hops (noble,english,american,etc) and go from there.

About the weight of your hops by volume all has to do with the density of the package, I vacuum pack mine and can fit 8 oz in a gallon bag. Loose hops from the vine, you might only have 1/2 an ounce in there. Find a scale.

Good luck, Tim

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Old 03-19-2009, 07:54 AM   #7
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Good idea about bringing them to Steinbarts. I'll do that.

I actually just ended up using a bag of hops in a pale ale that I have fermenting right now. I saved a couple in case I could ID them later. To estimate the weight I compared the weight of the bag against a number of dried food packages. I estimated around 4oz, though I have no idea how close I am. At first I was really concerned about not having ID'd the hops, but then I just figured "what the hell." We'll see how they turn out. This is only my third batch so if they aren't that good I'll just call it a beginner's lesson learned. The batch smells pretty good though. Seems to have a good level of hoppiness for a pale ale.

Thanks for all the tips guys. Oh, I also talked to my neighbor who said that he got his hops from Portland Nursery at one point, so they're not wild. If only he could remember the name of them. I checked Portland Nursery's website and they have about 8 different hop varieties for sale. I guess that limits it down somewhat.

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