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Old 09-07-2008, 01:27 PM   #1
BPD
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Default Questions about using 50+ yo Hops plants unknown variety

over the past years of my marriage I've always heard about the hops plants taking over the grapes and raspberry patch from my inlaws. I never paid much attention until now when my father in law mentioned he had been letting some of the plants grow this year since I had just started brewing this spring. His father planted these at least 50+ years ago. 2 weeks ago my mother in law clipped the base of one by accident when weeding and I now have a large paper bag filled with dried hops. the cones were just opening and turning a light brown on the edges and begining to dry when they were "harvested" and air dried as it has been in the 90's here in Eastern PA. from what i had read they were probably cut at the right time but can anyone let me know their thoughts? also I have no idea what variety. How would I determine how to use these? I was thinking a pale ale or a light ale would give me some idea but I would like some thoughts and suggestions to try to narrow it a bit. Thanks for any help.

Also have a second plant about 50 yards up their property that looks like the hops cones are smaller and are only now beginning to change to being able to harvest them. should I consider this a second variety until I can sort out their properties a bit or should I just throw the two together and experiment?

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Old 09-07-2008, 01:51 PM   #2
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Sounds like two different kinds. Separate.

Do they smell good? If so, use 'em.

Lacking any hard info, guess at 4% AA and make a test batch if you have enough to use for bittering. Otherwise use them for late additions where what your nose tells you will be what's true, and bitter with something commercial and known.

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Old 09-07-2008, 04:59 PM   #3
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make a hop tea to extract the flavor. best way IMO

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Old 09-07-2008, 05:17 PM   #4
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Ecnerwal: both smell the same not great but ok. I'll have to order in a few samples as I brew the next few months and try to see what the differences are. I do have enough for bittering so I'll try a couple of batches one bittering and one for aroma and see. I recall reading that the conversion from pellets in weight is 1.25 % is this correct?

CarlosM: the hop tea. how would it be made? just throw a few cones into a cup of hot water and steep? or boil it for an hour as I would a wort? and how much? appraise the tea as I would the hops in a beer? bittering, taste and aroma. anything else about the tea that I should consider?

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Old 09-21-2008, 02:26 AM   #5
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Default In-laws hops: Narrowed it down to probably cluster variety

after a lot of research looking online for pictures, multiple google searches, and several other threads here, I have finally narrowed down the variety to what I think is cluster hops. the timing is right, these were planted prior to or in the 70's which is when cluster was the most common, the pics look like it and the fragrance is good. the other varieties were aroma hops such a willemette but this is from around the late 70's (1976) which is still a possibility. from what i also saw this is used as a general american pilsner hop, also cream ale and possibly wheat. I have about 4 oz that i was able to get, have vacuum sealed it in a mason jar and is in the fridge. anyone know what other styles these are good for? and roughly how much to use?

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