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Old 01-24-2014, 08:50 PM   #1
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Default unknown hop variety. Safe to use?

At a family reunion, found out that my uncle has hops in his freezer from his harvest and wants to send to me from Oregon. I'm in michigan.

Unknown type of hops, in ziploc baga in his freezer. He said they sat at room temp for a day or two to dry out some before freezing.

When asked what type, he said two darks and two lights. No idea what this means or how to narrow down the type from there as I've never grown or seen an actual hop plant/flower/w.e. they're called.

Is it worth trying to figure out what type of hops they are, or maybe make an ipa/india brown and call it something ambiguous.

Maybe take to lhbs and have someone look/smell and maybe they'll know?

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Old 01-24-2014, 08:58 PM   #2
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I have unidentified plants at my house which yield hops of an unknown variety. Actually I know what they could be, but have never formally tested them. I brew one batch a year with these hops, all flavor additions, since I have no way of knowing the alpha acids of each plant. First thing, when you get your hands on them, make sure they smell good. If not, don't bother. Second thing, avoid trying to use them as bittering hops, you don't know the alpha acids so it could be way to bitter or not bitter enough. Otherwise, brew them up. Ask yourself, do I like this aroma? if so, you will probably like them in the beer. Fun experiment. They may not of held up well in the freezer with out proper drying, so you'll have to see. Your not going to save any money brewing with poor quality hops. Sláinte.

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Old 01-24-2014, 10:03 PM   #3
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Thanks mty, very helpful!

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Old 01-24-2014, 10:25 PM   #4
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Boil 5 ounces of amber or light DME in 1 liter of good water and add 1 gram or so of the hops for 60 minutes. Taste for bitterness.
Bring the same amounmt of DME to a boil, power down and add the same amount of hops to check aroma.
The key is the same amount of hops for each test whether it is weight or eye balled volume.

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