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-   -   What To Do With Unknown Hops??? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f92/what-do-unknown-hops-354609/)

HopSong 09-16-2012 12:39 AM

What To Do With Unknown Hops???
I have a friend who grows hops and uses them to make his own beer. He does not know what kind of hop they are. He is willing to give me some.. as well as give me some rhizomes when ready.

So, this begs the question. If you don't now what kind of hops they are and you don't know the AA's and you have a couple of pounds of them, would you use them? He makes nice beer.

Would you use them for bittering? Aroma? Flavor?

W/O knowing the AA's you might have a hard time knowing how much of whatever they are... etc

nukebrewer 09-16-2012 03:56 AM

I've never used home grown hops, but I've mostly seen them used as flavor/aroma hops. It's a bit tricky using them for bittering what with the not knowing the AA%, but I'm adventurous, so I would just assume they're right in the middle of the normal range of AA% for the given variety and brew my ass off with them. I found this article about home grown hops and the last paragraph of "Estimating Hop Bitterness" has instructions for sending off samples to be analyzed. This article was written a long time ago, so I don't know if this service is still available, but I think it's worth checking out.

EDIT: Also found:

Brew Laboratory
Siebel Institute

Leadgolem 09-16-2012 04:28 AM

Why don't you just ask your friend? If he brews good beer he should know how to use his own hops. :)

beerloaf 09-16-2012 04:04 PM

Make beer with them. What else?


Eliterunner1 09-16-2012 04:11 PM

make a SMaSH with them? That way you could evaluate their bittering/flavor and aroma qualities.

HopSpunge 09-16-2012 04:17 PM

Play tiddlywinks with them.

RobertRGeorge 09-16-2012 04:23 PM

Yes, I just brew with them and for the first batch I use whatever amount my typical beer calls for, in my case it is about 30 grams bittering, 30 grams flavor and 30 grams aroma. If the results indicate an adjustment is necessary, I do that on the next batch. I've found that my homegrown hops have a lot more bitterness, flavor and aroma than commerically packaged hops. No telling about yours without knowing how they were grown and harvested.

HopSong 09-16-2012 07:09 PM

Thanks guys... I'll be seeing him in a few weeks. I've never had his ales but, he likes them and I have no idea, at the moment, what his processes are. He'll be harvesting, whenever, and will be giving away a lot of them.. heck, I don't even know if he knows WHEN to harvest.. but, I'll be getting some rhizomes during the winter as well.

When we go on our campout, I'll be pressing him for some info on his process.

And I like the idea of doing some small SMaSH's.. don't know why I never think of that.

RobertRGeorge 09-17-2012 03:45 AM

I don't know where you are but here in southeast BC I harvested the hops two weeks ago. The cones start to turn light yellow, get a bit papery, and tiny brown spots start to show up on a few of the cones. That's the time to harvest. I also air dry them in a warm dry room, which happens to be my garage. I spread them out on large window screens. Takes about 5 days. Then I pack them in freezer bags and store them in the freezer.

HopSong 09-17-2012 04:48 AM

I'm in Sonoma County in Calif. It's all wine country now.. but years ago it was hops, prunes and pears. In fact, there are still a couple of hop kilns turned wineries in the area... and a town just north of us called Hopland. I haven't seen my friend for a couple of months.. I'll see him soon. In reality, I'm more interested in grape harvest coming on strong here over the next month plus.. Have a friend who will have excess chardonnay and zinfandel grapes.. so, getting ready to put the bear aside and "brew" some vino.

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