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Old 11-18-2009, 04:19 AM   #1
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Default what recipe to use for unknown hops?

This fall I harvested approximately 11 oz. of hops from a plant that my mother grew in her garden. Unfortunately she has no idea what variety it was when she ordered it. Is there a 'safe' beer to use them in? Give me a little slack if this is a dumb question, I am fairly new to home brewing. any input would be appreciated. thanks.

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Old 11-18-2009, 04:22 AM   #2
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Smell them. If they smell good, use them for an aroma addition in a beer you think they'll complement.

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Old 11-18-2009, 01:58 PM   #3
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A middle gravity Pale is a good bet. Could end up being a Mild or a Bitter or an American Pale.

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Old 11-18-2009, 06:38 PM   #4
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11 oz dried????

That is a ton.

I would (and did ) do an IPA. Whether it ends up pleasantly bitter or a hop bomb would be OK with me.

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Old 11-18-2009, 06:46 PM   #5
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I use unidentified wet hops that grow in my back yard every year.

I make IPAs and Pale Ales using them. I basically take a normal recipe and then dump tons of the wet hops into the flavor and aroma additions. They make great beer and you can't really over-do it, if those hops are undried, they're mostly water.

if they're dried, then use them in an aromatic stage of a pale ale or IPA.

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Old 11-18-2009, 07:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheezydemon3 View Post
11 oz dried????

That is a ton.

I would (and did ) do an IPA. Whether it ends up pleasantly bitter or a hop bomb would be OK with me.
ya they are dried and vacuum sealed in my freezer. It was a big plant, interwoven into a chicken wire fence, a bit of a nightmare to harvest. ya i think i will try them with an IPA. they smelled great at the time of harvest. I hope it is a good variety seeing as i just planted 9 of its children! thanks for info guys.
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:21 PM   #7
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Default University Identification?

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Originally Posted by patsmith87 View Post
ya they are dried and vacuum sealed in my freezer. It was a big plant, interwoven into a chicken wire fence, a bit of a nightmare to harvest. ya i think i will try them with an IPA. they smelled great at the time of harvest. I hope it is a good variety seeing as i just planted 9 of its children! thanks for info guys.
Awesome idea transferring the rhizome! It's amazing how hardy those things are.

If you want to pinpoint exactly which variety you have, you may want to contact the brewing studies department of either Washington State University or Oregon State University. I know both schools do research on hops there.

I was thinking of sending some hop flowers and leaves to WSU to see if they could identify them, didn't get around to it this year.

Either one of them may not be able to accept them due to various quarantine rules, they don't want any fungus to hit their precious Willamette or Yakima valleys.
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:00 AM   #8
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unknown hops? make a Frankenbrew.

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Old 12-14-2009, 12:25 AM   #9
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I would do an American Ale grain bill- basically an IPA or APA and assume a middle level of AA% for the hops. If they are less bitter-you have an APA, if more bitter you have an IPA. Sounds like a fun experiment. Another tactic could be to just use them for aroma (as mentioned above).

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Old 12-17-2009, 12:43 AM   #10
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MMMMmmmm......I have a similar vacuum bag of wild hops in my freezer awaiting consideration. The last time I brewed an unknown hopped beer I went american pale. I brew extract so it was easy to use what I know:

4-5lbs. light DME
Some crystal malt(depends on what you usually brew)

Add the hops as you would in a normal pale ale that you brew. I'd do an oz. at 60, 20, and flameout. If you want to dry-hop that's up to you. The pale I did last year was ruined with the dry-hopping. They were a little on the skunky side maybe due to handling maybe to variety but I now know better from the nose. They smelled that way before I threw them into the carboy but I was on a mission. The best part is you'll make beer for sure and probably learn a bit in the process! RDWHAHB and good luck.

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