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Old 08-26-2010, 02:55 PM   #1
Jul 2010
Posts: 1,117
Liked 20 Times on 17 Posts

My friend recently purchased and moved into a house which has these growing in his backyard!

Wondering if they are just ornamental, or if they are usable for brewing.


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Old 08-26-2010, 04:12 PM   #2
rniles's Avatar
Oct 2009
Whidbey Island, WA
Posts: 171
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

See any lupulin? Cut one open and take a look-see. Rub them and smell. They smell hoppy? Do your hands get sticky? You could also make a tea with them and see if you get that bitterness.

They don't look like humulus japonicus ..don't know for sure but it *looks* like you have a brewing hop.

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Old 08-27-2010, 01:15 AM   #3
cuinrearview's Avatar
Feb 2008
Delton, MI
Posts: 1,152
Liked 7 Times on 5 Posts

As stated above open up a cone and look for the lupulin. Shove your fingers in there and rub them together and sniff. If they smell like the packs of hops that you buy from your brew store then I'd use them. I make a simple beer heavily hopped with the hops I find around here to decide if it's something I want to use again. I have an eight oz. vac. sealed pack of hops that I harvested last season that will probably get pitched shortly because the smash I made with them turned out not so hoppy. But the keg is almost kicked and certainly was drinkable so why not try it? I've found two more plants this year that will get experimented with.
Looking forward to brewing some beer

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Old 08-27-2010, 06:45 PM   #4
david_42's Avatar
Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,595
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Ornamental hops can run from tea hops with almost zero alpha acids to a few high-AA types that put out long sidearms. After you check for lupin, I'd boil a few in a quart of water, pouring off a little of the tea at 5 minutes, 15 minutes and 60. If you chill them immediately after pouring, you'll have a better idea of the characteristics.

Or you could just brew a trial beer. I made Ditch Witch a couple years ago from some hops growing in my neighbor's drainage ditch. His grandfather was a hop grower back in the 1920s. The beer was okay, but I think I'll stick to known hops. Plus, the hops are intermingled with blackberries and a pain to harvest.

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