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Old 09-07-2010, 04:24 AM   #1
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found wild hops, but i think they have seeds in the cones. are they still usable?
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Old 09-07-2010, 11:22 AM   #2
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Yes, but...

Once pollinated, the chemistry of the cones changes so the flavor and alpha acid content will be different than an unpollinated cone. That said, its a wild cone so you were expecting anything to begin with? Brew away.

 
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Old 09-07-2010, 12:30 PM   #3
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different good, different bad..?? it what way would the flavor be different? if they are seeds (which i am pretty sure they are), they would be found inside the hop cone, right?
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Old 09-07-2010, 02:25 PM   #4
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Just different. Its different for every variety. Some of the noble varieties are pollenated on purpose because that the flavor profile they want. American varieties typically aren't.

My advice is to pick a bunch and make a tea with some. If you think there is a chance they would make a good flavor addition, brew them up. If you really like them, grab some seeds and plant them next year. As they start burring out, rip out the boys so only the girls are left and you'll see what the un-pollinated cones taste like.

The seeds are in the cone.

 
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:32 PM   #5
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these are some wild hops growing near me...any ideas as to what they might be? My guess is something decorative.

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Old 05-04-2011, 04:27 AM   #6
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They are either:

a) A commercial cultivar accidentally or intentionally planted a century or more ago. Anything from clusters to saaz and anything in between. If they are commercial they are most likely cluster. Clusters were the most popular hop grown pre-prohibition due to their moderate AA content and fantastic storage capability before good refrigeration.

b) A truly wild strain, and there are several hundred of them listed by the USDA. I just dug some wild rhizomes and planted them last night. I picked some from the source plants last year and they were seeded. They had a great minty/basil aroma when wet, and turned more earthy as they dried.

Dig some rhizomes and transplant them. Pick the cones and make beer with them. Somehow hops have been used for several hundred years grown before scientific method was ever applied to their cultivation or use. Assume they are clusters for the sake of AA content and brew up a SMaSH with a neutral base grain to get a feel for how they work.
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Old 05-04-2011, 04:42 AM   #7
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thats pretty awesome. i wanna find some wild hops... its like the gold at the end of a rainbow. except its hops and instead of a rainbow its just a dirt road... but anyway.

 
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Old 05-04-2011, 04:44 AM   #8
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I made a simple beer with wild hops once. It didn't turn out very well. No bitterness, very little flavor/aroma, and sorta "oily" (granted, I may have picked the cones a little late as there was lots of seeds).

 
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Old 05-04-2011, 02:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Exorcisto View Post
They are either:

a) A commercial cultivar accidentally or intentionally planted a century or more ago. Anything from clusters to saaz and anything in between. If they are commercial they are most likely cluster. Clusters were the most popular hop grown pre-prohibition due to their moderate AA content and fantastic storage capability before good refrigeration.

b) A truly wild strain, and there are several hundred of them listed by the USDA. I just dug some wild rhizomes and planted them last night. I picked some from the source plants last year and they were seeded. They had a great minty/basil aroma when wet, and turned more earthy as they dried.

Dig some rhizomes and transplant them. Pick the cones and make beer with them. Somehow hops have been used for several hundred years grown before scientific method was ever applied to their cultivation or use. Assume they are clusters for the sake of AA content and brew up a SMaSH with a neutral base grain to get a feel for how they work.
Is there any way to identify them as Cluster or Saaz (assuming they are not truly wild or unidentifiable in which case I have other plans).
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Old 05-04-2011, 04:20 PM   #10
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Smelling them is the only way to sort of identify them. If they smell like something you've used before, then they might be. If they smell completely different, then you most likely have a true wild. You also need to do a little research into the place you found them. If it is old farm land, then there is a good chance they are a commercial cultivar. The ones I dug are in places that could never have been farm land, so I'm fairly certain they are an indigenous strain. Dig em, plant em, and use the hell out of them. You'll be the only guy in the country brewing with those hops, and that alone is reason enough for me.
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