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Old 07-14-2012, 11:49 PM   #1
epistrummer
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Apr 2012
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I was offered a bunch of hops from a guy who has a bunch of them growing in his garden but he doesn't know what type they are. How can I find out what kind they are?
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Old 07-15-2012, 12:25 AM   #2
B-Hoppy
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If you have no other fresh hops to compare them with it's probably gonna be kind of difficult. Make sure they're ripe then take a few and crush, rub and sniff to get an idea of the aroma. Again, without other fresh hops to compare against it's tuff as a fresh cone will smell a little different than it's dried counterpart that you may have in the freezer. You could also take a look at the overall cone structure, sidearm length and general vigor to help narrow it down a little but it's gonna be tough. When all else fails you can always have another beer.

 
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:07 PM   #3
BRONCOBREW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B-Hoppy View Post
If you have no other fresh hops to compare them with it's probably gonna be kind of difficult. Make sure they're ripe then take a few and crush, rub and sniff to get an idea of the aroma. Again, without other fresh hops to compare against it's tuff as a fresh cone will smell a little different than it's dried counterpart that you may have in the freezer. You could also take a look at the overall cone structure, sidearm length and general vigor to help narrow it down a little but it's gonna be tough. When all else fails you can always have another beer.
The only sure way is to send it to Hop Union to be analyzed.
I can not tell the difference between Chinook and Cascades by the smell test or the difference between Tettnanger and Fuggles.

Better to buy some rhizomes, then you will know for sure...
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:17 PM   #4
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I would probably just use these as an aroma addition (even dry hopping) for any beer that would benefit from their scent. Take a huge whiff and use your best judgment.

As far as which variety, you will probably never know. Use them anyway!
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:27 AM   #5
RobertRGeorge
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About a year ago I was trying to identify the feral hops that grow all over town and I found a website that had pictures of the cones and leaves of a good number of different varieties, the closest to my feral hops was Fuggle. But I just tried a search for it again and couldn't find it. Maybe you can get creative with Google terms. There are distinct differences in cone shapes and leaf shapes, but you will still end up only guessing without some kind of lab test if that even exists.

 
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