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Old 08-31-2007, 11:26 AM   #1
wanzelbin
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Aug 2007
Kent, England
Posts: 13


I went for a run this morning, and noticed loads of wild hops growing by the side of a road.

I'd really like to try making some beer with them, but don't know when they're ready for using, how to prepare them, whether they'd be suitable for bittering or aroma etc.

I noticed most were fairly small and green, while some others were larger and appeared to have a bit of brown colouring coming to them.

Can anyone give me a few pointers on the best way to proceed?

Thanks

Dave

 
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Old 08-31-2007, 07:33 PM   #2
paranode
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Mar 2007
DFW, TX
Posts: 430
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts


I was about to say, "What are you thinking just using some random hops on the road?"

Then I saw "Location: Kent, England" and I thought, "You lucky bastard!".


Sorry no advice on the hops tho.

 
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Old 08-31-2007, 07:40 PM   #3
Llarian
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Sep 2006
Seattle, WA
Posts: 272
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If they smell good, use them. =)

If you're looking to hit a specific bitterness target, I'd suggest bittering with a known variety and using the wild ones for aroma/flavor. If they don't smell like something you'd want in your beer, stay away from them.

Might be a fun experiment. =)

Here's a short BYO article on fresh hops: http://byo.com/mrwizard/780.html

-D

 
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Old 08-31-2007, 07:50 PM   #4
jb444
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Jul 2007
Brighton, UK
Posts: 36

I live in Sussex, so I see alot of wild hops - they need to be picked just before they go brown (ripe), so wait untill you can just see some brown on a few, then pick all the rest of the hops that are entirely green, leaving any cones that look slightly yellow as they are too unripe.

I have also tried to dry the hops to save me some money, I filled a (clean) dustbin and pointed a hairdryer at them for about 6 hours. It worked, but the hops go off very quickly and theres no point in keeping more than a month's supply (unless your brave enough to try burning some sulphur underneath them).

Also, remember you have know idea of their flavour or bitterness so any brews you make with them you will just have to see how they come out, and always make a 1 gallon trial brew befre going ahead with the rest.
Good luck!

 
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Old 09-02-2007, 09:27 AM   #5
wanzelbin
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Aug 2007
Kent, England
Posts: 13

Thanks very much for the advice. They smell great! Think I'll go for a single gallon tester this year, and if it's ok will go for something bigger next year.

Dave

 
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