How to identify unknown hop vines?

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CraigKing

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My neighbor informed me that he has some hop vines growing, but he didn't plant them. Apparently the previous owner of his house planted them. Anyway, they keep growing year after year at his place. He has no use for them. They currently are over 20 feet tall, scaling the pine trees on his property.

He has told me I can do whatever I want with the hops & vines.

My question is, how do I identify what kind of hops they are?

Thanks
 

Jonas217

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It is very difficult to identify a hop vine. They all look very much alike. There is some differences in the structure of the cones between varieties but they can be very subtle. The best way to identify the variety is to take a couple of the cones and make a hop tea out of them to judge the flavor and aroma. If they produce puff balls instead of true cones they are a Japanese ornamental variety and not good for brewing.

I'm in the same boat you are in. Two different varieties made it into my yard from a neighbor. One is the Japanese variety and I've identified the other as EKG after brewing a couple of batches with it.
 
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CraigKing

CraigKing

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Interesting - I did not know about ornamental varieties of hops. When making a hop-tea, do you still need to dry the hops like you normally would to brew with them?
 

Jonas217

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No, there is no need to dry the hops first. Just drop a couple of cones in some boiling water and let them steep a little while.
 

TeeJo

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I'll add to say that you may not get a positive ID, but you can, based upon the leaf shapes, eliminate a suspect or two along the way.

I have 5 different hops in pots right now, along with one I found on the farm. https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f92/new-hops-grower-id-japanese-hops-477098/ that I as yet have not ID'd other than that it obviously is neither a Japanese variety, nor is it the same as a couple of my rhizomes, as they are putting out leaves without the big multi lobes that the unidentified one has.

The Magnums so far seem the closest, with a leaf that looks almost like a dope plant when it was small, and has spread out a bit as it develops.

Between pictures of the leaf and hop shapes, you can make a list of likely suspects, but that seems about all I have been able to find out.

TeeJo
 
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CraigKing

CraigKing

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Thanks for the link. I'll look through those pictures and see if any of mine match or are similar.
 

TeeJo

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That link is to my first thread here but has the pictures of the potted up rhizomes I have.

If you click through on the picture of the pots all lined up, you get to the full size versions, in which you can see the differences in the leaves.

Some of them have only a single spade shaped leaf, some have 3 lobes, some have 5 or 7.

Just threw that out there as a example, not as a database, if y'know what I mean.

Seems to me that I had run a cross a site that had some pictures, both of the bines/leaves, and of the developed hop cones, but I cannot find it at this point. Figures.

Like I said, not so much a tool for a positive ID, as a tool for eliminating a suspect. The only person that will be sure, might be the one that planted it, and even they may not have known more than "Hop".

TeeJo
 
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CraigKing

CraigKing

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Snipped a couple leaves today - will upload the pictures shortly and see if they yield any identifiable results.
 
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CraigKing

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It looked like all of the leaves were the same. I pulled a couple of the bigger ones off. Attached is a picture. The main stem had a rough texture to it. Tiny little prickles on it. No cones yet.

Thoughts?

IMG_0059.jpg
 

Jonas217

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I just found this site. About half of the American varieties have a picture of a leaf. Many of those have a very similar leaf. I have three different varieties growing and they all have leaves like that one including the Japanese ornamental.

http://www.skotrat.com/skotrat/hops.cfm
 
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CraigKing

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:smack: Crap - of the varieties listed that include pictures of the leaves, most of them have a 5-leaf pattern.
 

PapaBearJay

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Did you not notice that for nearly everyone of those pictures, it's a duplicate, whether it's a cone or a leaf. Those are just placeholders and not real images, or at least not in the sense that someone should rely on them for identification purposes.
 
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CraigKing

CraigKing

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Actually, most of the pictures of the cones seemed slightly different to me?

For the leaves, most of them had 5 leaves, but the pictures still looked different to me?
 

B-Hoppy

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I'd say you're right. Most mature plants I've grown over the years seem to go through those changes as they make their way through the season. And another observation on hops grown here in NE Ohio is that most of the lower alpha varieties tend to be 3-lobed and the higher alpha's are more likely to be 5 to 7-lobed. Not any scientific explanation just observances since the late 80's.
 

PapaBearJay

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I just started growing hops this year, so have a lot to learn still.

However, according to this page

http://tcpermaculture.blogspot.com/2012/01/permaculture-plants-hops.html

The hop leaf changes shape as it matures. It says it gets more complex as it ages...



I can't really find anything to back that up on line. Does anyone know if this is accurate?

This may be true, but I think the largest factor here that creates such a marked difference within a variety is the extreme variation in the environment in which it's grown. My climate is not like the PNW, nor is it like the devil's butthole, so even as my plant ages and develops it will still be slightly different than theirs.

Leaf morphology is (likely) under control by a number of genes and considered a quantitative trait like many other traits of interest like bitter acids and yield, etc.


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Jonas217

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The leaf pictures in the website are in fact different. They are not place holders. I opened 4 different windows with a 5 lobed variety and scrolled thru them rapidly and they are different. The leaves from hops varieties are just that similar.
 

PapaBearJay

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The leaf pictures in the website are in fact different. They are not place holders. I opened 4 different windows with a 5 lobed variety and scrolled thru them rapidly and they are different. The leaves from hops varieties are just that similar.

The pictures are repeated over and over. If you only have 5 pictures, but 18 varieties, there are numerous ways in which they can be ordered in which to demonstrate variability, but that doesn't mean they still are not still the same picture....


Sent from my iPhone using Home Brew
 
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CraigKing

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Quick update - Most of the vines all have cones growing in on them now. Most of the cones are at least 1". They are fairly light green in color and do not have a distinctive smell. I pulled 8-12 of them off and am drying them out right now.

I don't know if they were ready to be harvested yet or not. And I'm not really sure how long it'll take to dry them. I'm hoping within a few more days they will be dry enough to make a hop-tea and have some sort of a hop aroma & taste to them.
 

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