• We have a new forum and it needs your help! Homebrewing Deals is a forum to post whatever deals and specials you find that other homebrewers might value! Includes coupon layering, Craigslist finds, eBay finds, Amazon specials, etc.

This is what 384,000 Neomexicanus seeds looks like

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Joined
Mar 30, 2014
Messages
15
Reaction score
23
Location
Taos
This is what 384,000 Neomexicanus seeds looks like. We will be planting seeds at 4 different ranches in Amalia NM, in addition to layering and propagating from rhizomes from the 300+ vines we already have in the ground. I hope we get a lot of girls from these seeds. We expect to have some cones from the seedlings group in 2017. Enough to test anyway.

We are currently establishing the brewing characteristics of each hop. A GREAT BIG THANKS goes out to Steve Haney in Farmington for brewing single Neomexicanus hop batches from the Amalia Hops Ranches for us. The first three are very interesting. One tastes like a slightly bitter melon flavored champagne. We are sending the samples out to some experts for a "taste test" opinion. We'll post the findings as soon as they come in. Cheers

DSC00865.jpg


DSC00868.jpg


DSC00869.jpg
 

nagmay

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2011
Messages
478
Reaction score
395
Location
Portland
Mmmmm... saltine crackers!

(I may need to grab some lunch :)
 

PapaBearJay

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
601
Reaction score
196
No way those are homogeneous. If this is breeding stock, they better have a pretty high bar for selection...
 

GVH_Dan

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 1, 2009
Messages
1,130
Reaction score
275
Location
McFarland (Madison)
Wow, you've got your work cut out for you. I commend you for your undertaking.

Assuming you get 10% germination rate (PapaBearJay and nagmay, that sound right?)...38,400 plants...and that roughly 50% are male and thus killed off...19,200 plants...and that just through natural selection/bad luck you loose another 25% of the plants...that still leaves 14,400 plants to sort through.

I would give serious thought to a quick sorting process. Number 1 has to be the picking efficiency. How well do they pop off the bine as individual cones versus clumps? I can tell you that if it doesn't meet good criteria there, forget it. Handpicking in any volume is not practical/profitable.

Once you get through that, then start sampling for taste and chemical composition but bear in mind those numbers will change as the plant matures so be careful of anything you see before it is three years old.

Also, I checked your website and the 2014 chemical analysis...just a hint, make sure you are dried down to a range of 8% to 12% moisture content or it makes the rest of the results sort of junk. For example, sample 7.1 was at 66.1% MC. That means the 1.77% AA (by weight) is somewhat meaningless, even if you do the math to adjust the moisture weight down and pump the alpha up, because things change during the drying process.

Same holds true for the oil content, especially if you are using moderate to high heat to dry them out. I would recommend that you dry your samples for chemical analysis down using a cool (under 100F) process so you see the fullest possibly profile of the oils and alpha but make sure you get down to the proper moisture content. I've found I need a sample of around 4 cubic feet so you have enough to do your MC analysis and have enough left to run the chemical analysis a few times, though that would be tough to get off of a single plant.

Take or leave this advice. For what its worth, neither me or my company is into serious hop breeding. We do have experience with designing and building harvesting equipment, reviving "heirloom" hop varieties, mass propagation in a greenhouse and performing the chemical analysis to determine a line's peak possible characteristics. There are others, who have all ready posted in this thread, that could give more breeding advice. Mine comes from the perspective of a grower/processor and what works for us and what we've been able to sell to brewers.

Best of luck to you.
 

PapaBearJay

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
601
Reaction score
196
Dan has several valid points. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, and say you get 50% germination as the seeds are seemingly fresh.

Some literature suggests that the ratio between females to males is skewed, but even so you still have more than you can cope with. Yes, bad luck befalls everyone, I would say with that many seedlings, 25% isn't out of the question.

If you end up with 80-90,000 plants, you're not going to screen all of them. You'll need to determine what you're screening for, how you're going to do it, and when you'll do it.

Even if you top out your selection at 1% or less, you still wind up with 1000 plants or less. In order to get there, you're going to need subjective scoring and screening methods that are reproducible and efficient.

Also, I wouldn't plan on tossing out any males, because males will pass along many good traits to their progeny.

My two cents.
 

GVH_Dan

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 1, 2009
Messages
1,130
Reaction score
275
Location
McFarland (Madison)
Also, I wouldn't plan on tossing out any males, because males will pass along many good traits to their progeny.
Right...what he said except this part. As I tell my daughters, boys are evil.

OK. In all seriousness, I applaud you for what your are attempting. The other thing to think about is what do you do when you succeed? Say you've run through the selection process and you have found 4 or 5 varieties that are what you want. How do you plant and clone them without pollination? Even if all of your males are isolated in a greenhouse there must be thousands of wild plants growing in the area with males that can spread pollen for miles. Do you have land elsewhere to plant on? Just curious.
 

nagmay

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2011
Messages
478
Reaction score
395
Location
Portland
As I tell my daughters, boys are evil.
Agreed. I am only keeping a handful of males around and even those will be relocated to another yard this year.

AmaliaHopsNeomexicanus,
All in all, I am quite jealous. Right now, I am struggling to find a place to plant several hundred seedlings.
 

day_trippr

New Normal: Viral Russian Roulette
Joined
May 31, 2011
Messages
32,206
Reaction score
13,089
Location
Stow, MA
[...]I've found I need a sample of around 4 cubic feet so you have enough to do your MC analysis and have enough left to run the chemical analysis a few times, though that would be tough to get off of a single plant.[...]
lol! Ya think?

Cheers! ;)
 

PapaBearJay

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
601
Reaction score
196
Agreed. I am only keeping a handful of males around and even those will be relocated to another yard this year.

AmaliaHopsNeomexicanus,
All in all, I am quite jealous. Right now, I am struggling to find a place to plant several hundred seedlings.

Yes on both accounts. I was merely trying to state that not all males should be tossed, but the selection intensity on the different sexes should represent both the observed ratio of females to males, and the value of an individual male by progeny testing. The only way to do this will be to make specific crosses with individual males and females and evaluate them later.

Either way, you've got your work cut out for you.

I also agree on both accounts of separating males. Unless your objective is merely to make seedling selections from year to year.
 

PapaBearJay

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
601
Reaction score
196
Right...what he said except this part. As I tell my daughters, boys are evil.



OK. In all seriousness, I applaud you for what your are attempting. The other thing to think about is what do you do when you succeed? Say you've run through the selection process and you have found 4 or 5 varieties that are what you want. How do you plant and clone them without pollination? Even if all of your males are isolated in a greenhouse there must be thousands of wild plants growing in the area with males that can spread pollen for miles. Do you have land elsewhere to plant on? Just curious.

Dan,

Wild plants are not all bad. Regardless of whether isolated populations can spread pollen, etc. Think of the numerous plants that have either arisen from crosses or been brought directly into cultivation originating from wild populations.
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2012
Messages
515
Reaction score
85
Location
Westfield
Of course they are Neomexicanus. NeoTexacanus have much larger seeds (everything is larger in Texas). :cross:

Seriously though... Love hearing information on new hops, including attempts to cultivate wild hops such as neo instead of another cross-breed. Looking forward to updates!
 

GVH_Dan

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 1, 2009
Messages
1,130
Reaction score
275
Location
McFarland (Madison)
Dan,

Wild plants are not all bad. Regardless of whether isolated populations can spread pollen, etc. Think of the numerous plants that have either arisen from crosses or been brought directly into cultivation originating from wild populations.
Your speaking from the viewpoint of a breeder. My viewpoint is that of a grower. I don't want any males near my fields. Its hard to get a consistent product if they are pollinated and hard to keep a consistent product if they drop seeds and those offspring find their way into the rows. I want my Cascade to be just cascade. Not some hybrid.

That said, we are messing around with a few wild strains we have found but that is in an isolated facility miles and miles away from any of our production fields.
 

Snowden

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2014
Messages
400
Reaction score
92
Location
Wadsworth
Very cool! Definitely sounds like a daunting, yet exciting, undertaking!
 

PapaBearJay

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
601
Reaction score
196
Still here. Our males are relocated to "manland" a ranch across the mountain from ours. We know we have years of work ahead of us to develop these girls and get consistency. But the unique flavors we are getting make it worth it

Did anyone notice that OP answered none of the above stated questions? Or at least did so with the least amount necessary....
 

PapaBearJay

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
601
Reaction score
196
Your speaking from the viewpoint of a breeder. My viewpoint is that of a grower. I don't want any males near my fields. Its hard to get a consistent product if they are pollinated and hard to keep a consistent product if they drop seeds and those offspring find their way into the rows. I want my Cascade to be just cascade. Not some hybrid.



That said, we are messing around with a few wild strains we have found but that is in an isolated facility miles and miles away from any of our production fields.

Well since growers provide input to breeders, what traits do you feel should be under selection? Aside from the obvious statement of gender...
 

GVH_Dan

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 1, 2009
Messages
1,130
Reaction score
275
Location
McFarland (Madison)
#1 has to be picking ability. If I can't strip it off with mechanical harvester, it is useless to me. Bear in mind, I'm not our group's plant expert...I'm the picking/drying/pelletizing guy.

Other things I would love to see:

- Interesting/appealing flavor profile. The days of "high alpha" are done, for now. We have nugget and a few others for that. What is needed are good aroma hops.

- Downy/powdery mildew resistance, insect resistance, etc. Especially for outside the PNW, downy mildew resistance is essential.

- Ability to handle temperature extremes. During our growing seasons we have seen below freezing, above 95F and everything in between. This is just Wisconsin. Varieties that have a native/wild hop in their lineage seem to do better. Anything "noble" from Europe just crumbles under any kind of heat.

- Right now, I would like something that I can quickly propagate. There's a plant/rhizome shortage. That may not be the case in a few years. We'll see.

That's my short list. I'll think about it and get back to you.
 

brewerelated

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2012
Messages
154
Reaction score
61
Location
Los Angeles County
Yes on both accounts. I was merely trying to state that not all males should be tossed, but the selection intensity on the different sexes should represent both the observed ratio of females to males, and the value of an individual male by progeny testing. The only way to do this will be to make specific crosses with individual males and females and evaluate them later.

Either way, you've got your work cut out for you.

I also agree on both accounts of separating males. Unless your objective is merely to make seedling selections from year to year.
I can see why males might be a problem for commercial growers. Males pollinate the cones and cause them to seed which reduces the quality of their product. The seeds can drop off the cones and cause volunteers to come up that are hybrids.

As a gardener and as a person that has been interested in plants and plant propagation for my entire life I am on the side of keeping the male plants, so I tend to agree with PapaBearJay.

Having male and female plants allows you to keep playing that genetic lottery. Without male and female plants there is no chance for progress.
 
OP
AmaliaHopsNeomexicanus
Joined
Mar 30, 2014
Messages
15
Reaction score
23
Location
Taos
Who does progeny testing? Also, I am thinking about setting up my own lab. Can anyone tell me what equipment is needed to run the following tests:
Alpha acids (%)
Beta acids (%)
Cohumulone (as a % of total alpha acids)
Colupulone (as a % of total beta-acids)
Moisture (dry matter, weight loss on drying)
Hop Storage Index (HSI)
Hop Total Essential Oils (by steam distillation)
Hop Essential Oils by Gas Chromatography
 
OP
AmaliaHopsNeomexicanus
Joined
Mar 30, 2014
Messages
15
Reaction score
23
Location
Taos
Are they for breeding purposes or are they from a homogeneous species?
They are for breeding purposes. We have Neomexicanus hops growing all over our ranches. These seeds are collected from a wide selection of hops vines (more than 50). We are planting these in a "test" area. It will take 2 years to determine whether they are males or females. It will then take another year or so to harvest enough product to test.

We currently have more than 300 vines collected from more than 45 locations. We sent samples from 38 of those vines out to KAR Labs for Chemical analysis last year.

We are working with a brewer in Farmington, Steve Haney, who is brewing single hop batches for us so we can determine the brewing characteristics. All of our hops have very high oil content. Geraniol is much more prevalent in these than in the European stock.

We are trying to identify each vine, catalog them, profile each one and then propagate individuals finally achieving consistency. It's all new so it's very exciting for us.
 
OP
AmaliaHopsNeomexicanus
Joined
Mar 30, 2014
Messages
15
Reaction score
23
Location
Taos
Your speaking from the viewpoint of a breeder. My viewpoint is that of a grower. I don't want any males near my fields. Its hard to get a consistent product if they are pollinated and hard to keep a consistent product if they drop seeds and those offspring find their way into the rows. I want my Cascade to be just cascade. Not some hybrid.

That said, we are messing around with a few wild strains we have found but that is in an isolated facility miles and miles away from any of our production fields.
That is why we do not sell seeds or rhizomes. We are keeping these isolated in their native habitat until we achieve consistency, seedless cones and know what we have. To do anything else would be premature and perhaps a bit irresponsible?
 
OP
AmaliaHopsNeomexicanus
Joined
Mar 30, 2014
Messages
15
Reaction score
23
Location
Taos
Did anyone notice that OP answered none of the above stated questions? Or at least did so with the least amount necessary....
I am sorry. I just realized that there are pages of comments. (I rarely visit the site because I don't usually have time) so I just noticed that there are page tabs at the bottom of the screen.

Until this morning the only comments I had seen were the ones forwarded to my gmail account.

If you would be so kind as to point out what questions I missed I will be more than happy to answer to the best of my ability. Funny, if you knew me. People who know me personally usually accuse me of giving too much information.
 
OP
AmaliaHopsNeomexicanus
Joined
Mar 30, 2014
Messages
15
Reaction score
23
Location
Taos
Wow, you've got your work cut out for you. I commend you for your undertaking.

Assuming you get 10% germination rate (PapaBearJay and nagmay, that sound right?)...38,400 plants...and that roughly 50% are male and thus killed off...19,200 plants...and that just through natural selection/bad luck you loose another 25% of the plants...that still leaves 14,400 plants to sort through.

I would give serious thought to a quick sorting process. Number 1 has to be the picking efficiency. How well do they pop off the bine as individual cones versus clumps? I can tell you that if it doesn't meet good criteria there, forget it. Handpicking in any volume is not practical/profitable.

Once you get through that, then start sampling for taste and chemical composition but bear in mind those numbers will change as the plant matures so be careful of anything you see before it is three years old.

Also, I checked your website and the 2014 chemical analysis...just a hint, make sure you are dried down to a range of 8% to 12% moisture content or it makes the rest of the results sort of junk. For example, sample 7.1 was at 66.1% MC. That means the 1.77% AA (by weight) is somewhat meaningless, even if you do the math to adjust the moisture weight down and pump the alpha up, because things change during the drying process.

Same holds true for the oil content, especially if you are using moderate to high heat to dry them out. I would recommend that you dry your samples for chemical analysis down using a cool (under 100F) process so you see the fullest possibly profile of the oils and alpha but make sure you get down to the proper moisture content. I've found I need a sample of around 4 cubic feet so you have enough to do your MC analysis and have enough left to run the chemical analysis a few times, though that would be tough to get off of a single plant.

Take or leave this advice. For what its worth, neither me or my company is into serious hop breeding. We do have experience with designing and building harvesting equipment, reviving "heirloom" hop varieties, mass propagation in a greenhouse and performing the chemical analysis to determine a line's peak possible characteristics. There are others, who have all ready posted in this thread, that could give more breeding advice. Mine comes from the perspective of a grower/processor and what works for us and what we've been able to sell to brewers.

Best of luck to you.
They were dried at 70-75 degrees F. for 3 days in a very well ventilated dark room, vacuum packed in mylar bags, then shipped overnight on ice to the lab. They are extremely oily. And extremely fragrant. Taos Mesa Brewing has used these in several different brews and competed with them at GABF in the wet hop division.
We hand pick them. They have an internode distance ranging between 3-5 inches so they have lots of cones in all different shapes and sizes. Which compensates for their shorter length (I don't have any that have gone over 15 feet so far).
I have been told by an expert in this field that these vines arrived by way of Mongolia some 500,000 years ago. Don't know where he got this information but I will ask him next time we speak.
We are learning as we go because there really isn't a lot of data available on this variety. Very few people have done anything with them. Those who have took them out of their natural habitat.
Dr. Lombard at NMSU stated in his 2013 annual report that the characteristics of hops, like grapes, is determined by the soil in which they are grown. If that is fact, then I cannot use any of the data from the few folks that have worked with them. Because so far, except for my stock, all have been removed from this area. The soil here is volcanic riverbed. We are at 8600 feet altitude and the growing season is a scant 4 months. Our freeze line is 7 feet.
I will be able to determine to a certain degree if this soil topic is fact because I have identified one vine that rhizomes were taken from and propagated in completely different soil and sold outside of this region to a brewer in the Pacific NW. The "mother" is on my property. So this season I will be sending samples from both the "out of habitat vine" and the "in habitat vine" to the lab for a side by side comparison.
Harvest is in August/September, we'll see what this season brings. I'll put a little heat on the drying process this year to see if it helps?
 

GVH_Dan

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 1, 2009
Messages
1,130
Reaction score
275
Location
McFarland (Madison)
I can't comment as an expert on everything you posted but let me first hit the areas that are my expertise.

1. There is nothing necessarily wrong about the drying method you described. You may just have to go longer. Or perhaps shipping them on ice caused condensation, which re-hydrated the samples. Its hard to say.

It would be good to get an accurate representation of the oil content of the hops. I don't recall ever seeing a "standard" for that variety, though that doesn't mean its not out there. When you are drying, the higher the temperature, the more volitle the oils will be. So you may loose some to most if you dry at too high of a temperature. You may want to test some fresh hops for oil as well as dried.

in either case, you are pretty much in a desert (at least compared to Wisconsin) so just using outside air will get you to the moisture content you want.

2. What is that moisture content? Like I mentioned, 8% to 12% is the industry standards and what most recipes are based upon. If you don't know how to test this, the oven dry method is the gold standard, except use a microwave to determine your dry weight. Here's an article on testing wood that covers many of the basics and pitfalls: http://www.woodweb.com/knowledge_base/Using_your_microwave_to_determine_moisture_content.html

Be sure to practice this using some other plant material so you can get the feel. Also, the first times you will need about 1/3 gallon of hops and a balance that goes to 3 significant digits to get accurate enough. Finally, don't use your good microwave. When you are done, it will stink. You may even catch some on fire. Be careful.

Now...outside of my expertise. From what I have been told and seen, its not the soil that has the impact on flavor but rather the climate. Drought, heat, humidity, hours of sunshine, hours of fog...they all seem to cause changes in the cones, some of which change the flavors. I have seen cases where insect pressure definitely impacts the cones chemistry. We have looked at cones from the same field from year-to-year and saw differences. So you will most likely see differences between the hops grown in your field versus the PNW but it may not be the soil that is making the difference but rather the climate.

I guess the one exception is if the soil is deficient in something bine needs to thrive.
 
OP
AmaliaHopsNeomexicanus
Joined
Mar 30, 2014
Messages
15
Reaction score
23
Location
Taos
Attached is a climate comparison I did between Yakima and Amalia. Our days of sun are amazing here. So far I have only seen aphids on one vine. I assumed it was due to overwatering (these don't like to stay too wet). But now that I have done more research on the essential oils and have found that these vines have very high geraniol content I am reconsidering. Evidently aphids have a defense like skunks, wherein they spray an offensive odor. In the world of aphids the offensive odor is similar to geraniol. So maybe the vine that was affected had a lower geraniol content. Curious. I will keep track of this also and next time I get a vine that has aphids I will have it tested for geraniol.

Hops Climate Statistics Yakima vs Amalia.png
 

Abejazon

Aspiring Hop Grower & Breeder
Joined
Apr 21, 2020
Messages
21
Reaction score
2
Location
Yuba City
This is what 384,000 Neomexicanus seeds looks like. We will be planting seeds at 4 different ranches in Amalia NM, in addition to layering and propagating from rhizomes from the 300+ vines we already have in the ground. I hope we get a lot of girls from these seeds. We expect to have some cones from the seedlings group in 2017. Enough to test anyway.

We are currently establishing the brewing characteristics of each hop. A GREAT BIG THANKS goes out to Steve Haney in Farmington for brewing single Neomexicanus hop batches from the Amalia Hops Ranches for us. The first three are very interesting. One tastes like a slightly bitter melon flavored champagne. We are sending the samples out to some experts for a "taste test" opinion. We'll post the findings as soon as they come in. Cheers

View attachment 256992

View attachment 256993

View attachment 256994
Is there any chance you have some neomexicanus seed for sale? I’d like to try my hand at some backyard hop breeding.
 

CodeSection

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 4, 2018
Messages
1,630
Reaction score
802
Location
Arizona / Colorado
Is there any chance you have some neomexicanus seed for sale? I’d like to try my hand at some backyard hop breeding.
You are probably not going to get an answer from them on HBT since they were last seen on April 19, 2017. You may want to try calling them.....https://www.newmexicobids.us/new-mexico-contractors/contractor-6144847-AMALIA-HOPS-LLC.htm
 

Abejazon

Aspiring Hop Grower & Breeder
Joined
Apr 21, 2020
Messages
21
Reaction score
2
Location
Yuba City
Thanks Code!
Tried calling and it tells me that my call can not be completed as dialed.
The search continues for male neomexicanus...
 

B-Hoppy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2010
Messages
1,727
Reaction score
354
Location
ohio
You most likely won't hear back from them as they were trying to capitalize on Todd Bates' 20+ years of work trying to tame the savage beast (the local neomex plants he found growing nearby where he lives). His work was sold to a grower up in Yakima who's having some success with a few of the selections that came from his breeding efforts. Sierra Nevada took a huge interest in quite a few of his plants and most recently brewed a beer "To Be Frank" which used a variety from his breeding line named in honor of Frank Zappa.
 

Abejazon

Aspiring Hop Grower & Breeder
Joined
Apr 21, 2020
Messages
21
Reaction score
2
Location
Yuba City
Hmmm...that sucks.
I doubt I’ll hear back then. I emailed Santa Fe Brewing to try getting in touch with Todd Bates. I hope he’s been justly compensated at least.
 

B-Hoppy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2010
Messages
1,727
Reaction score
354
Location
ohio
You should be able to get a hold of him as he'll most likely be recuperating from his operation for a while. Be back to tending to the oregano in no time.
 
Top