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Wild Hops?

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AzOr

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The best advice I was given about wild or unknown hops is-
Smell them. If you like them use them in the latter part of your boil as aroma or flavor hops. Never use them as your bittering charge bc of unknown alpha acid content.

Or boil them in a pot on stove and have a heavenly potpourri.
 
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mhall131313

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Thanks! These were some of my thoughts as well. It was a surprise that my wife knew what they were and that they were mixed into the blackberries. Its great that here in the Seattle area we have an ample supply of blackberries and now an interesting source of hops!!
 

RM-MN

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The best advice I was given about wild or unknown hops is-
Smell them. If you like them use them in the latter part of your boil as aroma or flavor hops. Never use them as your bittering charge bc of unknown alpha acid content.

Or boil them in a pot on stove and have a heavenly potpourri.
One might just ignore the alpha acid content and use them for bittering. You might like the beer that you produce that way. That is how it was done in long ago past.
 

AzOr

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Agreed. If it were my batch though, I think I’d use a neutral bittering hop and then use the mystery hops later in the boil.
Unless it was a one gallon batch.

I’m serious about the potpourri. Am I the only one who loves my house smelling like hops? I’ve done thisquite a bit with old hops.
 
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mhall131313

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There is a definite citrus smell to it when rubbed between my fingers. It's not overpowering, but there is a definite smell!
 

AzOr

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You could do a hop sampler like they do on basic brewing podcast. They get Pilsner dme and do a one gallon batch. I believe they bring to boil then shut off heat and add hops for a hop stand then chill. I highly recommend the podcast. They are funny, lighthearted guys that will make you laugh.
 
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mhall131313

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How would you preserve these hops? Would you take the leaves off, wash and freeze? Would you freeze the hop as is as a cone? Would you dry them and then freeze them? Let me know your thoughts.
 

Nate R

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Hello!
My wife went out to pick blackberries today and she came back with this!! The vine was growing in and among the blackberry bushes. If you found something like this, what would you do with them?View attachment 693757View attachment 693758
I think, first and foremost- you order some flowers, wine, chocolates... something for your wife. Whatever she likes. Because that woman is a keeper!! Hang on to her!!!
(My wife helped to hand harvest our homegrown hops last year... and she got the brunt of the work as I was brewing... she too is a keeper!!)

I would say- use them a fresh wet hop addition. Whirlpool. Go with a basic malt bill, basic nuetral bittering (something you've used, like, and know for both grain and bittering).
Then toss thoose fresh babies in for a hop stand/ whirlpool!! I think that is the "safest" route to go. Also, it lets you experience the aroma the best.
+1 to a small batch if you can. Also, maybe do 2 small batches? One for bittering, one for aroma?

As for storing... i would trim to just cones. Toss the leaves, stems, etc. You just want the cones. There are really three basic ways to use: (pulled from the home grow hops section here.. this is supet simplified).
#1 You can dry them and then save (vacumn sealed is best of course) for a while. Drying is a delicate process. You can also make your own pellets or plugs. Again, more work, delicate (you can ruin the hops doing this wrong).
#2 use them as fresh whole cone hops in the brewing process. I would not use a dry hop- infection risk. Small, but still possible. Use at 170 or higher after the boil.
#3- vacumn seal and throw in the freezer- then use in step 2 again when ready. (This is what i did and it works prerty good, and is the easiest, too. I am lazy).

Finally... can you go back and get more? Safely/ Legally? Grab a root for planting next year? That to me would also dictate use.

Whatever you do, please report back to us!!! And tell your wife she Rocks!

Cheers!
 
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mhall131313

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Thanks Nate!! And yeah, after 28 years of marriage I found out a long time ago that she was a keeper. Of course I can't let her know this, otherwise she would be completely out of control. I have to keep her on her toes. Boy, if she read this I would be in big trouble!!! I thought it was pretty awesome that she knew what she was looking at when she was picking blackberries.

These vines are buried pretty deep into the blackberries. I am really curious to know how they even got there. It would be a pretty monumental task to get to the base of the vine. But I will take a look and see.

I like your number 2 and number 3. And your thought of a small batch is what I was thinking as well.

Let's see what happens. Thanks!!
 

Protos

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I read on the forum you shouldn't use wild hops for the bittering charge. As I wanted too much to try my backyard harvest without mixing it with commercial hops while still not ruining the batch, I came out with an idea how to estimate the IBU quite reliably.
I weighted three equal small samples of hops (two of them with the known bitterness) and boiled them in equal small amounts of water for an hour: pellets AA10, pellets AA4 and my wild hop (x5.5 by weight, cause it's wet). Brewing software estimated my 1st sample to be about 38 IBUs and 2nd about 16 IBUs. When tasting, the wild hop appeared to taste slightly more bitter than the 2nd sample and noticeably less bitter than the 1st sample. Then I can assume it stands somewhere around AA5, so now I have a kind of a starting point for further recipe building. I believe, if I brewed several more tisanes of intermediate AA quantites hops I could estimate my wild hop's bitterness even more precisely.

I think I will brew a strong (ABV>10%) single hop Kveik with it, inspired by "Hardangerøl" recipe from Lars Garshol's book. Even if the wild hop is less than stellar flavourwise, I hope high alcohol would compensate somewhat for its roughness.
 
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AzOr

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I read on the forum you shouldn't use wild hops for the bittering charge. As I wanted too much to try my backyard harvest without mixing it with commercial hops while still not ruining the batch, I came out with an idea how to estimate the IBU quite reliably.
I weighted three equal small samples of hops (two of them with the known bitterness) and boiled them in equal small amounts of water for an hour: pellets AA10, pellets AA4 and my wild hop (x5.5 by weight, cause it's wet). Brewing software estimated my 1st sample to be about 38 IBUs and 2nd about 16 IBUs. When tasting, the wild hop appeared to taste slightly more bitter than the 2nd sample and noticeably less bitter than the 1st sample. Then I can assume it stands somewhere around AA5, so now I have a kind of a starting point for further recipe building. I believe, if I brewed several more tisanes of intermediate AA quantites hops I could estimate my wild hop's bitterness even more precisely.

I think I will brew a strong (ABV>10%) single hop Kveik with it, inspired by "Hardangerøl" recipe from Lars Garshol's book. Even if the wild hop is less than stellar flavourwise, I hope high alcohol would compensate somewhat for its roughness.
Brilliant! Great idea to compare to known quantities.
 
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