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Seeded Hops

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dmtaylo2

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Post Sat Aug 11, 2007 1:42 pm

Seeded Hops

I'm brewing a pale ale today with my own homegrown 3rd year Hallertauer hops. (I did the same recipe last year -- yum!) So anyway, when I added my first wort hops (FWH), there were all kinds of seeds swirling around. I don't remember this from last year. I usually only use pellet hops and don't see this phenomenon when I use pellets.

I was just wondering, for those of you who use whole hops, do you often see seeds in your wort? I'm just kind of curious as to whether there are wild hops in this part of Wisconsin that might have fertilized my plant, or if there are always a few seeds in there regardless of fertilization. My guess is the latter but I don't know. It didn't seem like there were a ton of seeds, just a few.

Also, has anyone on here ever planted hop seeds and been successful with it? I would be interested in learning more about crossing breeds to come up with something new. Perhaps I could develop a cross-breed between Hallertauer (my favorite variety) and native Wisconsin hops. I think that would be really cool.

To sum up: Seeds; are they common, or always present? Or did my plant likely get fertilized? Can the seeds be grown successfully by an amateur? Anyone know much about cross-breeding? Discuss. 8)
Dave

"This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption. Let us give praise to our Maker, and glory to His bounty, by learning about... BEER!" - Friar Tuck (Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves)
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Bill Cruse

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Post Sat Aug 11, 2007 1:49 pm

Don't know tons about hop culture but there are seeded and seedless varieties. I'm relying on memory here but I believe Willamette is a seedless variety of Fuggles. I think growing hops from seed would be an exercise in patience when rhyzome propagation is available. Also, rhyzome propagation is going to give you the identical plant - with seede, you never know for sure.
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dmtaylo2

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Post Sat Aug 11, 2007 2:08 pm

Bill Cruse wrote:rhyzome propagation is going to give you the identical plant - with seede, you never know for sure.


All part of the adventure. As a matter of general personality, I'll try anything once, or even twice. If after the second or third time, it still sucks, then I agree with the naysayers. But not before. Generally. :)
Dave

"This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption. Let us give praise to our Maker, and glory to His bounty, by learning about... BEER!" - Friar Tuck (Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves)
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Denny

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Post Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:48 am

Seeded hops are males and are seldom used. I've seen seeds in a couple English varieties, but never in any American varieties I've used or grown. That includes hops right out of the fields of the commercial growers around here.
Life begins at 60....1.060, that is.

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JimInNJ

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Post Mon Aug 13, 2007 11:33 am

Denny wrote:Seeded hops are males and are seldom used. I've seen seeds in a couple English varieties, but never in any American varieties I've used or grown. That includes hops right out of the fields of the commercial growers around here.


I think you got that one wrong. Males do not make cones or seeds, just spikes and pollen. Females make seeds if they get pollinated, however polyploids are sterile and can not make seeds.

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Denny

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Post Mon Aug 13, 2007 11:50 am

JimInNJ wrote:I think you got that one wrong. Males do not make cones or seeds, just spikes and pollen. Females make seeds if they get pollinated, however polyploids are sterile and can not make seeds.

- Jim


OK, I'll buy that.....
Life begins at 60....1.060, that is.

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ryan6458

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Post Mon Aug 13, 2007 11:58 am

Denny wrote:Seeded hops are males and are seldom used. I've seen seeds in a couple English varieties, but never in any American varieties I've used or grown. That includes hops right out of the fields of the commercial growers around here.


Recently ordered a pound of Mt. Hood from Hops direct and they have seeds. First time I've gotten an American hop with seeds. :?
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Little Egypt

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Post Mon Aug 13, 2007 12:11 pm

Yup, only females can produce seeds. I've used a couple different hops that had seeds. Fuggles almost always have some. I don't recall the others, but I think they were Noble hops, so it's possible that Hallertau will produce seeds occasionally.

On the note of growing hops from seed: I've tried it. I grew them in pots indoors and they grew well (the remaining plant that the dog didn't kill - I started out with about 10). However, they never produced flowers of any kind, so I have no idea what sex of plant I had. I'm sure the lack of flowers was because of lack of seasons, but the plant may not have been old enough yet. Anyway, the plant grew well for ~2-3 years and then this summer while I was out in the field doing research for a few weeks, the plant didn't get watered and died.

As for trying to cross the varieties, it takes a long time and there is only 1 safe way to do it: Next year, collect a few stamens from the wild males that you know. Then, bring them back and pollinate the variety that you want to cross. Collect all the hops when they are ripe, making sure that you don't drop any seeds. (if any "volunteers" - i.e. not rhizome growth - come up the next year, remove them as they were probably from the seeds you dropped)

Plant these seeds somewhere far away from your "good" hops and let them grow to maturity (you don't want any males possibly coming up that could pollinate your "good" females). From what I'm told, it usually takes at least 2 years to produce flowers. Check on the plants daily when the flowering season starts and remove the male plants once you can recognize them. Collect the female flowers and brew a beer with them. There may be some seed production if you didn't get the males out in time. The following year you should have only females at your remote location and you should get a larger harvest.

After ~3 years, your hybrids should be ready to handle a rhizome cutting. Cut the rhizomes about 2 feet from the original plant, and transplant to your house or wherever you want to grow them. Allow another 2 years for good cone production and then finally reap the benefits of your hard work.

Cheers,
Aaron
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JimInNJ

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Post Mon Aug 13, 2007 1:15 pm

ryan6458 wrote:Recently ordered a pound of Mt. Hood from Hops direct and they have seeds. First time I've gotten an American hop with seeds. :?


I don't think you should see many seeds in Mt. Hood. They are nearly sterile triploids. Males are sometimes planted nearby to produce increased yields of semiseeded cones.
Image
Seedless, semiseeded, seeded.

Here is a good article on the topic: http://brewingtechniques.com/library/backissues/issue1.1/haunold.html

- Jim
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ryan6458

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Post Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:02 pm

JimInNJ wrote:
ryan6458 wrote:Recently ordered a pound of Mt. Hood from Hops direct and they have seeds. First time I've gotten an American hop with seeds. :?


I don't think you should see many seeds in Mt. Hood. They are nearly sterile triploids. Males are sometimes planted nearby to produce increased yields of semiseeded cones.


- Jim


I noticed a ton of seeds last time I brewed. I also used Ahtanum in that beer so the seeds could have been from those. Do you have any info on Ahtanum's lineage?
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JimInNJ

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Post Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:43 pm

ryan6458 wrote:Do you have any info on Ahtanum's lineage?


Ahtanum's pedigree is listed as Open Pollination.

- Jim
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TG

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Post Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:46 pm

Were these seeds very tiny little yellow things?
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thristy

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Post Mon Aug 13, 2007 6:14 pm

This was talked about over at MoreBeer

********************************
>I posted pics of some seeds in Simcoe whole hops awhile ago and so far have seen them in every batch when using whole hops- amarillo,columbus, cascade all have seeds in them.

The 1st pic really shows they are seeds and not glands.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v243/ ... ds0224.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v243/ ... ds0223.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v243/ ... ds0219.jpg
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CapnJB

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Post Tue Aug 14, 2007 5:56 am

JimInNJ wrote:They are nearly sterile triploids.


I learn a new word nearly every time you post :lol:
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Jamisonia

Post Tue Aug 14, 2007 8:43 am

TG wrote:Were these seeds very tiny little yellow things?



I would say thats the lupulin
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