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She gets me wild (hops)

Went on a bike ride this weekend with a girl I have recently started seeing and something amazing happened. But before I give away it away here is some background story:
Over the last couple weeks she and I have been getting to know each other. Of course during our talks my true love for beer was discussed. I showed her my equipment (for brewing) and also took her to a local brewery which has hops growing outside.
Then we went for a bike ride this weekend and while cruising along the trail she exclaimed “oh my those are hops!”. And sure enough all along this trail was tons of hops growing. It was pretty cool. I’ve never noticed them before yet she did. Any scoop, she thought it would be fun to pick some and brew, but I explained there are many different kinds and I am unable to determine what kind those are. So we will probably brew this weekend, just not with those wild hops.

Hope you enjoyed hearing about my weekend.

Jackpot! She sounds like a keeper. Congratulations.

It’s harvest time right about now. Why not smell those hops, and if fragrant, go ahead and make beer out of them? If you shoot for a pale ale and it comes out not so bitter, call it a cream ale. If too bitter, call it an IPA. One thing is for sure: it will make beer. And probably pretty darn good beer. I would try it.

Never used hops off the vine, but Im up for something new. You just talked me into it. Got a suggestion on how many cones/weight I should use for a 5 gallon batch?

I’ll skip out on the inappropriate questions and comments. Use your imagination.

If you use “wet” hops directly from the bine, a good place to start is around 7.5 oz for bittering, and maybe another 5 to 7.5 oz for flavor and aroma. Wet hops have roughly 5 times as much weight as dried hops. Use a hop bag or they’ll be a mess to deal with. But you’ll certainly make beer. Wild hop beer. Cool. I’ve always wanted to try it, but I don’t have any wild hops around here that I know of.

I would definitely agree that you should give it a good smell, and if fragrant, go for it. And that would also apply to the hops you found as well!!

But one suggestion to your hop usage might be to use a known standard hop for bittering and then load up the late additions with your wild hops. You would attain a more predicted bitterness, and take full advantage of the flavor/aroma of what you found whilst “in the wild”.

[quote=“Steeler D”]I would definitely agree that you should give it a good smell, and if fragrant, go for it. And that would also apply to the hops you found as well!!

But one suggestion to your hop usage might be to use a known standard hop for bittering and then load up the late additions with your wild hops. You would attain a more predicted bitterness, and take full advantage of the flavor/aroma of what you found whilst “in the wild”.[/quote]

I agree. I’d bitter to 30ish IBU’s using Magnum at 60 minutes, then add a pound of the wet hops at flameout. Stir them for a couple of minutes until they are all wet and submerged, then let them steep for 10-15 minutes or so. This should get you a lot of flavor and aroma from the wild hops.

If you really want to max out the hop aroma, then pick another 1-2 pounds or so and dry them. then use those for dry hops.

Could you compare the bitterness of the wild hops to that of a known variety by steeping them in hot water and sampling the “teas”.

EDIT: Okay. I just realized you’d actually have to boil the hop teas in order to get the bitterness.

[quote=“dmtaylo2”]
If you use “wet” hops directly from the bine, a good place to start is around 7.5 oz for bittering, and maybe another 5 to 7.5 oz for flavor and aroma. Wet hops have roughly 5 times as much weight as dried hops. Use a hop bag or they’ll be a mess to deal with. But you’ll certainly make beer. Wild hop beer. Cool. I’ve always wanted to try it, but I don’t have any wild hops around here that I know of.[/quote]

I’ve heard of the 5:1 ratio when using Fresh Hops. If I have an IPA that calls for 1 ounce of pellets each at 15-10-5 minutes, would 5 ounces at 15-10-5 be too much? I’ll be using Magnum pellets as a bittering addition.

[quote=“Steeler D”]I would definitely agree that you should give it a good smell, and if fragrant, go for it. And that would also apply to the hops you found as well!!
[/quote]

I see what you did there :twisted:

You may actually want to use a little more because leaf hops are not generally as potent as pellets, which are more concentrated.

But since you do not know the variety, what you propose may come out super hoppy, if they are fragrant.

Just brew up a beer with them for fun. During my wifes n I’s wedding, my wife is awesome n got a hold of Hops Direct n ordered boxes of silk hops. She had our flowerst incorporate them in our wedding. Flowerst was excited about it because she never used them before. She got our permision to use some of the pics for her advertisements. She had hops growing on her property, no idea about them, but gave us rhizomes for a present and i use them for our ANNIVERSARY brew. Dont know what they are but has a whole new value behind the beer.
If i was you, dig up the rhizomes, plant them, and if things turn out, you too can have a “special brew”.

I’ll have to join the “go with it!” crowd here. I have Cascade, Willamette, and Ultra hops growing in the yard. I got my first harvest from the Willamette and Ultra this year, and discovered that I can differentiate my hop varieties by taste. Don’t just smell the hops, pop a small cone in your mouth and see what you get from it. The taste will go a long way toward telling you what kind of character you can expect in a beer.

I originally posted this thread last year.
I went back to the spot this weekend and found these growing.
[attachment=0]Wild Hops Bushel.jpg[/attachment]

The weird thing is, these hops looked like they were growing on a bush, not so much a vine. The bush was about 5 feet tall.
[attachment=2]Wild Hops Bush.jpg[/attachment]

And the main “trunk” of the hops bush was about the diameter of a nickle, maybe a little bigger.
[attachment=1]Wild Hops Bush with cones in front.jpg[/attachment]

Any thoughts?

They just had nothing to climb. They are still hops, and you can try brewing with them if they smell good. Let us know how it turns out!

My advice is to make sure she can cap bottles before you make a serious commitment.

Kidding aside , harvest them when ready and dry some out. Then open a bottle of bud lite beer and toss in a 1/2 dozen or so. Recap and wait a day or so then chill and taste. If you like the taste use it for dry hopping.

Do I break up the hops or do I leave the hops whole for the bud light experiment ?

I would just drop them in.

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