I have been growing these hops I acquired many years ago and no one knew the variety. I used them a couple of times over the years as dry hops and they are nice aroma and flavor[ fairly mild], but no one can identify the variety. I don’t want to spend big money to send to some high priced analyzer, but not sure there is any other option. Any suggestions?
Do you have any idea how long they were planted in their original location? If real old (like 100 years) then they’re likely to be Cluster. If it’s possible that a homebrewer planted them in the last 20 years then they are likely to be Fuggles or Goldings or Hallertau or Cascade or something like that. If they were purely decorative and not intended for brewing, then who knows, could be some totally unknown variety. Were these originally located in the middle of a field someplace, or were they in an suburban backyard?
If you know any experienced IPA conneisseurs or BJCP judges, you could share beer or hops with them and ask them to help narrow things down. As a last resort, you could send some beer or hops to people like me, I would help you out as best as I could – I like to think I’m pretty good at picking out hop varieties based on flavors in beer, especially if it’s limited to just a few of the old varieties. I have greater difficulty picking out the subtle differences in cattiness from Simcoe vs. Mosaic vs. flavor-of-the-day. But old hops from many years ago? Should be a little easier.
What I picked Dave I De-humidified 11-12 hrs. then froze them. I ended up with 3- gallon size zip lock bags, so I guess I could send you one for test. I’ve been growing them for maybe 8-10 yrs. I didn’t know the guy who gave them to me, he grew them around his house in town, but I don’t know for how long. I’m gonna’ say they’re not ancient, but probably an older variety. Budweiser north of me has an experimental hop growing area on the north side of the plant. I took some of the hops there in hopes they might have an answer. A guy took them to his office and we inspected them, but all he could offer was he thought they were of noble variety and not something like nugget or hops like that. So that is all I know.
Have you ever used them for bittering at all? Can you guess as to the alpha acid? Like, did the beer turn out more bitter or less bitter than you expected? If you haven’t bittered with them then nevermind.
I noticed that in the seed catalogues I get they all sell nugget. That may be a possibility . Especially if someone bought them for decorative purposes.
Hey Cat, that was my first thought too that’s why I went to AB hoping to get results and he was the one who suggested not that variety, but he didn’t give me any reasons for his answer. Dave I only have used for aroma, I have no clue. I always figured since they came out of my back yard they would be too puny for bittering.
Do you have a leaf? It’s one of the better ways to ID hops. # of lobes, smooth edges, etc.
Many pics of both leaves and hops themselves. Based on age, etc I would tend to agree with Dave, most likely Cluster with Cascade as second guess. I will also say that it is likely the hops do not exhibit trademark flavors or aromas unless grown in optimum conditions (and the reason I no longer grow mine).
I checked out the Hopunion and Scotrat websites which had pictures of the cones and the leaves. From what we talked about as far as how long I’ve had them growing, plus how long the other person grew them, they do look very similar to cluster. Other info stated one of it’s uses was classic CAP, so that dates them back in time. I didn’t think they were a modern day variety, so, I appreciate you guy’s input and I will keep checking around. It’s not a big deal, but I was just curious since I just picked them…
Cluster is used along with Fuggle in an awesome English style IPA I like from Market Garden Brewery in Cleveland. Nice roll off the tongue name too: “Cluster Fuggle IPA”. :cheers:
Hey Zwill, you don’t happen to have a recipe you cloned off that brew do ya? As long as I have these hops fresh I just as well use them up.
Sorry Old Guy, no I don’t. That said, there nothing really special about it, so I imagine a typical IPA recipe with a cluster/fuggle hop blend used with heavy late additions and dry hop would suffice. Remember this is not a yuppie dank/tropical fruit thing but an english style IPA. While I say there’s nothing special about, it’s one of the beers where I think the hop blend just “works” and creates a nice beer.
You know I like the new brews, but not so much that I have to brewing one all the time. What you said has struck a note, because I usually make an ESB once year, so maybe I will pitch a generous hand full in the secondary to see if I can’t get that instant nose just before the sip, so to speak.
sounds a lot like Sister Star of the Sun…
[quote=“Old Guy”]I checked out the Hopunion and Scotrat websites which had pictures of the cones and the leaves. From what we talked about as far as how long I’ve had them growing, plus how long the other person grew them, they do look very similar to cluster. Other info stated one of it’s uses was classic CAP, so that dates them back in time. I didn’t think they were a modern day variety, so, I appreciate you guy’s input and I will keep checking around. It’s not a big deal, but I was just curious since I just picked them…
This is what I did when I was trying to figure out what my hop plant was. Closest match for me was EKG, and the flavor from them in the brew was reasonably close, but a bit harsher and lower in AA. So not an exact match; maybe a derivative. Enough of a difference (decrease in quality) that I no longer use them as normal hops. Instead, I dry them, put them in a paper bag in the back of a closet and 2-3 years later use them for aged hops.
That’s a great idea RC. I’ll write that in my notes. WOW Blatz, not many around remember 'Sister", I was trying to find the last time I brewed that in my notes, and couldn’t find it[ maybe early 2000’s]. I still have the recipe though. I was blown away the first time I made that, a truly great beer, I was thinking ‘revolutionary’ at the time. I’m gonna put that on the schedule for next year after my shoulder heals. I’ll have to put on my thinking cap about using the new hops…or not.
In retrospect, I think a beer with a blend of american and british hops WAS revolutionary in the day… I think alot of 90’s micros did this. In fact, I think this is still the signature of Great Lakes Brewing beers. Dare I say it’s a “classic” technique. I find it quite cool that you guys got what I meant. :cheers:
You’ve heard the old saying Zwill, “Like Minds”, That being said each of us can make the same recipe, and each beer will be different because each of us is going to tweak that beer somewhere in the process to fit our own tastes. I can say that much of the way I evolved as a home brewer was getting educated by other brewers, and being able to share our experiences is one of the best things. Most people I know think I live on another planet when I start talking about beer. Sounds crazy but this is more of a brotherhood than a hobby.
:cheers: Cheers bro!