Wild hops

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Wild hops

Postby stewarmuk » Mon Sep 12, 2016 16:41

My wife has found a number of vines growing near her work in South Cambridgeshire.

Is there a relatively easy way of identifying them ? Do I smell them and compare to what I have ? Are they likely to be EKG or Fuggles ?

Also, how do you tell whether they are ready to be collected ?

Thanks
Bob
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Re: Wild hops

Postby robwalker » Mon Sep 12, 2016 17:36

For the average brewed there isn't a way really. But when ripe you can split one and rub it on the back of your hand to get an idea of the aroma profile. Mine are very lemony.

They feel papery, spring back when compressed and will usually be at least an inch long with a good amount of powdery yellow lupulin in the cone. You may need to harvest in 2-3 sessions. They're probably English, like you say probably goldings or fuggles.
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Re: Wild hops

Postby growinghops » Tue Sep 13, 2016 16:12

To decide if they are ready to harvest I agree with rob but i would add that the ends of the hop cones should start to look dry and the leaves on the cones should start to open.
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Re: Wild hops

Postby Pakman » Sat Sep 17, 2016 09:25

Whilst travelling into Birmingham recently on the Birmingham and Fazely canal, we happened across a whole towpath hedge full of plump ripe hops. Pulled the boat into the bank and did the rub and smell test. They are definately not ornamental hops and had an aroma similar to Fuggles. Location was between new and old Troutpool bridges (see http://tinyurl.com/j4e6qsa ) and no history of a local brewery can be found for that location.
Harvested about 1kg (wet) in approx 10 minutes. Dried in the airing cupboard and ready to use now although I'll weigh them when I pack the whilst doing my first Troutpool brew tomorrow.
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Re: Wild hops

Postby stewarmuk » Sat Sep 17, 2016 17:36

Just been back from a visit to the hops my wife found and now have about 3/4lb sat on top of a fan in a make shift oast. I would have a go at very slow drying in the oven , except we are having a kitchen refit and don't have an oven. :scratch:

But , if anyone is in the area of South Cambs near Duxford , there is a back road that runs from Duxford to Ickleton that has about a mile of hops growing in the bushes at the side of the road. I am guessing due to the area that they are Golding or Fuggles. Lovely aroma with a fairly strong lemon hint.

Assuming the drying works I am off back tomorrow or I may just get out the extension leads and do a fresh hop brew.

Bob
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Re: Wild hops

Postby HTH1975 » Sat Sep 17, 2016 18:55

You jammy buggers - free hops, that's badass.

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Re: Wild hops

Postby HTH1975 » Sat Sep 17, 2016 19:21

Just found this link with a list of wild hop locations... http://g.co/maps/cwwaz

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed (need to update this figure)
Drinking: Landlord clone
Conditioning: ciders from 2016, hedgerow barrolo, 1914 Courage RIS (10%).
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Re: Wild hops

Postby Good Ed » Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:42

Pakman wrote:Whilst travelling into Birmingham recently on the Birmingham and Fazely canal, we happened across a whole towpath hedge full of plump ripe hops. Pulled the boat into the bank and did the rub and smell test. They are definately not ornamental hops and had an aroma similar to Fuggles. Location was between new and old Troutpool bridges (see http://tinyurl.com/j4e6qsa ) and no history of a local brewery can be found for that location.
Harvested about 1kg (wet) in approx 10 minutes. Dried in the airing cupboard and ready to use now although I'll weigh them when I pack the whilst doing my first Troutpool brew tomorrow.
Graham


Thanks Graham, I'll try and get down there next weekend

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and dies a jolly good fellow.
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Re: Wild hops

Postby Pakman » Thu Oct 20, 2016 17:04

Just brewed my second beer using these hops, both quite malty brews just incase they are not very bitter. Today's brew is my Christmas beer as my son and his finance will be staying over Christmas and they usually drink me dry. That's what happens when English beer lovers live in Switzerland, they go mad whenever they are over ;^) So Brew #53 is troutpool Ale and Brew #54 is Troutpool Xmas Ale.
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Re: Wild hops

Postby serum » Thu Oct 20, 2016 17:39

I tried loads of these green hop beers in a local micro pub near me. They're pretty subtle in terms of bitterness and flavour. Id make sure you've got a good bit of malt flavour in there to brew with them. They were all pretty nice though.

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