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The Hops that took over Dutchess county

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by wg_bent, May 6, 2007.

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  1. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    This year I can really see the difference in the hops I've got planted.

    I have Chinook, Mt Hood, and Cascade. The Mt. Hood and Cascades are pretty well behaved, but those high alpha bad boys are taking over the planet. Since planting about 4 years ago, the Mt Hoods and Cascades have spread to a total of about 5 sqft of ground space each.. but the Chinooks have spread into the brush near by, perhaps 25 feet away... Their in the lawn 10 feet away from the original planting site. They're everywhere. The biggest problem is that they are within about 10 ft of the Cascades....Uhhh which is which.? crap!!! I guess I'll just have to use "a lot" Of what ever is there. I mean... let's get real here....Can you really put too many hops in a brew?

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  2. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I never grew my own hops but I've tried some wild hops in a brew for aroma. It ended up with kind of a grassy/hay type aroma. I was too chicken to try it for bittering. How do you figure the alpha acids in homegrown hops? Be careful, you can put too much hops in your brew. I've done it a few times. Relax, don't worry and have a homebrew!
  3. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Hey Todd,

    I'm of the theory that you can NOT put too much hops in a brew. A fellow brewer and I actually did some experiments to find the IBU saturation point. At about 90 IBU a human can not perceive any more hoppiness.

    so, with a huge volume of Chinooks, which should have about 11-13 aa, it's a guess, but if making IPA's the more the better!!

    :)
  4. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Hop Head! ;-) I'm more of a malty guy myself. I like to brew Octoberfests and bocks mostly, but never turned down a good IPA.
  5. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    HOP HEAD??!!??? Why... thank you!! Such a nice compliment. :lol:
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    After seeing all the names of those hops I thought you lived on the left coast. Then as I was picking out some books at the bookstore I came across something I didn't know. WA is the largest hops growing state in the country. I guess that explains the local names of hop plants.
  7. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    I thought there were test kits available that would allow one to determine the IBU's of a bunch of hops, could be wrong though as I quit brewing beer when I went low-carb. Before that I got the hops at the brew shop and followed the recipe for whatever I was brewing (boring I know, but...)

    Of course once I looked up the herbal properties of hops, and the history behind them, I wasn't all that sure they were something I wanted to deal with anyway...

    Hops in beer came about largely as a result of the Protestant reformation - prior to that time a wide variety of other herbs were used for flavoring and preserving beers, not to mention their psychoactive effects (tending towards euphorics and aphrodisiacs) The recipe for these herbal "gruet" mixtures were usually closely held "trade secret" monopolies held by the local Catholic monastaries, and were largely holdovers from earlier Pagan beliefs...

    When the Protestants came into power, they passed "Beer Purity Laws" (for the "good of the public" - sounds familiar somehow) mandating the use of hops instead - This was both in an effort to reduce the income and power of the Catholics, and because of the psychoactive effect of hops was more desireable from the standpoint of those wanting to prohibit anything that was fun, and establish better control over the populace - hops are considered tranquilizers by most herbalists, and are very high in estrogen (female hormones) This made beer much less of a "party product" and led to the occupational exposure problem known as "brewers droop" among those handling a large amount of hops (brewers and barkeeps particularly)

    I have done some experimenting with herbal beers, but I found they are a bit of an aquired taste, and never really developed them all that much before I stopped brewing beers. I've also done a few herbal meads, but they tend to be more medicinal than tasty, so I stick with the simple and fruit meads as they are more enjoyable.

    Gooserider
  8. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Well, I never heard that historical perspective. From what I know The alpha acids found in hops have a mild antibiotic/bacteriostatic effect against certain bacteria, and by helping to eliminate this bacteria the fermentation is the exclusive domain of the brewing yeast. This improved the yield of the beer and kept it from spoiling for longer periods. This was why the IPA was introduced since the more hops the more bacteriostatic effect was introduced. IPA's do and should have a lot of hops added. Mmmm.... I'm getting thirsty just thinking about it. IPA's were brewed for the long voyages from England to India, to be drunk at sea when merchant ships were traveling to acquire spices. The only additional medicinal effect I'm aware of with hops is that they are said to have a slight sedative effect similar to camomile. Personally, I'd rather drink a beer than brew a hop tea before bed.
  9. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    You are correct about the preservative aspects, as well as the history behind IPA's, however that preservative property is by no means exclusive to hops, lots of herbs are natural anti-biotics. Even yeasts themselves have anti-biotic properties in that a strong yeast culture will suppress both bacteria and other strains of yeast... Hops are considered sedative / or depressant by herbalists, the "brewer's droop" issue is less of a problem unless one is heavily exposed, such as a brewer who handles large quantities of raw hops or a bar keep who gets exposed to more fumes from the beer, plus skin exposure from cleaning it up.

    A lot of this info comes from one of my more frequently used brewing books - Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers - The Secrets of Ancient Fermentation, by Stephen Harrod Buhner, on Brewers Publications, ISBN 0-937381-66-7

    Per Buhner
    Gooserider
  10. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Mmmm your killing me goose.. I need to go cook up some of them yeasties and toss em in a good strong IPA!! :cheese:
  11. slowzuki

    slowzuki Feeling the Heat

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    A fellow I know planted some hops below his window, 2 storey house. After a year they were out on the lawn so he made a rope trellis up the side of hte house. On year 3 I saw it and this giant mass of plant was up to the eaves and spreading on everything it could grab on the house. On year 5 I was by and the plant was gone. I asked about it and he said, well one night the rope trellis broke from the weight of the plants and it crashed down pulling an eavestrough it had latched onto off too. He never bothered to replant.
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