Wild Hops

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DufusDog's picture
Wild Hops

My wife found some wild hops when out running (she's from Hereford in the UK, one of the major UK areas growing hops). I had never harvested or dried hops before. I harvested over a period of 2 weeks ( the BN's infamous fortnight) and tried drying in a warm oven or air drying. Both as a single layer on mesh trays. Air drying worked really well. The oven seemed to dry them too quickly and maybe drive off the oils.

When wet the hops had a strong onion/garlic aroma which lessened considerably as they dried and they ended up with a lemony herbal scent.

I used them in two beers, a UK style Pale Ale and a beer flavoured with wild cherries, with the dregs from 2 bottles of Lindemans Kriek.

I used Magnum as a bittering hop for both.

The air dried hops gave the better flavour.

Had I read the book, instead of just hearing about it, before conducting this experiment, I would have further broken it down, split the wort, and changed the hopping regime (and maybe quantities).

However, I now know how to dry the hops in future....