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Subject: Collecting Feral Hops
Author: Jason3384
Aug 3rd, 2006
3:13 pm
Just thought I would share a hop raiding story from yesterday. I was out walking in a local area when I came across an abandoned garden and house foundation (there are lots of these in outport Newfoundland, some quite old), and there was a massive hop plant growing there. I knew that it was probably too late to transplant the hops but as I am moving it was now or never.

The plant itself appeared to cover an area that is at least 20 feet by 20 feet, so I imagined there are several plants in there. There were also a couple of males in there as well, but I followed the bines and figured I could easily avoid them. I eventually discovered that there were at least 6 different clusters of plants, a couple were definitely male looking, but I selected the cluster with the most impressive looking flower arrays and began hacking down through the stinging nettle and grass to get to the root balls. Unfortunately they had grown in and amongst a large rock wall that had fallen in so instead of getting a single massive root I came away with a dozen smaller roots. The largest was about 9-10 inches long and about an inch thick and the smallest is about 2-3 inches long and about 2 inches thick. They have lots of little roots and several green and/or white buds. I figure that if they actually grow that even if they are never used for beer, they will make a nice cover for the shed.

Shortly after this I came across a second hop plant in another community that was also growing in a fallen rock house foundation. I took several cuttings of the rhizome from the plant that had the most impressive flowers. At this site there must have been dozens and dozens of plants as the spreading bines appeared to have spawned a lot of smaller plants where they came in contact with the soil.

We have no native wild hops, and any hops that do exist are usually found in such places as abandoned outports or houses where they have been intentionally planted. I wonder what kind they are, probably some historic variety out of England, given the regions history.

My plan is to plant them in pots for the rest of the summer and fall, and take them inside the shed and replant them in the soil in the spring.

I wonder if they would be any good for beer. Anyone else ever done this?
Subject: Re: Collecting Feral Hops
Author: snappy
Aug 3rd, 2006
3:28 pm
there are some wild hops growing in my parents back yard. i've been tempted to see if they make a decent beer.
Subject: Re: Collecting Feral Hops
Author: vancebarnes
Aug 3rd, 2006
6:55 pm
I've been told that most "wild" hops you find around old homesteads are Cluster's. Not sure if that's really true. Only problem if that is true is that Clusters are a bittering hop and you have no way to know the AA%.
Subject: Re: Collecting Feral Hops
Author: Jason3384
Aug 4th, 2006
12:25 pm
Hey I have done some digging and have discovered something interesting. The hops that I found were probably never brought here to make beer. Chances are they were brought in to make bread. It seems that Newfoundland preserved many English customs from the 16th and 17th centuries (just as the Newfoundland dialect is a hold over from England which preserves many sounds and words which have long since disappeared from Modern English or Modern Irish/English). Included in this was the making of Barm (sometimes called bam), which is a sourdough starter used as a leavener in breadmaking when yeast was not available. You basiclly make a hop tea and added flour, sugar and sometimes potato or rice or someother starch and allowed that to spontaneously ferment for 48-72 house. At which point the Barm would be pitched into the bread dough or thickened by a further addition of flour and rolled into little balls which would be stored and used as an innoculant for future batches. Aparently, while the housewives would not have known that the hops had an anti-bacterial quality they did know that Barm kept better and fresher (with no refridgeration) then regular leavener did and apparently to this day there are still old folks who prefer to have hop-bread to regular bread in certain isolated areas. Interesting, wa?
Subject: Re: Collecting Feral Hops
Author: TimO
Aug 4th, 2006
1:42 pm
Say it twice for emphasis.....
Subject: Re: Collecting Feral Hops
Author: Jason3384
Aug 4th, 2006
1:46 pm
I thought my post seemed a bit long, lol. Sorry for the double post

Subject: Re: Collecting Feral Hops
Author: TimO
Aug 4th, 2006
2:22 pm
Noproblemo......its actually very cool what you have found. Very informative. I've been up there years ago and in my opinion its God's own country. Makes me want to dig into my picture albums and check it out. We did a tour of PEI (my wife is a Ann of G.G. nut) before the bridge and took the ferry over to near St Johns from Sydney. Got as far north as the tip (something ' Aux Meadows'..can't remember names). Can't believe how much like Ireland it was....right down to the stone houses.
Subject: Re: Collecting Feral Hops
Author: Jason3384
Aug 4th, 2006
6:46 pm
I've been told that most "wild" hops you find around old homesteads are Cluster's. Not sure if that's really true. Only problem if that is true is that Clusters are a bittering hop and you have no way to know the AA

I have read that as well, for US homesteads. But given our heritage up here I think it more likely to be an historic form of English Hop, IIRC, Cluster is an American hop of European ancestry, but I could be wrong in my recollection.
Subject: Re: Collecting Feral Hops
Author: McGie
Aug 6th, 2006
4:05 pm
JasonE,

Fascinating post.If you brew with these (and I hope you do), please let us know how it turned out.
Subject: Re: Collecting Feral Hops
Author: Jason3384
Aug 7th, 2006
11:51 am
Will do. I have been asking every senior I can find lately if they have ever heard of Barm, and they all have. But here is the interesting part, every one of them has said that it was the hops that caused the leavening and caused the bubbling in the starter. I think it safe to say that in the absence of any scientific knowledge about how yeast works and how a sour dough starter would work, they attributed the leavening action to something they could see, the hops rather then to some unseen unknown micro-organism. I wonder if the old brewers did the same thing. I have read that back in days of yore that finnish and scandanavian brewers used a oaken staff to stir the wort, which stick would be passed on through the generations. The stick would have been infected with wild yeasts and would serve to pitch the wort, but to the brewers the magic lay not in the wild yeast infecting the wood but rather the staff itself.
Subject: Re: Collecting Feral Hops
Author: Darkcoder
Dec 29th, 2014
6:33 pm
Sorry to revive such an old thread, but... I am currently collecting wild hop plants from Canada. Any chances to send me some of your findings ?
Subject: Re: Collecting Feral Hops
Author: spargebag
Jan 2nd, 2015
6:03 pm
I've also read that most wild hops in the us are cluster... I'd assume a relic of the prohibition era. Newfoundland I'd assume to be a whole different story. Having been there and talking w locals about the history... and not wanting to leave.... I'd assume that the hops are likely of British origin and would definitely try em in a batch of brew.
Subject: Re: Collecting Feral Hops
Author: LarryK
Sep 4th, 2015
1:53 am
Found a batch of hops growing outside my motel window in Eagle River, WI. Picked them all and brewed a batch. Made an English bitter and used the hops i found for flavor and some aroma. The experiment was so so. The beer was drinkable, but did not pair well with food at all. It just had a different flavor, not unpleasant, but nothing I would brew again. From what I have read, a lot of the German homesteads in this part of the county grew hops as preservatives for their baked goods and not necessarily for brewing.
Subject: Re: Collecting Feral Hops
Author: darknova306
Sep 6th, 2015
4:59 pm
We bought some "legacy NY hops" from one of the larger hop growers in NY last year. He was calling them Raven. I broke some cones open and they definitely smell different than Cluster. Nice light fruity aromatics. We haven't brewed with them yet, but we're planning to. I'll post about them once we do and I see what their character in a beer winds up being.
Subject: Re: Collecting Feral Hops
Author: DaveBrews
Sep 4th, 2016
8:43 pm
This is an older thread so I hope you're still following it. I'm really interested in ferel Newfoundland hops and would love to brew with some. Where to look??
Subject: Re: Collecting Feral Hops
Author: paulb
Sep 5th, 2016
9:39 am
Try Newfoundland, I kid, I kid,finding them on your own might be nearly impossible. You're best bet would probably be finding home brewers and asking around.
Subject: Re: Collecting Feral Hops
Author: DaveBrews
Sep 5th, 2016
8:36 pm
Hi, Yeah exactly. Im trying a variety of message boards as well as asking around.
Subject: Re: Collecting Feral Hops
Author: CanadianNorth
Feb 28th, 2017
4:52 pm
Hi,

Not sure if anyone is paying attention to this, but I live in the Bonavista region of Newfoundland and have used wild hops many times.
The character is something like fuggles, as I recall, and they tend to be very mild hops (at least the ones I have used). I typically have only use them for aroma.
Since planing my own hallertau and Fuggle I haven't used them much.
I know several people who grow them on their property for decoration.

Subject: Re: Collecting Feral Hops
Author: Darkcoder
Mar 13th, 2017
4:51 pm
CanadianNorth,

I am still following this thread.... I am interested in some of those feral hops for breeding purpose.

Thanks !
Subject: Re: Collecting Feral Hops
Author: DaveBrews
Mar 14th, 2017
10:44 am
I'd be interested in doing a bonavista trip to collect some ...
Canadianorth pm me?
Subject: Re: Collecting Feral Hops
Author: CanadianNorth
Mar 16th, 2017
11:52 pm
Hi DaveBrews and Darkcoder,

you can PM me, I can't figure out how to PM on this forum.
I should be listed under Newfoundland, Canada.
Subject: Re: Collecting Feral Hops
Author: DConn
Mar 17th, 2017
4:22 pm
There is no way to PM on this forum
Subject: Re: Collecting Feral Hops
Author: DaveBrews
Mar 17th, 2017
5:16 pm
Email me at jerrettdavid@gmail.com
Subject: Hi
Author: harshita
Apr 26th, 2017
12:45 pm
hi
Subject: Re: Collecting Feral Hops
Author: brewballs
May 2nd, 2017
3:08 am
Tap, Tap, Tap......Is this thing on?
Subject: Re: Collecting Feral Hops
Author: jtrainer
May 6th, 2017
7:36 pm
Tap, Tap, Tap, sometimes. Probably a bad Guinness Clone.
Subject: Re: Collecting Feral Hops
Author: redbrew
May 17th, 2017
3:24 am
Testing............1......2...........3
Subject: Re: Collecting Feral Hops
Author: Darkcoder
May 18th, 2017
4:26 pm
Just say what you have to say guys.... any feral / wild hops found and you would like to share ?!?
Subject: Re: Collecting Feral Hops
Author: brewballs
May 19th, 2017
1:36 am
My bad. I read the original post as: "Collecting Feral Hogs". I figured that's why no one was responding.
Subject: Re: Collecting Feral Hops
Author: redbrew
May 19th, 2017
4:22 am
"Wild Hogs" Funny movie. As far as feral hops go..........I am in Nevada. Not a whole lot going on with hops here.
Subject: Re: Collecting Feral Hops
Author: CanadianNorth
May 24th, 2017
2:26 pm
Hey DarkCoder,

can you give me an email address and I will contact you?

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