Monday, July 18, 2011

Mystery Hop Update

Six weeks ago, I was lucky enough to find a hop plant growing down near the road on our new property.  I have no idea how it got there, but the leaves and bines were unmistakable.  So I strung up some twine to the top of the adjacent post to see if it would climb up.  Well, it certainly took off...

Mystery Hop, Mid-July 

The plant has gone quite bonkers with several bines shooting past the top of the 8 foot poll looking for something else to grab onto.  The tips of the bines are now stretching out into the neighboring farm property, which I hope they don't mind.

After the plant took off, the question changed from 'Is it a hop?' to 'Will it produce cones?'.  Well this weekend answered that question as I noticed several burrs, the precursor to cones, forming along the bine.  Awesome.

Hop burrs showing up.

If cones are indeed produced, they should be fully mature in about a month from now in late August.  It's at that point that I'll be able to start the uphill battle of identifying what cultivar of hops.  I'm hoping the aroma of the raw hops will give me the first clue to what it is, after which I'll most likely need to make a hop tea or pilot brew to hone in on it.  That and depend on friends with better palletes than I have.

Keep your fingers crossed for me!



"Everybody has to believe in something ... I believe I'll have another drink."
-W. C. Fields

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