Last year, a friend turned me on to a patch of wild hops growing not far from where I live. It was a little late in the year to take advantage of the intel, and so this year I was determined to take advantage of the opportunity to a) score some free hops; and b) see if they were worth using at all.
I stopped to check on them a couple of weeks ago and they were a ways off. Rain and house-guests have made it difficult for me to get back to them every few days, as was my plan, but this morning, determination won out and we made it just in time. The edges are just ready to brown.
They’re drying in the sun on a window screen as I type and I hope to experiment with them within a month or so. Wet, they smell awfully weedy, and I’m not sure they’ll be happy for anything beyond bittering, so I’ll start them in a beer that’s “dumpable.”
My plan is to brew a Scotch ale (not dumpable). I intend to run a second sparge for a made-up, hoppy beer I’ll call Hop Kirk, just because I’ve been wanting to name a beer that for a while. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
Has anybody brewed with wild hops? I’d be interested to hear about your experiences…