Growing up, we knew of a climbing plant that existed down the street from our house. We were told later they were hops. Flashforward over 30 years later, a better understanding about the plant and road construction project put into a motion a plan to move the hops to my brother’s backyard.

After a couple of years, the plant acclimated to its new surroundings and produced a healthy number of cones. In September, my brother harvested them and gave them to me for more brewing (We brewed with them for the first time in 2021). This year, with more harvested cones to spare, I sent a sample to the University of Vermont to have them run some tests. Here is our post on the outcome of the wild hops lab analysis:

Results of the Wild Hops Analysis

Here are all the details from the report:

  • Alpha Acids: 1.98%
  • Beta Acids: 7.30%
  • HSI (Hops Storage Index): 7.30

Compared to my homegrown Chinook hops, these results were quite different. The very low AA% in contrast to the very high BA% made me think that these hops wouldn’t be good for brewing beer.

I did a few searches to find a good match for this profile and I found information about Teamaker hops on the web.

Are these hops from a Teamaker hops bine? We don’t know that but with the report, we know that these hops would not impart a large amount of bitterness to a beer. These wild hops are more for late boil additions or for making a nice hop tea.

If we were more invested emotionally and financially, we could have these hops tested again. This time, we would try to find out their lineage and hopefully understand what variety they are. Since we aren’t, we’ll stick to this data set and use them appropriately.

We can’t stress enough the use of labs to better understand your homegrown hops. Shout out to the staff at the UVM’s E. E. Cummings Crop Testing Laboratory for the work they put towards getting these results to us.

Brew ON!