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I've just discovered a reasonable crop of hops climbing a fir tree in my back garden! Any advice on how to identify the variety? I'm in London UK.

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Even if you can't identify the strain, you can try using the cones to brew test batches, to see if it's any good as bittering hops, aroma or flavor. I did this with a batch of random "ornamental" hops, and liked the results enough to try to cultivate them.

  • Nice idea I may give that a try – geotheory Sep 6 '14 at 21:55
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I've spoken with hop growers and wholesalers about this before, and short of a DNA analysis there is almost no way to know for certain. You can make a rough guess based on the appearance of the hops and history of the area, but that's about it.

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