It's mid-September and Vienna is on the ~48th parallel, which means that wild hops (Humulus lupulus) should be in season and ripe for picking. A thread about hops, lupulin, beer, and how @Grimeyjr and I found wild hops in abundance around Vienna. 1/n #Wien #Wildhopfen #Abenteuer Image
Hops have been used in beer brewing, religious rituals, and for medicinal purposes for centuries. Before commercial hops cultivation for beer began (perhaps ~1100 AD in Germany), wild hops were picked for beer brewing. The majority of world hop cultivation is on the 48th N. 2/n
Inside the hop flower are lupulin glands which contain the acids, oils, and resins that together contribute bitterness, flavour, aroma, and stability (via their antimicrobial nature) to beer. This is a wild Viennese hop - the lupulin gland is the yellow gland inside. 3/n Image
@Grimeyjr and I were able to find wild Humulus lupulus in abundance around Vienna this past weekend, and harvested about 1kg for beer brewing in just 3 hours! Only the female plant produces hop cones (~50% of plants we found did not have hop cones). 4/n Image
Soil properties, water, humidity, and sun exposure strongly influence the flavour, aroma, and acid content of the hop plant/flower - so it is safe to say that these Viennese hops have a completely unique flavour you can't find anywhere else! 5\n Image
Making hop tea, just hops and hot water, can be a way to identify the flavours locked away inside. These wild hops have piney, grassy, spicy, and resinous (but noble) flavours. There are 100s of hop varieties with 100s of different flavours - from citrus & berries to garlic. 6\n Image
Hops have to be dried to about 10% moisture to preserve the acids, essentials oils, and resins that are so valuable for beer brewing. This takes several hours, since off the bine they contain ~80% moisture and go rancid rapidly after picking. 7\n Image
After hours of work outside and inside, we have enough dry wild Viennese hops for about 24 litres of beer. This will be a very limited run, so who wants to taste some Donau Wildhopfen Bier? Image
Also, huge thanks to @Grimeyjr for taking pictures, providing inspiration, and helping out. /end

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