If you are lucky enough to live in an area that has wild hops growing in it - don't let the opportunity pass to collect some and make the most exquisite beer you'll ever have drunk. Actually, the hops pictured are probably not truly wild: they are likely
to be the offspring of hops that used to be grown in what was a hop growing district. My guess is that these are Goldings.
Do you remember the craze (now thankfully a thing of the past) for bringing the first bottles of Beaujolais back into the country?
The "Nouveau" idea is now best left to the French! http://www.beaujolaisnouveauday.com/
Well, we English people have recently discovered the delights of brewing beer with fresh hops - from bine to bottle!
There is little doubt that the flavoursome hop loses something special in the traditional drying process. Many of the elegant flavour compounds, because of their volatility, are driven off. The purpose of brewing with green hops is that these delicate compounds
are retained in the beer - leading to a beautifully fresh and fragrant beer. Of course green hops retain all the water that is normally lost during the drying process. Quite simply, this must be accounted for when weighing out. The dry hop contains only 20%
of the water in the green hop. All you need to do is to use five times as much mass as you would use in your normal favourite recipe.
For example, most of my recipes use 4oz of dried hops. When using green hops I just weigh out 20oz - it's that
straightforward! However, to maximise the retention of the delicate volatiles, boil the beer with 15oz of green hops for 50 minutes - then put the remaining 5oz in. Continue the boil for just 10 more minutes. It's absolutely magical!