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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 08-02-2020, 06:23 AM   #1
DMZBBQ
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Join Date: 07-22-20
Location: Bonners Ferry, ID
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Default Smoking with hops?...

My first post here but have lurked for ages, hi all!

I do have a question about smoking with hops...

So I've looked and looked some more on the internet and I see and read one can smoke with hops it self but, can you smoke the branches and such?

I ask because I live near a Budweiser hops field and have talked with the foreman and I can get all the branches I could handle, for free (talking semi-truck loads worth if I wished).

So has anyone tried this and if so, what were your results?

Thank you and thanks for having me!
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Old 08-02-2020, 07:00 AM   #2
bschoen
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Can't speak to hops, but I have used grape vines, the woody twiggy parts, came out well.
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Old 08-02-2020, 07:13 AM   #3
DMZBBQ
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Thanks! I've smoked some pork and chicken in the past with grape vines and it came out great but the hop vines, wood, what ever you want to call it eludes me. May just pull the trigger on a pickup truck load and go from there.

At the worst I have some fire starter lol..
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Old 08-02-2020, 07:46 AM   #4
TropicDad
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Burn some and see what kind of a smoke profile you get. If acceptable to you, you might throw some test chicken on there. If its way too smokey and strong smelling, something you don't care for, use it for the fire pit.
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Old 08-02-2020, 08:14 AM   #5
DMZBBQ
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Thanks for the reply!

That's where I am, I just figured it was cheaper to ask on here versus getting a whole 8ft bed truck load since that's the minimum for me to get some because he can't merit giving me any less without reason.

If you search hops and smoking it's just a bunch of pothead-ish results and I'm interested for meat smoking and such is my query here.
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Old 08-02-2020, 09:09 AM   #6
jzadski
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I agree about just burning it first. If it does seem strong you might want to try something a little more hearty than poultry since it really absorbs smoke. Very excited to see how this all plays out
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Old 08-03-2020, 01:13 PM   #7
bergenguy
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First off.. I have no experience smoking hop bines, so I can't comment from experience. I will be interested to hear your results though as I grow 9 different varieties of hops in relation to my beer brewing hobby. I will offer some thoughts on what you might expect though, especially in relation to the concept of smoking grape vines.

First thing, I wouldn't expect it to have any "hoppy" flavor. All the flavoring and bitterness in hops comes from a resin formed by the lupulin glands in the hop cone (which will have been stripped off for brewing). The resin is a very sticky fragrant yellow substance. If you chew a hop cone before the glands mature, it just tastes like green hay. If you taste it once it is mature it will be very bitter and have hop flavor. for smoking, I will be curious as to how it burns/smokes. Grape vines are a woody perennial where the vines will become woody and remain throughout the plants life (if not pruned). Hop Bines are a herbaceous perennial, where the plant dies back to the ground each year and then sprouts from a new shoot in the ground the following year. Hops are a rhizome which means they propagate in the same way grasses and most bamboo does. My hop bines get to be maybe 3/8 inch in diameter, but I do know some of the commercial outfits/varieties can produce hop bines much thicker... like 1 in or 1.25 in. So the hop bines should definitely burn different that grape vine. I wouldn't expect the bines to generate heat or a sustainable fire for cooking, like you could do with woody grape vine cuttings. I would expect it to burn relatively hot and fast and smokey....... but that white/grey smoke not the good kind..kind of like a leaf fire. which brings me to......

I imagine you'll have to dry the bines, as hop plants use huge amounts of water and I'm sure the bines will be quite wet (FYI, fresh hop cones are ~85% water by weight).

Also, if you are wondering what a bine is vs a vine. A vine grows by using tendrils, a bine grows by wrapping around a support and attaching via short hairlike structures on the stem.

Again this is all only my hypothesis based on my limited exposure to my own hop plants. I cant' wait to hear what you find out. Hope it works out.
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Old 08-03-2020, 06:00 PM   #8
gcs
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I'd be careful of smoking with grape vine prunings from a winery, they use a LOT of fungicides and other chemically stuff.... Home grown or wild is fine....
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