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Random: Kilkenny Goldings in the wild?

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Postby Biertourist » Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:30 pm

What do you guys think the chances are of there still being some Kilkenny Goldings hops in Kilkenny just growing wild?


It would be fantastic to go on a hunt in mid-Spring and see if we can find a few and get them growing in a few of our gardens and get a good bit of root stock built up for propagating further.

I think it would be so cool to "save" what is considered an "extinct" hop.

I'm sure we could get USDA to "bank" one for us to keep it going, too; this is essentially one of their mandates. (To maintain and protect genetic diversity of plants that have agricultural uses.)


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Postby Will_D » Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:03 pm

Great Idea!

I can just picture the scene:

Lovely golden late summers evenning:

10 or 20 intrepid hop-hunters

Picknic baskets full of bread and cheese

Cooller boxes full of Irish craft beer

The Beoir Picnic in Kilkenny

Oh and by the way we do go looking for hops!!

Thats cheered up this gloomy evenning

Cheers

Will
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Postby Tube » Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:20 pm

I have a theory.

Goldings are unusual as the naming is loose. Take a root cutting from an East Kent Golding and grow it anywhere else aside from East Kent and it becomes just a Golding, even though it's the exact same plant.

Ergo, that same plant grown in Kilkenny can be called a Kilkenny Golding.

In addition we never had any sort of hop breeding programme here, so if there was Kilkenny Golding, who bred it?

Therefore, to me, all the evidence suggests that even if Goldings were grown in Kilkenny, there never was a specific cultivar called Kilkenny Golding.
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Postby DEMPSEY » Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:40 pm

Well if the first person to find this hop wild in Kilkenny,do they get to name it, :!:
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Postby Biertourist » Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:24 pm

Tube wrote:I have a theory.

Goldings are unusual as the naming is loose. Take a root cutting from an East Kent Golding and grow it anywhere else aside from East Kent and it becomes just a Golding, even though it's the exact same plant.

Ergo, that same plant grown in Kilkenny can be called a Kilkenny Golding.

In addition we never had any sort of hop breeding programme here, so if there was Kilkenny Golding, who bred it?

Therefore, to me, all the evidence suggests that even if Goldings were grown in Kilkenny, there never was a specific cultivar called Kilkenny Golding.


I agree with you 98%.

This has always been the case with Goldings and many other hops for that matter.

Having said that there are some REALLY old Goldings varieties that are different from the original "Canterbury Goldings" or "Old Goldings" that are considered heritage varieties. Intentional and accidental cross breedings happened many times since Mr Goldings cross-bred a "white bine" variety with a wild cultivar.

When was the Golding from England brought to Kilkenny and how does it compare to the Goldings that are in the UK today? Did any further cross-breeding occur in Ireland with any wild hops?


There's still something special and I'd argue worthwhile about finding a still growing Kilkenny Golding hop or relative of a Kilkenny Golding hop in Kilkenny.

It would be an amazing statement to remake a historical Kilkenny recipe (hopefully with FLAVOR) from Kilkenny Goldings hops, especially after what Diageo has done to that beer and brewery over the years.

-If we've got a Beoir member who's based in Kilkenny and is willing to look after then and grow them for a recreation of a historical recipe that's even more exciting.



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Postby Biertourist » Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:25 pm

Yes there's probably extremely little genetic variation between English and Kilkenny Goldings but I think there's more than just genetic reasons to save Kilkenny Goldings.


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Postby Biertourist » Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:25 pm

DEMPSEY wrote:Well if the first person to find this hop wild in Kilkenny,do they get to name it, :!:


It's already named; they get to SAVE it. :wink:


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Postby Biertourist » Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:29 pm

Kilkenny is in desperate need of some craft beer lovin', anyway.


I say we set a date (based upon a date that the hop growers among us think is realistic for being able to spot and identify a wild hop) for a Beoir Kilkenny picnic in spring.
[Edit] Actually, is it a better idea to go wild hop looking now at this time of year? (Ee could even get some cuttings ready to go fro next year if that's possible.)

Who knows, maybe we can even get a pub in Kilkenny to actually carry craft beer by then? :D

(Maybe it's a good time for our beer-loving hippie-themed event?)
"Brewstock?"


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P.S. Tube, I'm officially referring to you as "Killjoy" now instead of "Tube". lol!
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Postby Tube » Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:51 pm

Biertourist wrote:Yes there's probably extremely little genetic variation between English and Kilkenny Goldings


There is probably none!

Asides, I've been told you're more likely to find wild Fuggles or Northern Brewer in KK. I'm not sure Goldings were being grown in the twilight years.

Is there any documentary evidence of Kilkenny Goldings being a specific cultivar, and not just some other established Goldings with 'Kilkenny' stuck in front?
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Postby Biertourist » Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:09 pm

Tube wrote:Is there any documentary evidence of Kilkenny Goldings being a specific cultivar, and not just some other established Goldings with 'Kilkenny' stuck in front?


Killjoy,

If we get a hold of a few Kilkenny hops we can submit them for analysis and know for sure.

I agree with you that its highly likely that it's genetically identical to whatever Goldings was brought over from England, but there's been genetic drift and continued further breeding on the English side over the years, too. If there's been less mucking about with the Kilkenny grown stock then there's going to be variation at least from the current modern English-grown Goldings.


In either event, it's still worth doing, IMO.

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Postby Tube » Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:15 pm

Hops are always propagated from cuttings, so as such they have no parents as they're all clones. There is no drift or evolution when propagating.

Thankfully or we wouldn't still have seedless bananas. :)
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Postby oblivious » Thu Nov 03, 2011 8:57 am

Tube wrote: There is no drift or evolution when propagating.


Mutations can stil take place, i.e. from UV and copying errors like single-nucleotide polymorphisms. But you not relaying on 50% of genetic material from another plant
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Postby Biertourist » Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:01 am

Tube wrote:Hops are always propagated from cuttings, so as such they have no parents as they're all clones. There is no drift or evolution when propagating.

Thankfully or we wouldn't still have seedless bananas. :)


Any time the term "always" is used, the person using it is "always" wrong. :wink:

Hops are constantly being accidentally and intentionally pollinated. Goldings was a hop grower/breeder there's no way he stopped continuing to cross-breed the variety just because people started calling one of the cultivars "goldings". I don't think anyone even tries to hint that they've been unchanged over time, except for the "heritage" varieties.

How many times have you bought hops for use in brewing and found seeds in them? -They only have seeds if they've been pollinated. Officially breeders don't give out male hop plants yet we've all seen seeds in hops probably many times. Pollination is happening both intentionally and accidentally.


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Postby Biertourist » Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:10 am

oblivious wrote:
Tube wrote: There is no drift or evolution when propagating.


Mutations can stil take place, i.e. from UV and copying errors like single-nucleotide polymorphisms. But you not relaying on 50% of genetic material from another plant


Yep, don't forget that brewing yeast propagates asexually, too and it's incredibly common knowledge that mutations and genetic drift occur there. (Of course most of this is simply because you see a 7 generations of yeast within every batch of beer you make and the sheer number of generations makes mutations more likely than in something like a hop plant.)

Having said that mutations aren't the only thing causing hop varieties to change over time; intentional and unintentional pollination is.

-You also can't ignore the fact that hops can taste VERY different depending upon the exact climate and soil that they're grown in. -This was the reason that people even bothered with labels like "East Kent Goldings" or "Canterbury Goldings" or "Kilkenny Goldings", in the first place. Without the flavor (and AA%) variations these labels were pointless.


There's no reason us arguing whether they're genetically identical or varied, really. We have two simple ways of telling if they're different or not once we find one:
1. Taste them
2. Test them


It's all near valueless rumors and conjecture without the data.

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Postby Biertourist » Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:32 am

Tube wrote:Hops are always propagated from cuttings, so as such they have no parents as they're all clones. There is no drift or evolution when propagating.


-Yeast cells are all "clones". They still vary considerably over time.

Copying errors ala "genetic drift" just seem to be natures way of ensuring genetic diversity and continuation of the species even in the face of reproduction ala "cloning" techniques.


The only things that stand still are dead things.


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