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Aussiekraut

Hops - Storage and variety

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A couple of questions regarding hops.

1. I used to keep my hops in the fridge but read somewhere the freezer is a better place, so keep mine in a plastic container in the freezer of the bar fridge. Good place or bad place? Just wondering because once you open a bag, moisture gets in there in the form of humidity. Is this going to affect the hops or is this negligible? I don't want green slush 🙂 

2. How many varieties do you guys keep? I have Amarillo, Centennial, Citra, Cascade, Galaxy, Magnum, Mosaic, Simcoe, Hersbrucker, Hallertau, Tettnang, EKG, Fuggles, Styrian Golding, Saaz, Chinook and probably forgot a few but every time I see an interesting recipe, it asks for hops I don't have. If I happen to have the hops, it asks for amounts I don't have. 

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Wow that's impressive, you have a proverbial united nations of hops.

I tend to be a just in time Hop user & buy what I need in accordance with my brewing plan from my LHBS. 

Have Centennial, EKG, Galaxy, Saaz hop remnants in my fridge.

Even so I still get comments from the Minister of War that they take up way to much room in the kitchen fridge!!

Should put them in brew fridge to avoid the flak!!

Cheers YB

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2 hours ago, Aussiekraut said:

A couple of questions regarding hops.

1. I used to keep my hops in the fridge but read somewhere the freezer is a better place, so keep mine in a plastic container in the freezer of the bar fridge. Good place or bad place? Just wondering because once you open a bag, moisture gets in there in the form of humidity. Is this going to affect the hops or is this negligible? I don't want green slush 🙂 

2. How many varieties do you guys keep? I have Amarillo, Centennial, Citra, Cascade, Galaxy, Magnum, Mosaic, Simcoe, Hersbrucker, Hallertau, Tettnang, EKG, Fuggles, Styrian Golding, Saaz, Chinook and probably forgot a few but every time I see an interesting recipe, it asks for hops I don't have. If I happen to have the hops, it asks for amounts I don't have. 

I store all mine in the freezer, always have and never had a problem. I have quite a few, although not as many as you.

I generally keep Galaxy, Amarillo, Centennial, POR, Citra, Mosaic etc in stock as I find I use them the most.

Once I un-seal mine I just do my best to reseal them and straight back in the freezer.

Edited by MitchellScott
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I get my missus to put all the hops in vacuum sealed bags and I put them in the freezer. 
I don’t have that much but stocks are rising. 

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7 minutes ago, Beer Baron said:

I get my missus to put all the hops in vacuum sealed bags and I put them in the freezer. 
I don’t have that much but stocks are rising. 

I was thinking about vacuum sealing them. ATM I have them in zip lock bags once opened and in a plastic container. 

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14 minutes ago, YeastyBoy said:

Wow that's impressive, you have a proverbial united nations of hops.

I tend to be a just in time Hop user & buy what I need in accordance with my brewing plan from my LHBS. 

Have Centennial, EKG, Galaxy, Saaz hop remnants in my fridge.

Even so I still get comments from the Minister of War that they take up way to much room in the kitchen fridge!!

Should put them in brew fridge to avoid the flak!!

Cheers YB

I removed them from the kitchen fridge and put them in the freezer in the bar fridge. Still have the yeast and my chilli seeds in the kitchen fridge. No problem so far 🙂 

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2 minutes ago, Aussiekraut said:

I was thinking about vacuum sealing them. ATM I have them in zip lock bags once opened and in a plastic container. 

That will be fine for now. Just try and get as much air out of the bag as you can before sealing

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I usually vacuum seal them but always in the freezer. I wouldn't be worried about getting green slush, there isn't enough moisture in the air to cause that, especially given that the bag is only open for a short time and the air is all sucked out anyway. 

As for varieties, whatever I can fit in the freezer door. At the moment it's about 7 or 8 I think. Currently without looking in there, Saaz, hallertau mitt, magnum, Amarillo, Centennial, Vic secret, Styrian Golding, challenger, and small amounts of Cascade and fuggles. That's about all I can fit so I usually try to use most of them up before buying more.

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I've had a couple of bags that i've opened and then placed in the fridge later tightly sealed with an elastic band for the last two months. Would that be OK?  I will have to change to freezing now.  Vacuum sealed.....that's a whole different level I can't justify.  

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Once I open the bag the hops are in,  I usually just hang the open bags on the clothes line until next brew day. 
 

 

 

 

🤣🤣

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Keeping them in plastic containers or ziplock bags in the freezer is better than keeping them in the fridge, but it is still not great. Sorry to say that with many varieties your hops are probably stale @Aussiekraut due to the oxygen in the container and the length of time stored. Best thing for hops is to keep them vacuum sealed in the freezer. If you don't have a vacuum sealer, probably best not to buy in bulk.

As I don't own a vacuum sealer, I buy my hops from my LHBS on an as needed basis. They receive them vacuum packed and frozen but transfer them to plastic containers, kept in the fridge, from which customers help themselves. I am relying on their turnover rate for freshness. Some varieties turnover pretty quickly, others not so much. Unfortunately my hops are probably various shades of stale by the time I get them home. 🥴 Without a vacuum sealer it is hard, and maybe impossible, to have hops not be oxidized.

Cheers,

Christina.

 

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I got some hops from smallbatchbrew - good prices, quick delivery. I noticed on arrival I got 1 of each type was properly vac-packed (bag pressed tight against pellets) and 1 of each loose bagged. (still got air in there) 

I contacted SBB to ask why, given it was 1 of each type rather than just random differences. As a coffeesnob I wondered whether maybe fresh hops outgas like coffee beans do and so puffed the bags. The response was...
"I vac pack and send the same day, sometimes the co2 doesn’t get completely sucked out hence the difference in packaging."

The implication is the hops are in a CO2 environment - is that likely? Because now, having read this thread I will be using the puffed bags first I think, but if they ARE in a CO2 environment it wouldn't matter which, would it?

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A home vacuum sealer does not pump CO2 into the package, it just sucks out air. If your vendor is a small business I think it would be very unlikely he would be using CO2 to repackage hops, but I have zero evidence for that....Wonder if your vendor meant to say O2? To play it safe, use the puff bag first.

Yamkima Chief packages their hops with nitrogen, but they are a big outfit / pros.

Cheers,

Christina.

Edited by ChristinaS1
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5 hours ago, ChristinaS1 said:

I buy my hops from my LHBS on an as needed basis. They receive them vacuum packed and frozen but transfer them to plastic containers, kept in the fridge, from which customers help themselves. I am relying on their turnover rate for freshness. Some varieties turnover pretty quickly, others not so much. Unfortunately my hops are probably various shades of stale by the time I get them home. 🥴 Without a vacuum sealer it is hard, and maybe impossible, to have hops not be oxidized.

I buy on a as needed basis too.   The stores here purchase them in bulk in 1kg and 5kg vac sealed or nitrogen flushed foil bags.  When I managed one of my LHBS one of my regular jobs was to repackage the hops into 100g zip seal bags.  The intensity of the hop fumes coming out of those foil bags was often so extreme that it used to burn my eyes.  I ended up bagging the hops wearing safety goggles!   I became very familiar with how hops should smell when they're fresh and I can tell you that many hops are far from fresh when you buy them and it's really just matter of timing if you manage to get fresh hops.  But as you suggest though, popular varieties do tend to turnover fairly quickly - here that would be the likes of Citra, Riwaka, Nelson, Motueka, Centennial, Amarillo, Cascade etc so you're less likely to get old hops in those cases, but on the other hand hops like Target, Nugget,  Liberty,  Boadicea, Marynka, Zythos, Northdown, Ekuanot etc could sit in the stores hop fridge... for... well, up to a year or more!   The store kept bulk hops in stock in the original foil packaging but the dates on some of these were several years old.  We had some Sorachi Ace for example which I ended up throwing out... they were quite old when I started working there and a year later I hadn't sold any. They were looking decidedly brown by that stage!   I suspect that even stores that do supply in vac-sealed bags probably still bag them to order from a bulk source that is exposed to air.   🙄

When I worked there I of course new which were the fresh ones and so always bought those for my own use. Some customers would actually ask which hops were recently bagged, obviously aware that some could have been sitting in the fridge for quite some time.  Not so easily done if you're ordering online though. 

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I vac seal mine and put them straight in the freezer. I do have a hop addiction though:

385g Cascade
790g Citra
470g Galaxy
55g Pride of ringwood
50g Organic Nelson Sauvin
85g Chinook
50g Pacific Jade
12g Styrian Goldings
75g Hallertau tradition 5.8%
50g hallertau MF
100g Fortnight
70g East Kent Goldings
83g Topaz 19.8 %
100g Styrian wolf
100g Styrian Dragon
575g Ekuanot
100g Vic Secret
540g Riwaka
540g Sabro
340g Kohatu
175g Amarillo
150g Centennial
500g mosaic
450g lemondrop
200g huell melon

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On ‎11‎/‎3‎/‎2019 at 12:12 PM, Hoppy81 said:

I vac seal mine and put them straight in the freezer. I do have a hop addiction though:

385g Cascade
790g Citra
470g Galaxy
55g Pride of ringwood
50g Organic Nelson Sauvin
85g Chinook
50g Pacific Jade
12g Styrian Goldings
75g Hallertau tradition 5.8%
50g hallertau MF
100g Fortnight
70g East Kent Goldings
83g Topaz 19.8 %
100g Styrian wolf
100g Styrian Dragon
575g Ekuanot
100g Vic Secret
540g Riwaka
540g Sabro
340g Kohatu
175g Amarillo
150g Centennial
500g mosaic
450g lemondrop
200g huell melon

Well I know where I'll be going when there is a hop shortage 😛

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1 minute ago, Fergy1987 said:

Well I know where I'll be going when there is a hop shortage 😛

I like to be well prepared haha

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On 11/1/2019 at 9:21 PM, MitchBastard said:

Once I open the bag the hops are in,  I usually just hang the open bags on the clothes line until next brew day. 
 

 

 

 

🤣🤣

Is this method suitable for both extendalines and rotary clotheslines?

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On 11/4/2019 at 3:37 PM, MUZZY said:

Is this method suitable for both extendalines and rotary clotheslines?

Hills hoist is best practice as you can give it a whiz around to get different Sun aspect at different times of the day 

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I just buy whatever I feel like drinking and try and get through them before buying too many more.

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