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Hops too old?


KristianL1
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Hi guys, silly question time:

I've got a bag of Morgans fuggles hops in their original sealed plastic packaging.

They're about four years old... should I use them or not?

(I live in a remote location overseas and am about to put a batch down and can't get any soon but keen to add these hops if consensus is it should be fine).

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53 minutes ago, KristianL1 said:

Hi guys, silly question time:

I've got a bag of Morgans fuggles hops in their original sealed plastic packaging.

They're about four years old... should I use them or not?

(I live in a remote location overseas and am about to put a batch down and can't get any soon but keen to add these hops if consensus is it should be fine).

At worst they will not deliver the 'oomph!' you will get from fresh ones. Add 'em... 😄

 

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1 hour ago, Ben 10 said:

I'd bin them, they would have been stored on the shelf in the homebrew shop, not the freezer. 

Yeah, but it's them or a long wait to get some more or a kit beer with nothing added. I'd use them - better than nothing as they have been sealed all this time.

Of course if he opens them and a pile of mould spores fly out... 😄

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What about as a bittering addition?

 It would of lost pretty much all of its potential AA due to improper storage and all you would do is add vegetal mass to your brew. After 6 months of sitting on a shelf somewhere, it has lost more than 25% of its potential AA, after 4 years it is just pellets that are not useful for brewing, but you can compost them.

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48 minutes ago, Norris! said:

What about as a bittering addition?

 It would of lost pretty much all of its potential AA due to improper storage and all you would do is add vegetal mass to your brew. After 6 months of sitting on a shelf somewhere, it has lost more than 25% of its potential AA, after 4 years it is just pellets that are not useful for brewing, but you can compost them.

But how about for flavour and aroma?

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The good chemicals in the hop would of dispersed over that time, if not stored properly, which can lead to off flavours. Which doesn't lead to good aroma or flavour. I picture a timer over the hops and their goodness wifting away, either slowly or really fast, with obvious difference in the release based on the storage method. Once that timer reaches 0, you are highly likely to get a bad flavour from that hop.

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8 minutes ago, Norris! said:

The good chemicals in the hop would of dispersed over that time, if not stored properly, which can lead to off flavours. Which doesn't lead to good aroma or flavour. I picture a timer over the hops and their goodness wifting away, either slowly or really fast, with obvious difference in the release based on the storage method. Once that timer reaches 0, you are highly likely to get a bad flavour from that hop.

OK, but the problem I have is physics - in a sealed environment, to where would they disperse? If there are chemical changes occurring, I can understand but I'd bet they would be obvious on opening the packet.

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10 hours ago, KristianL1 said:

Hi guys, silly question time:

I've got a bag of Morgans fuggles hops in their original sealed plastic packaging.

They're about four years old... should I use them or not?

(I live in a remote location overseas and am about to put a batch down and can't get any soon but keen to add these hops if consensus is it should be fine).

Maybe you can team them up with some 4yr old lager cans from over in this thread...

...given your hops are from the same era, they should be a perfect match & make great beer according to some folk!

Seriously, is there a deceased estate or something people are buying all this 4yr old stuff from??

Anyways, gotta go, I'm hungry & I just spotted a hunk of cheese behind the couch that looks like it's at least 4yrs old.......

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15 minutes ago, Popo said:

I have been disappointed by old hops before. I wouldn't bother doing it again. 

It seems proper storage is the key factor - vac sealed and kept in a freezer.   A couple of my LHBS just package their hops in ziploc bags and in store a fridge.  This has been OK for high-turnover varieties but I've bought less popular hops from them that were completely lifeless.  No aroma...no nothing.  I now prefer to buy my hops from one store that I know vac seals and keeps them in freezer.   

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22 hours ago, Norris! said:

Environment and temp matter for hops if these are not kept inline then the hops lose their effectiveness.

I used some fresh hops flowers vs year old frozen flowers & yes the frozen showed degradation

Clarification... both were cryo-vacced

Edited by JoeB7
clarification
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