When to bin hops

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Buffers brewery

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I opened a 100 gram vacuum pack of fuggle hops (leaf) in October, used 10 grams and stored the left-overs in the fridge - that was a mistake. I usually store left-over hops in the freezer. Question is, are they useable, should I put them in the freezer or should I cut my losses and just bin them?
 

phildo79

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I once used a packet of hops that had been opened for at least a year, were whole cones and were kept in the cupboard. I was worried the brew might be ruined but turned out great. I've never done it since though. Always store my yeast and hops in the freezer.

I'd say yours are fine to use.
 

phildo79

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Actually, can't remember if they were cones or leaf. Or is that the same? Been so long since I used anything other than pellets.
 

DocAnna

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My personal experience is it varies with new world high aroma hops and more traditional English and European hops. I disposed of quite a few hops after having stored in a fridge in clipped rather vacuum packed, and found that a couple of beers made with them were really disappointing for aroma and late additions. There are apparently calculators available but I don't have any experience of these. I'm with the others here in recommending your nose as the best judge of whether they are ok to use.
 

thegrantickle

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Never bin them! Put them in a brown paper bag and leave out to air, dry and age. Keep them like that for at least 18 months then you can use them as aged hops in Belgian ales! Whole cones work best but pellets will work well too!
 

Agentgonzo

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I've used hops that are over 18 months old since opening, and stored at room temperature. They lost a lot of the hop aroma and flavour, but we're still perfectly useable as bittering hops. I have a saison with them in on the fridge right now and it tastes delicious.
 

foxbat

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I've binned hops that smelled musty and dull (it was Challenger). No point in risking a whole batch for a couple of quids worth of hops.
 

MickDundee

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I only ever keep my hops in the fridge (no room in freezer) and keep them for months at a time with no noticeable impact.
 
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DavidDetroit

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I only know from here and the other site how to store hops. Logically, a recipe is relying on some, agreed-up starting point like "hop freshness." It's not necessarily going to be a bad deal using old stuff and, who knows? It might be better.
I don't know how you all buy hops but I buy just for a batch. If there's a 1/4 oz left over, I throw them away--an utterly shameful practice.
 

Agentgonzo

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"If there's a 1/4 oz left over, I throw them away--an utterly shameful practice".

A lot of brewers (myself included) end up doing a 'kitchen sink" brew every now and again to use up all the odds and ends of malts and hops 😂. Some turn out quite nice
 

chillipickle

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I normally buy 4kg of different hops in 1kg bags from geterbrewd at a time (good saving).
Vacuume pack them and store them in the freezer.6 months they are pretty much as fresh as when i packed them.

Not bad for £45
 

dipso76

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I’m an Australian brewer so take what I say with a grain of salt, but I bought 3 pounds of hops online from the US during the GFC when the Aussie dollar was at parity to the US dollar. That was about 2010 or something.
Anyway, last year I made a cream ale and used some of those hops for bittering. They were Northern Brewer and had been in a clipped bag since then. Turned out great.
I probably wouldn’t use 10 year old hops for flavour or aroma but for bittering (60 min boil) they were fine.
 

Sadfield

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I don't have it to hand to check, but wasn't there something in Scott Janish's New IPA book about deliberately using aged/oxidised late boil hops to get different fruity flavours with less bitterness?
 

aolcot

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Once a year, i gather up all my opened leftover packet of hops and I make a crazy random IPA style beer.. I aim for an approx target IBU, but i just randomly choose the hops I have and spread them over the boil/whirlpool/dry hop.. made some mental tasting, but very drinkable beer.. One of them tasted a bit like parma violets, not sure how I managed that hahaha...
 

DavidDetroit

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That is the thing about making beer--it's fairly hard not to achieve the result, stale hops or otherwise. I'll say I would rather use stored hops or stale than old LME.
I have learned that I seem to be in the vast minority for storing product. I keep no perishables (anything with an expiration date). If I brewed more often (only 10X -15X a year), I'd look for more bulk deals.
 

MmmBeer

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To test hops, place a couple of cones between your palms and rub vigourously for 10 seconds, then take a good sniff. Stale hops will smell of cheese.

Also, as the bittering compounds (the alpha acids) are the least volatile, they are the slowest to deteriorate, so if your hops are on the way out, you can still use them for bittering.
 

Sadfield

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I don't have it to hand to check, but wasn't there something in Scott Janish's New IPA book about deliberately using aged/oxidised late boil hops to get different fruity flavours with less bitterness?
Not quite as remembered, but this may challenge some common assertions.
DSC_0026-01.jpeg
 
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