Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => Ingredients => Topic started by: micah h on September 15, 2013, 06:09:05 AM

Title: One pound of cascade hops.
Post by: micah h on September 15, 2013, 06:09:05 AM
My brothers co-worker, who doesn't brew, let me pick his Cascade hops plant today and I got a pound of them. He was disappointed I didn't take more, but I only brew once a month. I put them in the freezer to prevent oxidation.

What I am wondering is, what do I do with a pound of fresh hops?

-How long will they stay fresh.
-I want to use them in one batch, but think I might be a bit over zealous.
-Will cascade hops be ok on their own, or should I pair them with another hop.
-Should I have picked more.

And a side question. What made me itch from picking hops. Think its the alpha acids, but it could just be the vines.
Title: Re: One pound of cascade hops.
Post by: hopfenundmalz on September 15, 2013, 12:11:45 PM
If you look at the amount of water you would lose drying those, you would end up with around 3.5 oz dried. How much you use depends on the beer and what you want.

The itching comes from the hairs in the bines, that scratch. Hops are like nettles in that respect.
Title: Re: One pound of cascade hops.
Post by: erockrph on September 15, 2013, 12:22:58 PM
My brothers co-worker, who doesn't brew, let me pick his Cascade hops plant today and I got a pound of them. He was disappointed I didn't take more, but I only brew once a month. I put them in the freezer to prevent oxidation.

What I am wondering is, what do I do with a pound of fresh hops?

-How long will they stay fresh.
-I want to use them in one batch, but think I might be a bit over zealous.
-Will cascade hops be ok on their own, or should I pair them with another hop.
-Should I have picked more.

And a side question. What made me itch from picking hops. Think its the alpha acids, but it could just be the vines.

I've never frozen fresh hops, but I think you're better off drying them first. If dried first, then they can be good for a few years vacuum sealed in the freezer.

A pound of fresh, wet hops is the equivalent of just over 3 ounces of dried hops. That is certainly a reasonable amount for a single batch of beer.

They'll be just fine on their own. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a classic example of a an all-Cascade brew. Plus, it's kind of cool to brew a beer using nothing but the hops you picked. You may want to consider using another hop for your bittering charge since there's no way to know what the AA% of these hops are without getting them tested.

Yes, you should have picked more if he was cool with it. There's no such thing as too much hops :)

I know some people that are allergic to hops, so it's possible that it was the hops themselves, but the bines can be kinda scratchy so it could have just been that. Do you start sneezing or get a stuffy/runny nose when you drink a really hoppy beer?
Title: Re: One pound of cascade hops.
Post by: hopfenundmalz on September 15, 2013, 12:42:59 PM
" Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a classic example of a an all-Cascade brew."

Got to point out that Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is bittered with Magnum and Perle, says so on the web site. You can verify if you wish.

Anchor Liberty is said to be all Cascade.
Title: Re: One pound of cascade hops.
Post by: erockrph on September 15, 2013, 01:10:28 PM
" Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a classic example of a an all-Cascade brew."

Got to point out that Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is bittered with Magnum and Perle, says so on the web site. You can verify if you wish.

I stand corrected. Fixed it.
Title: Re: One pound of cascade hops.
Post by: denny on September 15, 2013, 03:51:20 PM
As to how long they'll stay fresh, Ralph Olsen of Hop Union once said that hops will start to compost themselves within an hour.
Title: Re: One pound of cascade hops.
Post by: micah h on September 15, 2013, 03:56:53 PM
I will dry the hops. Was just concerned about oxidation. Any suggestions on how to dry hops. I assume it's just let them dry for two days. And I have no way to vacuum seal.

The kind of beer I am going for is pushing the lupulin limits.

Never had runny nose or sneezing by drinking a hoppy beer. But my dad had a lot more irritation from touching the plant than me. He said he wished he had someone he dislikes enough to fill their briefs with hops.

Denny posted when I was writing this. So should I not dry them?
Title: Re: One pound of cascade hops.
Post by: HoosierBrew on September 15, 2013, 04:25:24 PM
Honestly, with no way to vacuum seal, you can dry them but come brewing time I think you'll be disappointed with the hop quality.  What I would do is use all of them now, as in today if possible. Make an IPA, bitter it with something like Warrior (for clean bitterness) or Chinook (for a more coarse bitterness) and add those fresh hops incrementally over the last 15 minutes all the way down to flameout.
Title: Re: One pound of cascade hops.
Post by: BrewArk on September 15, 2013, 04:32:06 PM
If you are brewing today, use them fresh.  Otherwise, think about drying them.  Lay them flat as you can in a dry place out of the sun for a few days until they are dry, if you aren't sure, wait another day.
Title: Re: One pound of cascade hops.
Post by: micah h on September 15, 2013, 05:29:35 PM
Honestly, with no way to vacuum seal, you can dry them but come brewing time I think you'll be disappointed with the hop quality.  What I would do is use all of them now, as in today if possible. Make an IPA, bitter it with something like Warrior (for clean bitterness) or Chinook (for a more coarse bitterness) and add those fresh hops incrementally over the last 15 minutes all the way down to flameout.

A few days drying. I can find a way to vacuum seal em by then.

Thanks for all the help everyone.
Title: Re: One pound of cascade hops.
Post by: morticaixavier on September 15, 2013, 07:34:01 PM
Honestly, with no way to vacuum seal, you can dry them but come brewing time I think you'll be disappointed with the hop quality.  What I would do is use all of them now, as in today if possible. Make an IPA, bitter it with something like Warrior (for clean bitterness) or Chinook (for a more coarse bitterness) and add those fresh hops incrementally over the last 15 minutes all the way down to flameout.

A few days drying. I can find a way to vacuum seal em by then.

Thanks for all the help everyone.

It's funny to thing about all those centuries when people didn't have vacuum sealers and how the hops were always terrible.  ;D Dry them wrap them well in plastic and foil and freeze them and they will be fine for a year or more. If they start smelling cheesy then compost them but it's not really a big deal if you can't  vacuum pack them.
Title: Re: One pound of cascade hops.
Post by: denny on September 15, 2013, 07:42:50 PM
It's funny to thing about all those centuries when people didn't have vacuum sealers and how the hops were always terrible.  ;D Dry them wrap them well in plastic and foil and freeze them and they will be fine for a year or more. If they start smelling cheesy then compost them but it's not really a big deal if you can't  vacuum pack them.

It's really no different than thinking about all the infected beer people used to drink.  Tastes were different, there was nothing to compare it to, and stale, infected beer with cheesy hops was better than no beer at all.  I mean, some people think Moosehead and Corona are supposed to taste like that!
Title: Re: One pound of cascade hops.
Post by: morticaixavier on September 15, 2013, 07:48:20 PM
It's funny to thing about all those centuries when people didn't have vacuum sealers and how the hops were always terrible.  ;D Dry them wrap them well in plastic and foil and freeze them and they will be fine for a year or more. If they start smelling cheesy then compost them but it's not really a big deal if you can't  vacuum pack them.

It's really no different than thinking about all the infected beer people used to drink.  Tastes were different, there was nothing to compare it to, and stale, infected beer with cheesy hops was better than no beer at all.  I mean, some people think Moosehead and Corona are supposed to taste like that!

i'll grant you that but I will also say that there is a practical limit to how paranoid you need to get here. There is good evidence that without some oxidation hops will not develop all the flavour components we are after. Particularly the noble type hops. My point was more along the lines of relaxing a little. pick the hops dry them as gently as you can (This might take a few days, that's okay) and use them in a reasonable amount of time. If you can vacuum seal them then do. If you can't, remove as much air as you can and keep them as cold and dry as you can. It's not like hops turn to cheesy cardboard after a week or even a month. I regularly keep an open bag of hops in the freezer for a couple months wrapped in plastic then foil and have no problem. I just retired a bag of 1 year old amarillo that had been in a paper bag in a plastic bag in my freezer. They were cheesy but only slightly. They went in a bag with some 2009 harvest saaz I am using in lambic type beers.

**EDIT to add at least one reference, however iffy and singular**
"Noble “Spicy” — Hop growers throw the term “noble” around. Technically the term refers to a set of German and Czech hops, Hallertau, Tettnanger, Spalt, and Saaz. The noble hop character is spicy with additional complexity from oxidized oils and beta acids"

http://www.netplaces.com/home-brewing/hops-putting-the-bitter-in/not-all-bitterness-is-the-same.htm (http://www.netplaces.com/home-brewing/hops-putting-the-bitter-in/not-all-bitterness-is-the-same.htm)
Title: Re: One pound of cascade hops.
Post by: denny on September 15, 2013, 08:15:14 PM
If you need some 2006 Summit, let me know!
Title: Re: One pound of cascade hops.
Post by: HoosierBrew on September 15, 2013, 08:43:42 PM
It's funny to thing about all those centuries when people didn't have vacuum sealers and how the hops were always terrible.  ;D Dry them wrap them well in plastic and foil and freeze them and they will be fine for a year or more. If they start smelling cheesy then compost them but it's not really a big deal if you can't  vacuum pack them.

It's really no different than thinking about all the infected beer people used to drink.  Tastes were different, there was nothing to compare it to, and stale, infected beer with cheesy hops was better than no beer at all.  I mean, some people think Moosehead and Corona are supposed to taste like that!
+1
Title: Re: One pound of cascade hops.
Post by: erockrph on September 15, 2013, 10:02:35 PM
If you're going to use them within a month or two, then you should be able to keep them in a plain old ziploc bag in the freezer without a problem.

If you really want you can use the 2 bags and a straw method to get an OK vacuum. Put the hops in one bag and seal it most of the way leaving about a 1 inch opening. Stick this bag inside a second ziploc bag. Stick a straw in the outer bag, but outside the inner bag and seal the outer bag on the straw. Now suck as much air as you can out of the bag through the straw. While maintaining suction, seal the inner bag. Then pull out the straw and seal the outer bag. It's not a Foodsaver, but it will be passable for a while, especially at freezer temps.
Title: Re: One pound of cascade hops.
Post by: cornershot on September 16, 2013, 12:22:32 AM
If you already froze them wet, it may be too late. They'll turn to mush.
Title: Re: One pound of cascade hops.
Post by: klickitat jim on September 16, 2013, 12:50:22 AM
Harvested mine today. Got about three gallons. Not horrible for first year I guess. I put a box fan on a couple chairs, blowing down, then the hops on screens on top.  Hoping they'll be dry in a couple days. Probably going to brew with some Tuesday and vac seal the rest for later.
Title: Re: One pound of cascade hops.
Post by: micah h on September 16, 2013, 04:51:39 AM
If you already froze them wet, it may be too late. They'll turn to mush.

Oh well. Just part of the learning curve. I'll know in a few days. But I will be less surprised if mush happens.
Title: Re: One pound of cascade hops.
Post by: cornershot on September 16, 2013, 09:00:03 AM
You can pick more right? Wear long sleeves and gloves this time! :)
Title: Re: One pound of cascade hops.
Post by: klickitat jim on September 16, 2013, 09:01:26 PM
Overnight my hops were bone dry. Got them all vacuum packed. Ended up with just short of a pound. Going to make a home grown red tomorrow.
Title: Re: One pound of cascade hops.
Post by: micah h on September 16, 2013, 09:44:49 PM
I could see if the guy doesn't mind me picking more. Especially if I picked the bush clean for him and left what I don't want to use for his man cave potpourri.

That's some fast drying Klickitat. May hops are still a lil wet but firm and unmushy.
Title: Re: One pound of cascade hops.
Post by: hopfenundmalz on September 16, 2013, 10:36:44 PM
I could see if the guy doesn't mind me picking more. Especially if I picked the bush clean for him and left what I don't want to use for his man cave potpourri.

That's some fast drying Klickitat. May hops are still a lil wet but firm and unmushy.
It might be dry east of those mountains. Relative humidity is what, Jim?
Title: Re: One pound of cascade hops.
Post by: klickitat jim on September 16, 2013, 10:47:02 PM
Not sure yesterday but today is 40% and getting ready to rain.
Title: Re: One pound of cascade hops.
Post by: majorvices on September 20, 2013, 01:36:45 AM

If you already froze them wet, it may be too late. They'll turn to mush.

Yes. My understanding is you have to pick them and either dry them or use them within 24 hours wet. Freezing them is not advised.
Title: Re: One pound of cascade hops.
Post by: micah h on September 20, 2013, 09:03:07 AM

If you already froze them wet, it may be too late. They'll turn to mush.

Yes. My understanding is you have to pick them and either dry them or use them within 24 hours wet. Freezing them is not advised.

I froze them for about 16 hours and then brought them out and laid flat for three days drying.

They were very brown by the time they were dry, i would say a brown hop for every green hop. Still had a hop smell, and yellow at the base of the petals. Think I'll just scrap this batch and see if i can pick more.

I'm not asking Freud, but does size matter? I picked a lot of the larger hops last time. But the vine had lots more smaller hops on it.

I think as long as I look for the yellow base and stickiness of the base they should be good hops. Yet i still need to ask, does size matter?
Title: Re: One pound of cascade hops.
Post by: morticaixavier on September 20, 2013, 02:49:39 PM

If you already froze them wet, it may be too late. They'll turn to mush.

Yes. My understanding is you have to pick them and either dry them or use them within 24 hours wet. Freezing them is not advised.

I froze them for about 16 hours and then brought them out and laid flat for three days drying.

They were very brown by the time they were dry, i would say a brown hop for every green hop. Still had a hop smell, and yellow at the base of the petals. Think I'll just scrap this batch and see if i can pick more.

I'm not asking Freud, but does size matter? I picked a lot of the larger hops last time. But the vine had lots more smaller hops on it.

I think as long as I look for the yellow base and stickiness of the base they should be good hops. Yet i still need to ask, does size matter?

it might,

the smaller cones could be less mature so they would have a less strong flavor. They might just be slightly more stressed so they might actually have a more strong flavor.

The larger cones, if older, might have been oxidized slightly more on the bine which might either make them smell/taste better or smell/taste worse.

so I guess the answer is a definite maybe.