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General Category => Ingredients => Topic started by: cornershot on December 18, 2013, 12:35:23 pm

Title: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: cornershot on December 18, 2013, 12:35:23 pm
My LHBS has a great selection of hops, mostly from Hop Union. However, they are stored at room temperature. As I understand it, the most important factor in keeping hops fresh is keeping them cold. The store has a fairly good turnaround on ingredients. But I know some varieties may sit there for months. Some of the one pound packages may be there even longer. Is this a great concern as far as freshness goes? I can't seem to find any markings on Hop Union's packaging to indicate what year they are from.
Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: theDarkSide on December 18, 2013, 01:34:15 pm
I would think it would be an issue.  The only thing that may help is how they are sealed ( airtight, nitrogen flushed, etc).

I buy my hops in bulk from either www.nikobrew.com or www.hopsdirect.com and then store them in my freezer.  I'm not sure I'd go with hops stored at room temperature for months.
Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: Jimmy K on December 18, 2013, 01:59:44 pm
Mine has bulk hops stored in a freezer that can be measured to order. And the same pre-packaged hops you're talking about at room temperature. I've been wondering if the shelf life is OK because of the packaging. Maybe someone at hopunion can answer that?
Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: cornershot on December 18, 2013, 02:30:34 pm
Mine has bulk hops stored in a freezer that can be measured to order. And the same pre-packaged hops you're talking about at room temperature. I've been wondering if the shelf life is OK because of the packaging. Maybe someone at hopunion can answer that?
According to Hop Union, the two most important variables are heat exposure and oxidation. And: hops should be stored in a cold, airtight environment to ensure optimum freshness and quality. According to Charlie Bamforth, staling reactions in beer are greatly increased as temperature goes up (can't remember the exact numbers). Not sure exactly how this applies to  hops but I'm sure the higher temperature must have some effect. The hops smell good coming from a freshly-opened package, but I can't help but wonder if they could be better.
Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on December 18, 2013, 02:50:30 pm
Two great makers for the quality of a homebrew shop is how they store their raw materials and how fast they turn over their raw stock.

I LOVE the individually packaged hops from Hop Union - I wished more Homebrew Shops carried them.

HopUnion suggests storing unopened packs in the refrigerator. The HOPS book goes into great detail on the degradation of hops at certain temps in certain packaging. Bottom line - hops should be refrigerated, especially by a LHBS, who aims to teach new brewers how to care for their equipment and ingredients.
Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: hopfenundmalz on December 18, 2013, 02:51:56 pm
Mine has bulk hops stored in a freezer that can be measured to order. And the same pre-packaged hops you're talking about at room temperature. I've been wondering if the shelf life is OK because of the packaging. Maybe someone at hopunion can answer that?
According to Hop Union, the two most important variables are heat exposure and oxidation. And: hops should be stored in a cold, airtight environment to ensure optimum freshness and quality. According to Charlie Bamforth, staling reactions in beer are greatly increased as temperature goes up (can't remember the exact numbers). Not sure exactly how this applies to  hops but I'm sure the higher temperature must have some effect. The hops smell good coming from a freshly-opened package, but I can't help but wonder if they could be better.
It is the Arrhenius equation that says that for every +10C the reaction rate doubles, or a little more than doubles. So hot hops degrade faster.
Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: Joe Sr. on December 18, 2013, 03:04:18 pm
I'd call them out on that.  I've never seen a shop store their hops at room temp, although the number of shops I've actually been to is limited.

My hops stay in the freezer except when I take them out on brew day.
Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: HoosierBrew on December 18, 2013, 03:23:01 pm
I'd call them out on that.  I've never seen a shop store their hops at room temp, although the number of shops I've actually been to is limited.

My hops stay in the freezer except when I take them out on brew day.

+1.  Never seen that either. They wouldn't get my $$.
Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: cornershot on December 18, 2013, 03:33:30 pm
I'd call them out on that.  I've never seen a shop store their hops at room temp, although the number of shops I've actually been to is limited.

My hops stay in the freezer except when I take them out on brew day.
My hops live in the freezer as well, but what's the point if they were stored warm for months? Maybe it's time to buy in bulk from a hop supplier.
I have mentioned his storage before but it seems to fall on deaf ears. He recently expanded his shop and put a LOT of money into it so, perhaps there's nothing left in the budget for a dedicated hop cooler. But at $2.50-3.50 per ounce and $20-28 per pound, I would expect them to be better taken care of.
Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: Joe Sr. on December 18, 2013, 03:36:52 pm
My hops live in the freezer as well, but what's the point if they were stored warm for months?

Agreed.  I didn't mean to suggest otherwise.

I'm actually sort of paranoid about the length of time they're out on brew day.  I pull them out, measure what I need, re-vac seal the bag and put it in the freezer.  I also try to weigh out the 1 lb bags into ounce or two ounce packages so that I don't continuously handle hops that I'm not brewing with.
Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: cornershot on December 18, 2013, 03:52:25 pm
My hops live in the freezer as well, but what's the point if they were stored warm for months?

Agreed.  I didn't mean to suggest otherwise.

I'm actually sort of paranoid about the length of time they're out on brew day.  I pull them out, measure what I need, re-vac seal the bag and put it in the freezer.  I also try to weigh out the 1 lb bags into ounce or two ounce packages so that I don't continuously handle hops that I'm not brewing with.
Didn't take it otherwise... it just seems like I am paying top dollar for, and putting the utmost care into, less than fresh hops. And that is frustrating.
I'm also paranoid about the length of time hops are out on brew day. I use mostly pellets and I keep mine in 4 ounce portions, in mason jars, flushed with CO2.
Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: beersk on December 18, 2013, 09:29:50 pm
A drug store that carries some homebrewing supplies near me also has their hops unrefrigerated at room temp. It's not good. I don't buy from them. Just the random pound of specialty malt if I need it. They have their dry yeast out as well next to the hops. Also not good.
Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: cornershot on December 18, 2013, 11:00:36 pm
I don't brew a lot of hoppy beers but lately I've really been craving some hoppy goodness. I brewed a pale ale and an IPA and they both had that onion/garlic thing. I blamed it on Apollo hops and moved on. Well I just kegged another IPA hopped with Horizon at 60 minutes. Then Citra, simcoe, centennial, and columbus at flame out and steeped 20 minutes. Dry hopped with the same in very clear beer for 3 days at 65f. Well I just had my first sample and it has the garlic/onion thing again. This really sucks. The common hops in all 3 beers were centennial and simcoe, which came from 1 pound packages. All other hops came from 1 ounce packages. Could this garlic/onion flavor be coming from improperly stored hops? I have a DIPA in primary. If it has the g/o thing I think I might cry.

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Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: klickitat jim on December 19, 2013, 04:48:01 am
Wonder if they mislabeled some Summit
Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: beersk on December 19, 2013, 01:39:40 pm
I've never gotten onion/garlic from centennial or simcoe. That's interesting...
These were hops you bought that were sitting out on the shelf?
Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: HoosierBrew on December 19, 2013, 01:47:16 pm
Centennial is one of the most consistent hops I've ever used.  Haven't gotten that from Simcoe either.  Thinking the warm storage could be the culprit.
Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: dkfick on December 19, 2013, 07:14:04 pm
I wouldn't purchase hops not stored cold.  Nor would I purchase yeast not stored in a fridge.
Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: cornershot on December 19, 2013, 07:47:56 pm
I would think it would be an issue.  The only thing that may help is how they are sealed ( airtight, nitrogen flushed, etc).

I buy my hops in bulk from either www.nikobrew.com or www.hopsdirect.com and then store them in my freezer.  I'm not sure I'd go with hops stored at room temperature for months.
I think it's time to move toward buying my hops in bulk from suppliers like these. I assume they store their hops cold! :)
Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: dkfick on December 19, 2013, 07:50:32 pm
I would discuss it with your LHBS... Maybe they honestly don't know any better.  If they do know and choose not to believe/care then I would shop elsewhere.  Honestly even if the reason is they can't afford a cooler I would shop elsewhere... at least for hops.
Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: cornershot on December 20, 2013, 12:39:14 am
I would discuss it with your LHBS... Maybe they honestly don't know any better.  If they do know and choose not to believe/care then I would shop elsewhere.  Honestly even if the reason is they can't afford a cooler I would shop elsewhere... at least for hops.
I have mentioned it to him. He doesn't seem to think it's important enough to invest any money into. He's been absolutely awesome for the local brewing community and I want to support his business as much as I can but if it's gonna compromise the quality of my beer, that's where I gotta draw the line. Probably cheaper in the long run to buy several pounds at once...or more likely, I'll just end up tossing more hops in my beer. ;D
Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: dbarber on December 20, 2013, 02:09:12 pm
I stopped by this store once and while I wasn't buying hops at the time it shocked me that they were not storing their hops in a refrigerator.  I would never buy hops from a HBS that didn't store their hops cold.
Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: fmader on December 20, 2013, 03:05:06 pm
...or more likely, I'll just end up tossing more hops in my beer. ;D

Yeah I find it tough to not use the entire pound in an IPA once I open the bag. Lol
Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: cornershot on December 20, 2013, 04:22:02 pm
I stopped by this store once and while I wasn't buying hops at the time it shocked me that they were not storing their hops in a refrigerator.  I would never buy hops from a HBS that didn't store their hops cold.
So you know the store I speak of? For your location, can I assume your LHBS is Keystone Homebrew? The owner of my LHBS says he learned much of the business from your LHBS owner. Still much to learn, Grasshopper. Well, too late now. There's a bulk hop order in my near future. Should have some nice, fresh hops just in time to brew an IPA for War of the Worts.
 http://www.yakimavalleyhops.com/mobile/default.aspx looks like they have a great selection and pretty good prices.
Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: pinnah on December 20, 2013, 04:39:11 pm
I might recommend Freshops (http://www.freshops.com/cgi-bin/shopper.cgi?search=action&category=HOPS&keywords=all&template=PDGCommTemplates/hops.html) as well if you don't want to buy full or even half pounds.  Whole hops only however. 

IMO, all LHBS should have hops in the cooler at a minimum.
Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: dbarber on December 20, 2013, 08:06:34 pm
I stopped by this store once and while I wasn't buying hops at the time it shocked me that they were not storing their hops in a refrigerator.  I would never buy hops from a HBS that didn't store their hops cold.
So you know the store I speak of? For your location, can I assume your LHBS is Keystone Homebrew? The owner of my LHBS says he learned much of the business from your LHBS owner. Still much to learn, Grasshopper. Well, too late now. There's a bulk hop order in my near future. Should have some nice, fresh hops just in time to brew an IPA for War of the Worts.
 http://www.yakimavalleyhops.com/mobile/default.aspx looks like they have a great selection and pretty good prices.

Yes, my LHBS is Keystone, but I usually buy my hops in bulk either from Freshops or Hopsdirect.
Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: HoosierBrew on December 20, 2013, 08:10:47 pm
I stopped by this store once and while I wasn't buying hops at the time it shocked me that they were not storing their hops in a refrigerator.  I would never buy hops from a HBS that didn't store their hops cold.
So you know the store I speak of? For your location, can I assume your LHBS is Keystone Homebrew? The owner of my LHBS says he learned much of the business from your LHBS owner. Still much to learn, Grasshopper. Well, too late now. There's a bulk hop order in my near future. Should have some nice, fresh hops just in time to brew an IPA for War of the Worts.
 http://www.yakimavalleyhops.com/mobile/default.aspx looks like they have a great selection and pretty good prices.

+1 to yakimavalleyhops. Great selection, good prices.
Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: Joe Sr. on December 20, 2013, 09:08:52 pm
Yes, my LHBS is Keystone, but I usually buy my hops in bulk either from Freshops or Hopsdirect.

I know it's not buying local, but I do the same as you.  My hops come in bulk in the mail and I try to pick up the rest at the LHBS.  If I need specific hops or a small amount of something I don't have, I'll get a few ounces at the LHBS.

They must think I make beer with no hops.

If they care so little to store their hops warm, I'd find somewhere else to shop.  It makes me worried about what else their doing or not doing.
Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: klickitat jim on December 20, 2013, 09:31:27 pm
When you buy Yakima hops you are buying local for a few of us
Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: chinaski on December 21, 2013, 09:55:06 pm
I would discuss it with your LHBS... Maybe they honestly don't know any better.  If they do know and choose not to believe/care then I would shop elsewhere.  Honestly even if the reason is they can't afford a cooler I would shop elsewhere... at least for hops.
I have mentioned it to him. He doesn't seem to think it's important enough to invest any money into. He's been absolutely awesome for the local brewing community and I want to support his business as much as I can but if it's gonna compromise the quality of my beer, that's where I gotta draw the line. Probably cheaper in the long run to buy several pounds at once...or more likely, I'll just end up tossing more hops in my beer. ;D
My LHBS is very worthy of support also, but I don't buy hops from them for somewhat similar reasons.  I get some things from them, some from other vendors and I'm sure they know that many customers do this.  I think they do a really good job on the whole, and serve the beginning brewers moreso than us seasoned ones.  If they can run a successful business without doing everything the way I'd do it- so be it.
Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: 69franx on December 22, 2013, 03:23:04 am
I feel very lucky that all 3 LHBS' that I have done business with all keep their hops refrigerated. 2 with small beverage style coolers with sliding doors and the third has that as well as a restaurant quality walk in cooler full of 1oz packs from Hop union of dozens of varieties. I'm new to brewing(6 batches) but I would not shop from a store that doesn't listen to a customer with concerns, no matter what the topic! Hats off to Listermann's, Paradise, and The Grape and Granary!
Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: mugwort on December 26, 2013, 08:28:52 pm
I don't brew a lot of hoppy beers but lately I've really been craving some hoppy goodness. I brewed a pale ale and an IPA and they both had that onion/garlic thing. I blamed it on Apollo hops and moved on. Well I just kegged another IPA hopped with Horizon at 60 minutes. Then Citra, simcoe, centennial, and columbus at flame out and steeped 20 minutes. Dry hopped with the same in very clear beer for 3 days at 65f. Well I just had my first sample and it has the garlic/onion thing again. This really sucks. The common hops in all 3 beers were centennial and simcoe, which came from 1 pound packages. All other hops came from 1 ounce packages. Could this garlic/onion flavor be coming from improperly stored hops? I have a DIPA in primary. If it has the g/o thing I think I might cry.

Just wondering if you have your water dialed in for IPA.

I was getting odd off-flavors in my IPA's that I couldn't place before I began to adjust my water properly.
Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: cornershot on December 27, 2013, 03:24:48 pm
I don't brew a lot of hoppy beers but lately I've really been craving some hoppy goodness. I brewed a pale ale and an IPA and they both had that onion/garlic thing. I blamed it on Apollo hops and moved on. Well I just kegged another IPA hopped with Horizon at 60 minutes. Then Citra, simcoe, centennial, and columbus at flame out and steeped 20 minutes. Dry hopped with the same in very clear beer for 3 days at 65f. Well I just had my first sample and it has the garlic/onion thing again. This really sucks. The common hops in all 3 beers were centennial and simcoe, which came from 1 pound packages. All other hops came from 1 ounce packages. Could this garlic/onion flavor be coming from improperly stored hops? I have a DIPA in primary. If it has the g/o thing I think I might cry.

Just wondering if you have your water dialed in for IPA.

I was getting odd off-flavors in my IPA's that I couldn't place before I began to adjust my water properly.
I use RO water and add about 2g of baking soda, 0-2g calcium chloride, and gypsum to get 250-300ppm sulfate. Not sure of the exact numbers at the moment.
Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: Jeff M on December 28, 2013, 04:07:11 am
Your Garlic/onion issues is listed on my Beer flavor/odor wheel.  Onion smells are listed as a sulfur component.  Most sulfur issues in beer are either a yeast/fermentation issue or an Infection issue.  I doubt its related to your hops but i suppose anything is possible.  Id start looking for an infection in your cold side equipment and reexamine your fermentation time table/temps.

Possible issues

Not long enough for yeast to clean up fermentation byproducts. (H2S)
Fermentation temp to hot/cold (H2S)
Boil kettle being covered during boil (DMS)
Infection(NFC)

What Yeasts are you using to ferment your IPA's?  Ferm temps and how long in what vessel?

Are these beers in kegs?  After some googling different sulfur issues ive read that you can force carb them and then burp the kegs to have the CO2 "carry"  the unwanted smells out of your beer.

Good luck Man, hope it works out for you!

Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: erockrph on December 28, 2013, 02:01:05 pm
Your Garlic/onion issues is listed on my Beer flavor/odor wheel.  Onion smells are listed as a sulfur component.  Most sulfur issues in beer are either a yeast/fermentation issue or an Infection issue.  I doubt its related to your hops but i suppose anything is possible. 

I'm guessing you haven't brewed with a lot of Summit. It tastes like tangerines and onion rings with a side of Asiago. Sulfur (I.e., eggs) is typically from yeast, but onion/garlic is typically from hops. Supposedly harvest timing and conditions play a big role in whether hops give this onion character.
Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: hopfenundmalz on December 28, 2013, 02:20:49 pm
Your Garlic/onion issues is listed on my Beer flavor/odor wheel.  Onion smells are listed as a sulfur component.  Most sulfur issues in beer are either a yeast/fermentation issue or an Infection issue.  I doubt its related to your hops but i suppose anything is possible.  Id start looking for an infection in your cold side equipment and reexamine your fermentation time table/temps.

Possible issues

Not long enough for yeast to clean up fermentation byproducts. (H2S)
Fermentation temp to hot/cold (H2S)
Boil kettle being covered during boil (DMS)
Infection(NFC)

What Yeasts are you using to ferment your IPA's?  Ferm temps and how long in what vessel?

Are these beers in kegs?  After some googling different sulfur issues ive read that you can force carb them and then burp the kegs to have the CO2 "carry"  the unwanted smells out of your beer.

Good luck Man, hope it works out for you!
Hops can give the beer a garlic-onion aroma, IIRC it is a trimethyl sulfide that does this. Summit is know for this aroma, along with some other hops. Late harvest is said to influence the level.

I agree that your could vent the keg a few times and reduce it.

Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: Jeff M on December 28, 2013, 02:58:32 pm
Your Garlic/onion issues is listed on my Beer flavor/odor wheel.  Onion smells are listed as a sulfur component.  Most sulfur issues in beer are either a yeast/fermentation issue or an Infection issue.  I doubt its related to your hops but i suppose anything is possible. 

I'm guessing you haven't brewed with a lot of Summit. It tastes like tangerines and onion rings with a side of Asiago. Sulfur (I.e., eggs) is typically from yeast, but onion/garlic is typically from hops. Supposedly harvest timing and conditions play a big role in whether hops give this onion character.

Correct, ive been more focused learning the science behind brewing since i started brewing 18 months ago.  i figure experience with ingredients(aka the art side to me) will come with experience:)  Just trying to proactively help OP.  Ive read other posts while using google to troubleshoot that had the end result being one of those issues.
Title: Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
Post by: cornershot on December 29, 2013, 07:34:18 pm
Your Garlic/onion issues is listed on my Beer flavor/odor wheel.  Onion smells are listed as a sulfur component.  Most sulfur issues in beer are either a yeast/fermentation issue or an Infection issue.  I doubt its related to your hops but i suppose anything is possible.  Id start looking for an infection in your cold side equipment and reexamine your fermentation time table/temps.

Possible issues

Not long enough for yeast to clean up fermentation byproducts. (H2S)
Fermentation temp to hot/cold (H2S)
Boil kettle being covered during boil (DMS)
Infection(NFC)

What Yeasts are you using to ferment your IPA's?  Ferm temps and how long in what vessel?

Are these beers in kegs?  After some googling different sulfur issues ive read that you can force carb them and then burp the kegs to have the CO2 "carry"  the unwanted smells out of your beer.

Good luck Man, hope it works out for you!
Jeff M, thanks for the insight. It's never a bad idea to review one's process when there's an issue.
I have been using 1056 or wlp090 for my APA/IPA. I ferment at 65-67f and raise the temperature to ~72 when fermentation activity begins to slow after about a week. It's held at this temperature for another 7-10 days to allow the yeast to fully attenuate and clean up. When it tastes right, I drop the temperature to 32f over a couple days and then add gelatin to clear for a couple days. The beer is then allowed to warm to 60+ and dry hops are added. After another 2-3 days it is kegged and slow-carbed for a week before serving.
I believe my sanitation is adequate. I only get this g/o issue with certain hops.
Burping the sulphur from keg is a good tip. I will try that.

Erockrph, I love the tangerine and onion rings with a side of asiago description for Summit. That's spot on for my experience with it. Although I have had very good commercial beers with Summit that were just tangerine with a hint of asiago and no onion.