Author Topic: Hop quality question  (Read 1983 times)

Offline euge

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Hop quality question
« on: December 12, 2011, 02:53:01 PM »
I'm about to brew a hefe-weizen and have a choice in hops. I have two types of hops: 5oz of 4.8AA Mt Hood whole hops and 2oz of 4.3AA German Hallertau pellets.

The pellets were from the LHBS last week. The whole hops have been in my freezer since 2008. ::) I've used them in multiple Kolsch batches earlier this year. However they have been in a ziplock bag for months with no vacuum. The smell isn't as intense to me. Should I double up on the MH and get rid of them now?

Or toss these old hops out and just use the pellets?
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Hop quality question
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2011, 03:10:04 PM »
Given it's a hefe and you shouldn't get any hop flavour or aroma in that style (I am assuming german hefe) I would go with the mt hood, calculate approximate AA degredation and adjust amount accordingly. as long at they don't smell bad that is.
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Offline euge

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Re: Hop quality question
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2011, 03:13:28 PM »
Given it's a hefe and you shouldn't get any hop flavour or aroma in that style (I am assuming german hefe) I would go with the mt hood, calculate approximate AA degredation and adjust amount accordingly. as long at they don't smell bad that is.

How is that calculated?
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Hop quality question
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2011, 03:16:02 PM »
Give them a rub and smell.  If they don't smell bad, use them.  If they are a little cheesy, toss them.  Reading the post, I was saying no problem at 2 years in vacuum, until I read the couple months in a ZipLoc.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Hop quality question
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2011, 03:21:24 PM »
Given it's a hefe and you shouldn't get any hop flavour or aroma in that style (I am assuming german hefe) I would go with the mt hood, calculate approximate AA degredation and adjust amount accordingly. as long at they don't smell bad that is.

How is that calculated?

I know beersmith will do it for you automatically but to do it manually...

well I know hops are rated on their storageability (Is that a word?) and I think there are basic ROT percentages per year/month sort of values assigned but I am not sure where you would get that info. as hopfenundmalz says though. if there is any unsavouryness to the hops chuck 'em. or put them in a paper bag above your kitchen stove and brew a lambic in a year or so. ;D
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Offline euge

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Re: Hop quality question
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2011, 03:37:37 PM »
Give them a rub and smell.  If they don't smell bad, use them.  If they are a little cheesy, toss them.  Reading the post, I was saying no problem at 2 years in vacuum, until I read the couple months in a ZipLoc.

Gave them a crushing rub and stuck my nose in em Jim Koch style! ;D

They smell lightly spicy and not very pungent opposed to a freshly opened bag of hops. No rankness or funky smells- just not a lot there for an aroma hop. I calculated them as 1AA and get 20 IBU for 5oz@45 which is the max for that style. Not that I'm opposed to more bitterness just don't want harshness.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Hop quality question
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2011, 04:55:39 PM »
Don't aim for the max bitterness indicated for the style.  The bittering for a hefe is very restrained.  I suggest aiming for around 10 or 11 IBUs (Rager calc). 

Don't worry about the intensity or aromatics of the aroma as mentioned above.  Only worry if they have off or cheesy aroma.  If the hops were stored in a freezer, the alpha loss is pretty moderate.  Those formulas do include a storage temp adjustment.  I'm not really in agreement with them when the storage temperature is below freezing and the hops are in metallized mylar bags.  I think that the alpha survives better than what is indicated in the formula.  For that reason, I would be very cautious with the degradation formula.  It will indicate the hops have no punch and then you brew with them and you have tossed in a bunch more hops based on the calculation that they have little bittering potential.   You could end up overbittered and this style cannot tolerate excessive bittering. 

Pellets will ALWAYS store better than whole hops and it appears that they are not that old in the first place.  I would use the pellets at their rated alpha unless you did not store them in the freezer.
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Offline euge

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Re: Hop quality question
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2011, 05:38:58 PM »
Hmm food for thought Martin. I'm heating the water right now. I'll compromise with you and use 2oz of the whole hops in a coarse mesh bag calculated at 3AA for bittering at 45. I didn't get much out of them for the kolsches brewed in March but I used them for aroma. It leaves me some for another batch.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline euge

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Re: Hop quality question
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2012, 06:44:12 PM »
I bottled six gallons up on Sunday. Drinking today.

To report back- the Hefe-weizen isn't too bitter- close though and there's just the right amount of phenols and esters. I'm patting myself on the back. It ain't Paulaner but damn I'm happy with this beer.

So to err with caution I might cut back to 1.5 oz in the bag. I think these old hops got some life in them yet.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline euge

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Re: Hop quality question
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2012, 11:59:54 PM »
I finished up that batch and decided that while it was good it was far too bitter. So brewed another with only 1 oz of the hops.

And I changed the yeast and used Danstar Munich. Wow. This is probably one of my best Hefe's yet! Spot on.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman