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?