Author Topic: To stock up on "high demand" hops or not?  (Read 2021 times)

Offline fmader

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To stock up on "high demand" hops or not?
« on: December 01, 2013, 06:07:09 PM »
Around this time last year was when I really started getting serious in creating my own recipes. Also was when I started buying bulk supplies. When I saw when high demand hops (Amarillo, Simcoe, Citra, etc.) I bought two or three pounds of each to throw in the hop freezer. It seemed like they were really hard to come by through May or June, and then they started resurfacing towards a steady supply just about anywhere. Granted I took about four months off from brewing last year, but I'm sitting on three pounds of 2012 Simcoe, two pounds of 2012 Amarillo, and pounds of various other 2012 hops. Now, all of these hops are either shrink wrapped or still in a nitrogen flushed Hop Union bag, so they will get used this year.

I pre-ordered from Label Peelers and have received 1 pound of each Citra, Centennial, and Mosaic 2013 crops. I think this is all of the rush shopping on hops that I am going to do this year. I am going to assume that this nature of resurfacing of hops is consistent from year to year and mark last year down as a lesson learned.

In addition...... Looks like I am going to have to brew some Simcoe heavy IPA's soon  8)
Frank

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: To stock up on "high demand" hops or not?
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2013, 06:54:45 PM »
Not necessarily a bad problem to have!  It is a lot of hops, but I'm sure you'll make the best of it  ;)
Jon H.

Offline fmader

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Re: To stock up on "high demand" hops or not?
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2013, 07:08:36 PM »
Not necessarily a bad problem to have!  It is a lot of hops, but I'm sure you'll make the best of it  ;)

No...Definitely not a problem to have and they'll be used up. I'm just not going to spend a small fortune on hops in December, January, February, and March this year and just worry about buying them later in the season when I actually need them, because they seem to be available in the summer after the mad rush to get them. I'm sure Furbies sold out on Black Friday and will be hard to get through Christmas, but there will be plenty available come January.

I just come to this realization today when I went out to the garage and took inventory of that freezer. I have a butt load of hops and 6 lbs of thick cut bacon from the butcher.... Hops and bacon... does it get any better than that?
Frank

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: To stock up on "high demand" hops or not?
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2013, 07:11:42 PM »
I have one and a half fridge freezers full of hops. I have been successful in not buying more this fall. If I need anything it will be what I need for a certain beer, bought at the LHBS.

Sometimes buying in bulk can be a false economy if you don't use those hops up in a semi-timely fashion.
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Offline fmader

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Re: To stock up on "high demand" hops or not?
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2013, 07:18:06 PM »
I have one and a half fridge freezers full of hops. I have been successful in not buying more this fall. If I need anything it will be what I need for a certain beer, bought at the LHBS.

Sometimes buying in bulk can be a false economy if you don't use those hops up in a semi-timely fashion.

This is my plan.
Frank

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: To stock up on "high demand" hops or not?
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2013, 07:22:13 PM »
Not necessarily a bad problem to have!  It is a lot of hops, but I'm sure you'll make the best of it  ;)

No...Definitely not a problem to have and they'll be used up. I'm just not going to spend a small fortune on hops in December, January, February, and March this year and just worry about buying them later in the season when I actually need them, because they seem to be available in the summer after the mad rush to get them. I'm sure Furbies sold out on Black Friday and will be hard to get through Christmas, but there will be plenty available come January.

I just come to this realization today when I went out to the garage and took inventory of that freezer. I have a butt load of hops and 6 lbs of thick cut bacon from the butcher.... Hops and bacon... does it get any better than that?

Not much !  Yeah, buying hops is a crap shoot. The newer, sought after varieties can be hard to find for sure, so it's good to get some in bulk when you can. I try to do it in moderation, but when the right deal presents itself it's tough to ignore. My LHBS has a great selection and can be counted on to have the "C" hops on hand at any time (maybe except for Citra, but they usually have it). So I try to stockpile some of the tougher ones to get, but not be sitting on too many at the end of the year. It's a fine line !
Jon H.

Offline fmader

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Re: To stock up on "high demand" hops or not?
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2013, 07:28:38 PM »
Understood. I had planned on brewing 30 batches this year but will end up with 20. I took four months off of brewing to finish up grad school. 4 months is easily 8 to 10 batches for me, so that may explain the excess hops. You've seen my IPA recipes, Jon, I won't have an issue burning through them rather quickly!
Frank

Offline denny

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Re: To stock up on "high demand" hops or not?
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2013, 07:29:19 PM »
Be careful about overstocking.  Several (or more) years back when there was a hop shortage looming, I went way heavy on my orders as a hedge against future unavailability.  All were vacuum sealed and kept frozen.  Last month I tossed about 8 lb. of hops that I paid dearly for, but were 7-8 years old.  They were just plain funky.  I kept trying to use them and making beers that were definitely sub par.  I finally decided to bite the bullet and toss 'em rather than continue making beers I had to force down.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: To stock up on "high demand" hops or not?
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2013, 07:42:49 PM »
But that's a nice variety you have there. Lots of good combos possible.
Jon H.

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: To stock up on "high demand" hops or not?
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2013, 07:59:34 PM »
Be careful about overstocking.  Several (or more) years back when there was a hop shortage looming, I went way heavy on my orders as a hedge against future unavailability.  All were vacuum sealed and kept frozen.  Last month I tossed about 8 lb. of hops that I paid dearly for, but were 7-8 years old.  They were just plain funky.  I kept trying to use them and making beers that were definitely sub par.  I finally decided to bite the bullet and toss 'em rather than continue making beers I had to force down.

I was going to mention this too.  I didn't put as many in the freezer as Denny.  I was able to use what I had stockpiled in about 2 years but those last beers were some rather strange hop combinations while trying to use up what I had in stock.  And there were no surprisingly fabulous combos I never would have thought of or that I would use again.

I brew less now than I did then.  I still think about laying in some 1lb bags in the Fall and then talk myself out of it.

Paul
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Offline fmader

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Re: To stock up on "high demand" hops or not?
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2013, 08:18:35 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions. I just counted. I have 18-20 pounds. Most of which are solid finishing hops, which I have no doubt will be used up without any issue in 2014. My mistake was when I bought pounds of Nugget, Warrior, Galena, and Summit. I will never use up those bittering hops before they go south. I think I will buy bittering hops on an "as needed" basis from now on.
Frank

Offline speed

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Re: To stock up on "high demand" hops or not?
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2013, 09:52:55 PM »
I just threw out about  a lb. of centennial that went south on me. So much for saving money by buying in bulk.

Offline denny

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Re: To stock up on "high demand" hops or not?
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2013, 10:03:50 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions. I just counted. I have 18-20 pounds. Most of which are solid finishing hops, which I have no doubt will be used up without any issue in 2014. My mistake was when I bought pounds of Nugget, Warrior, Galena, and Summit. I will never use up those bittering hops before they go south. I think I will buy bittering hops on an "as needed" basis from now on.

At my height, I had about 30 lb. on hand.  I brew about 30 times a year, 5 gal. batches usually.
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: To stock up on "high demand" hops or not?
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2013, 02:46:41 AM »
What's the shelf life in a freezer?  I've had some Magnum for about a year now....

Dave
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Offline speed

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Re: To stock up on "high demand" hops or not?
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2013, 02:59:39 AM »
Magnum has a 'very good storage ' according to the book For the love of hops