Author Topic: Hop storage at the LHBS  (Read 4041 times)

cornershot

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Hop storage at the LHBS
« 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.

Offline theDarkSide

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Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
« Reply #1 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.
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Offline Jimmy K

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Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
« Reply #2 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?
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cornershot

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Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
« Reply #3 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.

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
« Reply #4 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.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
« Reply #5 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.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
« Reply #6 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.
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Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
« Reply #7 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 $$.
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cornershot

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Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
« Reply #8 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.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
« Reply #9 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.
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cornershot

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Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
« Reply #10 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.

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Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
« Reply #11 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.
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cornershot

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Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
« Reply #12 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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Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2013, 04:48:01 AM »
Wonder if they mislabeled some Summit

Offline beersk

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Re: Hop storage at the LHBS
« Reply #14 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?
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