Author Topic: Hops - how much does heat affect them?  (Read 587 times)

Offline mroakley

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Hops - how much does heat affect them?
« on: August 09, 2010, 01:16:44 PM »
As it turns out my chest freezer has been off for the last three weeks.  I've got a few pounds of assorted hops vacuum sealed inside.  Ambient temps over the last three weeks averaged in the low 80s.  What are the odds these hops are still suitable for use?

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Hops - how much does heat affect them?
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2010, 01:28:16 PM »
Get them cold again ASAP.  The only way to know for sure is to open them up and smell them.  It's possible they've lost some alpha acids, but they could still be used for late hops as long as they smell good.  Or you could do some test batches to estimate where the alpha acid level is, it all depends on how much you have and how much trouble you want to go through.
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Offline alemental

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Re: Hops - how much does heat affect them?
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2010, 01:40:51 PM »
I would suspect that the oxygen level is more critical than the temperature. Warm temps mostly allow oxygen to work faster. Also, the temp in your unplugged freezer would presumably just be room temp.
Again, you probably lost a little hop life, but I wouldn't toss them or anything silly like that!

Offline alikocho

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Re: Hops - how much does heat affect them?
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2010, 02:12:15 PM »
If they're sealed in nongas-permeable bags, the harm is probably limited. Heat AND oxygen are the real problem (although they are both a problem in their own right to some extent).  Even if they have lost some alpha, supposedly this balances out with the rise in beta acid as alpha deteriorates. You're most likely to have lost aroma from the more volatile oils through heat, but again if the packs are sealed they should still be present to some extent (think distilling).
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Offline mroakley

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Re: Hops - how much does heat affect them?
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2010, 09:00:32 AM »
Thanks for the replies guys.