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Old 07-01-2008, 02:07 PM   #1
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Default Is There a Way to Check if Hops are Aged Enough for Lambic?

This is probably a stupid question (stupid because the answer is probably "nay-nay"), but...at least a year ago the friend who got me into brewing and donated a lot of my current brew setup to me awhile back, came over with a box full of old ingredients. That included tons of hops, some were plugs in the original wrapper, others were loose leaf hops not sealed or anything, just in the original freshops bag with a rubber band around it. Now, he had gotten them from some guy awhile back who wasn't brewing anymore, and then gave them to me, and now I've had them for a year. Problem is, since they've changed hands so many times, I've got no way of knowing when these things were originally purchased. I've used some of the plugs for stuff like mash hopping IPA's, etc., but I still have a ton of loose leaf amarillo and styrian goldings. I know they've gotta be at least a couple years old, probably more. They don't smell cheesy, and they're not terribly pungent.

So is there any way to verify their usage for Lambic? Or, after this long with substandard storage and no cheesy smell, is it pretty much a given that they're fine for this purpose?



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Old 07-01-2008, 02:09 PM   #2
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I thought they were supposed to be "cheesy" for a Lambic. IIRC, I read somewhere that some brewers age their hops for up to 3 years.



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Old 07-01-2008, 02:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GilaMinumBeer View Post
I thought they were supposed to be "cheesy" for a Lambic. IIRC, I read somewhere that some brewers age their hops for up to 3 years.
Yeah, they go through a cheesy stage in the aging process, but if they stay cheesy, then they're no good.
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XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
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Old 07-01-2008, 02:16 PM   #4
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Sounds like they're where they want to be. Landhoney (or, as someone referred to him recently, Honeylady) would probably know for certain, but it sounds like they're past the cheese stage.

How about boiling some up with a small amount of extract and seeing if there's any flavor/bitterness extracted? Do an experimental batch (or use that for starter wort) before taking any chances with the lambic.

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