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Old 05-07-2010, 04:50 AM   #11
SumnerH
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Originally Posted by Schnitzengiggle View Post
Ziplocks, and other similar bags are oxygen permeable, I would think that the freezer bags would be slightly better, but more than likely are o2 permeable as well.

If you can smell the hops through the bag then they are not oxygen barrier. o2 will slowly be permeating through the plastic which over time will stale your hops.

Storing them in the freezer will help to keep them longer, but those bags will definitely oxidize your hops over time.

The absolute best way to store your hops would be in vacuum sealed mason jars. Food Saver makes a jar adapter that will suck the air out of the jars with the lid on. Oxygen cannot permeate through glass, and the seals on the jars are designed so that o2 cannot get in (designed for canning).
Also, you buy them once (it's like $10 for 12 1 qt mason jars on amazon) and never have to buy them again, and it's a lot easier just to use the jars repeatedly than to futz with lots of bags.

Vacuum sealed mason jars is not only the right thing to do, but it's also the cheap and easy thing to do IMO. I love it when right, cheap, and easy coincide!

If that's not enough, mason jars are versatile--see the yeast washing thread and save that much more money.
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Old 05-07-2010, 09:54 AM   #12
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What about using 1/2 pint mason jars and just placing them into boiling water (about 3/4 of the way up the side of the jar) and putting the lid on. Doesnt that suck all the air out and create a vacuum tight seal? With the 1/2 pint jars I have they are only like 3 inches high so I would only need to boil like 1.5 inches of water.

Should this work?

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Old 05-07-2010, 11:55 AM   #13
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That's a lot of work for something a foodsaver can do in 10 seconds. Time is money...
I think it sounds like it may take longer than it actually does. I buy in 4 oz bags and it takes me about two minutes to break that up into four bags, have it sealed and get it in the freezer.

I do see what your saying and if I had the cash I certainly would be using a foodsaver.
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Old 05-07-2010, 01:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schnitzengiggle View Post
Ziplocks, and other similar bags are oxygen permeable, I would think that the freezer bags would be slightly better, but more than likely are o2 permeable as well.

If you can smell the hops through the bag then they are not oxygen barrier. o2 will slowly be permeating through the plastic which over time will stale your hops.

Storing them in the freezer will help to keep them longer, but those bags will definitely oxidize your hops over time.

Again, I repeat what I said above. Hop degradation at 32 degrees is shown to be fairly close both in a vacuum and in a zip lock. Within about 1% AA.

The hops DO NOT go stale in a zip lock in the freezer. I have 8 different varieties that I use like this. I just used up Tett and hallertau that was 2008 crop. Held in plain, cheap ziplocks in the freezer.

Is it BETTER to use a vacuum? Yes, calculators show it to hold 1 to 1.5% more AA in a vacuum at similiar temps to just packing in a baggie. But is it necessary? No, it can be compensated for. Will you destroy your hops? No. Will they degrade in a few months? NO, you have plenty of time to use it up.
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Old 05-07-2010, 04:52 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by chefmike View Post
Again, I repeat what I said above. Hop degradation at 32 degrees is shown to be fairly close both in a vacuum and in a zip lock. Within about 1% AA.

The hops DO NOT go stale in a zip lock in the freezer. I have 8 different varieties that I use like this. I just used up Tett and hallertau that was 2008 crop. Held in plain, cheap ziplocks in the freezer.

Is it BETTER to use a vacuum? Yes, calculators show it to hold 1 to 1.5% more AA in a vacuum at similiar temps to just packing in a baggie. But is it necessary? No, it can be compensated for. Will you destroy your hops? No. Will they degrade in a few months? NO, you have plenty of time to use it up.
Chefmike, I too have some hops stored in small ziplock sandwich baggies, and they are double bagged in one gallon freezer bags, I just got a FoodSaver w/all the attachments at a yardsale for $3, (yes, it does work!)

So while it may be okay to store hops in Ziplocks, the OP's question was "Best way to store hops?" and w/o a doubt the best way is vacuum sealed in a oxygen barrier type bag or jar.

When you purchase hops they come in an o2 barrier type package, therefore, logic and the 1-1.5AA% retention data states that o2 barrier bag or container is the best way to package and store them.
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Old 05-07-2010, 06:18 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by jalgayer View Post
What about using 1/2 pint mason jars and just placing them into boiling water (about 3/4 of the way up the side of the jar) and putting the lid on. Doesnt that suck all the air out and create a vacuum tight seal? With the 1/2 pint jars I have they are only like 3 inches high so I would only need to boil like 1.5 inches of water.

Should this work?
Do you mean you'd boil the jars with the hops in them? That can't be good for the hops.

Seriously - get the Foodsaver Mason Jar attachment. Something like $10 on Amazon. You don't have to buy a foodsaver to use it - plenty of people here use the Alvin Sealer or other cheap-o ways to seal the jars. I use this pump, which I got for $4 or something at Target. It makes a nice, tight seal on the jars.
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Old 05-07-2010, 06:40 PM   #17
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I looked on the foodsaver site and it said the jar sealer replaces the regular lid.

Quote:
FoodSaver® Regular Jar Sealers replace standard Mason-type jar lids to create a vacuum seal that locks out air, the enemy of freshness.
So I'd need a jar sealer for each jar, is that correct? I just bought a foodsaver and have a ton of mason jars but if I have to use the special $9 lid for each jar...kinda expensive.
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Old 05-07-2010, 06:42 PM   #18
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Also, imo I'm not worried about a few AA%. It's the cheesy aroma and any other funky aromas that are in most freezers that I'm worried about.

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Old 05-07-2010, 07:01 PM   #19
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I just listened to the Brew Strong episode on this. They essentially said that the number one detrimental factor to hops is oxygen. Thats why so many people recommend food saver bags. There is also another factor. Since chemical reactions take place at least twice as fast for every 10 degree Celsius. Thats why its good to store them in a freezer. The colder the hops are, the oxidative reactions occur MUCH slower. I know there have been reports of properly stored hops with negligible AA reduction after 5 years.

To avoid the freezer funk, make sure you put them in one thats NOT self defrosting. Self defrosting freezers cycle between below freezing and just above so accumulated ice melts. That temp swing isn't really great for hops. I heard the suggestion of putting them in a ziplock, then stashing inside a small cooler packed with ice if you have to use a self defrosting freezer.

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Old 05-07-2010, 07:02 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palefire View Post
Do you mean you'd boil the jars with the hops in them? That can't be good for the hops.

Seriously - get the Foodsaver Mason Jar attachment. Something like $10 on Amazon. You don't have to buy a foodsaver to use it - plenty of people here use the Alvin Sealer or other cheap-o ways to seal the jars. I use this pump, which I got for $4 or something at Target. It makes a nice, tight seal on the jars.
You use that pump w/the FoodSaver jar attachment?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpanishCastleAle View Post
I looked on the foodsaver site and it said the jar sealer replaces the regular lid.


So I'd need a jar sealer for each jar, is that correct? I just bought a foodsaver and have a ton of mason jars but if I have to use the special $9 lid for each jar...kinda expensive.
They make certain lids for their containers, but they also make an attachment for mason jars so you can use the mason jar lids.
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