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Old 01-05-2011, 10:51 PM   #1
BendBrewer
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Default Freezing Hops. Do or don't?

In another thread the topic of freezing whole hops came up. Being familiar with a very similar oil gland containing flower and the detriment to the glands and overall quality and potency of the flower that freezing causes I was surprised to hear that it is common for homebrewers to freeze their whole hops.

Doing some reading on the topic I came across a post outside of this site that eludes to this not being a very big deal when it comes to bittering hops but will effect the aroma hops as the freezing causes the glands to rupture and the oils boil off before they have a chance to oxidize and become soluble.

Am I simply over thinking this or is there something to rupturing the oil glands that most of you don't concern yourselves with?

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Old 01-05-2011, 10:53 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by BendBrewer View Post
...
Doing some reading on the topic I came across a post outside of this site that eludes to this not being a very big deal when it comes to bittering hops but will effect the aroma hops as the freezing causes the glands to rupture and the oils boil off before they have a chance to oxidize and become soluble.

Am I simply over thinking this or is there something to rupturing the oil glands that most of you don't concern yourselves with?
Considering the hop flowers are pulverized when put into pellet form I'm going to guess there isn't any harm in rupturing the oil glands.
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:54 PM   #3
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Do freeze your hops. The hop qualities degrade slower at lower temperatures.

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Old 01-05-2011, 10:56 PM   #4
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Considering the hop flowers are pulverized when put into pellet form I'm going to guess there isn't any harm in rupturing the oil glands.
The post also mentioned pellets and the process of rupturing the glands to make them and hence why they aren't the best option for aroma additions.

http://www.practicalbrewing.co.uk/fo....php?f=14&t=86

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It seems certain that the freezing of hops will rupture the glands. My limited experiments to prove / disprove this have been inconclusive due to not having enough hop samples and not checking them to see if they were ruptured before I put them in the freezer. I need to do more experiments with proper controls, but I am tied up writing my book. Hop merchants do not freeze whole hops, but it seems that home brewers have not picked up on this. Googling just now, I can only find one reference to it in home brewing, but only one line at the very bottom of THIS page and even then the author of the page doesn't seem to believe it. One thing is certain though, and that is that if the glands do rupture during freezing they will oxidise very rapidly once they come out of the freezer. The encapsulated protective effect of the glands is lost. They are best kept frozen in this case.
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:58 PM   #5
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You do what you want but I will continue to follow the Grocery Store rule of storing.

Store it how you bought it. Now go take those tomatoes out of the fridge. You are ruining them.

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Old 01-05-2011, 11:03 PM   #6
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Haha. Tomatoes in the fridge are a sin. I am storing my hops in the freezer though. I have pellet hops, vacuum sealed, in a glass container.

I'll let you know how my beer tastes.

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Old 01-05-2011, 11:05 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by BendBrewer View Post
You do what you want but I will continue to follow the Grocery Store rule of storing.

Store it how you bought it. Now go take those tomatoes out of the fridge. You are ruining them.
My LHBS freezes their whole hops too. Seriously though, I'd be all for keeping them as fresh as possible, but given the limited harvesting season at some point you're going to be using hops that are almost a year old. At some point the harm to the oil glands is going to be overridden by the loss of stability from NOT freezing them. At least I think so. I'd be more than happy to hear viable alternatives for maintaining freshness in a way that's less harmful to the hops.
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:06 PM   #8
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Haha. Tomatoes in the fridge are a sin. I am storing my hops in the freezer though. I have pellet hops, vacuum sealed, in a glass container.

I'll let you know how my beer tastes.
It won't effect pellets as the pellets have already had their glands ruptured.
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:15 PM   #9
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I dunno. I have nothing to offer - except a " I did this once " story.

I got 5 oz of Cascades from Homercidal, that had been vac sealed and frozen on his end, and after a while pulled out of the freezer and sent to me thanks to the Pay It Forward Thread. When I got them, I left the bag out on my desk ( accidentally ) for about 5 days, and then uponed them up. They were like baled , um, buds. Yeah.

Anyway - pulled them aprt, they fluffed up, smelled AMAZING - and dry hopped with the bad boys. The result - dunno - will tell you in a couple weeks when the beer is carbed up. But the bottle aroma from those two batches is killer.

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Old 01-05-2011, 11:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BendBrewer View Post
The post also mentioned pellets and the process of rupturing the glands to make them and hence why they aren't the best option for aroma additions.

http://www.practicalbrewing.co.uk/fo....php?f=14&t=86
The claim "They are not very good at aroma." referring to pellet hops is a pretty bold claim considering there are thousands of test cases out there where pellet hops dry hop just fine after being frozen and not oxidized. The IPA I just bottled Monday disagrees with this assertion as well. Perhaps the poster misunderstands the mechanics of the compounds in hops and how they release into beer?
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