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Old 10-09-2012, 03:03 PM   #1
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Default hops: freezing, thawing, shipping?

My situation is: I live in PA and my friend in North Carolina has a few pounds of flower hops frozen, waiting to be used in future brews. He's willing to share some of the hops with me but neither of us know if the hops will still be good to use once they get thawed during shipping to me and then put back in the freezer until I have a brew day and then thawed again to use them.

Will the hops still be good to use?

Does repeated freezing and thawing damage the hops in any way? is so, how?

Thank you.

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Old 10-09-2012, 03:16 PM   #2
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Generally you shouldn't freeze then refreeze. I'm not sure if hops are an exception, but that stands true for the freezing of just about any vegetable. The formation of ice crystals can damage cell walls. Slow freezing creates larger ice crystals which do more damage. That's why folks like to "flash" freeze- smaller ice crystals, less cell wall damage. Repeated freezing is not recommended.

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Old 10-09-2012, 03:34 PM   #3
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My guess is that many people freeze and re-freeze hops. Lots of people buy bulk hops. I'm sure a lot probably use pellets, but not all. However, if you're going to brew sometime in the next month, just put them in a ziploc bag and store them in the refridgerator instead of freezing them.

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Old 10-09-2012, 03:43 PM   #4
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Just did one similar... my brother mailed a couple pounds of frozen hops to me. Three days in the mail and i refroze them on arrival with no ill affects. As long as they are dried prior to freezing there won't be any problem.

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Old 10-09-2012, 03:54 PM   #5
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It'd be even better yet if he could vacuum pack them for shipping. I leave mine in their packages,into a zip lock freezer bag with the air burped out. Then onto the top rack of the freezer. Mine has a small rack above the ice maker. Nice,out of harms way spot. They'll keep for months this way. I've gort over a pound of hops from NZ,Germany,& Czech republic in there now...
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:55 PM   #6
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To the best of my understanding, if the hops are already dried (as in leaf or pellet) you should have little to no issue, considering there's just the smallest ammount of water in them, so they don't actually "freeze". If anything, they do detiorate without cold but is nothing that can't be fixed with a small percentage of more hops

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Old 10-09-2012, 03:58 PM   #7
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Freezing mainly slows down deterioration of the hop oils. I've frozen pellets & raw (whole leaf) hops without physical deterioration.
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:07 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone. It's worth a try considering it's a good amount of Cascade whole leaf hops he's willing to share with me.I may try to plan a brew day and get him to ship the hops to me closer to that time frame to not make him open the vacuum pack until it's necessary. Your knowledge is appreciated.

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Old 10-10-2012, 01:07 PM   #9
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I guess drying is the key factor here. If the hops were properly dried before freezing then you chances of no ill effects improves. However if the hops where not dried well first, I think you would have some problems.

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