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Old 01-24-2013, 04:03 AM   #1
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Default How long to hops stay fresh in the freezer?

I'm looking into buying hops 1 lbs at a time to try and save a little money, but I'm unsure as to how long they stay fresh and how to properly store them. Vac seal?

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Old 01-24-2013, 04:15 AM   #2
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General idea is u dont lose any AA% until the 6 month mark... As long as they stay sealed (vaccum) u can get a little longer.. for me i have at least 4 pounds in the freezer at a given time and it usually dosent last more than 6 months at a time, so i dont get to truly test it.

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Old 01-24-2013, 04:16 AM   #3
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vacuum sealer + freezer = good for months, if not a year or more.

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Old 01-24-2013, 04:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkringii View Post
General idea is u dont lose any AA% until the 6 month mark... As long as they stay sealed (vaccum) u can get a little longer.. for me i have at least 4 pounds in the freezer at a given time and it usually dosent last more than 6 months at a time, so i dont get to truly test it.
Untrue. Hop varieties vary in how much AA they lose over time (known as Hop Storage index). Cascade, for example, loses 50% of its AAs over 6 months. See http://beersmith.com/hop-list/ for HSI for other hops. However, if you keep hops vacuum sealed and frozen, then there's no downside to buying in bulk. You'll lose AAs, but no more than you would if you bought in ounces, considering hops are only harvested once a year.

Bottom line: Buy in bulk. Vacuum seal and freeze. Buy the freshest hops you can.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gavagai

Untrue. Hop varieties vary in how much AA they lose over time (known as Hop Storage index). Cascade, for example, loses 50% of its AAs over 6 months. See http://beersmith.com/hop-list/ for HSI for other hops. However, if you keep hops vacuum sealed and frozen, then there's no downside to buying in bulk. You'll lose AAs, but no more than you would if you bought in ounces, considering hops are only harvested once a year.

Bottom line: Buy in bulk. Vacuum seal and freeze. Buy the freshest hops you can.
What time of the year are hops harvested?
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:31 AM   #6
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Most hops are harvested in September, but you will likely only see hops listed by year. So right now you should be buying 2012 hops.

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Old 01-24-2013, 09:30 PM   #7
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There are a lot of factors at work. I'll give you the simple answer, and then a longer one.

Simple answer: Kept in a freezer, in the dark, away form oxygen, hops will last for a couple years. Both from an aromatic and alpha acid stand point. Pellets better than Leaf, but they both will do well.

The important things are freezer, and no oxygen. ziplock bags won't cut it. You need plastic/mylar/something that is not oxygen permeable.

Long answer: The HSI (hop storage index) measures how much alpha acid is lost over a 6 month period of time when the hops are stored at 68*F. This is a good indication of how well a given hop holds up over time. CTZ for example is very poor, and Apollo is excellent. Keep in mind the HSI number is at 68*. Chemical reactions occur twice as fast roughly every 10C. Your freezer is probably -10C or colder, therefore we're talking 8x slower. That doesn't mean the hops will last 8x longer, but you get the idea.

Hops oxidize and skunk quickly, so getting them sealed, and out of sunlight (UV light) is your number one goal. Mylar bags and a vacuum sealer work. I use mason jars, as glass is inert, isn't oxygen permeable, and they are re-usable. My vacuum sealer has a mason jar attachment. Kept in the freezer, they last a long, long time.

I'm still using plenty of 2011 hops (harvested September 2011), and they smell just as good as the fresh 2012 stuff.

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Old 01-25-2013, 12:22 AM   #8
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I vacuum seal mine in mason jars and keep them in the freezer. Makes it a lot easier for measuring and resealing the hops.

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Old 01-25-2013, 04:14 AM   #9
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The regular vacuum sealer bags/rolls are oxygen impermeable (otherwise they couldn't hold a vacuum). You don't need mylar bags...

Cheers!

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Old 01-25-2013, 04:17 AM   #10
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mason jar attachment?? What sealer are you guys using? I don't think my food saver has that.. but it does have a place to connect a tube, so maybe that's an attachment I can buy?

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