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Old 06-01-2012, 08:18 PM   #1
LouBrew13
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Default Hops, use, save, or discard?

I have made a few beers recently that didn't exactly have 1 oz hop additions. So now I'm left with odds and ends of hops in my fridge. If I don't plan on making the recipe again for awhile, what should I do with them? Would it hurt to throw an extra half or quarter oz in my boil? Perhaps for a little less time so as not to extract too much alpha acids? By the time I use them again, I'm thinking they may be stale and therefore useless. Cheers

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Old 06-01-2012, 08:33 PM   #2
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In the past I've saved them to use later taped up in the freezer. At some point just tossed together a recipe with what I had on hand from bits and pieces here and there. You can also find a hop substitution chart so you may be able to do another recipe and sub in the bit of hops that you have left without having to buy new ones.

If you do toss them in the boil do it carefully. If its a hop bomb like an IPA just go for it. If it doesn't have any late addition hops think about it first and make sure you want some aroma/flavor added. You may like it even though it would drive the SJCP style brewers crazy.

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Old 06-01-2012, 08:50 PM   #3
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I say make an IPA and add them as you wish, and see how it turns out..

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Old 06-01-2012, 09:02 PM   #4
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I've been curious on this too. A friend and I just went in on a good sized hop buy, 3lbs. each, and I already have about 12oz. of EKG sitting in the fridge. Do they lose their aroma over time, flavor, any bittering, or all of the above? My neighbor declined to get in on the hop buy because he said they'd "go stale" before he used them up (he brews lagers mostly and not very often).

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Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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Old 06-01-2012, 09:14 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by LouBrew13 View Post
If I don't plan on making the recipe again for awhile, what should I do with them?

why do you need a recipe for the scraps at all?

a couple times a year when i have 5-6 lbs of extract, 1/2-1lb of random specialty grains and a few onces of hop scraps, I brew it just to clean up storage.

the mystery ales often come out quite well.
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Old 06-01-2012, 09:58 PM   #6
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My neighbor has also been saying that he'll use almost anything with a higher alpha content as bittering hops since the flavor and aroma is mostly gone via the boil. That helps to get rid of some hops without greatly affecting flavor/aroma.

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Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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Old 06-01-2012, 10:31 PM   #7
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Unfortunately I'm not a hop head. IPA is probably never gonna be made by me. I suppose I could organize a swap at my next club meeting. That might be a really great idea actually. I'm sure that some of the best beers were made with a"what about this?"mentality.

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Old 06-01-2012, 10:39 PM   #8
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My neighbor has also been saying that he'll use almost anything with a higher alpha content as bittering hops since the flavor and aroma is mostly gone via the boil. That helps to get rid of some hops without greatly affecting flavor/aroma.
i'd start with this. keep track of the hops' AA%, and sub them in for whatever bittering hops your upcoming recipe calls for. bittering hops don't add much flavor or aroma, so it doesn't matter much what kind you use. you can use several different kinds if you don't have enough of 1 type to provide your required IBUs. use an recipe calculator, like hopville.com or beersmith, to calculate how much to use.

it's also an excellent excuse to try your hand at coming up with a recipe. "leftovers ale" can turn out great, and i think it's something you can be extra-proud of. more rewarding that following someone's recipe... but that's just me. i realize not everyone subscribes to that mentality.

and finally, you could consider getting a food-saver or some other type of vacuum-sealer. once vac-sealed in a bag, the hops will last for months in the freezer.
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Old 06-01-2012, 10:46 PM   #9
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it's also an excellent excuse to try your hand at coming up with a recipe. "leftovers ale" can turn out great, and i think it's something you can be extra-proud of. more rewarding that following someone's recipe... but that's just me. i realize not everyone subscribes to that mentality.
+1. I made a "leftovers ale" with stuff a friend had laying around once. It was a pale ale, brown in color but sessionable with good balance. I've made other on-the-fly recipes that have elements of this brew because I liked the way it turned out.

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Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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Old 06-01-2012, 10:57 PM   #10
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My girlfriend and I just did. Called it garbage pale ale. Leftover hops, some 2 row and 2 pounds of smoke malt. One of the best beer we've made.

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