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Old 05-25-2010, 05:37 PM   #1
PlayMizuno
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Default Is 3 months too long......

for hops to be kept in the fridge and still be ok. I placed an order the first of March hoping to get a brew in before it got too warm, but the weather changed before I had a chance. I originally put all the grain in the fridge and thought I put the hops in the freezer. I was taking inventory of the grains I was going to get replaced, and oh @#$& my hops were in there and not in the freezer. I just finished my fermentation chamber and I am planning on brewing two batches this weekend, so should I replace the hops as well as the grain?

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Old 05-25-2010, 06:08 PM   #2
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I'd start by giving them a whiff to see if they started spoiling first. If they smell ok, then you can probably use them. However, hops loose their potency if not kept air tight and frozen. The alpha acid content may have degraded to an unknown value which means they probably shouldn't be used for bittering. Personally, I'd toss those hops and start with fresh ones, but that's just me.

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Old 05-25-2010, 06:23 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. That was my original thought, but the cheapie in me thought I should get another opinion.

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Old 05-25-2010, 06:31 PM   #4
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I'd use them without hesitation.

Short answer: Smell them. They're probably fine. 3 months at fridge temps isn't long enough for the AA% to change all that much. I'd use them with no worries, but I'd freeze them next time. I've used similarly old hops with no issues.

Longer answer: On Jamil and John Palmer's show where they interviewed Glenn Tinseth about bittering, one of them said that he regularly uses hops that have been in the freezer for a year without adjusting the AA%.

Hops are rated with an HSI, which is the AA% they'd lose in 6 months of storage at 68F in an open (not vacuum-sealed) environment.

Typical values are in the 25% range, so a hop that's 8% AA would be at 6% AA after 6 months sitting in an unsealed paper bag on the kitchen counter.

For every 27 degrees Farenheit that you lower the temperature, aging is cut in half. So in a fridge that's 35F, you'd expect the same 8% AA hops to be down to about 7.2% AA after 6 months.

Of course, you only did 3 months, so the same 8% AA hops would be more in the 7.6% AA range (they'd lose 5% of their alpha acids).

But remember, that's if they were sitting in the fridge in an unsealed paper bag--if your hops were still in the vacuum sealed mylar bags you ordered them in, then oxidation will be much slower. I don't know by how much, but assuming they're in the realm of a 25% HSI, you're looking at less than a 5% change in alpha acid percentage and possibly much less. And remember, oxidized beta acids increase bittering, so the actual change in bittering capability is always lower than the change in alpha acid percentage.

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Old 05-25-2010, 06:47 PM   #5
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I forgot to mention my yeast. I also have a smackpac of Pacman. I am at work so I can't check the date on it, but I am thinking it will still be ok to use?

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Old 05-25-2010, 06:47 PM   #6
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I agree with SumnerH, if they smell fine go ahead and use them.

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Old 05-25-2010, 06:47 PM   #7
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If the yeast is past the date on it, use a bit bigger of a starter to build it up to where it should be.

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Old 05-25-2010, 06:49 PM   #8
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Will do.....thanks.

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Old 05-25-2010, 07:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SumnerH View Post
I'd use them without hesitation.

Short answer: Smell them. They're probably fine. 3 months at fridge temps isn't long enough for the AA% to change all that much. I'd use them with no worries, but I'd freeze them next time. I've used similarly old hops with no issues.

Longer answer: On Jamil and John Palmer's show where they interviewed Glenn Tinseth about bittering, one of them said that he regularly uses hops that have been in the freezer for a year without adjusting the AA%.

Hops are rated with an HSI, which is the AA% they'd lose in 6 months of storage at 68F in an open (not vacuum-sealed) environment.

Typical values are in the 25% range, so a hop that's 8% AA would be at 6% AA after 6 months sitting in an unsealed paper bag on the kitchen counter.

For every 27 degrees Farenheit that you lower the temperature, aging is cut in half. So in a fridge that's 35F, you'd expect the same 8% AA hops to be down to about 7.2% AA after 6 months.

Of course, you only did 3 months, so the same 8% AA hops would be more in the 7.6% AA range (they'd lose 5% of their alpha acids).

But remember, that's if they were sitting in the fridge in an unsealed paper bag--if your hops were still in the vacuum sealed mylar bags you ordered them in, then oxidation will be much slower. I don't know by how much, but assuming they're in the realm of a 25% HSI, you're looking at less than a 5% change in alpha acid percentage and possibly much less. And remember, oxidized beta acids increase bittering, so the actual change in bittering capability is always lower than the change in alpha acid percentage.
Nice! I didn't know they had figured out roughly the degradation rate. Those are some nice numbers to at least ball park the AA% after a long time.
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Old 05-25-2010, 07:37 PM   #10
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alpha acid degradation calculator:
http://brewerslair.com/index.php?p=b...id=cal16&u=eng

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