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Old 07-27-2009, 10:10 AM   #1
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Default How long can hops sit out?

I bought the ingredients for 2 batches from AHS on the week of the 6th of this month. A Shiner Bock Clone and a UFO Harpoon Hefe clone. I was going to brew the hefe first, but AHS forgot my extract so the Shiner clone was brewed first (on the 12th)

With work and a vacation, I have yet to brew the hefe and was wondering how soon I need to do that before my ingredients get "stale". Does this happen if they are not refrigerated? They are still in the bag, in the box, at room temp.

What do you guys/girls think?

On a side note, AHS was quite prompt about sending out my extract they forgot. I called them up, spoke with Lockwyn and I had it in a day or two. Doesn't hurt that I'm less than 50 miles away! All in all, they did a great job making things right and I'll continue to buy from them in the future.

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Old 07-27-2009, 10:48 AM   #2
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Generally, it's best to store hops in airtight bags in the freezer, but a few weeks at room temperature is no problem-- they're fine. If you're not going to brew for a while, then you should put them in the freezer. Also, malt extract is best stored in the refrigerator.

-Steve

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Old 07-27-2009, 11:40 AM   #3
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Hmmmm....I hadn't thought about the extract either. The unused yeast is in the fridge until it's time to let it get to room temp though.

Thanks for the quick response!

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Old 07-27-2009, 12:54 PM   #4
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Generally, it's best to store hops in airtight bags in the freezer, but a few weeks at room temperature is no problem-- they're fine. If you're not going to brew for a while, then you should put them in the freezer.
Is this true of the nitrogen-flush sealed bags of hops? I have several, unopened, sitting in my fridge. Some have been in there for months. Will they still be OK?
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Old 07-27-2009, 02:42 PM   #5
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My understanding of hops, is, like any flowering plant, they will become oxygenated with time. This can be reduced by limiting the oxygen that comes in contacts with the hops, and also storing in a cool, or freezing, environment.

If you think of it like lettuce, or even a flower you buy at the store, how quickly will that thing go bad if left out in the open and unrefrigerated. To be fair, hops do have some more natural preservatives that other flowers/plants don't have, but there is no reason not to take the necessary steps to limit oxydation.

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Old 07-27-2009, 02:52 PM   #6
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Default Hop storage.

I had the same question not too long ago. I rolled up my hops in several layers of aluminum foil and wrapped the ends tight before placing them in the freezer. No possibility of oxidation from the freezer that way.

I also wrapped up my liquid malt extract in aluminum foil and stuck it in the fridge to protect against oxidation AND from the possibility of picking up odors/flavors from the food in the fridge.

Aluminum foil is your friend when talking cold storage of anything.

Pez.

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Old 07-27-2009, 05:06 PM   #7
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Nitrogen flushed bags are just fine-- I have a bunch like that in my freezer right now.

DRoyLenz is right-- the main concern is to remove as much oxygen as possible that can come in contact with the hops, so either a vacuum sealed bag or nitrogen flushed bag are best. They're not requirements, but storing your hops this way in the freezer will help keep them fresh.

-Steve

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Old 07-27-2009, 05:10 PM   #8
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Sort of realted, How long does everyone keep them out of the freezer before throwing in the pot? I generally light my HLT, then pull the hops and yeast out to start warming.

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Old 07-27-2009, 05:13 PM   #9
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Sort of realted, How long does everyone keep them out of the freezer before throwing in the pot? I generally light my HLT, then pull the hops and yeast out to start warming.
I chuck them straight out of the freezer. It's not like their frozen.
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Old 07-27-2009, 08:26 PM   #10
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great info folks! thanks!

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