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Old 08-15-2014, 01:34 AM   #1
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Default First year cascades barely have a smell!?

I took my first harvest 3 days ago and the hops are done drying today. These are first year cascade plants that did really well. I got 15.25oz wet which came out to 3.15oz dried. My drying method was a screen in the basement sitting on some boxes with a dehumidifier running next to them, drawing in air over them for 3 days.

The problem is, the hops barely have a smell. When I put them back into bowls to weigh them dry I smelled them and they smell like hay or grass. If I cut one open there is plenty of schoolbus yellow lupulin (some have more than others), and that part smells like I would expect a hop to smell, though a few had a very slight grassy smell. I've read a ton of forum posts about people harvesting them too early, but I don't think I did that (see pics below). They were starting to turn brown (a few were completely brown), they were papery and would spring back when I squeezed them and they had bright yellow lupulin. They smelled hoppy when I harvested them, but only if you put them to your nose.

So is this just to be expected for first year hops? Should I have any concerns about using them in my beer?

Here is what they looked like when I harvested them:


Here is what they look like dried:


Here is what one of the smaller cones looks like cut open:

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Old 08-15-2014, 11:05 PM   #2
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My Cascades do the same thing. I've had good luck vacuum packing them whole after drying, then pulse them a few times in the food processor just before putting them in the boil. I found I get aroma that just about makes my eyes water and I end up using less. Not sure if this is an accepted method but I don't see any reason not to. That's what they do to pellet hops, albeit to the extreme, before they press them into pellets.

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Old 08-17-2014, 02:03 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captjpr View Post
My Cascades do the same thing. I've had good luck vacuum packing them whole after drying, then pulse them a few times in the food processor just before putting them in the boil. I found I get aroma that just about makes my eyes water and I end up using less. Not sure if this is an accepted method but I don't see any reason not to. That's what they do to pellet hops, albeit to the extreme, before they press them into pellets.
Thanks for the reply. I'm curious, how old are your hop plants?
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Old 08-17-2014, 10:57 PM   #4
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Put a couple into a small ziplock, smash the cones with a hammer a bit and then open and sniff the bag. If you still don't get that pungent cascade smell, they may have been harvested a week early.

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