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Old 11-02-2009, 11:13 AM   #1
briegg
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Default Hops Storage

Anyone have any advice regarding storage of dried hops for a longer term (say 1 year).

I have been considering:
1. Food saver with mylar bags (most expensive)
2. Food saver with just the plastic (cheap, but I don't think it's an O2 barrier)
3. Food saver with aluminum foil inside the plastic

Anyone that has had any good / bad experiences trying to store dry hops for a longer term, I would love to hear about them. Thanks.

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Old 11-02-2009, 11:44 AM   #2
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Ignoring why you would want to store them for more than a year, the proper way is in a vacuum pack them after a double flush of an inert gas (e.g.nitrogen) in a moisture/oxygen barrier bag. Something that is a minimum double laminate of nylon and polyethylene. But to do that, you would have to get a commercial vacuum sealer.

Mylar bags aren't necessarily O2 barriers.

If you're trying to stay on the cheap, wrapping them in AL foil and then Food Saver-ing them would probably help.

Then in the freezer, of course. Preferably a chest freezer. The cycling of the typical "frost free" freezers isn't good for long term storage.

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Old 11-02-2009, 12:13 PM   #3
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You're over-thinking it Dan. Regular foodsaver bags work fine for hop storage. I've had plenty of packages that hold vacuum for over a year.

As for keeping hops over a year, as long as you vacuum seal, store in the freezer, and take account for alpha lose over time, the hops are perfectly usable. As is, any hops you are using before harvest are up to a year old anyway.

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Old 11-02-2009, 01:04 PM   #4
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I just put them in zip bags and freeze them. Probably fresher than buying hops mid-summer, since the warehouses are only cooled.

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Old 11-02-2009, 01:13 PM   #5
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David is right, it is easy. The MOST important thing is to keep them cold, THEN keeping them sealed helps some, but the major factor is the temperature.

The difference in vaccum sealing and just in a selaed bag is minimal. The most important factor is keeping them cool.

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Old 11-02-2009, 05:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmb View Post
You're over-thinking it Dan. Regular foodsaver bags work fine for hop storage. I've had plenty of packages that hold vacuum for over a year.
Meh, not my thoughts. Those are the recommendations from the food science guys.

When you are packaging hops, you are trying to prevent oxidation of the acids and essential oils. As the alpha's oxidize, you loose bittering ability. As the beta's oxidize you develop a "stinky feet" smell. If you aren't vacuum packed and at low temperature, the essential oils will diffuse away and there goes a lot of your flavor.

Bear in mind that it is all about shelf life. As a homegrower we tend to treat the hops better than at a 300 acre farm. By the time a hop has gone from a field in Yakima valley to storage, it may have been abused by high temperatures, physical damage, and simple time before drying. So there for to keep their freshness factor up, they need to do a good job packaging.

As homegrower, we don't beat them up so they can take abuse in storage and still turn out all right.
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Old 11-03-2009, 02:33 AM   #7
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I put mine left over after opening a pound package into 22oz bomber and used a wine saver stopper with suction pump and put that in the fridge. I check it every couple of days and it keeps the suction.

Does that sound like a good storage plan?

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Old 11-04-2009, 09:18 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the feedback - sounds like a variety of opinions. I'll let you know what I come up with and the results.

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