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Old 08-25-2009, 03:20 PM   #1
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Default OOPS, I left the dehydrator on over night

After a few homebrews last night, I guess I forgot that I had hops drying in the food dehydrator. They went about 15 hours instead of the 6-8 that I normally leave them in there.

Did I release all of the aromatics and oils off of them? Will they still work for bittering? Any other concerns/comments are welcomed.

Thanks guys.

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Old 08-25-2009, 04:07 PM   #2
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Maybe.

What you want to look for is overdrying. How warm did you have it? If it was under 100F, some of the oils and aromatics will still be there.

How about the cones. Is the stig brittle? Are the bracts (the little leaves that make up the cones) falling off? If not you're probably in good shape. If they are, try not to move it any more than you have too. Set up a dish with some rock salt and water. Enough salt so that it can't dissolve it all. Put the dish and the hops under a piece of plastic for a day or so. The salt with keep the Relative Humidity around 75% and will (hopefully) rehydrate the hops enough to save them.

The other big question is where is the lupulin? (The yellow substance you find inside the cone.) If it has all fallen out, blown away, or is otherwise gone...then you could use these to make tea, but they won't give you much bittering. If the lupulin is still there, you may be in good shape.

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Old 08-25-2009, 11:36 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by GVH_Dan View Post
Maybe.

What you want to look for is overdrying. How warm did you have it? If it was under 100F, some of the oils and aromatics will still be there.

How about the cones. Is the stig brittle? Are the bracts (the little leaves that make up the cones) falling off? If not you're probably in good shape. If they are, try not to move it any more than you have too. Set up a dish with some rock salt and water. Enough salt so that it can't dissolve it all. Put the dish and the hops under a piece of plastic for a day or so. The salt with keep the Relative Humidity around 75% and will (hopefully) rehydrate the hops enough to save them.

The other big question is where is the lupulin? (The yellow substance you find inside the cone.) If it has all fallen out, blown away, or is otherwise gone...then you could use these to make tea, but they won't give you much bittering. If the lupulin is still there, you may be in good shape.
From my experience unless they crumble to dust in your hands then they'll be fine. I dry my hops with a small fan/space heater at around 105 degrees. I consider them done when the strig(the center stem) breaks or nearly breaks instead of bends. At this point the bracts will fall off along with the lupulin glands if not handled gently. I'm hours from sealing up four oz. of Sterling that were "over dry" by Dan's account and smelled awesome! If you are past this point then try Dan's advice, but from what I have read and from the hops that I have bought and brewed with you want them pretty dry.
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Old 08-26-2009, 05:34 AM   #4
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I just picked 7.oz of Chinook tonight after work. I put them in the dehydrator at 95 degs. I'll probably turn it off over night then back on when I get home tomorrow.

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Old 08-26-2009, 01:33 PM   #5
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From my experience unless they crumble to dust in your hands then they'll be fine. I dry my hops with a small fan/space heater at around 105 degrees. I consider them done when the strig(the center stem) breaks or nearly breaks instead of bends. At this point the bracts will fall off along with the lupulin glands if not handled gently. I'm hours from sealing up four oz. of Sterling that were "over dry" by Dan's account and smelled awesome! If you are past this point then try Dan's advice, but from what I have read and from the hops that I have bought and brewed with you want them pretty dry.
The whole point of drying is not to release the smells but for preservation purposes. Removing moisture slows the rate of oxidation of the cone and break down of the acids & oils. If you plan on using them in less than 6 months, stop before the stig can break and then freeze them in a vacuum bag. They will be fine.

The reason yours "smelled awesome" is because the essential oils/aromatics are vaporizing. Yes, it smells good but they are gone and won't be there to flavor your beer. If all you are shooting for is bitterness, that is fine. Plant some magnums and dry away. If you are looking for a cone to dry hop with, you aren't helping yourself.
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Old 08-26-2009, 10:27 PM   #6
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The whole point of drying is not to release the smells but for preservation purposes. Removing moisture slows the rate of oxidation of the cone and break down of the acids & oils. If you plan on using them in less than 6 months, stop before the stig can break and then freeze them in a vacuum bag. They will be fine.

The reason yours "smelled awesome" is because the essential oils/aromatics are vaporizing. Yes, it smells good but they are gone and won't be there to flavor your beer. If all you are shooting for is bitterness, that is fine. Plant some magnums and dry away. If you are looking for a cone to dry hop with, you aren't helping yourself.
I'm gonna agree to disagree on this one with you Dan. When I started I dried until I thought it was time to package and made some really grassy beers. Recently I've learned that better beer is made (at least to my taste, in my home) with hops that are crispier and will continue to dry them this way. I don't have to dry them for sale so that they will be great on the day they arrive at a customer's house or eight months later when they break open a vac. bag and brew. When I used the phrase "smelled awesome" I should have elaborated. They smelled like they did on the bine. Very good indeed! I understand what you're saying about losing aromatic oils but I have not experienced this. Good luck with your harvest!
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Old 08-26-2009, 10:55 PM   #7
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i overdried my hops, too. i made beer with them. the beer tastes like ass. could the overdried hops have done it? the beer was edwort's haus ale which i make frequently and i use the exact same technique every time. wondering if my over-dried hops lost their preservative qualities and effected the flavor.

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Old 08-27-2009, 12:43 AM   #8
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i overdried my hops, too. i made beer with them. the beer tastes like ass. could the overdried hops have done it? the beer was edwort's haus ale which i make frequently and i use the exact same technique every time. wondering if my over-dried hops lost their preservative qualities and effected the flavor.
Could be the hops, could be something else. Tough to say, but another batch with the suspect hops will confirm that they are the problem.

As far as the preservative properties being comprimised, I'm pretty sure that this isn't the case. There are some styles that are better with age that use very little hops. The beer stays clean with clean brewing technique.

When you say overdried, what do you mean?
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Old 08-27-2009, 04:35 AM   #9
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I also doubt that overdried hops could do that. Perhaps if some length of time passed, but if it tasted like ass right off the bat, that was probably some other contaminant.

That is a good question about the antibacterial properties of the hops. In general, if you keep everything clean, they don't matter anymore. But let me ask a chemist friend to see what he thinks.

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Old 08-27-2009, 12:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
When you say overdried, what do you mean?
I left them in a 100 degree dehydrater over night. they were quite crispy and brown. they smelled good which makes sense as most of the oils are dried up. the leaves were falling off and they were quite crunchy.

i also suspect the fermentation vessel. i had to use an old bucket instead of normal glass carboy because of a brewing backup.
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