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Old 08-17-2009, 12:32 PM   #1
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Default stale hops

i have a few "brewer's best" box kits that have been on the shelf for a few months. i didn't know about hops freshness until later. now i am replacing the hops with fresh ones. the hops are all still sealed in their vacuum packs and in the refrigerator now. can they still be used for bittering? i am thinking that the staleness will all be boiled away. or should i just toss them in the compost? is there any other use for them?

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Old 08-17-2009, 01:28 PM   #2
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Are the hops actually stale (smell cheesy) or are you saying this based on the age/storage method? Hops are only harvested once a year, so any 'fresh' hops you buy today will probably be as old as the hops you already have.

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Old 08-17-2009, 02:46 PM   #3
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Save them for sure even if they are stale, some Belgian beers call for aged hops.
The small exception is that although very bitter hops are not unknown to Belgium, few beers use them. Low alpha hops are by far favored. The huge exception is that some styles reject the notion of fresh hops, opting to age them for as much as 3 years.
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Old 08-17-2009, 03:18 PM   #4
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like david says.. if they smell like hops, they brew like hops in my experience. I used some 4 year old vacuum sealed plugs that held at room temp. The AA% must have dropped over time (as is expected), as it was not as bitter as percentage would have indicated. Iused the calculator in one of the programs and brewed up a great batch of pale ale with them.
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