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Old 09-09-2009, 05:06 PM   #21
Apr 2008
Madison, WI
Posts: 980
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Originally Posted by pnj View Post
why dry them?
I believe they store better, longer, when moisture and air is removed.
~~ Malted barley wants to become beer. ~~

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Old 09-18-2009, 01:52 PM   #22
Dec 2008
State College, PA
Posts: 30

So after drying how do you prefer to package for freezing?

Do you vacuum pack and freeze? Would a ziplock bag or press and seal work as well?

I'm assuming the same thing you do for your harvest could be done when splitting up a bulk buy from hopsdirect...


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Old 09-18-2009, 03:13 PM   #23
Jan 2009
St. Louis
Posts: 211
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Originally Posted by pnj View Post
why dry them?

I just picked a huge pile of hops from a friends vine and had planned to just shove them into the freezer.

Then simply add them to my BK when brewing. Is this not a good idea?

great write up and pics though.
They're 80% water and if you leave all of that in there the crystal formation will tear up the lupulin glands. You'll get less utilization and they'll go bad much faster. Either dry them or go vine to kettle immediately.

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Old 11-10-2009, 03:15 PM   #24
Jan 2008
Maryland, USA
Posts: 120
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Don't worry about sunlight. Radicalization only occurs in isomerized oils (i.e. post-brewing). Before you use the hops, sunlight won't hurt them a bit. Many old-world methods of drying used metal pans and grates to dry the hops with direct solar heat (similar to making raisins).

The reason to dry before freezing is solely to remove weight. Commercially, it cuts down shipping and storage costs significantly. If you want to freeze them before drying, it won't hurt a thing. Some sources even suggest better flavor retention in the short term (say, inside six months) by freezing the water content with them. Don't worry about freeze-cracking the plant tissue, boiling does far more "damage" and it's essential to get the oils out anyhow.

It's not recommended to use hops without drying them. The chlorophyll compounds are volatile and will be removed by drying (especially when heat is used along with airflow). You do not want the chlorophyll in your brew unless you like overwhelming leaf flavor.

Don't be afraid to use an old pillowcase and your dryer if air drying is too slow. I plan on experimenting with cold smoking this next year.

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Old 11-11-2009, 05:37 PM   #25
May 2008
Verona, WI
Posts: 355
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Thank you TrojanMan. That was the perfect answer I was looking for. I have a friend that gave me about a half gallon of Hallertau and all I did was vacuum seal them and threw it in the freezer. I was woundering if I had to dry them out before use, it sounds like I'll have to. Planted a hallertau plant just the other day and it will be interesting next year if it comes through the winter alright

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Old 12-07-2009, 02:43 PM   #26
Oct 2009
Richmond, IN
Posts: 4
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"Drying hops should be done as quickly as possible after the harvest to preserve the essential hop oils. Warmth, no sunlight, and good air circulations are all that's required... Once hops are picked, they should never again be placed in direct sunlight, or even strong artificial light. Light-struck hops will add skunky off-flavors to beer."

This is coming from the book The Homebrewer's Garden by Joe and Dennis Fisher (a great source for information about growing hops and gardening in general). The actual science of why picked hops should avoid sunlight is not explained, but I have read several times that it is good practice. I haven't experimented with this at all so I have no empirical proof, but I thought I would just throw this out there.

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Old 12-09-2009, 07:55 AM   #27
Mar 2006
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Posts: 227
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2 days to dry hops with a fan on high? That seems really inefficient to me as I simply left mine on a screen for 3 days in August and they dried out fine.
Heb no oana Hoibe hoch, du Hund!

Drinking: Fight Night Pale Ale
Fermenting: 100 pints o' Stout

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Old 12-24-2009, 01:53 AM   #28
Dec 2009
North Wales, PA
Posts: 165
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Good tips. I like the furnace filter idea. (I hope you don't mind me "borrowing" your idea.)


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Old 03-04-2010, 08:02 PM   #29
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Sep 2008
Wheeling, IL
Posts: 41,412
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Other tips you can utilize...

- Use a space heater to help raise your temps into the 100-130 degree range. (works great if you live in a hot climate with a garage that isn't well insulated!)
- flip the filters so the side nearest the fan doesn't overdry relative to the opposite end

BTW, this is essentially Alton Brown's method for herb drying applied to hops.

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Old 03-06-2010, 11:49 AM   #30
Nov 2008
West Columbia, SC
Posts: 21
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I picked up 2 food dehydrators at the flea market, 1 for 2 dollars and the other for 3 dollars.

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