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Old 11-20-2012, 11:25 PM   #1
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Default the great hop grab

i know i might be showing my n00b colors with this questions, but i'm curious about high demand hop supply. i've been seeing lots of posts about people trying to find hard to get hops by the pound (citra, amarillo, probably others) and lots of places selling out.
however, i was able to get citra to make a zombie dust clone last spring and was about a get at least a couple ounces of amarillo a few months ago to finish off an IPA. i'm confused as if the rush to grab these hops are due to:

A) this being the only time of year you can get them in bulk, at a cheaper price.

B) last year was just a good year for them and there was plenty to go around for a while, while not all years are so plentiful.

C) people are just freaking out for no reason.

D) people are hop starved due to them being hard to find for a while and ravenous to get just one more taste of their sweet, bitter goodness.

or other.

also wondering if anyone knows the changes that there will still be some available later this year if B ends up being the most correct answer.

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Old 11-20-2012, 11:35 PM   #2
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People use a lot of hops in their beer, and there are a select few varieties that are very popular (rightfully so). There is a limited supply of these hops to begin with, and there are many commercial brewers that are using these hops as well. I'm willing to bet that their hop contracts are much larger, and they are provided with first dibs. Additionally, it doesn't help that hops like amarillo are proprietary and people can't just buy rhizomes to grow their own.

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Old 11-21-2012, 01:11 AM   #3
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I generally try to get about 8-10 lbs of various hops (1 or 2 lbs of a particular variety) simply because they are a lot cheaper if you can get them by the pound. When I brew a beer like zombie dust, I really don't want to be paying $2.50 an ounce for Citra when I could have gotten them for half that price. Generally, most of hops are available by the pound all year long. But, some are grown in smaller quantities and this is the time to get them if you want them by the pound.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:14 AM   #4
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I make a ton of IPAs and APAs, and I use a lot of hops.

No WAY I'm paying $3/ounce for them! I buy them by the pound.

Sometimes I use 8 ounces of hops in a single brew. By paying $6-16 a pound for them, that makes brewing affordable.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:21 AM   #5
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What they said. However, with there being a LOT more homebrewers this year than last, a LOT more breweries and a lot more brews that are using these exotic hops such as Simcoe, Citra and Amarillo, I would not be the least bit surprised to find that some of these actually run out completely before the end of this year. Especially Amarillo.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:28 AM   #6
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Some varieties like Simco, Citra, and Amarillo were in short supply last year. As the year progressed, they became harder to find and more expensive. As a result a lot of home brewers, me included, were waiting for the 2012 crop to become available. Once they went on sale it was like feeding piranhas. Every one wanted to secure their supply. I suspect the supply will also be short this year. We shall see.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:31 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
I make a ton of IPAs and APAs, and I use a lot of hops.

No WAY I'm paying $3/ounce for them! I buy them by the pound.

Sometimes I use 8 ounces of hops in a single brew. By paying $6-16 a pound for them, that makes brewing affordable.

There are currently an estimated 1,000,000 homebrewers in the US. I would venture that quite a few have the same thoughts as Yooper.

There are over 2,000 commercial breweries in the US for the first time in over 100 years. While a lot of these are small, some of the larger craft breweries are in the process of doubling in size. A lot of the medium sized craft breweries are also expanding.

Homebrewers want the same hops as used by the craft brewers. Unfortunately the farmers can only grow so much. The craft brewers now have to contract their use 2-3 years out.

I believe we will be seeing the hop grab around harvest for the next couple of years. Then there will be a bit of a glut just before harvest as folks unload what they have contracted for that they could not use. This will put a bit of hurt on summertime brewing if you are not part of the hop grab.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:47 AM   #8
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Seems to me that the limited availability "exotics" drives a lot of the general "hop harvest frenzy". People get cranked up because the Amarillo harvest was off, and everyone and their brothers who hadn't discovered Citra and Simcoe until this year finally did, so as soon as pre-ordering was available it was off to the races.

Not a whole lot different than last year. Well, except for the poor Amarillo harvest thing. Remembering last year put me pretty near the head of the line this year, so I'm sitting on enough Amarillo, Citra and Centennial along with another 10 pounds of other strains that are dribbling in as they get pelletized, plus my home-grown Chinook, Centennial and Cascade, to get me comfortably through 2013.

And then the same circus will roll in and we'll do it all over again

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Old 11-21-2012, 01:49 AM   #9
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It is a bit of hop grab...I picked up a pound of Citra last week. The funny part is that I don't even know if I really like the hop...never brewed with it and have only tasted 2-3 commercial beers that used it. The other popular hops..Amarillo, Simcoe, Centennial, etc...I use a bunch. Add to the equation that I just bought a nice vacuum sealer and it is a no brainer. Maybe I will make a Citra DIPA next June just to piss people off!!
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:26 AM   #10
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I bought 1# of Amarillo just because it was there when I was picking up the rest of the hops I needed. Now I'm looking forward to making a few IPAs that I wouldn't have made otherwise.

Sorry everyone who already has recipes that rely on Amarillo.

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