I was walking through the yard today, and just out of curiosity, picked a completely brown, bone dry Chinook hop off a bine (harvested the hops off my bines a month plus ago).
I was wondering what an overripe hop smelled like, if anything.
Much to my surprise, it still smelled resiny, "hoppy" and floral. No cheese, garlic, or onion odor. If it hadn't been for the dead hop leaves, I would have thought this hop totally useable for brewing.
I was mildly surprised. I wonder if I should let my hops ripen more than when I pick them, maybe even until they're a little brown, to maximize acids in them. Are we picking too early when we wait for the leaves to dry / crisp up, should we "let em go" longer?
I am seeking the wisdom and experience of this wonderful group.
Incidentally, I fresh hopped an Imperial American Dark Ale with these hops, just bottled it today, it is wonderfully roasty and hoppy- can't wait for it to carb up.