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Old 09-24-2008, 12:20 PM   #1
nathan
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I was given a bunch of old hops from someone who used to brew. It's about 8 years old he supposes, but it's been sitting in a freezer the whole time. Packages are still sealed and have never been opened.

The package says "pellets", but feels like plugs from the outside.

Either way, it's 10.5 oz of Fuggles and 10.5 oz of East Kent Goldings.

Any way to check if they are good without brewing a whole batch? Any suggestions for old hops?
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Old 09-24-2008, 12:27 PM   #2
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Lambic!


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Old 09-24-2008, 12:32 PM   #3
Bob
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If they're T90 pellets, they've remained in the freezer, and they're in the original Mylar, nitrogen-flushed packaging, they'll probably be okay.

If they're plugs or whole flowers, the only way to really tell if they're good is to open a package or two and evaluate them. Squeeze 'em, smell 'em, feel 'em, look at 'em.

Do they smell good? Nice and "hoppy"? Pungent? Rancid? Stinky? No aroma at all?

Do they feel good, springy to the touch, not dry and papery?

When you open a compressed flower, can you see the yellow/gold lupulin at the base of the bracteoles (petals)? Is it yellow or darker, more like orange?

When you take a flower or two and rub it between your palms (think Jim Koch in those Sam Adams TV adverts about hops), do your hands smell good? Are they sticky with hops oils?

If they're plugs or whole flowers, they might be okay for use in flavor/aroma applications, depending on the outcome of the sensory evaluations described above. Alpha acid degradation has probably reducing the bittering potential to nil.

At the very least, you can sell them to Belgian-ale brewers as "perfectly aged Lambic and Oud Bruin hops"!

Bob
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Old 09-24-2008, 01:37 PM   #4
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I think they must be plug sized pellets, because through the packaging they are very hard. They are much harder than any actual whole hop plugs I've used.

They are indeed in plastic-foil type wrapper.

Any good resources on lambics or beer styles that would call for older hops like these? I'd imagine 21 oz of it could brew an awful lot.
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Old 09-24-2008, 03:07 PM   #5
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Hm. Styles that call for old hops. The only ones of which I can think are all Belgian. Lambic (obviously), Wit (sometimes), and Flanders Red/Oud Bruin are the only ones that spring to mind.

Have fun!

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Old 09-24-2008, 05:32 PM   #6
nathan
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I'll have to look those up tonight in my brewing classic styles book.
I couldn't find any of them on this site (hint, hint, btw, for those of you making them!)

btw, brewing classic styles is a pretty handy book. I only need to do some minor tweaks for my setup, and I'm getting some pretty great beers. My bohemian pilsner was just great. My mash isn't the basic single infusion that he seems to use for everything, but instead is based more on the traditional styles (bo pils got a double decoction, for instance).
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Old 09-24-2008, 05:41 PM   #7
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make a belgian ANYTHING. those hops will work great for dubbels, tripels, pales, wits, lambics, etc.
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