Consolidate Hop Inventory

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Docod44

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Hi all, I've brewed ~50 batches and I feel like I've tried a large variety of hops but often I can't tell subtle differences between hop varieties. In the spirit of saving money and buying in bulk, I'm looking to consolidate my hops inventory and only keep 5 varieties on hand for all my brews. I brew almost every style across the BJCP categories so this is an even more challenging task. Here's what I'm thinking (1 lb bags each):

  • Magnum - bittering for lagers and European styles in general
  • Hallertau (vs tettnang? Saaz?) variety for lager/Euro flavor and aroma
  • Fuggles or Kent Goldings for British styles
  • CTZ for bittering hoppy styles
  • Mosaic for bittering/flavor/aroma in hoppy styles

Any thoughts?
 
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Docod44

Docod44

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You can mix and match a lot of flavors with those.
I think I only keep about five varieties on hand.
Thank you, I figured this would cover most bases
 

hottpeper13

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I have 5 of german ,7 of american. 2 of english , 3 of auzzy, and sometimes 1 of french. If I can't find a deal on the german I get 5 of american nobleish.
Good luck with just 5! and yeah I have the ones you have and they make a lot of great beer.............but when I pay under $1.00 an oz ( last one averaged $14.00 LB) , who can resist? Really,$14 for a LB of Amarillo, I'm in!
 
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Docod44

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I have 5 of german ,7 of american. 2 of english , 3 of auzzy, and sometimes 1 of french. If I can't find a deal on the german I get 5 of american nobleish.
Good luck with just 5! and yeah I have the ones you have and they make a lot of great beer.............but when I pay under $1.00 an oz ( last one averaged $14.00 LB) , who can resist? Really,$14 for a LB of Amarillo, I'm in!
I'll definitely keep an eye out for deals that are too good to pass up!
 

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TELL US TELL US TELL US TELL US !!
Ya big tease, you - what 5 are they?
Right now Azacca, Centennial, Columbus, Horizon and two types of Goldings.
Generally I brew APAs and Pilsners, Rye Pales too. I'll brew a Christmas beer and a stout seasonally. I buy pale and pilsner malt in 50# sacks, Munich in ten pound bags, and keep a variety of specialty malts with a range of crystal. Slurry of London Ale, Bootleg Oslo and Arlintonesis are in the fridge, as well as some dry yeasts, usually Notty and 05. I can brew whenever I have time.
 

odie

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Yeah I need to reduce my selection...I probably have a dozen different hops on hand. I only buy in bulk/pound size.

But really I could likely do with just a handful...there are hop substitution charts to help.

I really find myself using only a few. Some have not been touched in a while...
 

balrog

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I probably have a dozen different hops on hand
LUXURY! Only twelve!!??

I have 21. Bought bulk but didn't make as many batches as I thought I would with them before moving to something else that piqued my interest. I am a fruit fly brewer I guess. Except I always have Cascade for Yooper's Haus and Saaz for my altbier...
 

sicktght311

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I take the opposite approach. I buy what i find on sale, or what i need for something specific i have in my mind, but i buy in larger quantities than i need. So whatever I have on hand, tends to go into future recipes. I will often make "Kitchen Sink" IPAs where i just use whatever hops i have, or i'll experiment with existing recipes with a different hop combination, just to see what happens
 

cmac62

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I'm not sure I understand why you would have Magnum and CTZ? Bittering is bittering and if you can't tell flavor and aroma hops apart it is very unlikely you will be able to tell an oz at 60 with either of these. That said, I would add something piney to the mix (centenial or Chinook) for that resinous taste/feel. :mug:
 
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Docod44

Docod44

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I take the opposite approach. I buy what i find on sale, or what i need for something specific i have in my mind, but i buy in larger quantities than i need. So whatever I have on hand, tends to go into future recipes. I will often make "Kitchen Sink" IPAs where i just use whatever hops i have, or i'll experiment with existing recipes with a different hop combination, just to see what happens
I've been doing this but I tend to accumulate lots of random small amounts (<0.4oz) of lots of different hops. I was more inspired to clean up my storage space and simplify everything.
 
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Docod44

Docod44

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I'm not sure I understand why you would have Magnum and CTZ? Bittering is bittering and if you can't tell flavor and aroma hops apart it is very unlikely you will be able to tell an oz at 60 with either of these. That said, I would add something piney to the mix (centenial or Chinook) for that resinous taste/feel. :mug:
That is a good point, for some reason I always associated magnum with lagers and CTZ with APAs/IPAs. I grow Centennials and I will brew up a few hoppy batches at the end of the summer with what I harvest, so I guess in reality I carry 6 hop varieties.
 

Deadalus

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A pound of Magnum hops could be difficult to get through in a reasonable amount of time. It's got a high AA% and if you overdo it even a little at 60 minutes it will be noticeably bitter. You might save a little money but you might be storing them a long time.

I like to brew a lot of lagers where there are some fairly standard noble hops but even there, the styles simply don't call for much weight-wise, even with the low AA that some noble hops have.

That said, I do use a lot of Hallertaur and Tetnang but I'm still sitting on a few ounces of Saaz as I only use it in my pilsner. I bought a pound of it as whole hops but I also like to try different styles.
 
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madscientist451

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I can save money buying hops by the pound, and that's OK if you need a generic bittering hop like Magnum or Warrior, but there are just too many interesting hop combinations to try. So I usually pay more and buy small packs of hops and then try different things. Getting a vacuum sealer/bagger is on my list.
 

cmac62

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I can save money buying hops by the pound, and that's OK if you need a generic bittering hop like Magnum or Warrior, but there are just too many interesting hop combinations to try. So I usually pay more and buy small packs of hops and then try different things. Getting a vacuum sealer/bagger is on my list.
Me too. I recently made a purchase from YVH and I bought all of my stuff in 2 oz bags, the price wasn't that much higher and then I don't have to worry about a bunch of open lb bags of hops I have to use up. I also want to get a vacuum sealer. :mug:
 

Saunassa

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I bought mine by the pound too and also a vacuum sealer. works great, get 2 ounces out and seal it back up. I have a lot of different hops on hand due to the bulk price and need to start brewing beers with more then a few ounces of hops in them. I am sitting on a pound each of Ariana and Calista that I have not even opened yet because I am trying to figure out what to use them in.
 

RCope

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I have 21. Bought bulk but didn't make as many batches as I thought I would with them before moving to something else that piqued my interest. I am a fruit fly brewer I guess. Except I always have Cascade for Yooper's Haus and Saaz for my altbier...
I keep checking back to this thread...I have 41 varieties of hops in my hop freezer. I know I have a problem but I'm waiting for someone to say they have 50 or more. I also buy mostly in bulk, separate, vacuum pack, and freeze. I do brew a lot of IPA's...and I brew weekly. I brew a lot of different styles as well. I give a lot of beer away. Cheers!
 
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I was just swimming along, thought I found some food, and bam, I'm on the hook, dammit!

So I bought a lot of bulk hops at the beginning of summer thinking I was going to have time off to brew like a fiend. Turned out to be optimistic, as between caring for elderly family and other things, I have not made anything since April/May. In any case, I have 40 different varieties in the freezer, and that's not counting the 6-8 I used up prior to summer that I have not replaced. Honestly, I have no idea how some of these taste...yet. I normally brew every 1-2 weeks and give away half of each batch, so going through the hops and 55# bags of malt is normally no problem.
 
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I've been doing this but I tend to accumulate lots of random small amounts (<0.4oz) of lots of different hops. I was more inspired to clean up my storage space and simplify everything.
I did batch in the Spring with 12 different hops, about 1/3oz from each. I was surprised that it tasted good instead of a muddled mess.
 

Protos

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I'm looking to consolidate my hops inventory and only keep 5 varieties on hand for all my brews.
Brilliant idea. I've recently come at the same decision.
Is it my palate or is it the quality of hops available to me, but I taste little difference between, f.ex., EKG and Fuggle or Tettnanger and Spalter. And all fancy and expensive New World hops taste to me essentially the same: more or less Cascad'ish. Well, there IS difference of course, but not significant enough to hoard 24 different varieties of hops (which I keep in my freezer now). Someday I will (hopefully) use them all up and then I won't buy other hops but these five:

1 - East Kent Goldings - for English ales
2 - Hallertauer Mittelfrüh - for all German beers
3 - Saazer - for Austrian/Bohemian lagers and bittering Belgian ales
4 - Styrian Golding - for flavouring Belgian ales
5 - Cascade - for all American beers.
And also locally foraged wild hops for Kveiks and mediaeval recreations.
That's all.

That's perfectly enough, I'd say after brewing today my 170th batch (hopped with Hallertauer Tradition, which well could be swapped for Hallertauer Mittelfrüh).
 
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all fancy and expensive New World hops taste to me essentially the same: more or less Cascad'ish. Well, there IS difference of course, but not significant enough to hoard 24 different varieties of hops (which I keep in my freezer now).
I have somewhere between 0.3-2 oz each of ahtanum, Amarillo, azacca, cascade, Comet, crystal, Idaho 7, Mount hood, Northern brewer, nugget, saaz, and willamette from a sale last year. After brewing with some of these, I can't really tell much of a difference. I'm going to make a big hoppy west coast DIPA and try to cram a bunch of these into it. Once my inventory is down I'll probably consolidate to the 5 I mentioned in my original post.
 

balrog

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The answer is, "It was on SALE!"

The question is, why do I have a pound of Cashmere and Callista, and what in heaven's name am I to do with them? I don't normally do anything in which silky coconut would add something.
 

Saunassa

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The answer is, "It was on SALE!"

The question is, why do I have a pound of Cashmere and Callista, and what in heaven's name am I to do with them? I don't normally do anything in which silky coconut would add something.
Thats what happened to me. Cashmere has been fun using just it or combined with mosaic. The callista is whats one say hmmm, maybe I have a hop problem.
 

Shenanigans

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I have about 50 varieties in the freezer and I got caught in the hop trap recently again. :rolleyes:
I'm from Ireland but live in Germany.
Before Brexit a lot of the German home brewers were buying special malts and other brew stuff not available in Germany directly from homebrew shops in England but now with the additional taxes it's just not worth it anymore.

So out of curiosity I had a look at a few Irish shops and one had a 10% off everything sale plus bulk hop offers.
So even though I didn't need any hops I ended up buying another 4 or 5 more kilos :oops:
For example 100g of Citra was 7 Euro but a Kilo only costed 45 Euro. I just couldn't resist.
I really need to behave myself over the next few years and not buy anymore hops, it really is an addiction.

Back on topic; the idea from the OP is a good one and after I've gotten through this lot of hops I can hopefully whittle my varieties down to my 10 to 15 favorites but by then there will probably be another load of new releases that I will want to try.
 

Protos

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it really is an addiction
Yep.
It's HAD: Hop Acquisition Disorder. It's hard to control, that's why I'm planning a rehab from it.

In my bright HAD-free future I hope to be content with just SEVEN hops: FIVE commercial varieties I listed above, ONE wild hop and ONE "Hop For Experiments And Education", that is whatever hop I please at the moment, just no more than ONE variety at a time.
 

Murph4231

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Yep.
It's HAD: Hop Acquisition Disorder. It's hard to control, that's why I'm planning a rehab from it.

In my bright HAD-free future I hope to be content with just SEVEN hops: FIVE commercial varieties I listed above, ONE wild hop and ONE "Hop For Experiments And Education", that is whatever hop I please at the moment, just no more than ONE variety at a time.
Lol, ok, I'm afraid I've been suffering from HAD for sometime now. Unaware a help program was coming, I made the decision to only brew with what I can grow. So, I made a hop garden with 7 (seven) varieties planted. Only 5 are thriving so until next year I'll only be using those 5 varieties.
IMG_20210714_150708267.jpg
 

Murph4231

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I'm envious! :) But it's a dangerous path, sir.
It starts with 7 tiny seedlings at the backyard.
It ends with acquisition of land in Southern Hemisphere. Cuz one day you NEED that Wakatu-Galaxy-XJA2/436 Quadrupel IPA, and they never grow well at home... :)
But I'm hell bent on total down sizing. No more the 5 gal batches and limiting, or at least trying, to only use my seven fav hops.
 

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I saw a mention by @IslandLizard in the DME thread about oxygen barrier bags. I went and searched oxygen barrier vacuum sealer bags found this article How to package hops, hemp, and cannabis. Interesting set of options from the industrial size down to the homebrewer. Looks like for some items a group buy would be in order. (I know what some of you are thinking but I mean empty bags.) For example, minimum on 2oz pellet bags (4x6") was 1000 bags. That would cover 125 lbs of hops.
 

Shenanigans

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For example, minimum on 2oz pellet bags (4x6") was 1000 bags. That would cover 125 lbs of hops.
That challenge would only feed my addiction and give me the following excuse "I need to buy more hops to fill all these empty bags" :mischievous:

mmm...... 55kg not totally unrealistic if you brew 100 NEIPAs over 3 years with a few pals. :thumbsup:
 
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I have a food saver vacuum sealer and I buy the 4"x6" bags off eBay. IDK, I'd have to look at how much they cost per 100, but if I need to break 1# of hops into 16-1oz. bags for brewing and storage ease, the cost doesn't much matter, does it? I'm still saving money by buying hops in bulk and storing in the freezer.

Well, this is the thinking, at least, that got me to about 50# of hops in the freezer, so YMMV.

Upon reflection, I am waaaaayyyyy tooo good at rationalizing.
 

hottpeper13

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Ya know 1 lb of hops fit in a 1qt mason jar,and I believe glass is an oxygen barrier. The hops I go thru fast (less then 1 yr ) go in prelabled jars, way easy to find.
 

cmac62

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I have a food saver vacuum sealer and I buy the 4"x6" bags off eBay. IDK, I'd have to look at how much they cost per 100, but if I need to break 1# of hops into 16-1oz. bags for brewing and storage ease, the cost doesn't much matter, does it? I'm still saving money by buying hops in bulk and storing in the freezer.

Well, this is the thinking, at least, that got me to about 50# of hops in the freezer, so YMMV.

Upon reflection, I am waaaaayyyyy tooo good at rationalizing.
Check this out: Citra Hops the difference between buying Citra by 2oz bags and 1 lb bags is:
2 oz bags are $3.00 x8 =24 and the 1 lb goes for $22.99 you save a whopping $1.01. Not worth it in my eyes. I recently purchased a bunch of hops and paid the extra to get them in 2 oz bags. :mug:
 

Deadalus

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Check this out: Citra Hops the difference between buying Citra by 2oz bags and 1 lb bags is:
2 oz bags are $3.00 x8 =24 and the 1 lb goes for $22.99 you save a whopping $1.01. Not worth it in my eyes. I recently purchased a bunch of hops and paid the extra to get them in 2 oz bags. :mug:
This is how much I saved buying from HopsDirect recently vs Yakima Valley. Both were having a sale recently (and that's how I got 1.25 lbs of Cashmere hops @balrog buying from both!). Cashmere ($11), Spalter($2.50), Hallertau Blanc ($3), Strata ($3), Simcoe ($3.25), Liberty ($1.75), Fuggles ($4.30), & Columbus ($7) plus a pound of Pekko hops for $5 which Yakima doesn't have listed but if 2 oz was $2 that's another $11. The smaller savings were comparing the 2oz Yakima prices to the 8 oz price since that was all I bought for about half of these. I also looked at two recent orders from both and I paid less in shipping from YVH ~$10 but the HopsDirect box was bigger as several of those hops are leaf hops.

Those little bags are ~12-15 cents. That's even for those foil type with the ziplock tops. Thanks for mentioning ebay @JAReeves , didn't really think about that. I have a Foodsaver vacuum sealer, anybody know if there are any difficulties with sealing those kinds, like these mylar ones for instance?
 

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