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freezing fresh hops

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balto charlie

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Hey folks: I will be harvesting hops next year from a 3 or 4 year old plant. Living in a high humidity area, I was concerend about quality drying. Then it occurred to me to freeze them fresh.
Possible problems:
1) weight-obviously dry hops weigh less so I have to figure out how much less. I'm thinking 10-20% max. I'll just weigh some, dry them down and reweigh. So if I figure this into the equation I should get my bitterness levels close.
2) Does drying the hops improve/increase AA levels? I'm thinking just the opposite. Fresher is better, no? May have to figure this into the equation.
3) Dry hopping might pose a problem. if the frozen hops harbor any pathogens(ie. mold spores) off flavors may result. I might 'frozen' dry hop half a batch and dry hop the other half.

Wouldn't it be cool to have a "REALLY" fresh hopped brew. I am going to try one batch with hops, just of the vine. Has anyone tried? If so how did it go? Charlie
 

Bombo80

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I also grow my own hops. I got my rhizomes from freshops.com. Their site has lots of info on hops, including how to properly dry them. I believe they need to be dried, regardless. I used a large window screen, propped it up, and set up a small fan to keep air circulating around them. I fluffed them a couple times a day, and when they were to the proper dryness, I just weighed them out, and vacuumed them with my foodsaver, and put them in the freezer. I just brewed a batch of ale, and used some of them in it. They seemed to be just fine. I also put in three more varieties, last year. I am hoping to have a decent harvest from all of them this year.

Good luck
 

david_42

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1. Fresh hops take 5-8 times as much by weight as dry hops for the same effect. It's a good idea to check your drying method as you've planned. I get about 5:1.
2. The AA% is lower, only because the hops are heavier. The flavor/aroma oils change noticeably.
3. I've brewed and dry hopped with fresh hops. I found that leaving fresh hops in more than a week started producing grassy flavors.

Haven't tried freezing fresh hops, but it's not a bad idea and I freeze my dried hops, so no problem with storage. Fresh hops carry some unique aromas. We have Fresh Hops fests out here, including Hop Madness. Commercial fresh Hop ales are generally made with one hop.
 
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balto charlie

balto charlie

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david_42 said:
1. Fresh hops take 5-8 times as much by weight as dry hops for the same effect. It's a good idea to check your drying method as you've planned. I get about 5:1.
2. The AA% is lower, only because the hops are heavier. The flavor/aroma oils change noticeably.
3. I've brewed and dry hopped with fresh hops. I found that leaving fresh hops in more than a week started producing grassy flavors.

Haven't tried freezing fresh hops, but it's not a bad idea and I freeze my dried hops, so no problem with storage. Fresh hops carry some unique aromas. We have Fresh Hops fests out here, including Hop Madness. Commercial fresh Hop ales are generally made with one hop.
Thanks Bornbo

Thanks David:
1)5x' the weight, wow! heavy suckers I guess in drier years this amount will change. I know with grapes(fruits in general) sugar concentration jumps up in dry years mainly due to the lower water content(thus lower weight). I assume this will be true for AAs.
2) Sounds right
3) Good to know. i'll keep it to 1 week.
Unique aroma w/ fresh hops is what I was hoping to hear. This alone will make me try it next year.

Folks: here's a link about the process David reported and I asked. It's called wet hopping. Apparently it's been done by some of the microbrewers. Next summer this is going down in Btown:ban:

http://www.azstarnet.com/allheadlines/149383
Thanks guys, Charlie
 
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