hop shelf life?

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Oct 4, 2007
Reaction score
Just wondering what the shelf life of hops. I'm guessing pellet hops last longer than leaf hops but how much for each type? I was considering buying bulk hops to make sure I have them on hand but it would be a waste if they went stale before using them.
Depends on storage. If you vacuum seal and freeze it's possible to keep them for a year or more.
The current BYO says 2-3 years if they are packaged right and froze properly, they will loose a bit but should be no biggy. They said some pro brewers even prefer to age their hops before using them.
I just read it this morning and already cant remember exactly what they said but that was the gist of it.
I have 2# that sat for 14 months, the Open bag had to go the sealed ones I am using and have found them to be a little less potent.. I am using and extra 20% to get the same bitterness
i usually parcel my bulk buys out into 2 oz freezer bags. works well, and the seems to last forerever
I've got a couple pounds from Hops Direct that I received more than a year ago. I vacuum sealed and froze them as soon as they arrived. I brewed with them yesterday and they smelled quite fresh.
I was contemplating throwing them out until this shortage hit. Now I'm glad I kept them. I will probably start adjusting my additions to account for age but first I want to see how they performed in my latest batch.
I just ran some Cascade thru Beersmith's Hop Age feature:

Vacuum packed 0º
0 months 6.9%
12 months 6.11%
24 months 5.42%
36 months 4.8%
48 months 4.25%
60 months 3.77%

Poly Bag 0º
0 months 6.9%
12 months 5.42%
24 months 4.25%
36 months 3.34%
48 months 2.62%
60 months 2.06%