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cimirie

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I'm prepping for a pLambic next month and the recipe calls for aged cascade hops. Went to my LBHS and explained my situation. The owner jumps into the fridge, walks out, and hands me a bag full (3 oz) of whole cascade. He says it's been sitting in the fridge for almost three months and he was thinking about tossing them so he gives them to me on the house. I jumped for joy and the .5 oz that I need are now drying by a sunny window to finish the job.

It feels wrong to just toss the other 2.5 oz so I'm wondering about what to do with them. I know they've been sitting for almost 3 months so they're not super fresh and the AA isn't at it's peak so careful recipe calculation might be tough. But based on experience and knowledge, can anybody give me a ballpark idea of the best way to utilize them in a recipe? Or is it best just to toss them?
 

the_bird

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Three months is not "aged" in the sense that you want "aged" hops for a lambic. We're talking more like three YEARS, and not stored well; think, hot and dry, NOT in the fridge. "Aged" hops have gone through the cheesy stage and back, and are going to add essentially zero flavor and zero alpha acids to the beer (they still add some preservative qualities). I've got probably a pound left of '06 Fuggles in the freezer that I'm going to set out in paper bags this summer to maybe do a lambic next year.
 

conpewter

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I've not done a lambic so I'll leave that for the others (though I think the window sill idea is good).

What I do want to mention is that those cascades are probably still great for aroma/flavor additions (as well as bittering actually) but even if they are year old cascades (I have some in the freezer) they are still great for flavoring/aroma as long as they still smell good.
 

david_42

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Three months? Hops are only harvested once a year, so 75% of the time you hops will be older.
 

DeathBrewer

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Who knows how old they were when he got them. What do they smell like? Are they cheesey? I ahve some cascade and some hallertau that are a few YEARS old. I can't wait to do some crazy lambic action with those.
 
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cimirie

cimirie

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The hops still smell good (although not nearly as pungent as I've sniffed before). I'm not quite sure what a "cheesy" hop would smell like (probably one of those things you'll know when you smell it) but these smell more or less normal. The only strange thing about them is there is a peculiar orange tint to a few of the hops and a bit of orange... dust(??) at the bottom of the bag. Any ideas?
 

giligson

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The owner jumps into the fridge, walks out, and hands me a bag full (3 oz) of whole cascade. He says it's been sitting in the fridge for almost three months and he was thinking about tossing them so he gives them to me on the house.
:eek:

Give me the address and I'm coming over. Three months in the fridge is not aged in my book - that's what I call stored. Are you sure you meant 3 months?
 
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cimirie

cimirie

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Giligson - You're welcome down in sunny FL anytime!

I'm sure I meant 3 months. I can't be sure he meant three months. I got the impression from his dismissive attitude towards not an unsubstantial amount of hops, that somebody had come to the store to make a brew (at my LBHS, it's not uncommon) and left this bag there. It's the only reason I can think of that he would have given me the hops free and clear - he couldn't vouch for where they'd been.

For the record, they're not the nice green of a well stored or "fresh" hop (they're a very pale green/khaki and some are orange-ish) and while they still smell like hops, they are on the vaguely stale side.

Would it be advisable to use some on a "cream of three crops" cream ale I'm prepping for soon? I don't really need to be exact with the hop content because I'll be flavoring with lime extract (SWMBO really likes Miller Chill and Bud Light w/Lime). To compensate, should I bump the amount or no?
 

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