Quality of hops

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northernjerry

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After a hiatus - I started brewing again recently. Unfortunately two of my recent batches have been less than great. An IPA that had very low hop bitterness and a stout that tastes a little thin and sweet. Both recipes I have made before with excellent results from recipes at my local supplier. I'm wondering if the hops were just not very good. Ever since the shortage of a few years ago, has anyone noticed a decline in hop quality or consistency? I'm thinking of trying pellets next time instead of my usual whole leaf.
 

david_42

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I haven't noticed any changes in quality and there's a better selection than ever. Lack of bittering capability is most likely if the hops were from the 2008 harvest (most likely) and weren't stored properly.
 

david_42

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Consider buying in bulk this time of year and freezing your hops. That will give you the best quality throughout the year.
 

alexdagrate

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Consider buying in bulk this time of year and freezing your hops. That will give you the best quality throughout the year.
Agreed. Buy your hops by the pound from Hopsdirect.com, then seal them in individual ounce bags, then freeze them.

They'll be fantastic.
 

bushmanj

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should all hops be frozen if they are not going to be used within a week or 2?
 

BreckBastion

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I buy in bulk, but when I HAVE to buy a few ounces I put them in the freezer even if I am brewing the next day. Probably a little overkill, but it slows the decay of the hops.
 

alexdagrate

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From Beersmith:

"To slow the aging of your hops, always store them in the freezer at a temperature between 30F and -5F (-1 to -21 degrees C)."
 
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