Brew Dudes

Homebrewing blog and resource

Hops Freshness

As my preparations for my brew day continue, I wanted to check the freshness of the hops I have had hanging out in the freezer for the past few months years. I have a few US grown hops that have been in the deep freeze that I would like to use for my APA…trying to stay on theme.

I bought 2 ounces of Glacier hops last weekend, which I really want to showcase in this brew. My fear is that I won’t get the bitterness I need from the Glacier hops and I will need to supplement the brew with some other hops.

My original thought was to bitter with Cluster hops, since that’s their traditional role. My next thought was about the freshness of those Cluster hops and the quantity too (I have about a half ounce left).

I took those hops out of my freezer and gave them a few sniffs. They seemed to still smell like hops, just not as strong as they used to be. They didn’t smell cheesy like all the books keep warning me that bad hops smell like.

Just to make sure, I hydrated the hops in boiling water to see if the cheese would come through.

Cluster Hops Pellets In Water Cluster Hops Rehydrated Cluster Hop Pellets

Don’t worry, I didn’t drink my hop tea.

The hops smelled ok. I guess I did a good job of keeping them airtight in my freezer. I probably will supplement the Cluster with some of the Glacier or maybe throw a half ounce of the Cascade I have…since they aren’t as strong as they used to be.

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3 Comments

  1. pete

    Dude, drink the hops tea. My wife and I drink hops tea on a regular basis. It is good for your immune system as well as an exceptional sedative.

  2. Ken Schauer

    Hey John,
    I agree with Pete. Once you get past the strong pungent taste, you can actually learn to like it. It’s a great way to get rid of hops that are a bit old, while still retaining the use of them. As you probably know (since I read about it following a link on your site) hops oils will degrade over time, and freezing will slow that effect.

    One of the tricks we use when brewing a lambic is to use really old hops, but use a LOT of them. So maybe kick up the dose on a brew and see what happens. Worst thing is you’ll end up with a beer that is still beer!

    As usual… I’m enthralled with your hop stories… I wonder how long this bug will last…
    -Ken

  3. Thanks Ken. Hopefully it lasts for a while.

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