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Bulk storing hops (freezer)

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by BedetheVenerable, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. Now that I'm a) unemployed and b) all-grain brewing a lot of English session beers to avoid buying beer until I start the new job, I considered asking for the most expensive ingredient (hops) for Christmas from the folks. I thought about 1# each of First Gold (bittering/finishing), Fuggles (finishing), and EKG (finishing). These come from HopsDirect in large, vaccum sealed bags. How do I store them at home? Just ziplock bags, in the freezer? This seems like they'd almost certainly get freezerburn, etc. How long can they stay fresh in the freezer once opened? If I'm not going to use these in 3 months (I'm not...closer to 6, probably) should I just keep buying by the oz? Any expensive solution (i.e., buy an awesome vacuum sealer) isn't no the table as...well, the whole jobless thing. Would appreciate any/all advice!
  2. hopsandmalt

    hopsandmalt Savant (400) Michigan Dec 14, 2006 Verified

    Not Ideal I know but, I just roll up the unused portion in the bag it came in and store it in the freezer til it's gone (around 6-9 months). I may be losing some bittering potential but I haven't noticed a huge difference in my beers and I've been buying hops by the pound for about 4 years now.
    samtallica likes this.
  3. Any recommended purveyors? Do you go from one of the big internet companies, or somewherel local?
  4. hopsandmalt

    hopsandmalt Savant (400) Michigan Dec 14, 2006 Verified

    Usually Freshops but sometimes hops direct when I need a specific variety that freshops doesn't have.
  5. Vacuum sealing the bags would be ideal, but I'm guessing since you're asking you don't already own a vacuum sealer. Maybe check craigslist in your area? I got a food saver for $5, it's a little finicky, but gets a good seal eventually. I just re-vacuum seal each bag after use.
  6. In my opinion, you won't see significant degradation in six months if you simply store them in ZipLoc bags, particularly if the emphasis is on English session beers where malt is a big part of the flavor profile. If you were doing big, American IPAs, that might be different.
    inchrisin likes this.
  7. I brew mostly IPAs and I have about 16 pounds of hops in my freezer as I type this. I do go through some hops quickly, but others stick around for a year or more. I've always stored them in a ziplock freezer bags, which I squeeze as much of the air as I can out of before sealing. I've never had an issue with hops going bad.

    I actually used to use a vacuum sealer but the bags were expensive and didn't even hold a seal a lot of the time.
  8. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Advocate (595) Vermont Mar 10, 2006

    When I open my pound bags I decant into a mason jar, purge with a little CO2 and pop in the freezer. If you will use them in 6-8 months or so, the CO2 purge really isn't needed. Just put the lid on that jar and get it into the freezer. Don't store near anything like catfish, onions, etc. unless you use some additional protection.
  9. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Savant (485) Nevada Dec 4, 2008 Verified

    Buying hops in increments I will use in 1 or 2 batches seems like the way to go for me...sometimes the price point is close to #s and they don't need to be resealed.
  10. HerbMeowing

    HerbMeowing Savant (455) Virginia Nov 10, 2010

    • I get good results re-cycling the tight sealing 1-QT plastic tubs used by the local Chinese take-out eatery.
    • They'll hold a pound o'pellets.
    • No freezer burn.
    • Done'n done!
  11. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Savant (485) Nevada Dec 4, 2008 Verified

    whoa...kung pao hops : )