Buying 2018 Hops

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by GetMeAnIPA, Jan 12, 2020.

  1. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Defender (618) Mar 28, 2009 California

    since the 2019 crop came out fairly recently a lot 2018 hops are on sale. Thoughts or any concerns on buying 2018 crops from Yakima Valley?

    I am not planning on buying a lot just a few bags of 8ozs.
  2. PortLargo

    PortLargo Devotee (471) Oct 19, 2012 Florida

    I would be comfortable buying their previous year's crop (have done it). They are vacuum'ed sealed and pretty sure they have stayed frozen their entire life. Expect a slight (10'ish%) lost of alpha and oils but that's very workable. That said, I would splurge the extra few bucks for current year if your needed variety is in stock. BTW, they have some sale prices on first Friday of month.
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  3. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Defender (618) Mar 28, 2009 California

    Thanks for reply and tip on the Friday sale!
  4. GormBrewhouse

    GormBrewhouse Devotee (457) Jun 24, 2015 Vermont

    I would not b afraid of 2018 hops at all. If the price is right I'd buy em and not look back.

    Good luck
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  5. billandsuz

    billandsuz Devotee (418) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    Consider the amount of 2018 hops that are being used commercially every day in highly regarded beers. +1 for buying hops at a discount. 2018 should be perfectly fine unless they were abused.

    If you are interested there are tables with hop stability characteristics. I recall Cascade having terrible keeping ability while others degrade only slightly over 6 month or a year.
  6. PortLargo

    PortLargo Devotee (471) Oct 19, 2012 Florida

    This is what I use, although I'm suspicious it's really accurate to a decimal point:

    These days I usually just reduce alpha by 10%/year and have fair to good results.

    A year or so ago a distributor discounted all his year old hops to something like 4.70/lb (47 was name of company). I loaded up and had good results . . . most all posts here were favorable.
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  7. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Defender (618) Mar 28, 2009 California

    That was my initial thought as well as what I am buying from my LHBS is probably 2018 still.
    GormBrewhouse likes this.
  8. riptorn

    riptorn Aspirant (281) Apr 26, 2018 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Do you still have any left....or remember the last time you used them? I got some of those as well and they seemed fine to me. Still have some in the freezer and will consider using them in another brew, but not without some backup hops in case they're off.
    The thread was 47 Hops Spring Sale $4.47/# in May of 2018 and the hops were 2016 crop year.
    GormBrewhouse likes this.
  9. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,368) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I still have some left and I will still be using them (without backup).

    I attended a hops presentation a couple of years ago and the presenter brewed up some beer which was served during the presentation. That beer was quite tasty (an APA or IPA if I recall correctly). About mid-way through the presentation the presenter asked to the crowd: by a show of hands how many of you thought the beer was good. Essentially everyone raised their hands and the presenter, in a matter of fact sort of tone, stated: That beer was brewed with three year old hops. He did not belabor the point but his message was: If hops are properly stored (e.g., freezer temperature) they are 'good' for a long time.

  10. PortLargo

    PortLargo Devotee (471) Oct 19, 2012 Florida

    Have a touch of Hallertau Blanc . . . will probably use them the next time I need something noble'esque.

    My big rant is how hops are routinely handled poorly by distributors. I don't live near anything, so I drop in on LHBSs in my travels. Thing I've seen: One store had an excellent variety of hops very fairly priced. When they pulled some zip lock bags out of a file cabinet I politely declined. Another store had all their hops in original vacuum bags but at room temp . . . said cold temps not required until the seal is broken. My favorite: store had bulk hops stored loosely in glass jars (no vacuum) in fridge next to yeast. Every time they made a sale they simply opened the jar, shook out an ounce or two, and replaced in fridge. Someone is buying that last ounce and wondering why their Cascade didn't cascade.

    There are probably several good suppliers around, I've landed on Yakima. All their hops are vacuum sealed and dated. They assure me everything is kept sub-zero. So it's usually two bulk orders a year and a trusty Foodsaver for my humulus lupulus.

    BTW, Yakima got me started on hop extract and it's a staple for me now.
  11. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (1,873) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    There used to be a combination fire suppression equipment store/LHBS not far from me. They kept their sealed one ounce bags of hops is an un-refrigerated display case (like a jewelry store display case). I swear the same old bags were there every time I went in (to get CO2 refills) over a period of a couple years. Probably would have been good for lambics.
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  12. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Defender (618) Mar 28, 2009 California

    My LHBS has all their hops bags vacuum sealed in the cooler but they have extract recipe kits with hops included sitting on their shelves. Same thing as I don’t see them move at all and those poor hops just sit on the shelf. One of the extract kits is a pliny clone. That’s not going to taste too good with all those old hops.

    I don’t why they store their hops in the refrigerator for individual sale but their kits on on the shelf.
  13. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Zealot (546) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    Plenty. And I mean plenty of breweries are using old hops all of the time for beer that people salivate over.
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  14. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,485) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    There are several online businesses that brocker hops in brewery sized lots. You can buy about anything if you are willing to pay.
    GormBrewhouse likes this.
  15. deadwolfbones

    deadwolfbones Initiate (132) Jun 21, 2014 Oregon

    I'm still using some 2016 hops with good results. No big deal, especially from sellers like YVH and Hops Direct.

    And for what it's worth, my understanding is that YVH re-tests AA levels after each year they've sat in storage.
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  16. IronLover

    IronLover Poo-Bah (1,869) Apr 17, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I support my LHBS but recently started buying bulk hops from Yakima Valley. It was a game changer. My LHBS carries sealed 1oz packages of hops in a refrigerator, which is better than not refrigerating but not as good as freezing. Plus, no packaging dates. Glad to hear that year old Yakima Valley hops are still a quality option.
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  17. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Defender (618) Mar 28, 2009 California

    An update if anyone is interested. I brewed a WC style ipa with a blend of cascade 20%, 40% cashmere and 40% hbc 586. I didn’t put an over the top amount of hops like a NE ipa, only 3.5 ozs in the dry hop I know crazy right! Yet, I am getting plenty of hop flavor and aroma. Even an empty glass smells fantastically hoppy. Great hops at a great price! Cheers.

  18. GormBrewhouse

    GormBrewhouse Devotee (457) Jun 24, 2015 Vermont

    Not crazy at all!!!

    Glad yer beer came out good.
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  19. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,485) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    How do you like the 586? I have some I need to use.
  20. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Defender (618) Mar 28, 2009 California

    First time using it as well as cashmere so I am not sure what flavor and aroma it’s providing. But i used it exclusively in the whirlpool and dry hop along with cashmere and I am loving it. I just brewed a blonde ale that I threw an ounce in at KO and it was the only hop late in the boil so I should get idea of it.

    The bag smelt really good.
  21. Beejay

    Beejay Poo-Bah (2,706) Dec 29, 2008 Virginia

    Go for it