Shelf life of hops

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by GRPunk, Apr 29, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. GRPunk

    GRPunk Meyvn (1,229) Apr 5, 2007 Michigan

    As an essential ingredient of beer, I understand hops can readily decline in beer. Is this the case for any medium in which hops may be found?
     
  2. deadonhisfeet

    deadonhisfeet Initiate (0) Apr 23, 2011 Kentucky

    Interesting question. I'm not sure what else their uses are, except as a preservative or for some medicinal purposes. I know in some lambics they are strictly used as preservatives and are dried out prior to use so that they contribute no hoppy bitterness at all. I would also add that I think the notion that hops fade quickly is often overstated on this website (one poster even suggested that 2-week old Pliny the Elder should be drainpoured). I keep hoppy beers in my fridge and notice no decline in quality, flavor, or aroma even after several weeks.
     
  3. billandsuz

    billandsuz Devotee (447) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    hops have compounds that degrade over time. depending on the hop variety, the rate at which the hops become undesirable is anywhere from maybe a few weeks to a year. processing and storage are of great importance as well. it is not beer that causes the hop compounds to degrade. oxygen and tempertaure ware what kill hop compounds.

    there are volatile and unique chemical compounds found within hops. by definition, hops are delicate. you can assume that no matter the medium the hops are being presented, freshness is important if you want to experience the best qualities hops have to offer.
    Cheers.
     
    Horbar likes this.
  4. GRPunk

    GRPunk Meyvn (1,229) Apr 5, 2007 Michigan

    New Holland Brewery is using them in a distilled beverage as a flavor profile. My concern is whether they would hold up any better than in a beer. Bit won't be consumed too quickly.
     
  5. Sneers

    Sneers Initiate (0) Dec 27, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Oh?
     
  6. billandsuz

    billandsuz Devotee (447) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    hops are a flower. they contain volatile compounds.
    look up the word flower or the word volatile. it could not be anymore obvious.

    Cheers.
     
  7. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,838) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

  8. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Poo-Bah (1,821) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan
    Society

    That is a good article, except that the aroma comes from the essential oils, not the Beta acids. I would think the author got that wrong, not the Sierra Nevada people.

    Light, heat, and O2 are enimies of beer, and often vibration is overlooked. The aroma compounds are very fragile and will break down with out much input.
     
  9. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,838) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Jeff,

    I have always thought the principle contributor to aroma was the essential oils as you mentioned. There does seem to be some thought that Beta Acids also contribute to aroma? From http://www.brewgarden.ca/2012/02/beta-acids-lets-talk-about-hops/

    “Beta acids release quickly from the hops into the wort during the boil. And while it takes a long time for alpha acids to isomerize and mix into solution, beta acids almost immediately dissolve into solution. As they remain unchanged, they contribute more to the aroma of a brew and less to the bitter taste.”

    I must confess that I am still pretty ignorant on what Beta Acids ‘do’. Perhaps you know?

    I also agree that “often vibration is overlooked.” In my postings concerning hoppy beers and whether they are still ‘good’ I often intertwine the two aspects of beer age and handling. I will often state something like: “as long as the beer is fresh and properly handled”. I am uncertain what breweries do in their distribution chain to minimize vibration.

    Cheers!


    Edit: From Norman Pyle’s Hop FAQ: “Dry hopping gives no alpha acids to the wort, but it may contribute some oxidized beta acids; its bittering contribution to the final product is very small. It is more likely to add a perceived bitterness with the addition of the intense aroma rather than an actual bitterness due to bitter acids.”
     
  10. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Poo-Bah (1,821) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan
    Society

    Beta acids are not soluble, unless oxidized, then they are readily soluble.

    The intense aroma with dry hopping is from adding the essential oils, that are quickly boiled off if added to the kettle.

    Source is the Bitterness section of the OCB, page 132, written by Val Peacock, a hop expert.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.