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Hop Life

I’m brewing 2 strong beers soon in an attempt to use up some old hops I’ve been keeping.

I was initially going to use up a bunch of Liberty in the strong (5.9%), hoppy (~35 IBU’s) honey wheat as I’ve been told it’s bad about not doing well long term, but (I mark the date I get them) they’re not nearly as old as some of the others, and wonder if I shouldn’t hang on to them for a few more months (I’ll be moving soon, and this is likely the last brew session until then).

These are the hops I have along with the date I received them. Which might last several more months, and which should I open first to check for off smells come brew day?

I get my hops from MoreBeer and keep them in the freezer.

2 oz packages:

Perle (7.5%) 12 '12
Willamette (4.7%) 3 '13
" (5.2%) 10 '13
Mt Hood (5.9%) 12 '12
Liberty - 2 (4.9%) 10 '13

1 oz packages:

Palisades (7.1%) 2 '13
Mt Hood (5.9%) 11 '12
Willamette (5.2%) 10 '13
Cluster (6.8%) 1 '13
Perle (8.9%) 11 '12
Liberty (4.9%) 10 '13
Santiam (7.2%) 2 '13

A couple are obviously older as the AA’s are different, and so I figure those ought to be used, but it’s hard to say if others are from the previous harvest or were fresh (Oct-Dec). Are all hops harvested in the Fall?

They all would have been harvested in the fall. So unless any are imported from Australia or New Zealand, all from the same fall-winter are practically the same age.

You will want to add more hops than the recipe calls for for our hops because they lose potency over time.

Definitely smell them to make sure they don’t seem cheesy before pitching them in your kettle. Have you stored them in the freezer? If so, they tend to age quite slowly. The only time I’ve had to throw away hops they had been sitting for more than three years in my freezer.

How long will hops from extract kits (from NB, in the silver plastic packaging) last at room temp?

I do store them in the freezer.

Would Willamette, Mt Hood, and Liberty blend well? And how about those with Perle? These are the oldest I’d like to use up.

[quote=“rodwha”]I do store them in the freezer.

Would Willamette, Mt Hood, and Liberty blend well? And how about those with Perle? These are the oldest I’d like to use up.[/quote]
Perle is a good, clean bittering hop that would work well in anything unless you want some harshness in the bitterness (like most prefer in IPAs). Williamette and Mt. Hood are both good flavor hops that work well in delicate beers: lagers, blond ales, American wheats, etc. But I wouldn’t use them together in the same beer, unless you wanted to use them for bittering, in which case they will provide very clean bitterness without much character. I don’t have any experience with Liberty.

I’ve only used Liberty, Willamette, and Mt Hood separately in my beers (lighter and lower IBU’s). I’ve never mixed them. I’ve only mixed hops in IPA’s.

Being that the IBU’s were always low (~15) there’s not been much to note, but these 2 beers I intend on making very soon are high IBU beers (35-45), though they don’t have to be.

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