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Aged Hops For Sours...

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Mr. No-Tip

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So as I am ramping up to do some lambics and berlinerwiess' over the summer, I put the feelers out for some aged hops. As usual, a few people across the Canberra brewers community came to my aid. Col, our HBS proprietor offered me some aged hops which he guestimates are from about 1995:

photo_7_.JPG

Now by no means am I looking gift hops in their brown, dry mouth, but when Col said he hadn't used these himself for this purpose, I thought I'd get an AHB opinion.

As you can see, they are old, old, OLD. They smell kind of like an antique shop and look like rabbit pellets. Don't know if the picture does it justice, but they are sawdust brown without a trace of green.

No doubt the alpha acids are next to nothing now, but considering these hops are almost old enough to drink, I worry their ability to preserve may also be compromised.

Thoughts
 

barls

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im currently using a whole plug from about 2006 that was give to me by a member
 

Yob

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One of the things I always took home was use your sense of smell as a guide, now I've never brewed lambics and don't really understand the rules for that sort of brew (ok vague understanding) but wouldn't storage conditions play a large part of what you can expect out of them?

Really is a genuine question, is this a real method of getting a brew out of suspect ingredients?

I really do know very little about lambics though, never had one presented to me and nor have I brewed one
 

barls

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you want hops that have gone past the cheesy smell traditionally. you want low alpha and only the preservative properties
 

Whiteferret

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Meanwhile, Col is laughing all the way to the Bank.

Sorry, couldn't help it. :ph34r:
 

Kranky

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My understanding of Lambics is that generally the hops are about 3 years old. There's not meant to be any aroma or flavour and bittering is meant to be kept to a minimum. As Yob said if they don't smell good don't use them. The hops are used purely for there preservative values.

When I brew Lambic style beers I go for about 5 ibu's. I don't worry about ageing the hops because I figure as a hop head 5 ibu's is as good as next to nothing as nought.

As for hops made in (circa) 1996 where have they been kept?
 

barls

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mine have been in a freezer but not the best packaging ie glad wrap
 

Mr. No-Tip

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The hops pictured have been kept at room temp in a chinese takeaway type container near as I can tell.

I wouldn't say they smell bad. It's a nice, grandparental kind of smell. They are well above and beyond the cheesey smell I've found when I left hops out of the freezer for a week without noticing.
 

Kranky

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Why not do a small hop tea with a sample of the hops and see if there are any off aromas or flavours? It would be a pity to put a lambic down only to have it ruined by grandpa hops.
 

raven19

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If in doubt, you can also age them further by cooking them in the oven - can't recall temp or time though (Surely google will help on this front).

Fwiw - I have a stash of older hops in paper bags in the ceiling space at home aging away (and copping the summer heat nicely).

Edit:
Some variance in the examples below....!
http://www.byo.com/stories/beer-styles/art...g-with-bacteria
"To oven-age hops, Ralph lays them on a cookie sheet and bakes them at 200 F for around 30 min"

http://forums.morebeer.com/viewtopic.php?f...p;sk=t&sd=a
"i found an article that says to heat the hops in the oven for 12 hours @150 to simulate three years of aging.
http://belgianstyle.com/mmguide/brew/hops.html"
 

Mr. No-Tip

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Why not do a small hop tea with a sample of the hops and see if there are any off aromas or flavours? It would be a pity to put a lambic down only to have it ruined by grandpa hops.
Nice idea!

If in doubt, you can also age them further by cooking them in the oven
Not in doubt of their aged quality...a little worried they might be aged beyond all purpose though...
 

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