store question

Grains, malts, hops, yeast, water and other ingredients used to brew. Recipe reviews and suggestions.

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store question

Postby stouts » Thu Jan 09, 2003 6:27 pm

Hey guys,
I'm currently carrying the hops sold in 1 ounce N2 sealed packages. They cost more so obviously I have to charge more. My question is, is the freshness worth the extra cost?
Your oponion would be greatly appreciated.
Jay
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Does hops + N2 + plastic = fresh?

Postby jayhawk » Thu Jan 09, 2003 9:45 pm

Fresh is always best. I would imagine pellets would deteriorate faster than whole hops, due to the fact they have already been mechanically broken down during processing. Therefore, N2 may be desired. However, I have reservations about the long term effectivness of this packaging. I purchased hop pellets packaged this way (from another HBS)and they were brown, had a poor aroma and stale. Perhaps in the lab, N2 is a an effective staling preventer. However, once packaged, how long will the plastic barrier maintain the N2 and keep out the 02? We already know that beer does not last long in plastic bottles because ions can pass across the plastic barrier, eventually bringing the ionic contents of the beer into equilibrium with the ambient atmospheric conditions, thus creating stale beer. What makes plastic hop packages any different? The N2 would eventually pass across the plastic barrier in the same manner. Therefore, you end up with stale hops, just like ones I bought.

That is my logic on the topic. I have absolutely no qualifications to bolster my arguement, so anyone can feel free to tear it apart.

Chris
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plastic baggies

Postby dartedplus » Fri Jan 10, 2003 6:30 am

I've never had a problem with the little 1 and 2 oz baggies. As long as you aren't over-stocking too many pellets, I dont think the cost is worthwhile passing on to your customers. In this instance, as a consumer, I would opt for the lower cost. I've never purchased the hops packaged in the N2.

Although, being new to this, you have no past to base your inventory movement on. BTW, how are things going so far??

ed
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air

Postby fitz » Fri Jan 10, 2003 7:43 am

Air and light are the real enemies, I don't know why you couldn't buy in bulk and vacumn pack them in baggies and keep them covered. If you fill the bags with CO2 before you put them in and then vacumned all of the air out prior to sealing they should last a good 6 mo. How is everyones dream job going.
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Never had a problem

Postby Push Eject » Fri Jan 10, 2003 8:32 am

Jay,
My local HBS carries pellets in plastic screwtop "jars" (opaque) in a refridgerator.
We pull out the ones we want, weight the pellets into baggies and seal them with a heat sealer thingy.
Has always worked well and never had a freshness issue. Having said that, the store IS very busy and probably goes through the inventory before it could become a problem.
How ARE things going?
Cheers,
Ollie
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The life

Postby fitz » Fri Jan 10, 2003 9:37 am

I can't believe what a brewing waste land I live in. If I had the money, I would set up a shop of my own. We could sure use one around here. I may try to get a brew club started around here so we could at least start buying somethings in bulk. I have plenty of people asking me questions about brewing and beers, but none have got any equipment. Maybe I'll bring them over the next time I make a batch and peak their interest.
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Idea

Postby Freon12 » Fri Jan 10, 2003 12:28 pm

I store my regular plastic bag hops in a Corni keg charged with N2 in the frig.

Mesa suggested this a while back and it works for me. You may have to open it too often for this to work?

Just a thought.
Steve
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Hop storage

Postby HomeBrew » Sat Jan 11, 2003 2:32 am

I assume you're talking about hop pellets? If so, they are quite stable if stored properly. The grinding of the hop cones ruptures the lupulin glands, exposing the aromatic substances to possible oxidation. However, the surface area of the pellet is much less than that of whole leaf hops, so this is somewhat minimized in pellet form.

On the other hand, improperly stored hop pellets will clearly degrade, thus you're stuck with worthless inventory, so the money saved on less vigorous packaging is wasted.

There are oxygen- and gas-impermeable plastic bags, thus the analogy given above to beer stored in PET bottles doesn't apply to hops stored in the right type of plastic bag. Also, the plastic should (ideally) be foiled to provide protection from light, as well.

All in all, I'd say the extra price for correct packaging is worth it, and -- as a consumer given the choice -- I would pay a little more for properly stored hop pellets.

You might look into buying larger lots of pellets (thus reducing your per-unit cost) and re-packaging them yourself into smaller quantities in gas-impermeable, foiled bags...
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Best Methods of Hop Storage....

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Tue Jan 14, 2003 1:35 pm

The best two methods available to homebrewers for packaging hops are:

1) Vacuum packing them in either clear or UV foiled bags.

2) Pack the hops in regular "ziplock" bags, place them in a Corneilius keg and fill the keg with nitrogen.

Regardless of storage methods, always keep hops in the freezer, not the refrigerator. If using "ziplock" bags, make sure to squeeze the headspace of air out of the bag by rolling it before closing it.


Cheap vac packers are available at Walmart and other outlets. The bags, albeit clear, that are used with these machines are gas impermeable. An improvement would be to purchase foiled, opaque, pre-cut bags and vac pack with those using the same machine. You may have to experiment with different bag thicknesses to find ones that work reliably.

If neither of these options are feasible, the best you can do is to buy gas impermeable, foiled, opaque bags with "ziplock" closures. Fill them, roll the bags prior to sealing to remove as much air as possible and place the package in the freezer.

Eric
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Thanks all

Postby stouts » Wed Jan 15, 2003 5:31 am

Thanks for all the info, and the interest in my shop. Things are going well but could always nbe better.
Jay
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