Hop Editor: 'Storage' and 'Storage Factor'

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Hop Editor: 'Storage' and 'Storage Factor'

Postby billvelek » Thu Jun 21, 2007 10:50 am

Based upon a comment in my 'Grow-Hops' group wherein a member mentioned how he has a vacuum packer that permits him to also flush with nitrogen, ... and knowing that I'll eventually be packaging my own hops WITHOUT nitrogen, ... and recognizing that there are bound to be a lot of homebrewers who open bulk packages of hops and then do the best they can to reseal without even a vacuum, it occurred to me that software needs a way to consider storage methods in trying to determine and compensate for hop degradation. I then looked at BTP again, and note that the 'Hop Editor', used to edit the 'Hop Browser' database, contains two particular fields: "Storage" and "Storage Factor". The BTP Wiki says this:

How well the hop will maintain alpha acid in storage This is an indicator of the stability of the hop variety. Freezing it, and keeping oxygen out of the package will prolong the alpha-acid lifetime (as opposed to warmer temperatures and an non-sealed package).

Storage Factor
Alpha acid storage quality on a scale of 1-100 (Fact check requested)

[As an aside, I don't know what "Fact check requested" means.] Anyway, the "Storage" field has a drop-down menu with these values: 'unspecified', 'good', 'fair', and 'poor'. The "Storage Factor" field can contain a value of a million (that has to be a bug). I'd like to know how these fields should be properly used. I'm assuming that one field should represent the characteristic for storagability of that particular variety of hops, under ideal conditions, and that the other should represent the storage conditions of the user -- whether sealed or resealed in a vacuum?, nitrogen?, frozen?, and age? And by the way, it would seem to me that 'age' is fundamental and perhaps the greatest factor in the overall degradation formula, so it would seem appropriate to me that it would need it's own field rather than to be judged by the user while trying to arrive at some subjective "Storage Factor".

Anyway, I never actually looked for it, but it is apparent that BTP does not have a tool to factor in any hop degradation; if it does, I can't find it, and I just went through all of the menus. I'd therefore like to ask that this be added to the wish list because it is a tool that I'm sure I will begin to use, although I haven't in the past, because I am now growing and storing my own hops. _IF_ a degradation feature is added in the future, I'd also like to suggest that BTP have the ability to factor that in automatically rather than through the use of a separate tool. In other words, I would like to be able to enter some info re my hops in the future inventory feature, such as date of purchase along with AA%, and then -- absent a change in my standard storage conditions -- BTP would automatically know and consider age of hops along with AA% when it is selected for a recipe.

MAJOR EDIT: Let me add that the discussion on my Grow-Hops group actually began with these comments about ProMash:

Has anyone had the experience of seriously overhopping a beer using the quantity adjustments for aged hops in the Promash software? I used the Promash calculations and seriously over bittered three ten gallon all grain batches.
... Any brewing program that calculates hop degradation over time will make assumptions. Did you enter the correct information, like how it's sealed (3 choices), starting alpha, storage temperature (your freezer might be colder than you think), and age in months?

So, it would appear to me that ProMash does have a hop degradation tool which allows the user to provide info re how it is sealed, storage temp, and age -- although I don't know how well it works. Looks like ProMash possibly has a bit of a problem with it.


Bill Velek
Visit www.tinyurl.com/bvelek - portal to my brewing sites: 3,100+ members on 'Grow-Hops', and 1,350+ brewers on my 'BrewingEquip' group.
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