Storing hop pellets -- what about freezing in water

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My LHBS is supposed to be ordering two one-pound bulk packages of pellet
hops for me, if he can get them.  He quoted $24/pound which seemed good
since he is already charging $2/ounce and indications are that they will
just go up in price. Anyway, at my current rate of usage they'll be gone
within about six months, but I still want to store them as best I can.

I don't have a vaccuum sealing system, and even if I did, I have no way
to purge the packages with nitrogen or CO2, so I have an idea that I'd
like some feedback about.  I was thinking that I could boil some water
to rid it of chlorine and oxygen, and then use it to protect the pellets
from oxygen.  I would weigh one ounce of pellets, put them into a small
zip-lock baggie, and add just enough water to surround and cover the
pellets, and then freeze them.  I don't think they'd take up much more
room in the freezer, and the small amount of water would be negligible
when added to the boil.  Even if the pellets start to dissolve before
freezing, that shouldn't matter.

Any comments or ideas about this?  Thanks.

Bill Velek - PERSONAL sites = www.velek.com & www.2plus2is4.com
740+ homebrewer group just for Equipment: www.tinyurl.com/axuol
380+ just for Growing Hops/Herbs/Grains: www.tinyurl.com/3au2uv
NEW group just for Homebrewing Supplies: www.tinyurl.com/2wnang
Join 'Homebrewers' to Help Cure Disease: www.tinyurl.com/yjlnyv

Re: Storing hop pellets -- what about freezing in water


How about this....

Get some mason jars to store your hops.  Pour some in, then put a some dry
ice on top, and let it purge the air from the bottle.  Then, seal the jar,
and freeze.  Instead of a mason jar, you could also use a beer bottle,
assuming you've got a capper.  With enough extra bottles lying around, you
could even store your hops in the amounts that you were planning to use
them.  It would take up a lot of freezer space, though.

Of course, your idea may work as well, too.
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Re: Storing hop pellets -- what about freezing in water


Most survivalist/camping places sell mylar bags that work well for hop
storage. No need to purge if you're keeping the hops in the freezer.
Just push the air out of the bag before sealing it. You will need a heat
sealer -- but these don't cost too much. The mylar bags will store well,
and can be resealed after each use.

SBartz@houston.rr.com wrote:
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Re: Storing hop pellets -- what about freezing in water



Bill Velek wrote:
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Water isn't actually an oxygen barrier. Just use either mylar bags (per
my other post), or mason jars (might not work quite as well). No need to
purge.


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Re: Storing hop pellets -- what about freezing in water


The Artist Formerly Known as Kap'n Salty wrote:

snip

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I know that water isn't an oxygen barrier, but I don't know about _ice_
which stricks me as _probably_ a better oxygen barrier than water, even
if it isn't perfect.  And my primary purpose with that approach wasn't
to keep oxygen from passing through the plastic bags and the ice to
reach the hops; it was to replace the air in the bag, which definitely
contains oxygen in immediate contact with the hops, with oxygen-free
water (the oxygen having been driven off during boiling) -- which I
figured would buy me some time.  I hoped that for only six months
storage, that this approach might help.  You have a valid idea about
using mylar, but I'd need to purchase a sealer and the bags whereas I
now have everything I need to try it the other way (storing in ice).

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The dry ice (SBartz idea), aside from being a bit hard to come by, has
the added problem of sometimes adding moisture to the container; I know
this from personal experience when I got sucked into making some Y2K
survival preparations.  I bought some dry ice, broke it into pieces,
dropped some of the pieces into 5 gallon food-grade buckets, filled them
with rice, corn meal, etc., and sealed the buckets after allowing some
time for the dry ice to evaporate and fill the buckets from the bottom
up with CO2.  Upon opening the buckets a year later, most of them had a
small spot of moldy contents in the middle of the bottom of the bucket
where the dry ice had been placed.  My conclusion is that, while
breaking and weighing the ice and filling the buckets, some humidity
from the air must have frozen onto the dry ice, providing a small amount
of concentrated moisture for the mold to form later.  While the amount
was very small relative to a 5-gallon bucket filled with grain,
proportionately it would be much greater if I were to add just one ounce
of hops to a mason jar.  And while it wouldn't present a problem if I
then froze the mason jars, I don't have a dedicated freezer for
homebrewing, and I'd lay very good odds that while moving frozen food
around in the freezer, I or my wife or son would probably manage to
break the jars -- not to mention the enormous amount of wasted space
they would occupy.  But thanks for brainstorming this with me.

Cheers.

Bill Velek - PERSONAL sites = www.velek.com & www.2plus2is4.com
750+ homebrewer group just for Equipment: www.tinyurl.com/axuol
380+ just for Growing Hops/Herbs/Grains: www.tinyurl.com/3au2uv
NEW group just for Homebrewing Supplies: www.tinyurl.com/2wnang
Join 'Homebrewers' to Help Cure Disease: www.tinyurl.com/yjlnyv

Re: Storing hop pellets -- what about freezing in water


Water ~ ice. Thus fish don't suffocate when lakes freeze over and our
northern neighbors have something to keep them occupied in the winter.
May be somewhat less o2 permeable in its solid form, but it won't offer
you any more protection than glass or heavy duty plastic.

Mason jars might be worth trying or even heavy-duty freezer bags. It's
not the air in the bag that will cause a problem -- it's the constant
interchange of oxygen over time. Push the air out of the bag before
sealing if you are concerned.

You've already actually won half the battle by keeping the hops in a
freezer. Actually for less than 6 months you might have won the whole
battle.

Note that heat sealers for mylar bags are pretty cheap last I checked --
not on the order of a vacuum sealer at all. I think mine was 20 dollars
or so new.

Bill Velek wrote:
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Re: Storing hop pellets -- what about freezing in water


Bill Velek wrote:

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I buy pound of pellets at a time and break up into 1oz units.  I use a Foodsaver
vacuum sealer and it works great.  You don't need to purge with N2, but you could
purge with CO2 if you have that..  I don't bother, and it sounds like you would
use then quickly enough.  I toss the packets in the freezer and pull out just
before
use.  They smell fresh when I open it.

--
Dan

Re: Storing hop pellets -- what about freezing in water


Bill Velek wrote:
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Bill have you tried a foodsaver. Here is the the web site.
http://www.foodsaver.com/
I have used this for bulk storage for awhile now with no problems.
It's Also Great if the wife buys in Bulk or you go Camping.

Brian

Re: Storing hop pellets -- what about freezing in water


Brian wrote:
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I love my Foodsaver.  I seal up bulk meats, hops, and grains..
in seperate packages of course.  Love it!

--
Dan

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