Past crop hop useage - bittering only?
So as everyone else we are struggling to find 2011 harvest hops for the varieties we want. We have found many 2009 harvest hops from good suppliers, nitrogen flushed and soft vac packed to preserve flavor and stored cold.
My question is this: based on my decade of coffee sourcing and roasting my assumption is that hops are a crop comprised of highly volatile compounds and highly susceptible to oxidation and staling. (just like green coffee!) therefoe nitro flushing, barrier bags, vac packing and frozen storage will all HELP reduce the flavor and aroma degradation.
HOWEVER once you open the package in our experience with green coffee in the same packaging that it stales at a VERY rapid rate once you open the bag.
so my thought is that you could use past crop hops for bittering but NOT for aroma and flavor and not dry hopping. Especially if like us you are brewing on the beach in the tropics where high moisture and heat fight us daily.
so any direct experience i using 1-3 year old hops and the flavor and bittering qualities of those compared to newer harvest hops?
do they stale super fast once you open them?
any other thoughts or advice?
has any thoughts or opinions?
I think that if they're stored properly (freezer, no oxygen, good bags) they might still be fresh enough for aroma use, but use your nose - if they smell good, they probably are good. If not, use 'em for bittering. Some varieties store better than others. I definitely try and not use old hops, but sometimes there aren't a lot of options.