When it comes to making a tasty, aromatic homebrew, one of the most important variables is the freshness of your hops. \n\n\n\nIf you've been brewing for a while, or even if you've taken a recent break, we've all come across the situation when we've reached into the back of a freezer and found an ounce of Citra, or perhaps a more archaic blend.\n\n\n\nOn the other hand, you might have just visited your local homebrewing store (I went today, best day ever!) and then suddenly something comes up to postpone your next brew day.\n\n\n\nThere's always that debate, is it still good? Can I and should I add it into my next batch?\n\n\n\nDried, compressed hops (pellet hops) that have been properly stored in an unopened, airtight container remain fresh in the freezer for up to five years. Unopened dried whole hops, which are less stable, can be frozen for six to twelve months. In general, heat, oxygen, & light degrade hops quality.\n\n\n\nThat\u2019s the short and sweet answer, but if you\u2019re anything like me, you\u2019re looking for a bit more detail. \n\n\n\nFor instance, what\u2019s the best container for storing hops? Can you thaw hops and then refreeze them? \n\n\n\nAre the \u201crules\u201d the same for pellet hops, whole hops, and fresh hops? And that age-old question: what if I just keep them in the fridge?\n\n\n\nKeep reading, because I\u2019ve got those answers (and more) in this article!\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nCan hops be stored in the fridge?\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nAs a rule, always store your hops in a cold place in a sealed package. Normally that's no issue because for the most part you'll be buying your hops in sealed packets. (shop for your hops online at homebrewing.org).\n\n\n\nHowever, if you only make it to the local homebrew store once in a while and like to stock up, as I did earlier today, hop storage can become a little trickier.\n\n\n\nFor example, you may only need half an ounce of a hop variety for the batch you want to brew today and plan to reuse that other half an ounce for another brew in the future.\n\n\n\nIn these cases, storing your hops properly is really important if you want to produce the best possible beer.\n\n\n\nOnce a bag of hops has been opened, fridge storage will only help preserve the hops\u2019 alpha acids for a few days, and that\u2019s assuming the container is totally airtight.\n\n\n\nSo if you\u2019re going to be brewing within two days or so, go for it. Otherwise, pop those hops in the freezer.\u00a0\n\n\n\nNew to homebrewing? Please feel free to read my ultimate guide to brewing beer at home and where to start.\n\n\n\n\nhttps:\/\/youtu.be\/HPhOeFfy4Xk\n\n\n\n\nWhat\u2019s the ideal temperature for hop storage?\n\n\n\nHeat will really take a toll on the alpha acids in our hops. In fact, the rate of hops deterioration gets cut in half for every 27 degrees F (15 C) drop in temperature. \n\n\n\nSo, let\u2019s just say the best temperature for ensuring hops are in optimal condition is \u201cas low as possible.\u201d \n\n\n\nIf you\u2019re looking for a nice round number, 30 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit (-1 to -21 degrees Celsius) is ideal. \n\n\n\nIf possible, you should set your chest freezer to this temperature if you are storing hops and other brewing ingredients in it. I really cannot recommend getting an Inkbird ITC-308 temperature controller enough.\n\n\n\nI picked a couple up on Amazon for less than 50 bucks each and I use them for all my temperature control needs.\n\n\n\nMe at my local homebrewing store\n\n\n\nWhat other factors effect hops\u2019 quality? \n\n\n\nBesides avoiding heat and ensuring you haven\u2019t kept them too long, you want to keep hops away from oxygen and light. These will make them degrade faster.\n\n\n\nThe variety of the hops also matters. Some hops age faster than others. There are several tools available on the Web that let you calculate the alpha percentage in your hops depending on hops variety, form (pellet, etc.), storage temperature, container, and time.\n\n\n\nIf you aren't already a fan, which I am a huge one, check out this helpful resouce on beersmith.com.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n Plan your next Beer Creation?