vacuum packing

Fri Aug 07, 2009 6:37 am

I have completed the first pickings of my plants, dried my booty on screens, and after trying to ziplock the dried hops, sucking the air out of the bags with a straw, I decided to get a vacuum sealer. I got a $50 one from Walmart and it worked awesome. I packaged all my hops in 1oz bags and the sealer really packed them tight. I have a hard time believing that they wont be as fresh as the day I bagged them when I pull them out of the freezer to use. :) So far, on my second year plants, I have collected 11oz Cascade, 4oz Magnum, and 4oz Sterling. At $4 per oz at the LHBS, they easily have paid for the vacuum sealer, which will serve me well in years to come. If I am going to all the trouble of cultivating these hops, I might as well make damn sure I can use them. I can't wait to get yeast slants going, so I can make a beer only having to pay for grain. Even my base malts I buy buy the 55lb bag. That should put a pilsner at about $11 per batch, or 23 cents a beer. heh, heh.
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Re: vacuum packing

Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:26 pm

Nice work justifying the cost of the vaccum sealer, that makes it seem a lot more reasonable now that I read it. Even if you bulk buy your hops and repack them, it would eventually pay for itself.

As for your yeast slants, what media are you using? wort with agar? lab media? I'm interested in your methods.
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Re: vacuum packing

Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:59 pm

Where do you live that your hops are ready to pick? We have had such crappy weather that most of the hops seem stunted! Lots of rain with not a lot of chance for fertilizer. The vaccuum sealer is the way to go. Your hops will still be great out of the freezer provided you dried and cured them well before packaging. You will also find many other uses for it now that you own one.
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Re: vacuum packing

Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:01 am

I have not started yeast slants, yet. That will be an upcoming endeavor. I live in Ohio. We have had quite a bit of rain this season and it seems like I have only watered the hops a couple times all summer, cause it rains every 3 days or so. I have been dosing them with miracle grow, off and on for most of the season. I still have 2 plants that have not flowered, and 1 that has cones that are not ready yet. These are all different varieties. The ones I picked were cascade, magnum, and sterling. The ones that aren't ready yet are willamette, EKG, and Mt. Hood.
On Deck:
Cream Ale
Fermenting:
Dusseldorf Altbier
On Tap:
Brown Porter

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Re: vacuum packing

Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:02 am

I am nearing the picking time for my Cascade and Wilmette hops. I was thinking that I could use my vacuum sealer to seal them fresh off the vine without drying them. I am thinking this would provide the ultimate fresh hop aroma and flavor when I use them. I plan to seal them in 1 ounce bags then store them in my deep freezer. Has anyone tried this yet or have feedback on the idea?
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Re: vacuum packing

Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:03 am

This might result in a lot of vegetal flavors in your beer. Freezing the hops wet will cause the water to expand and burst the cell walls, similar to freezing lettuce, leaving you with grassy flavors in the beer. This is hypothetical; I haven't done this.
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Re: vacuum packing

Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:49 am

I will test it with a small sample. I think I will use the dehydrator and then follow up with vacuum sealing for the rest.
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Re: vacuum packing

Tue Aug 23, 2011 11:55 am

brewinhard wrote:Where do you live that your hops are ready to pick? We have had such crappy weather that most of the hops seem stunted! Lots of rain with not a lot of chance for fertilizer. The vaccuum sealer is the way to go. Your hops will still be great out of the freezer provided you dried and cured them well before packaging. You will also find many other uses for it now that you own one.

I have also picked my Cascade twice this year, about 10oz wet. Vines are now bursting with cones. Been very hot and sunny this year. I water about twice a week on average with soaker hoses, depending on the weather. I could also use a vacuum sealer :jnj
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