Fresh hop delima

I got the call that my hops were in September 5th. It’s now the 15th and I haven’t used them. They are still languishing in my fridge. This is a post about my dilemma with fresh hops. When I ordered them I was extremely excited to have ordered them. Now that they are over 10 days old in my possession, I’m a little less ecstatic.
In hindsight I don’t think I’d do this again, not this way it’s just not worth it. This isn’t a slam on the grower, the home-brew shop A&G homebrew, or wet hops in general, just that my particular scenario doesn’t seem to make any logical sense to use them. I need to invest in more shelf stable ready to use ingredients not extremely perishable ones.
I had to place my order them well in advance, July for a mid september arrival. I have a hard time predicting if I’ll have time to mow the lawn, let alone brew on short notice. One must understand agricultural product not grown locally subject to the whims of nature, and long distance shipping. I also ordered them from a shop far from home, requiring an hour and a half drive to get them, further complicating the logistics of brewing with them. Due to their freight, perishable nature, and the cost of retrieving them, they are expensive. $19 for 1LB of fresh Amarillo hops. When all said and done, they’ll have the alpha acid of 1/4-1/8th that, making it more than $6 an oz. Finally I don’t have any info on AA. Making it impossible to know what I’ll get from them. When I do get them into some wort, it’s likely going to be a mystery what I’ll get, and next to impossible to reproduce.
With all that said, I still need to get this hops into some wort. My next batch will be based on my first batch, a hoppy Amarillo American wheat, I originally called 2 AM Maiden.
The plan is to make it using the fresh hops as a flavor/ aroma addition at 5m. I am trying to reduce some of the bitterness, and add more hop flavor, the hop schedule I used for the original batch, had additions at 60, 45, 30, 15, and dry. The new hop schedule, which Beersmith calculates at 30 IBU, has 60m, 5m and dry hop additions. It’s an extremely basic extract recipe. Just what I’ve got time to make on such short notice. More later, but I’m off to start my starter.

About Aaron

Homebrewer, Cyclist, locavore, Craft Beer lover, husband, father, blogger, photographer, alpaca farmer, New England sports fan, all around Geek.

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