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I'm often tempted to buy my commonly used hop pellets online in bulk and storing them in my freezer. A lot of the cheap bulk hops are from the previous year. Assuming they are vacuum packed and frozen, is it safe to buy 2008 harvest hops or am I wasting my money?

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It's safe if stored properly. Their bittering power will diminish with time - software like ProMash will help you estimate their current alpha acid content.

Before using them just take a whiff to tell if they have developed any cheesy aromas. You can always make a giant batch of lambic if they get too old.

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Are there sources online you would recommend that can be guaranteed to have stored the hops properly to begin with? – Jordan Jan 5 '10 at 4:12
I have only used hopsdirect.com About to make another order. – Dean Brundage Jan 6 '10 at 16:18

As long as you factor in the loss of alpha acid over time you should be fine. A reputable supplier may even help you with the estimate.

I would also recommend that you plan to use them relatively quickly if you want to get the most out of them. So think of your next 3-4 brew sessions and work with those hops. I'd invest in a vacuum sealer yourself, to weigh and repackage these hops you get.

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