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Something went bad in my refrigerator. I had about 4 or 5 ounces of hops in there for my next couple of batches. Should I toss them? I'm kinda worried about that smell getting into my beer. I've never seen it happen, but I have heard horror stories about it.

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    Assuming the hops were vacuum sealed, you should be fine. On the flip side of this, you didn't notice a hop smell in your fridge when you started storing your hops in there, did you? – brendo234 Mar 2 '17 at 20:45
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Hops stored in a sealed packet in a fridge should be alright to use - even if the rest of the fridge is "crawling" with bugs. I say this because the hops grew in the open air and since picking have not been treated with anything "antibacterial" or "anti-fungal" (or should not have been). They are just dried and stored and sold. So the hops themselves are not aseptic - they just don't support a lot of bacterial/fungal life. Which is one reason they are used in beer.

As has been said, if the hops are destined for the kettle then the boiling process will sterilise all. If one is going to use them to dry hop in the brew that should still be OK. If one was ultra paranoid about infections then one could microwave the dry hops for a short time (eg 15s) before adding. It works but might be considered a bit excessive.

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I wouldn't be worried to use them - they're pretty pungent little fellows and I've never seen them pick up off-aromas. If they smell good to you, they're probably good. ESPECIALLY if they're going to hit the boil kettle.

They do well with anti-bacterial problems as well, so infection shouldn't be a big risk.

I'd use them.

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  • They are for dry hopping, but yeah I think you are right. I was being paranoid. – mreff555 Mar 2 '17 at 23:10

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