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mafifer

2 Topics -- Hop Freeze and OG

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So I found an LHBS not far from my home and went to get some Hallertau for an upcoming recipe, when I requested the hops, she pulled them out of a freezer.  She said that I should get them in the freezer as soon as possible.  Is that normal practice?  I did put them in there since I don't know any better but when it is time to use them, do I take them out and let them thaw before using them?  Also, when adding hops, do I only need to sanitize the bag beforehand if I am dry-hopping?  

 

Second topic is about original gravity, I got a Hydrometer and understand how to read it, my question is when exactly do I take the first reading for Original Gravity?  Is it right after I pitch the yeast and close the lid, a few hours later, after Krauzen?  I did a batch Friday (howing red ale) and remembered to do a reading about 20 minutes after I pitched.  My reading was 1.0036 which is a bit lower than the recipe page states it should be so I am not sure if I took it too soon/late or that was caused because some other factor was a little off from the recipe.  

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Storing hops in the freezer is common, especially for long term. But they won't go rancid if you leave them out. I've always thawed them before using.

Yes, sanitize the muslin sack for dry hopping. Either with sanitizer or boil it (empty) for a few minutes.

I've always taken a OG reading before I pitched my yeast. Keep in mind that the syrup is highly concentrated, so even missing some (i.e. top of lid, last bit inside, etc.) is going to lower your reading, moreso than adding to much water.

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So I found an LHBS not far from my home and went to get some Hallertau for an upcoming recipe, when I requested the hops, she pulled them out of a freezer.  She said that I should get them in the freezer as soon as possible.  Is that normal practice?  I did put them in there since I don't know any better but when it is time to use them, do I take them out and let them thaw before using them?  Also, when adding hops, do I only need to sanitize the bag beforehand if I am dry-hopping?  

 

Second topic is about original gravity, I got a Hydrometer and understand how to read it, my question is when exactly do I take the first reading for Original Gravity?  Is it right after I pitch the yeast and close the lid, a few hours later, after Krauzen?  I did a batch Friday (howing red ale) and remembered to do a reading about 20 minutes after I pitched.  My reading was 1.0036 which is a bit lower than the recipe page states it should be so I am not sure if I took it too soon/late or that was caused because some other factor was a little off from the recipe.  

 

Yes, freezing them will greatly preserve the shelf life. There is NO need to thaw before using. When dry-hopping, you only need to sanitize the bag. The hops are naturally anti-bacterial.

 

Always take your 1st gravity reading BEFORE pitching the yeast. The hydrometer measures the amount of sugar in a batch. If you pitch the yeast and they start consuming that sugar already, you will have defeated the purpose of taking an OG. 

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