How to store and preserved open been hops

Monday, October 30, 2023

Beer hops are an integral component of brewing, responsible for imparting bitterness to balance the malt's sweetness and introducing unique flavors and aromas. However, once opened, hops begin to lose their potency, and their essential oils start to degrade.

Consequently, the storage of leftover hops becomes a crucial topic for brewers who aim to achieve consistent brewing results. Let's dive into the intricacies of storing beer hops and understand the best practices.

storing hops to presever flavor and aroma

Why is Proper Storage Essential?

Before delving into the 'how,' it's pivotal to understand the 'why.' The primary reason brewers are keen on preserving their hops is to maintain the hops' bittering qualities. As hops age, they lose these qualities, and the essential oils begin to degrade. Using deteriorated hops can result in a beer that doesn't align with the brewer's flavor and aroma expectations.

As the old adage goes, "Fresh is best."

Freezing: A Popular Brewer's Trick

One of the most common methods brewers employ to store leftover hops is freezing. This method might seem rudimentary, but its effectiveness is rooted in simplicity:

  • Procedure: Begin by placing the leftover hops in a zip-lock bag. It's essential to remove as much air as possible from the bag to prevent any potential oxidation. Once sealed, the bag can be stored in the freezer.

  • Vacuum Sealing: For those aiming for a more 'professional' approach, a vacuum sealer can be used. This device removes all traces of air from the bag, ensuring the hops remain fresh for an extended period.

  • With a proper vacuum seal, freezing might become optional, though it remains a recommended step for extended storage.

Refrigeration: A Viable Alternative

Another effective method to store hops is refrigeration. Similar to the freezing method, the hops should be placed in a zip-lock bag with excess air removed. If done correctly, hops can remain fresh in the refrigerator for up to a year. The success of this method heavily relies on minimizing air exposure, which can lead to oxidation.


Whether you're a novice home brewer or a seasoned professional, understanding the nuances of hop storage is crucial. Both freezing and refrigeration methods offer viable solutions, with the primary focus being on reducing air exposure. By ensuring your hops are stored correctly, you can ensure they retain their bittering qualities and essential oils, leading to a consistent and flavorful brewing experience.

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