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Brewbirds

What is it with pellet hops...

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didn't want to hijack Beer-Lords post about what to put hops in but have a (kind of) similar question.

I use stainless, fine mesh tea balls for my hop additions and have noticed a very odd thing (maybe).

We have used a bunch of different kinds of pellet hops over time and some completely disintegrate leaving the tea balls empty when I pull them out while others stay in the ball and form a compact mass.

I have, when emptying/cleaning not seen any sign that the hops which stay in the container have not been completely saturated (dry spots in the center) nor have I noticed a difference in the expected out come of the beer itself.

It seems completely random to me that some disintegrate and others don't. No use by issues, no storage issues between one or the other.

Anyone else notice this or know why?

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We use the same method with the stainless steel fine mesh balls. Never had them completely disintegrate or notice any dry hops in the center and we've used every type of hop available. Wonder if it's a specific type of hop thats disintegrating. We have noticed that if we put more than 1/2 oz. of hops in the ball it gets too compacted and wonder if we're getting all the hop addition that we could so we keep it to no more than 1/2 oz. for each ball.

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[attachment=14214]hopping02_2013-07-13.gif[/attachment]


Hoppis are strange creatures. Be carefuls of the mesh or hole sizes in the bagsis and balls.

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Does it have anything to do with the length of boiling? Can you tell? Not sure if they would disintegrate more if it boiled longer, but maybe. Or, hops are mysterious creatures. Much like them pesky yeastes.

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This happened to me a couple of times using muslin sacks believe it or not. I was surprised. Unfortunately, I don't remember what hops they were. I wonder if different brands are ground to a finer powder before they are made into pellets. The funny thing was that I didn't notice any additional hop sludge than normal after I transferred to the fermenter.

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I switched from muslin sacks to stainless tea balls a while back when I noticed a moldy smell after cleaning and drying them.

I have had pellet hops "disappear" into the kettle several different times throughout the boil on different recipes which is why I posted this question for others to see if they noticed it.

It seems completely random so far to me as far as where in the boil and which variety.

Hop mystery for the :borg: to solve?

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Same here, some hops clump and others don't. I've not made a mental note of which ones do and don't as I've just recently noticed it.
I think clumps happen less in hot water and more in dry hopped fermenters. Just a guess.

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5 gallon paint strainer bags work pertty well. You can clip them to the side of the kettle. Easy to ad more hops and stir from time to time. Here's proof that Columbus, Simcoe and Centennial don't disappear on ya.

[attachment=14218]Plinysack.jpg[/attachment]

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The ones that are disappearing on you may have been type T-45 pellets.

There are two major types:

T-90 pellets are made by processing the hops through a hammer mill producing a fine powder which is then extruded through a die producing the familiar pellet shape, generally a quarter to half inch long. They contain the entire amount of vegetal matter that they had when the process started, minus a bit of powdery dust.

T-45 pellets are processed in much the same way, however as they are processed through the hammer mill, they are heated which makes the lupulin less sticky. This allows some of the vegetal matter to be removed. The remaining material is then process through the extrusion die the same way as the T-90 hops.
In this way, T-45 hops can provide the same AA numbers as T-90 processed hop pellets, but with less overall matter in the boil pot at the end of the day.

:)

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I go with a hop spider, similar to what Inkleg uses. The nylon mesh is finer than muslin, and hop additions are easy, since it's just a wide-open tube suspended over the wort.

I do keep muslin hops sacks around for dry hopping, and first wort hopping. But I haven't noticed the complete disintegration thing in any of my hops. I always have a lot of hop sludge left over.

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Never had hops disappear!
In fact, with my mesh grain bag, I get very little hops residue in my trub!

Use muslin for dry hopping, but I'm considering stopping that practice for monetary reasons.

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"BigPapaG" post=386371 said:

The ones that are disappearing on you may have been type T-45 pellets.

There are two major types:

T-90 pellets are made by processing the hops through a hammer mill producing a fine powder which is then extruded through a die producing the familiar pellet shape, generally a quarter to half inch long. They contain the entire amount of vegetal matter that they had when the process started, minus a bit of powdery dust.

T-45 pellets are processed in much the same way, however as they are processed through the hammer mill, they are heated which makes the lupulin less sticky. This allows some of the vegetal matter to be removed. The remaining material is then process through the extrusion die the same way as the T-90 hops.
In this way, T-45 hops can provide the same AA numbers as T-90 processed hop pellets, but with less overall matter in the boil pot at the end of the day.

:)


That would explain it most likely if they are processed by the grower and not the provider. Most of the ones I get are from Hopunion and a few are in AHS packaging which is a thin, see through mylar package.
I used two different types of tea ball yesterday and both were empty after a 60 minute boil of Hopunion German Pearle.

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After reading some of "For the Love of Hops" I tried commando for dry hopping. I could not believe the difference. I had been using weighted hop sacks. I never got near the aroma as what I got from commando.

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"Gymrat" post=386472 said:

After reading some of "For the Love of Hops" I tried commando for dry hopping. I could not believe the difference. I had been using weighted hop sacks. I never got near the aroma as what I got from commando.

+1 Maximizing the surface area of the hop to wort contact does make a big difference.

:)

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I dry hop commando as well.

I try to contain the hops in a boil so I can remove them in order to prevent a vegetal flavor from the remnants sitting in the wort for 3 weeks.

Since I do LBK size batches I'm not dealing with a lot of extra gunk like you might get in a 5 gallon IPA for example.

If the T-45 theory is correct I guess I don't have to worry about off flavors.

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"Gymrat" post=386472 said:

After reading some of "For the Love of Hops" I tried commando for dry hopping. I could not believe the difference. I had been using weighted hop sacks. I never got near the aroma as what I got from commando.

No kidding...that big of a difference? Looks like I'm going to have to try this. I am guessing most of the hops cover the top of the beer in the fermenter. Do the hops then drop and compact nicely when cold crashed?

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This goes along to what I've mentioned a few times that I worry about losing hop oils when using bags in BOTH my boil and dry hopping. To compensate, I've many times just added more.

This is another reason that many do secondary's. Even though they go commando in the secondary, the fact that they've racked to a second vessel does help with clearing so that going commando in a secondary is not a big deal. However, I'm sure there's a limit. 1 or 2 ounces commando versus 8 like Maharaja would show a noticeable amount of hop junk.

Next time I keg, I think I'll try putting a hop sack on the end of the hose to catch some of the material without aerating. We'll see how that works.

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"Brewbirds" post=386478 said:


If the T-45 theory is correct I guess I don't have to worry about off flavors.

Here's the supporting documentation from two sources on the difference in processing of the two types:

Note: I wouldn't say the T-45's dissapear, more that there is either less (vegetal matter) to be found, and / or because there is less vegetal matter, it can escape the tea balls and hop sacks easier...

:)

http://www.hopunion.com/1017_HopPellets.cfm?p4=open

and

http://www.kettletokeg.com/blog/2012/05/t-90-versus-t-45-hop-pellets-what-does-it-mean/

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When processing hops - especially from a smaller facility's point of view - there is also a dial in process at the start of each batch. The speed of the hammer mill needs to be set as well as the extruder to control the compaction and more importantly the heat. A lot of this has to due with the moisture content of the finished product which most always is not the same batch to batch so the black art of dialing in is set in motion. Assuming the pellets arent burned or falling apart they are simply mixed in with the rest of the batch. They may not have the same integrity as the other 99%, but for a commercial brewer buying 44# at a pop that wee amount does not concern them. However, it may make a difference for people only using 1/2oz at a pop. Ive had that problem with other hops (most recently Falconer's flight where have stayed pretty good in one bag and half pretty much oozed out) but never with anything we produced now that I think about it.

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"BlackDuck" post=386483 said:

"Gymrat" post=386472 said:

After reading some of "For the Love of Hops" I tried commando for dry hopping. I could not believe the difference. I had been using weighted hop sacks. I never got near the aroma as what I got from commando.

No kidding...that big of a difference? Looks like I'm going to have to try this. I am guessing most of the hops cover the top of the beer in the fermenter. Do the hops then drop and compact nicely when cold crashed?


I've done this, and I was surprised how quickly they cleared during the cold crash.

"Beer-lord" post=386485 said:

Next time I keg, I think I'll try putting a hop sack on the end of the hose to catch some of the material without aerating. We'll see how that works.


I tried it, I didn't think it worked well at all. I've used a strainer like Gymrat and that was much better. But today I finished making my hop spider, and I'm going to try that for the boil. Still going to dry hop commando.

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"azmark" post=386714 said:

I have a bunch of different sizes and I like using them; I use two smaller ones for the 60 becacuse I like hearing them rattle around in the kettle. :)

I use the 4" (I think) for the hop stand but usually just commando a dry hop unless I plan on washing the yeast.

I just thought it was strange how some left little hop balls inside them and others dissolved completely, no in between, they either had wet hop material in them or they were empty when I pulled them out.

After Big Papas post I looked on the package and Hopunion doesn't say if a particular hop is the 45 vs. 90
but it is the only thing that I can figure.

Anyway it was just one of those "what's up with this things" and I'm the curious type.

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