Jump to content
Mr.Beer Community
Sign in to follow this  
iceberg

Whole Hops vs. Hop Pellets

Recommended Posts

Hey guys just wanted to see your thoughts on what you use.  Whole hops or hop pellets.  I've done some googling and some of the data I see looks like whole hops are just better for dry hopping and hop aroma.  What do you use and what are your thoughts? Also is there a specific hop season where a certain hop is the freshest at a specific time of the year?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have used cone/leaf hops once and just got another oz.(Christmas present from the lhbs) I do not dry hop I use mine as flavor and aroma boils. In flavor, I tasted no difference from the pellet. I got to say I liked sticking my nose in that bag way better than sniffing a pouch of pellets.  According to BeerSmith using leaf at the same alpha netted me a .1 increase in IBUs.  Switching from one hop to the other might've caused a hiccup. For my money, pellet is easier to store and more convenient to use, never mind trying to explain to a cop about that baggie of green leafy stuff (you know he'll never believe you).   :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use pellet now but 40+ years ago I used leaf. There is something very back to nature feel about rolling the flower cones in your hands and getting the resinous residue on your fingers - mmmm! - it does have a slightly different smell I think but no sure how much difference it makes to the beer if you have fresh pellets. I think the pellets are very convenient.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks.  So I guess leaf or pellets is just personal preference and convenience.  I might pick up some just to try it for aroma and flavor and experience it for myself.  It's all about learning. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I'll note is that the whole dry hops tend to suck up liquid like a sponge, so you have to account for that.  Wet hops, on the other hand, are still wet (i.e., 80% or more water by weight as opposed to 10%ish in the dry hops), so they don't do this.  The pellets do this as well, but (IMHO) not nearly to the same degree.  So that's a potential disadvantage with the dry whole hops, or at the very least something you need to account for.  Also, to me they are a bit harder to weigh, and they are pretty light so they take up a lot more fermenter space than the pellets.

 

Of course there are advantages as well.  They are so much easier to get out of the wort, especially if you are commando.  You also, IMHO, do get some better characteristics, particularly aroma.   So, with that being said, I tend to use them for dry hops/aroma additions, but they certainly can be used for any hopping purposes as well.  

 

Of course, the best course of action is to get a relationship with your local brewery, pick hops for them at their hop farm, and take some home to wet hop your beer with...   ;)

 

1081620_10151719260668805_2019598052_n.j

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On my second Oktoberfest I added some hop pellets and used a different yeast and it turned out to be a different but very outstanding beer.  I've always used pellets with canned kits or extracts and they've worked beautifully.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pellets have more surface area since they have been pulverized and thus oz for oz more efficient.  Pellets will also not degrade as quickly as whole, dry hops since only the exterior is exposed to the air.  With wet whole hops it is all but impossible to know the effect on IBU so they are generally only used for aroma, maybe flavor, but never bittering unless it is a novelty "100% Wet Hopped" beer that some micros like to do "just because."  I prefer pellets and a hop sack since it is much easier and you get a lot less waste which is important to a hophead like me who has no problem dumping in a pound of hops per 5 gallon batch at times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Noting the above that hops and other stuff in bags suck up liquid, when making the Mr B with 2gal brew, bags of stuff you later remove take out liquid too.

*If I am augmenting by soaking some malt grain in the 4 cups of water for additional flavor, I will add more liquid into it after removing the grain bag to make it back to 4 cups for dissolving the HME/LME/DME to compensate. (Probably not essential but makes me feel better).

*If I have one or 2 bags of hops in the LBK that I will remove before bottling, I will add a bit more water into the wort so that I still get my full number of bottles after removing the hop bags.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...