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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Centennial Hop Choice
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:59 PM   #11
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Trust me- pellets are a great idea.
Why do you prefer them? I get that the whole leaf hops absorb more wort. Other than (at least at my LHBS) the fact that there appear to be more varieties available in pellet form, what do you see as the biggest advantage or two? I guess I'm approaching this from the same school of approach that I do when cooking--go for the freshest, least processed ingredients possible. Pellet hops seem like using canned corn when there's fresh stuff on the cob available.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:06 PM   #12
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Easier to use, better utilization, easier to store, often times less expensive, more international varieties available.

Yeah I can see why its been so difficult to convince yourself to make the jump.
Kinda snarky, no?
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:45 PM   #13
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Why do you prefer them? I get that the whole leaf hops absorb more wort. Other than (at least at my LHBS) the fact that there appear to be more varieties available in pellet form, what do you see as the biggest advantage or two? I guess I'm approaching this from the same school of approach that I do when cooking--go for the freshest, least processed ingredients possible. Pellet hops seem like using canned corn when there's fresh stuff on the cob available.
Your corn comparison is not really apt. Canned corn has been cooked suboptimally (for preservation and not for flavor/texture) and then pasteurized for long term storage at room temp, in water (a state corn was not meant to be stored in). Hops that are pelletized are exactly the same stuff as hole cone hops, they're basically just cut and pressed, entirely under a neutral gas, usually CO2 or N2, so no flavor or aroma is lost. Apart from the heat of compression, the hops are never heated or cooked in any way. A better comparison would be buying whole broccoli vs cut florettes.

Anyway, you already listed two big advantages that I don't think should be tossed aside lightly: price and availability.

The other big advantages are: better AA utilization from the same amount of hops, much longer storage times (last longer), take up less space, easier to weigh out, easier to dry hop in a carboy (especially large amounts), less wort absorption, among other things.

The only downside to pellet hops (and this is a pretty minimal one) that comes to mind is you have to use a bag or spider if (and only if) you use a plate chiller, and really, you kind of need to filter out leaf hops in the same way.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:39 PM   #14
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I still use a bag for both types of hops and I don't use a plate chiller. I get pounds and pounds of gunky crap back out of a brew that, otherwise, I'd have to wait and let it take up space in primary.

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Old 02-12-2013, 06:02 PM   #15
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I bought my Centennial from Hop Heaven via eBay. The seller contacted me before shipping and suggested I switch from pellet to leaf hops for them. He said his Centennial pellets are only good as rabbit food. Of course, I switched to leaf.

I wonder if you got the same bad pellets he was talking about?
And he still had them up for sale? I'll definitely street clear of that seller.

I've typically used pellet hops for the reasons already stated. They take up less space, give better utilization and are easier to measure. Having used both, I haven't seen any advantage to using whole leaf.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:20 PM   #16
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There has been some recent research that suggests that in addition to getting superior AA utilization you also get up to twice the effect from pellets as you would from whole cones for dry hopping. I would imagine that this is also the case for late additions.

This goes on top of the advantages that pellets have in terms of storage space, reduced oxygen exposure and ease of measuring.

Not to mention that frequently the lupulin glands tend to fall out of whole cones potentially yielding inconsistent levels of bittering.

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