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Old 05-16-2009, 09:12 PM   #1
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Default Whole hops,pellet hops, hop cakes

What is the difference? I would think Whole hops would be better. However I have no idea.



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Old 05-16-2009, 09:23 PM   #2
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"Whole hops" are just the cones. Some people call them "Whole Leaf" which is really a misnomer (named wrong). When used in a recipe it is common to use 10% more WH than pellet quantities unless the recipe specifies whole hops. Whole hop shelf life is shorter than pellets. All hops should be stored in a vacuum sealed bag in the freezer.

Pellets are pulverized whole hops. They are used per the recipe. Pellet shelf life is usually longer under the right conditions as they are formed tighter and have less of their surface exposed to the air.

Hop Cakes...that's a new one on me...let me know what kind of frosting you use... Actually, I think you mean "plugs". These are whole hops that usually come in pre-weighed 1/2 oz form. See "whole hops".



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Old 05-21-2009, 01:33 PM   #3
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So i guess their is no taste difference? Just packaging and concetration levels?

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Old 05-21-2009, 02:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crystalcabot View Post
So i guess their is no taste difference? Just packaging and concetration levels?
Pretty much, yes. In terms of utilization of AA during the boil, pelletized hops are 'better' because the lupulin glands are pulverized during processing.

I prefer whole leaf in the kettle because of the filter bed that they provide when pulling wort through the dip tube.
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:11 PM   #5
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How come you do not use a bag? So, the Lupulin, when pulverized releases what to make it better?

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Old 05-21-2009, 02:15 PM   #6
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How to Brew - By John Palmer - Hops
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:27 PM   #7
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the pulverization of the hop material in the pelletization process reduces the material to mere flecks of vegetal matter thus increasing the surface area in the wort (supposedly). The rupturing of the lupulin glands provides for an easier breakdown of the oils (Alpha and Beta Acids) that are the compounds that provide the bittering, flavoring, and fragrance to our beers. the actual plant material is nothing more than a "wrapper" so to speak.

Pelletized hops calculate as a 10% increase in utilization, that is how much of the oils are extracted into the wort but at a cost to total available. It's suggested taht the processing causes a 10% or greater loss in total oils due to the rigorous manner in which they are handled in teh machinery.

Given the compact nature of the pellets, they are less suceptible to oxidative staling in that less surface are is available in packaging. the down side is that it takes a little more effort in the brewhouse to separate the material after boiling and the pellets don;t provide the break filtering aid that whole hops do.

Some suggest that whole hops provide for a smoother, fresher contribution to the wort in all respects but that is purely subjective. While they are less processed if you have ever seen what they go through to get to the bag you'd understand how much is still lost to the factory.

Whole hops come at a cost to storage space and to wort absorption. All that vegetal material can really soak up some wort in the kettle. The bags tend to take up a ton of room in the freezer too, even if you used a vacuum sealer. It's feasible to compare that the freezer space a few ounces of whole hops takes up, one could store nearly a pound of pellets.

Plugs (or cakes as you've put) are just a means to find a middle ground between the two. Some systems aren't designed to handle pellet filtering.

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Old 05-21-2009, 03:17 PM   #8
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wow thanks guys. So much to learn my god.



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