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Old 01-19-2013, 04:11 PM   #1
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Default Whole versus Pellet Hops..matter of preference?

I've always used pellet hops but, in trying to get some Citra, the whole cones were all that were available so I had to buy those. Is there anything I should keep in mind when brewing with whole hops? Why do people use one or the other? Is one cheaper?

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Old 01-19-2013, 04:20 PM   #2
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I used pellet hops for a long time. I now use whole leaf. The reason being is that I have now have a plate chiller and the false bottom on my brew kettle still let all of the pellet hop residue through and it gums up the plate chiller. Whole leaf hops work better with the false bottom of the kettle. I haven't notice any difference in taste......

Standing by for post to the contrary.....

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Old 01-19-2013, 04:24 PM   #3
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ETCS is right. Also, pellets get better utilization, so keep that in mind. I use a pump/plate chiller setup and just do the pellets-in-a-sack work around. Cheers!

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Old 01-19-2013, 04:24 PM   #4
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I use primarily pellets, because I have had a couple bad experiences with whole hops clogging up my ball valve, hoses, etc. I do not have a false bottom on my kettle though. When I do use whole leaf hops I use a hop bag.

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Old 01-19-2013, 04:35 PM   #5
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I use both. I always use a hop bag as I have learned that lesson the hard way, more than once. I prefer pellets, but whole leafs work well. I suggest tossing them in a bag and weighing the bag down with some marbles. Granted I never do this because I am lazy, but whenever i open my fermenter and see that hop bag floating on top I think "Damn, I need to get some marbles."

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Old 01-19-2013, 04:36 PM   #6
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I also stick to pellets. The whole hops gave me hard times with clogging, wort absorption, etc. Also like others said pellets get better utilization because of their ability to roll around and break down in the kettle. Whole hops seem to sit on the top and they don't seem to roll around enough. And when adding pellets they are immediately utilized and broken down. Since the flowers float at first I feel like the timing is also off a little.

This is just my experience anyway. I also don't have a false bottom in my kettle or a plate chiller.

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Old 01-19-2013, 04:43 PM   #7
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Thanks for these tips. Sounds like pellets are fine and great and leaves are also fine and great, each have their pros and cons.

Guessing I'll stick with pellets for utilization and not fear using whole leaf when varieties I need aren't available.

I imagine no one here would say it's not fine to mix the two? If I have 2 ounces of citra pellets and 2 ounces of leaf citra, I can still use those in the same batch?

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Old 01-19-2013, 04:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamjackson View Post
I imagine no one here would say it's not fine to mix the two? If I have 2 ounces of citra pellets and 2 ounces of leaf citra, I can still use those in the same batch?
Nope, no problem with using both. In fact a lot of people use the whole leaf hops as a sorta filter.
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:57 PM   #9
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As for your 2 oz pellet/2 oz whole leaf absolutely use them however you want. There is a prevailing thought that leaf hops are better for dry hopping, but I'm not so sure. I do know pellet hops at DH additions tend to leave a fair bit more hop particulates than do the whole leaf. All of this of course makes me miss the days of the hop 'plugs' which were great for DH.

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Old 01-19-2013, 06:42 PM   #10
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I buy in bulk, pellets take up less room in the chest freezer.

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