I just watched an interesting report about the history of beer brewing on The History Channel. Aside from the fact that it was all about the history of beer , I learned that Anheuser-Busch, and some other breweries make a hop tea to determine the hop profile of the beers they produce. I was wondering if I could use a similar approach when homebrewing (like making a concoction of hop tea separate from the boiling wort to taste) then adding the tea to the hot wort before fermentation. Would this work as well as steeping the hops directly in the brew kettle (in other words, would it still extract the bitterness and aroma from the hops)?
Furthermore, if this can be done, it looked like AB (and perhaps the rest of the commercial breweries for that matter) used whole leaf hops to make the tea. Would using pellet hops for this process still work?
Please forgive me if these are stupid questions.