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-   -   How to make Hop Plugs or Hop Pellets (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f92/how-make-hop-plugs-hop-pellets-58648/)

GlassblowersBrew 03-12-2008 06:08 PM

How to make Hop Plugs or Hop Pellets
Does anyone know how to make hop plugs or pellets. I would love to build some crazy device to make it happen, any ideas....?

Also, Is there a test to discover the the Alpha Acid content of the hops that I grow?


cheezydemon 03-12-2008 06:11 PM

The main benefit of pellets is that they are shredded, allowing greater utilization. I would just shred them.

Tests for alpha acid are cost prohibitive, meaning that it would be cheaper to brew a test batch or just use them for aroma.

GilaMinumBeer 03-12-2008 06:18 PM

I don't have the address but the FDA can test hops. It's on the order of $45 per ounce.

I don't really see the point in shredding homegrown hops but knock yourself out. I think you'll lose more resins than achieve any gains on extract efficiencies. Pellets aren't just shreeded, they are also extruded through a press (think sausage grinder) which generates heat and help to improve their utilization. Sorry, I have forgotten the science behind it.

GlassblowersBrew 03-12-2008 06:19 PM

Grind them in a meat grinder then dry them out...???

As far as alpha acids, I didn't know if there is a cheap test strip for alpha acid content.

McKBrew 03-12-2008 06:19 PM

There is a lab in WA state that will test hops for AA. Can't find the info anymore, but like cheezy said, it's a bit spendy. Unless it's really an issue, I'd just use the center average for a strain for your IBU calculations as a starting point.

GlassblowersBrew 03-12-2008 06:22 PM

Id like to keep them whole, but for storage it seems that putting them in a plug form would be much more space efficient. I'm thinking of making a press out of some steel tubing and a long arm for compressing the hops. Kinda like a very powerful aluminum can crusher. Any ideas?

GilaMinumBeer 03-12-2008 06:26 PM

Why not just use a vacuum sealer?

Package each in small bags having 1 ounce each.

Hmmmm. With all the rage as late toward homegrown hops, stocks in vacuum sealers might be a good investment....:D

boo boo 03-12-2008 06:27 PM

Takes some good equipment to make pellets, so I guess that's why they are shipped to England to be processed before being shipped back to us.

A topic on the greenboard discusses estimating the AA's of homegrown hops here.http://www.brewboard.com/index.php?showtopic=88759

cheezydemon 03-12-2008 06:31 PM

I would bet that vaccum sealing, or rolling a freezer bag tight with a small opening, and then closing it when it is at it's tightest would work just fine.

If you freeze them in a single layer, then they will stack on end nicely, like books on a shelf.

GlassblowersBrew 03-12-2008 06:37 PM

A vacuum sealer or plastic bag with a roller is probably the easiest option. Thanks for the link to the brew board. There is some interesting stuff in there.

Off to work I must go.....

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