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Old 01-16-2010, 01:26 PM   #21
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Default Make Your Own Hops Plugs

Here is a link where a guy talks about how he makes his own plugs... scroll down to the last posting on the page...

http://www.brew-dudes.com/whole-hops-hop-plugs-and-pellets/165



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Old 01-19-2010, 10:20 PM   #22
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There are cheap Chinese pelitizers that will run you a couple hundred bucks, simply attach a DC motor to them... They are used to make animal feed, I looked into them for making wood pellets for my 2 pellet stoves but require binding agents and more pressure for wood.. Hops would work perfectly for this application as they contain essential oils to bind the pellet.. They come out hot and have to be layed out on a screen to cool before packaging..



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Old 01-22-2010, 08:43 PM   #23
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There are cheap Chinese pelitizers that will run you a couple hundred bucks, simply attach a DC motor to them... They are used to make animal feed, I looked into them for making wood pellets for my 2 pellet stoves but require binding agents and more pressure for wood.. Hops would work perfectly for this application as they contain essential oils to bind the pellet.. They come out hot and have to be layed out on a screen to cool before packaging..
STOP...Don't go there.

I'm assuming you are talking about the flat die pellet mills? We tried that and it didn't work. Two things:
  1. The temperature of the pellet gets too high when pushed through the die. You destroy the essential oils and alpha acids
  2. The sticky lupulin builds up between the roller and the wall. Even with an oversized motor, it will grind to a halt in no time.
  3. flat dies are also pretty thick, so you can easily loose several pounds as waste. If someone wants one to pelletize their own personal stock, you would waste more hops that you would get out.

If you want to pelletize, you have to go to a ring die pellet mill and they run big bucks. With the ring die, you have a large enough motor to make the pellet but you can also add a source of cooling to keep the temperature down.

And this advice comes at the expense of personal experience.
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:45 AM   #24
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i think a sausage stuffer might work

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Old 02-10-2010, 05:35 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GVH_Dan View Post
STOP...Don't go there.

I'm assuming you are talking about the flat die pellet mills? We tried that and it didn't work. Two things:
  1. The temperature of the pellet gets too high when pushed through the die. You destroy the essential oils and alpha acids
  2. The sticky lupulin builds up between the roller and the wall. Even with an oversized motor, it will grind to a halt in no time.
  3. flat dies are also pretty thick, so you can easily loose several pounds as waste. If someone wants one to pelletize their own personal stock, you would waste more hops that you would get out.

If you want to pelletize, you have to go to a ring die pellet mill and they run big bucks. With the ring die, you have a large enough motor to make the pellet but you can also add a source of cooling to keep the temperature down.

And this advice comes at the expense of personal experience.
Just wondering if you tossed the cones in whole, or if you ground them up first. For a small scale grower, like 100 to 200 plants do you think you could get by with one of these cheap machines? Maybe constantly cleaning it out as you went? Just looking for a cheap way out. No one seems to want whole hops, so it looks like I need to make some pellets.
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Old 02-10-2010, 06:11 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Naked_Hops View Post
Just wondering if you tossed the cones in whole, or if you ground them up first. For a small scale grower, like 100 to 200 plants do you think you could get by with one of these cheap machines? Maybe constantly cleaning it out as you went? Just looking for a cheap way out. No one seems to want whole hops, so it looks like I need to make some pellets.
I use nothing but whole hops!
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Old 02-10-2010, 06:18 PM   #27
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I meant larger brewers. Home brewers seem to love whole hops, but I'd really like to sell to some of the micro brewers in the area. They like the pellets because the dissolve and just leave a sludge. Otherwise the whole hops clog up their equipment. That's what I've heard from 2 or 3 brewers so far, and they all would like pellets. Maybe I can just keep looking until I find someone who wants whole hops.

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Old 02-10-2010, 06:29 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Naked_Hops View Post
I meant larger brewers. Home brewers seem to love whole hops, but I'd really like to sell to some of the micro brewers in the area. They like the pellets because the dissolve and just leave a sludge. Otherwise the whole hops clog up their equipment. That's what I've heard from 2 or 3 brewers so far, and they all would like pellets. Maybe I can just keep looking until I find someone who wants whole hops.
I would say, in my case I am able to market whole hops on a commercial scale by selling solutions. Using a large hop bag would provide the brewer with a means of brewing with whole hops at any stage of their process... bittering, flavor, aroma, dry hopped, etc.

By selling solutions or a how to guide written for the brewer to use, you can provide ideas, interest - making your product wanted.

I am surprised to also see there is a collection of whole hop Nazis who think that the process [think heat] of pelletization destroys tons of essential oils/acids in the delicate hop lupulin glands.

I don't know if I subscribe to that belief (yet) but fresh (un-dried) hops provide flavors you just can't get with dried - let alone pelletized hops.
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Old 02-10-2010, 06:42 PM   #29
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There must be something to heat destroying the lupulin. Hops Union uses liquid nitrogen to cool the machine that makes the pellets.

I like your idea of better marketing. I'll throw in a few free hops bags with the purchase of 10 pounds of whole leaf hops. How much could a case of those run me? Probably pennies if I buy enough.

This will be my second year growing, so I might be jumping the gun, but I want to be as prepared as I can be.

Any other advice would be great and thanks for the help.

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Old 02-10-2010, 07:55 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naked_Hops View Post
Just wondering if you tossed the cones in whole, or if you ground them up first. For a small scale grower, like 100 to 200 plants do you think you could get by with one of these cheap machines? Maybe constantly cleaning it out as you went? Just looking for a cheap way out. No one seems to want whole hops, so it looks like I need to make some pellets.
First step is to hammermill them into smaller pieces...basically grind them but in a softer process so there isn't as much damage to the lupulin. Then you take this mill dust and pelletize it.

On the smaller machine (flat die unit), we were able to run for about 15 minutes before we had to spend a 1/2 hour cleaning it out. So 100 to 200 pounds would take about 4 or more hours and twice that of cleaning...plus you would have a significant amount of product loss because most of the stuff that was cleaned out couldn't be used.


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