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Old 06-14-2013, 01:18 PM   #1
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Default Making hop plugs

My hops are doing well and I was wondering about making hop plugs but have no idea how.

DIY or commercial plug maker?
How hard to press?
How long to press?
Press before or after drying?
Any other advice/experience/links appreciated.

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Old 06-14-2013, 01:40 PM   #2
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IF you search, you'll find a couple other threads about making hop plugs here.

I believe they used a piece of PVC tube or similar and either compressed them by hand using leverage or pneumatically.

Don't exceed 12:1, because you'll be crushing lupulin glands at that point. But I would guess you would need to go at least 4:1 to get them to stick.

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Old 06-14-2013, 01:45 PM   #3
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So GVH when you say do not exceed 12 to 1 are you talking a column of loose hops 12 inches high compressed down to one inch?

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Old 06-14-2013, 01:54 PM   #4
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yep...actually, I wouldn't go beyond 10:1 but you'll find that its pretty hard to get there.

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Old 06-14-2013, 01:56 PM   #5
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Here, jump to post #16 of this thread: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f92/how-...48/index2.html

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Old 06-14-2013, 01:59 PM   #6
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Thanks man. Been thinking about using a log splitter as a press and a tube that goes from say a couple inches at the beginning down to a 1/4 inch at the end so I can press a continual column out. Still trying to figure the finer points out like how to machine the inside of the tube but I am sure I will get it

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Old 06-14-2013, 02:37 PM   #7
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OK, I'm just spouting off the top of my head without calcs or experience (we make pellets, not plugs)...I'm thinking you should maintain a uniform diameter through the compression.

This is total KISS (keep it simple stupid) design, but if you have a tube that is descending in diameter, the plunger will have to narrow as well. A straight tube and uniform plunger would be a lot easier, plus you would only have compressive forces on the hops in 1 direction.

Assuming a dried density of 1.4 lb/cubic ft...as .5 oz plug would need a final volume of...

1.4 lb/cuft = 22.4 oz/cu ft

.5 oz x 1 cuft/22.4 oz= .2232 cuft = 38.57 cuin

Assume a 2" diameter tube...Area = 3.14 sqin

38.57 cuin/ 3.14 squin = 12.3 in

OK, so you take a 2" diameter tube that's 15 inches long, pack it with a little more than 12" of hops. Insert a wooden or metal dowel that is (15-2=) 13 inches long and use the log splitter to push until the end of the dowel is flush with the end of the tube. You now have a hop plug that's compressed 6:1, weighs .5 oz and is 2 inches tall and 2 inches in diameter.

Now, you just need to figure out how to get the dowel back out. I'll leave that to you.

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Old 06-14-2013, 02:46 PM   #8
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Hehe I have been reading a bunch on this and I am thinking that a extruder is not the method to use but instead make plugs using a straight wall pipe. I could make 1 ounce plugs that way and keep it rather simple.

Seems to me the issue for a home grower is drying them before you plug them that is if you have tons of hops to dry. Luckily ( or not ) I will not have more than 5 or so pounds to process so it should not pose much of a problem for me.

Thanks for steering me in the right direction though. It always helps when some one who has learned the hard way how to do it right is willing to share what they have learned.

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Old 06-14-2013, 03:11 PM   #9
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So do you press the hops before or after drying?

How long do you need to leave them compressed in the tube before popping them out?

Thanks

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Old 06-14-2013, 03:54 PM   #10
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I dig up this post, which answered some of my questions and looks like a cool way to do it.

http://www.brewingkb.com/equipment/M...of-3-4607.html

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