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Old 01-30-2009, 12:03 AM   #1
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Default Pellet vs. Home grown Leaf hops

A friend of mine is giving me a LOT of cascade leaf hops that he freeze dried.

If a recipe calls for 1oz of pellet hops how does that convert into his leaf hops.

This recipe calls for three additions - should I use pellet for the important addition (bittering???) and the leaf for the other two??


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Old 01-30-2009, 12:23 AM   #2
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The important thing for calculating bitterness is to know the AA of the hops. If you know that, you can adjust quantities to match. But of course you don't know it for homegrown hops.

If in doubt, an easy solution is to use bought (and therefore known AA) hops for bittering, and keep the homegrown ones for flavor/aroma where the AA is less relevant.

Or, if you really have a lot, it might be worth getting them analyzed. I've never done that, but hear it is possible although expensive.

Or you can just guess. I'm currently fermenting a Kolsch that I brewed with hops from my neighbours yard, of unknown variety. I figured they smelled pretty good and just went with the flow. I judged the bittering addition by a mixture of eye and taste: put some in, boiled for 10 minutes, tasted the wort, compared against my memory of other brews with known IBU that I previously tasted after 10 minutes, decided there was nowhere near enough bitterness going on, and ended up adding about 4x my original guess. Too early to say how it turned out, but my hydrometer sample tasted promising...


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Old 01-30-2009, 01:08 AM   #3
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Yes, use a known AA% hop for bittering. Then use the homegrown (in equal amounts to your recipe) for flavor and aroma and it will turn out fine.

I have used homegrown hops for bittering quite a few times. I just try to stay within the supposed range of the strain and shoot for the middle IBU range of the style of beer I'm making. It's worked well, but mostly for hefeweizens and other low-hop beers.
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:44 AM   #4
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ummmm - what?? You are saying one oz of hop pellets is one oz of leaf?
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:45 AM   #5
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Close enough. Supposedly, you are supposed to use 10% more whole hops than pellets, but it's all relative to the style/strain/brand/etc.
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:48 AM   #6
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In general, you will want to use 10% more whole (dry) than pellet. The pelletizing process tends to help the hops get better utilization.

EDIT: Yeah, what he said. I tend to use 1 for 1 for flavor and aroma and adjust as needed for IBUs, I think that is where the 10% is important and most brewing software takes this into account.
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:00 AM   #7
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Also bear in mind that homegrown and home dried hops will usually be much less dense than ones you buy in a store.

This won't be a problem if you weigh them, but beware of judging quantity by volume!

I was amazed how little actual mass I ended up with from what looked like an enormous bag of hops.


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