Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > pellets, plugs, leaves, cones?
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Old 02-26-2009, 04:05 AM   #1
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Default pellets, plugs, leaves, cones?

Why so many types? What are the differences? Do they taste any different?


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Old 02-26-2009, 04:20 AM   #2
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Hops can come in several different forms: plugs, pellets, flowers, etc. There are also MANY different varieties of hops out there. Each different variety has a different taste, smell, bitterness... I like going to my local store because they have many different hop varieties for "sampling".


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Old 02-26-2009, 04:27 AM   #3
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Well, I was wondering more specifically about hops of the same variety... i.e. cascade pellets vs. leaf vs plug
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Old 02-26-2009, 04:28 AM   #4
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Lots of information on hops in the wiki, it's worth a read.

There are arguments about which form is the best in which situation etc etc. The reality is each form is from the same plant and will make equally good beer. So buy whichever you can get your hands on, I wouldn't worry about the form.

It's like batch vs fly sparging, you'll get compelling arguments from both sides of the fence.
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Old 02-26-2009, 05:18 AM   #5
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My advice would be whatever you can get your hands on will do. It seems to be impossible to find what you want now.
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Old 02-26-2009, 11:02 AM   #6
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I started with pellets, but just ordered some leaf hops, since I need to get used to using them (I planted hops last year).
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Old 02-26-2009, 12:25 PM   #7
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+1 to Bradsul; ask four brewers those questions, you'll get seventeen different answers. That said, I'll give my tuppence.

Most homebrewers seem to prefer pellets. Ease of long-term storage, combined with ease and versatility of use, make them win out. Also, it appears that homebrew suppliers tend to stock many more varieties of pellets than flower or plugs, presumably because of the long-term storage issue. Therefore the question may be more of a chicken-egg argument - do LHBSs stock pellets because homebrewers want them or because it makes more sense for shelf-stocking issues? In other words, is the product type determined by consumer demand or stockist demand? Yes.

Me, I like whole-flower hops in the kettle, simply because of the nice filter bed they leave in the kettle, which helps separate trub from bright bitter wort. YMMV.

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Old 02-26-2009, 12:49 PM   #8
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My LHBS charges double for plugs as they do for pellets. So I don't even bother with it.

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Old 02-26-2009, 03:15 PM   #9
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At NB it's the same price for Cascade, pellets or whole.
At Hopsdirect, pellets are actually cheaper.
I use pellets, but will probably use whole for dryhopping on my next IPA.
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Old 02-26-2009, 03:19 PM   #10
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In Sam Calagione's (Owner of Dogfish) book, Extreme Brewing, he indicated that pellets have a more intense biterness because the oils are concentrated. In another book I read that loose leaf works great for dry hopping because it is more aromatic.


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