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Old 09-13-2012, 08:49 PM   #1
Apr 2012
Grand Island, NY
Posts: 5

is it possible ( safe) to taste or eat hops b4 you brew with it? assuming not pellets, and if so has anyone tried it? I love IPA's and I wondered if I could make a hoppy pizza sauce? just wondering, jim

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Old 09-13-2012, 08:53 PM   #2
Nov 2011
Posts: 3,952
Liked 557 Times on 392 Posts

Safe? Yes.

Tasty? Debatable. Intensely bitter. Eat part of a pellet, then decide if that's flavor you want on your pizza.

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Old 09-14-2012, 06:29 AM   #3
May 2011
Stow, MA
Posts: 19,291
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Oh man. I have an apocryphal tale about eating hops.

I went to college in Denver about 40 years ago, and the Coors plant in Golden was close enough that pretty much any excuse was good enough to swing by their "hospitality room" for a few free pours. But they made you take the factory tour first - you couldn't just make a bee line to the tap room.

Well, after a dozen visits we could have given the tour, word for word. So this one visit we were seriously bored, and not having iPhones to play with back in those Stone Age days we were scanning for anything that could hold our interests until we could hit the taps.

So when we rounded the boil kettles there was this rolling 30-40 gallon bin full of dried and pressed cones within reach. I grabbed a good pinch and stuck it in my mouth and started chewing.

For the next six months I could not drink a beer without getting nauseous, and for years that taste totally haunted me. I switched to Crown Royal for nearly a decade before slowly bringing beer back into my life.

So, be careful. You never know what might happen inside your brain


btw: the tap room at the Golden factory always had some really good brews that they never commercialized, probably because they clearly cost a lot more to make than their standard adjunct recipes.

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Old 09-14-2012, 11:29 AM   #4
Apr 2012
Grand Island, NY
Posts: 5

I looked at Loose Cannon IPA web site and they have a recipe for chicken wing sauce with beer as a part. that is most likely a better way. Great story about tasting Hops!

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Old 09-14-2012, 01:21 PM   #5
GVH_Dan's Avatar
May 2009
McFarland (Madison), WI
Posts: 1,114
Liked 257 Times on 185 Posts

Like day tripper said, becarefull of popping them in your mouth. I'm not sure about a decade, but that act has thrown my taste buds off kilter for several days.

I have tried using hops in bread, on chicken, etc. but the problem is that when baked, the alpha acids still isomerize and produce the bitter. Awesome in beer but bitter chicken and bitter bread didn't go over well at the dinner table. By the time you reduce the hops enough to not become bitter, the flavor is gone.

The solution is to use teamaker or a similar ultra low alpha acid hop. Very hard to find, though.

You can also use them in sauces and dips that don't get cooked. Foothill hops makes a really good mustard with hops.

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Old 09-14-2012, 02:35 PM   #6
Mar 2011
Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 53
Liked 5 Times on 3 Posts

Don't be afraid to try hops in your food. I break up fresh hops and put them in salads occasionally for a little extra 'bite' of flavor, and the new hop shoots in the spring (and after harvest if you cutback) are great sauteed in butter with some onions (almost like asparagus).
I'm not sure 'hoppy pizza sauce' would be to my taste, but I'm willing to grab a jar of sauce and jack it with hops to try it...what, waste $3.00 if it's bad? Or be a neighborhood 'hero' if it's great! I'll try it today!
Other ideas to try:
Hop Butter is awesome on popcorn
a couple whole hops added right before service to chicken soup is pretty nice indeed
Hop Vodka (1/4 oz + 500ml Vodka for 20 minutes) is a great 'summer cooler' drink, with 7-Up & tonic (tastes like Fresca)
Hop and beef don't seem to work well together
chopped hops, mixed with butter and shoved under the skin of chicken breasts for grilling is a cool blast of flavor, especially with a bbq sauce with alot of honey added!
adding whole hops to any saute (especially like shrimp scampi) for flavor (remove before serving)
So...don't be scared...you're gonna eat about 60,000 meals in your adult life, one or two 'duds' won't kill you.

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Old 09-14-2012, 03:45 PM   #7
david_42's Avatar
Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,599
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Hops are even eaten steamed, but I'd stick to aroma or tea hops. I eat a 19.8 pellet once at a beer fest. The folks at OSU were showing off their latest. That's an AA level of 19.8! Hadn't even been named yet. Should have called it, "I can't taste anything any more."
Remember one unassailable statistic, as explained by the late, great George Carlin: "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!"

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