Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Harnessing the max oil potential in leaf dryhops
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:41 PM   #1
EyePeeA
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Default Harnessing the max oil potential in leaf dryhops

I've heard that an equal amount of pellet dryhops may provide up to double the citrusy/fruity/resiny/oily aroma when compared to an equal amount of leaf dryhops. And in my experience, I do prefer pellet hops in the dryhop for hoppy style beers. The ideology is that nature wants the oils to remain within the leaf hops, whereas pelletized hops burst those lupulin glands and force the oils out.

So if all you have are leaf hops on hand, is there a way to extract more of those oils so that they are on par with the oil % released by pellets in the dryhop? Perhaps by pulsing the leafs in a blender or food processor before dryhopping with them, or simply adding more to account for the difference?


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Old 11-16-2012, 02:21 AM   #2
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From my experience, just leave the leaf hops in an extra week compared to pellet. I usually dry hop for 1 week with pellets and 2 weeks for leaf. Mostly because it seems to take longer for the leaf hops to sink. I notice better aroma from leaf hops.


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Old 11-16-2012, 04:53 PM   #3
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I try and use leaf exclusively when I dry hop, but have started using it throughout my process.

I have noticed that my beers have a better flavor and smoothness to them with the leaf, and find that for the purpose of dry hopping, I do have to go a bit longer. I also dry hop at keg temps, so that could slow the process down. I will fill my kegs, toss in the leaf hops and carb it all at the same time. By the time it's carbed up, it's pretty well dry hopped, but I find going another week makes it even better.

Pellets work just as well, maybe slightly faster IMO, and with the added trouble of keeping them out of your finished glass of beer.
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:57 PM   #4
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Leaf hops don't usually sink for me. They're always floating. And leaf hops release their oils slower than sinking pellets, not to mention the potential for oil release in leaf hops is much less than pellets. I would agree on a longer dryhop and using more when dryhopping with leaf hops. I wouldn't say that pulsing leaf hops in a food processor would give you the same type of thing... Just added mess.

I personally notice more aroma with pellets in the dryhop. Though both can be kept out of your glass if you avoid agitation and siphon with a nylon mesh bag wrapped around your racking cane.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:34 PM   #5
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Dry hopping with pellets is easy in the carboy. I dry hop in my kegs now, and leave them until I think it's plenty done.

I have a cut dip tube, screen over the tube, and I have a hook inside my lid to hand a fine mesh hop bag and suspend it in the keg. Never had any crap in my glass that way.
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:25 AM   #6
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Put the leaf hops on a cookie sheet and toast them at 300 for a few minutes.
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:54 PM   #7
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300 degrees?! WTF ! You want them dried, not cooked. Commercial drying is done at very low temps to prevent driving off volatile flavor compounds. When I use leaf hops I just put in 20% more by weight than if I'm using pellet hops. for some brews the lighter, fresher flavor of the leaf hops works really well, other ones you'll want to use pallets. there is no one right answer.
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Old 11-22-2012, 01:55 AM   #8
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Toasting leaf hops really wakes them up. I presume the oils get hot and burst from their little cocoons. The volatiles definitely do go all through the house if you toast very long. I used this technique with my last batch using last years crop and the hoppiness was great. The punch in the nose aroma was not much since I did toast them for several minutes. Normally I just throw in 10-20% more leaf hops.


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