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Old 09-14-2013, 07:43 PM   #1
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Default Question on pellet hops

So this got brought up in another thread (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/what...-beers-431860/), but I thought I should start a new one so as to not drive that one too far off topic.

bethebrew mentioned leaf hops being better than pellet hops, and when I asked him about it, he said:
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Originally Posted by bethebrew View Post
Why don't I like pellet hops? Let's take an Off Topic tour into marijuana as a comparison. Pellet hops are Mexican Brick Weed. Smashed down and not the same as good herb. There's a lot of it around, it's cheap, it stores well, it's cheap, it stores well, and there's a lot of it around. And it's cheap, and stores well. Leaf hops stored properly in a vacuum pack bag and out of the light are like weed should be. Not all smashed down and browned out. Properly stored in a vacuum, and out of the light.

Now, which would you rather smoke given the option? Brick weed or some fine sensi?
Now, I'm new to brewing and I'm not about to disagree with him because honestly I don't really know. I've never used whole leaf hops, but in a way his point does make sense. I always figured that hop distributors would want both products to be of high-quality though, and I was always under the impression that pellet hops were of high quality.

I've heard interviews with craft breweries who, from what I understand, almost all use pellet hops now. The only one I heard an interview with that was exclusively using whole hops said that they'll be making a huge change to their system to allow them to use pellet hops soon. Even if the process was longer and/or more expensive to use whole hops, wouldn't most (or at least some) craft breweries stick to using them to get a better end product? Or am I wrong and do most avoid pellets?

Does it depend on the source of the pellets? Like anything, I'm assuming that quality can depend on where they come from. I've had good results from using pellet up until now. Should I look into acquiring some whole-hops, specially with the harvest coming in soon?

Has anyone two batches that are the same, but one with pellet and one with whole hops to see a side-by-side difference?


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Old 09-14-2013, 09:20 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KepowOb View Post
............. I've never used whole leaf hops, but in a way his point does make sense.
No, it doesn't.


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Old 09-14-2013, 09:24 PM   #3
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No, it doesn't.
This
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Old 09-14-2013, 09:27 PM   #4
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I don't have the inclination right now, but if you have time, take a look at hopsdirect website and read how they process hops to make them into pelletized hops. There are lots more websites that explain the process and how they are made.

When done with that, you may decide like many others have that pellet hops are actually higher quality than whole cone hops.
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Old 09-14-2013, 09:31 PM   #5
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Two identical hop plants grown side-by-side, one preserved as whole leaf and the other carefully processed to preserve the volatile oils and chemical compounds, will yield very, very, damn near identical results.

His comparison is NOT between two identical plants, but two plants of the same species, yet of different varieties and grown with uneven degrees of quality control.

In other words, his comparison sounds like the ranting of someone who posts while high. (No offense to the stoners of the world.)
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Old 09-14-2013, 09:33 PM   #6
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I believe all the Belgian trappist breweries use some combination of pellet hops and hop oil extract. Or so says BLAM.

Read the book FOR THE LOVE OF HOPS and tell us if you still think your argument is sound.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1938469011
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Old 09-14-2013, 09:41 PM   #7
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I only use Leaf Hops for dryhopping. Even then, I know that many people use pellets for dryhops and get great results.

In the boil, and post-boil, though - pellets are by far the best. They absorb into the wort right away, and I get consistent results, because I can count on the utilization. They also don't absorb anywhere near as much wort as leaf hops do. They're convenient and they work just as well as Leaf does.

There shouldn't even be an argument about this.
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Old 09-14-2013, 09:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brettg20 View Post
This

double this ^^^
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Old 09-14-2013, 10:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJack
Two identical hop plants grown side-by-side, one preserved as whole leaf and the other carefully processed to preserve the volatile oils and chemical compounds, will yield very, very, damn near identical results.

His comparison is NOT between two identical plants, but two plants of the same species, yet of different varieties and grown with uneven degrees of quality control.

In other words, his comparison sounds like the ranting of someone who posts while high. (No offense to the stoners of the world.)
This. This. This.

The comparison is like judging Kobe beef vs a grilled brisket steak. Are we supposed to believe breweries all over the world use inferior products just because he says they are inferior?

Just for the record, I don't think there is anything wrong with using leaf hops. If you like them, keep using them.
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Old 09-15-2013, 03:01 AM   #10
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Cheers everyone. As I said, I was under the impression that pellet hops were of high quality, but I started to wonder as I never really read it anywhere official. Thanks for clearing things up.


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