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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Hops Growing > How to make Hop Plugs or Hop Pellets
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Old 03-12-2008, 06:08 PM   #1
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Default How to make Hop Plugs or Hop Pellets

Does anyone know how to make hop plugs or pellets. I would love to build some crazy device to make it happen, any ideas....?

Also, Is there a test to discover the the Alpha Acid content of the hops that I grow?

Thanks!


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Old 03-12-2008, 06:11 PM   #2
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The main benefit of pellets is that they are shredded, allowing greater utilization. I would just shred them.

Tests for alpha acid are cost prohibitive, meaning that it would be cheaper to brew a test batch or just use them for aroma.


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Old 03-12-2008, 06:18 PM   #3
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I don't have the address but the FDA can test hops. It's on the order of $45 per ounce.

I don't really see the point in shredding homegrown hops but knock yourself out. I think you'll lose more resins than achieve any gains on extract efficiencies. Pellets aren't just shreeded, they are also extruded through a press (think sausage grinder) which generates heat and help to improve their utilization. Sorry, I have forgotten the science behind it.
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Old 03-12-2008, 06:19 PM   #4
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Grind them in a meat grinder then dry them out...???


As far as alpha acids, I didn't know if there is a cheap test strip for alpha acid content.
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Old 03-12-2008, 06:19 PM   #5
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There is a lab in WA state that will test hops for AA. Can't find the info anymore, but like cheezy said, it's a bit spendy. Unless it's really an issue, I'd just use the center average for a strain for your IBU calculations as a starting point.
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Old 03-12-2008, 06:22 PM   #6
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Id like to keep them whole, but for storage it seems that putting them in a plug form would be much more space efficient. I'm thinking of making a press out of some steel tubing and a long arm for compressing the hops. Kinda like a very powerful aluminum can crusher. Any ideas?
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Old 03-12-2008, 06:26 PM   #7
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Why not just use a vacuum sealer?

Package each in small bags having 1 ounce each.

Hmmmm. With all the rage as late toward homegrown hops, stocks in vacuum sealers might be a good investment....
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Old 03-12-2008, 06:27 PM   #8
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Takes some good equipment to make pellets, so I guess that's why they are shipped to England to be processed before being shipped back to us.

A topic on the greenboard discusses estimating the AA's of homegrown hops here.http://www.brewboard.com/index.php?showtopic=88759
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Old 03-12-2008, 06:31 PM   #9
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I would bet that vaccum sealing, or rolling a freezer bag tight with a small opening, and then closing it when it is at it's tightest would work just fine.

If you freeze them in a single layer, then they will stack on end nicely, like books on a shelf.
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Old 03-12-2008, 06:37 PM   #10
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A vacuum sealer or plastic bag with a roller is probably the easiest option. Thanks for the link to the brew board. There is some interesting stuff in there.

Off to work I must go.....


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