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Hops - Leaf or Pellet?

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LooyvilleLarry

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I was wondering which to use, and if there is a difference in weight?

So far, I have used pellet, since they are easier to come by.
 

GilaMinumBeer

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It will take more leaf to make an equal weight to pellets but, an Ounce is an Ounce regardless.

It all depends on availability of variety, and your system. Since it appears your system is set for pellets then ther isn't much reason to switch unless a certain variety you want is only in stock as leaf.

Some believe that leaf hops impart a smoother, fresher, hop character than pellet by the simple fact that they are less processed.

Meh.
 

King of Cascade

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I wouldn’t use hop leaves. The flower does a much better job of adding bitterness and hop flavor and aroma.
 

john from dc

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my main issue with leaf (whole) hops is the amount of wort they absorb. i find that i'm losing at least a quart, sometimes closer to a half gallon of wort at the bottom of the kettle that i either can't siphon out or don't want to because it's full of sediment.

it's not that hard to adjust my recipes to compensate, i just hate feeling like i'm wasting beer when pellet hops might suit my needs just as well. i think i'll be doing some side by side comparisons to see if i can tell the difference in flavor.
 

Evan!

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I wouldn’t use hop leaves. The flower does a much better job of adding bitterness and hop flavor and aroma.
badum TSSSSST! I'm here all week, ladies and gentlemen. Don't forget to tip your server!

oh, snark! the "petals" of the cones are commonly referred to as "leaf hops".
 

mccarthy

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leaf hops are so much cheaper than buying pellets and while they do absorb way more wort, its easy enough to wring the out. Also they clog my auto-syphon way more that pellets. I am indifferent to which type I use, it just so happens that we have an ass load of leaf hops and only a few oz. pellets, so ill likely use leafs for some time.
 

TeleTwanger

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I almost always use pellets for bittering and plug/whole for aroma.
 

davesrose

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I don't think there's a major taste difference with pellet vs leaf (at least from my experience). There is an interesting podcast on basic brewing about the science of hops. It was an interview with John Palmer, where he had gone to some chemistry convention.....anyway, from what he gleamed, he said that high alpha acid hops have a shorter shelf life. There is some science fact about alpha acids being converted to beta...but I'm no chemist, so I'm not going to try to write about something I don't understand. The main point was that during a blind taste test of fresh hops vs older hops, most tasters preferred the newer hops. Not so much that the newer hops were more bitter, but that they had a better balance.
 

RC0032

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How much space to whole take up in the freezer? What is the size of a lb of whole/leaf hops?
 

wildwest450

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How much space to whole take up in the freezer? What is the size of a lb of whole/leaf hops?
I don't know about a pound, but I recently bought several 4oz. packages of whole hops, and they take up almost as much room as a pound of pellets.:(
 

mccarthy

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whole leaf, even when vacuum sealed tightly take up a ton of space, a half pound takes up about the size of a bag of chips. for instance .5oz once broken out of the package fills one keg cup. whereas 1oz of pellets would just line the bottom. there is no doubt that they take up a bunch of space and leave lots of mess, but at the price they cant really be beaten. We like them enough to continue buying them.
 

martymoat

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I like to use whole leaf or plugs whenever i can get a chance. For my system this works great while doing two things, one is keeping the hops out of the finished beer and the other is that a good amount of the hot break then sticks to the leaf hops and does not carry over into the finished beer. Usually i get to just about the 5 gallon mark and then my line coming out of my CFC starts to get a little funky with the dregs.


even if i have to use pellet hops i still try to use some leaf hops in the boil. figuring that the leafs will also hold back some of the pellet matter too.
 

mysteryberto

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I use whole hops since I can get them very fresh and cheap. The Deschutes Brewery only uses whole hops as well. I watched a video where they talked about how hops are shredded and compressed to make pellets. Also a Pliny The Elder recipe I have says to use only whole hops if possible.
 

stevea1210

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In this time of hop shortages, I take whatever I can get. Leaf, pellet, plug if I don't have to substitute, I could care less.

That being said, I made my ipa today with almost all leaf. There was definitely more absorption than I expected. Oh well, it's still beer :)
 

GilaMinumBeer

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whole leaf, even when vacuum sealed tightly take up a ton of space, a half pound takes up about the size of a bag of chips. for instance .5oz once broken out of the package fills one keg cup. whereas 1oz of pellets would just line the bottom. there is no doubt that they take up a bunch of space and leave lots of mess, but at the price they cant really be beaten. We like them enough to continue buying them.

And a "keg cup" would be..................?
 

carl spakler

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And a "keg cup" would be..................?
Did you never play a drinking game? :) Keg cups are the 16 oz, typically Solo brand cups that come along with keg purchases. The cheapie ones are this translucent material, the high end ones are red, blue, yellow, etc...

Great for flip cup, beer die, beer pong, etc... :mug:
 

ohiobrewtus

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Either is fine. I use whatever I happen to have of the variety that I need. I typically use pellets for boil additions and leaf for dry hopping but I'll use leaf in the boil as well. Leaf hops in the boil get thrown in a muslin bag to ease kettle cleanup after chilling.
 

flyangler18

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I'll admit, I do have a preference for leaf- but I'll take whatever I can get for my intended recipe, given the current hop shortage.

For whole hops in the boil, I use one of these:

 

mccarthy

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clever, do you or anyone else who uses leaf squeeze the wort from the hops when done, or do you just chalk it up to the lost column?
 

Saccharomyces

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I drain my strainer best I can but I lose a bit of wort to the hops. This gets figured into BeerSmith as "loss to the kettle". Pellet hops suck up a lot of wort too, but only about half as much as leaf hops do.
 
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