Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: Robert on July 29, 2018, 01:08:25 AM

Title: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: Robert on July 29, 2018, 01:08:25 AM
Been thinking (I know, dangerous.)  Switched to pellets a couple of years ago, after nearly three decades of resistance, because it seemed inevitable.   Whole cone availability and variety on the wane, "everybody else is doing it...."  But I just never dug it.  I missed the more elegant flavor, bitterness and aroma, the natural filter bed, the clearer wort, the smoother, clearer beer with less ageing... oh yeah, better boil over prevention with FWH and cleaner yeast crop... I may just be an old fogey, but I missed whole hops.  So I just ordered a bunch. I'll make all my beers with fewer varieties if that's what it takes. The only drawback is, I kind of liked having room for food in the freezer.  Anybody else gone back, or felt the urge?
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: Bilsch on July 29, 2018, 01:41:36 AM
Never left.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: RC on July 29, 2018, 01:42:29 AM
I don't really see the upside of using whole cone hops except for history/tradition--which, to be fair, matters a lot, at least to me. So there's that. Still, I think that pellets have become the dominant hop form for many, many, many good reasons. If whole cone hops make better beer, I'm sold. But that's a tough argument to make against quality T90 pellets. I'll be curious what your results are, so keep us updated!
Title: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: BrewBama on July 29, 2018, 01:46:29 AM
I’ve always used pellets but want to use whole hops. I got pellets with my first kit back in the 90(s) and just stuck with them when I picked the hobby back up in ‘13. I keep saying I am going to order my next batch with whole hops but don’t for one reason or the other.  I am not sure how the change will affect my whirlpool, fermenter volume, IBU, etc.

https://fifthseasongardening.com/hop-pellets-vs-whole-hops

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: coolman26 on July 29, 2018, 03:04:39 AM
I always preferred cone, but pellets allowed food space. I had always heard cone shelf life was short. I don’t agree with that completely. I bought a pound of Crystal cone and had no issue at 18 months. I have mostly unopened 17 cones.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: James K on July 29, 2018, 07:44:01 AM
You aren’t the first to say that whole cone hops leave your beer much clearer than pellet hops. I only used whole cones once as a beginner, but from what I understand I didn’t use enough because you need more than an ounce of whole cone to equal and ounce of pellets.

I want to try them again, and probably will soon because my lhbs is about to sell fresh hops. Wild hops grow here as well and i might go forage for some. That seems like the best way and best time for me to try them. If they had mittelfrüh I would probably pony up. That’s the only hop I really use anyways.

Good luck.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: dmtaylor on July 29, 2018, 01:01:06 PM
I use my homegrowns almost exclusively for bittering.  I use pellets for flavor and aroma.  I could also try doing the reverse.  To be honest, I don't mind much either way and don't necessarily have a preference.  If anything, pellets take up less space, and don't require a bag in the boil, so I see more advantages to pellets.  But they're not huge advantages.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: erockrph on July 29, 2018, 03:12:47 PM
I get less of that grassy/stemmy character in highly-hopped IPA's when I use cones instead of pellets. If I could get Vic Secret, Galaxy and Nelson in whole cones, I'd probably make a full switch. Right now I'm at about 50-50 in utilization, with most of my domestic hops being cones and imports as pellets.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: Robert on July 29, 2018, 03:40:27 PM
I use my homegrowns almost exclusively for bittering.  I use pellets for flavor and aroma.  I could also try doing the reverse.  To be honest, I don't mind much either way and don't necessarily have a preference.  If anything, pellets take up less space, and don't require a bag in the boil, so I see more advantages to pellets.  But they're not huge advantages.
Dave, whole hops want to go commando in the boil.  One of the beauties is, you let them settle, rack from underneath them, and they filter out the break, which will have settled on top of the hops. You also thereby recover more wort, not having to leave a sludge layer in the kettle.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: goose on July 29, 2018, 03:58:04 PM
I use whole cone hops for my Amarillo IPA but have switched to pellets for other beers because of availability and storage issues.  I was thinking of going back because of getting a lot of hop residue from the pellets in my plate chiller but recently installed a stainless filter in front of the chiller that grabs most of the pellet residue.  For the record, my boil kettle has a false bottom and I draw off from the middle of the false bottom so some of the residue gets pumped out of the kettle.  The stainless filter has alleviated that problem.
That said, I really have no preference, I like using both.  Going to make a wet hopped IPA in the next couple weeks and of course will use whole cones from my hop garden.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: denny on July 29, 2018, 03:58:53 PM
Not me...I'm sticking with pellets.  I find none of the disadvantages that you do, Robert.  In addition, pellets will stay in better condition longer than whole hops.  I don't get the vegetal taste that you describe.  AAMOF, I get that more with whole hops.  I've got a freezer full of both kinds, and pellets are my go to.  Just curious, Robert, have you tried cryo hops?
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: denny on July 29, 2018, 05:29:39 PM
Another question, Robert..what type of pellets were you using?  What sources did they come from?
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: Robert on July 29, 2018, 06:26:59 PM
Denny, I don't think the source is a problem, I've found many sources now provide top quality pellets.  It's just a general preference, or habit maybe (like with certain breweries.) I don't like all the sludge, and I think any pellets will lead to more polyphenols in the wort and beer.* Storage is a problem I admit, space mostly,  as I've stored cones well enough vacuum sealed in the freezer to keep me happy till the next crop.  Variety is the biggest drawback, but I thought I'd give it a few batches and if I want to go (more or less) cones, I'll get shopping at harvest time.  That right there is something I didn't miss with pellets.

*On that point, no I haven't got around to trying cryo hops yet.  I will, but I also believe a lot of hop flavor comes from the green stuff.  It's just finding the right balance.

(Short story long, after a couple years all-pellet in the kettle, I just can't say I look back and see it as a major improvement.   Want to make a fair comparison.)
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: Robert on July 29, 2018, 06:38:51 PM
I use whole cone hops for my Amarillo IPA but have switched to pellets for other beers because of availability and storage issues.  I was thinking of going back because of getting a lot of hop residue from the pellets in my plate chiller but recently installed a stainless filter in front of the chiller that grabs most of the pellet residue.  For the record, my boil kettle has a false bottom and I draw off from the middle of the false bottom so some of the residue gets pumped out of the kettle.  The stainless filter has alleviated that problem.
That said, I really have no preference, I like using both.  Going to make a wet hopped IPA in the next couple weeks and of course will use whole cones from my hop garden.
I use an immersion chiller and then siphon.  That means a big layer (nearly a gallon) lost with pellets.   That really doesn't bother me that much, I've just scaled up my recipes to account for it.  But with whole cones, I just put a screen on the end of my racking cane and put it at the bottom of the kettle after chilling and before settling.  The hops are the filter then.  This reminds me that, in the commercial brewing world, the switch to pellets, or decision to use cones, determines equipment design.  I guess my old-school setup is more suited to cones than homebrew rigs including whirlpool and heat exchanger capabilities.  I basically mimic the old hop jack right in the kettle. 
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: dmtaylor on July 29, 2018, 08:40:08 PM
I use my homegrowns almost exclusively for bittering.  I use pellets for flavor and aroma.  I could also try doing the reverse.  To be honest, I don't mind much either way and don't necessarily have a preference.  If anything, pellets take up less space, and don't require a bag in the boil, so I see more advantages to pellets.  But they're not huge advantages.
Dave, whole hops want to go commando in the boil.  One of the beauties is, you let them settle, rack from underneath them, and they filter out the break, which will have settled on top of the hops. You also thereby recover more wort, not having to leave a sludge layer in the kettle.

I leave nothing in my kettle.  It all goes into the fermenter.  Anything more from me would be... "too much dicking".
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: majorvices on July 29, 2018, 08:46:53 PM
Not me...I'm sticking with pellets.  I find none of the disadvantages that you do, Robert.  In addition, pellets will stay in better condition longer than whole hops.  I don't get the vegetal taste that you describe.  AAMOF, I get that more with whole hops.  I've got a freezer full of both kinds, and pellets are my go to.  Just curious, Robert, have you tried cryo hops?

+1. The only reason I would stick with whole cone is for a hop back. There i simply no advantage to whole cone hops.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: mabrungard on July 29, 2018, 09:10:07 PM
Well in addition to their bulkiness that aids in something like a hopback, I find that whole hops are helpful in holding together the trub pile that exists in the kettle following whirlpooling. Otherwise, I don't see a valid reason to hold whole hops with higher regard than pellets. Pellets will always be my preferred option.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: charlie on July 29, 2018, 09:38:31 PM
I like whole cone hops for the boil, and pellets for dry hopping. If I use pellets in the boil they inevitably get in my thermonator and make it tough to clean. Conversely I like pellets for dry hopping because they dissociate completely and give the wort maximum exposure, and then lay on the bottom out of the way when I keg.

I've been doing it that way for a few years, and it works for me.

Charlie
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: RC on July 29, 2018, 10:53:49 PM
If I use pellets in the boil they inevitably get in my thermonator and make it tough to clean.

Whirlpooling and/or hop spider solves this issue quite nicely.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: Wilbur on July 30, 2018, 12:55:07 AM
Any thought on using a combo of whole and cone as previously mentioned? Or a hop spider?

Denny, I haven't seen any real benefits to cryo hops, and variety is even more restricted than whole. Is there anything coming up in Exp Brew on them? I'm planning on a side by side, but my LHBS is out for a month or two.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: RC on July 30, 2018, 01:22:44 AM
Any thought on using a combo of whole and cone as previously mentioned? Or a hop spider?

Denny, I haven't seen any real benefits to cryo hops, and variety is even more restricted than whole. Is there anything coming up in Exp Brew on them? I'm planning on a side by side, but my LHBS is out for a month or two.

The only benefit to cryo hops is less beer loss. You can use half the weight of what you'd use with standard pellets but get the same flavor/aroma expression. This is a big deal on a commercial scale. On the homebrew scale, meh.  Otherwise, no different from standard pellets. Liquid loss is the only difference.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: Robert on July 30, 2018, 01:40:45 AM
Any thought on using a combo of whole and cone as previously mentioned?
I don't doubt that a combination may be a good option sometimes.  Even using mostly whole cone in the kettle, a desirable late hop might only be available pelletized -- as some have mentioned, most imports are candidates.  And even when using pellets in the kettle, I have favored whole cone for dry hops.  I like to dry hop in the fermenter with a little activity left, and I repitch.  I can loosely contain the whole hops and keep the yeast clean.  (Again, equipment specific.  A conical would negate this.)

Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: Robert on July 30, 2018, 02:08:14 AM
Any thought on using a combo of whole and cone as previously mentioned? Or a hop spider?

Denny, I haven't seen any real benefits to cryo hops, and variety is even more restricted than whole. Is there anything coming up in Exp Brew on them? I'm planning on a side by side, but my LHBS is out for a month or two.

The only benefit to cryo hops is less beer loss. You can use half the weight of what you'd use with standard pellets but get the same flavor/aroma expression. This is a big deal on a commercial scale. On the homebrew scale, meh.  Otherwise, no different from standard pellets. Liquid loss is the only difference.
Actually, the commercial brewers using lupulin, CO2 extract, oils, downstream products and the like have found their beers distinctly lacking in hop flavor and aroma, due to the absence of glycosides, found in the green vegetal matter they've elimiminated, and have had to add yet more advanced products to provide a "glycoside addition."  Somehow, if you're a process engineer at MillerCoors, you can convince the bean counters all this extra effort is worth it.  Even YCH is selling the green stuff left after making LupulN2 as "American Noble Hops."
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: RC on July 30, 2018, 03:22:14 AM
Any thought on using a combo of whole and cone as previously mentioned? Or a hop spider?

Denny, I haven't seen any real benefits to cryo hops, and variety is even more restricted than whole. Is there anything coming up in Exp Brew on them? I'm planning on a side by side, but my LHBS is out for a month or two.

The only benefit to cryo hops is less beer loss. You can use half the weight of what you'd use with standard pellets but get the same flavor/aroma expression. This is a big deal on a commercial scale. On the homebrew scale, meh.  Otherwise, no different from standard pellets. Liquid loss is the only difference.
Actually, the commercial brewers using lupulin, CO2 extract, oils, downstream products and the like have found their beers distinctly lacking in hop flavor and aroma, due to the absence of glycosides, found in the green vegetal matter they've elimiminated, and have had to add yet more advanced products to provide a "glycoside addition."  Somehow, if you're a process engineer at MillerCoors, you can convince the bean counters all this extra effort is worth it.  Even YCH is selling the green stuff left after making LupulN2 as "American Noble Hops."

Not sure which commercial brewers you're referring to. Where I worked, we used lupulin and we most definitely did NOT find our beers "distinctly lacking in hop flavor and aroma." Quite the opposite, in fact. And this is the case with pretty much all brewers I know and talk to. Absence of glycosides causing a lack of hop flavor and aroma? Never heard this before, no idea what this means.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: Robert on July 30, 2018, 12:27:16 PM
^^^^
Much research and implementation by the "bigs" since the 1990s on this.  Some references given in Stan Hieronymous' book.  Glycosides are contained in the green matter in hops, and glycosidally bound substances, acted on by yeast, have been found to be a major component of kettle hop flavor and aroma.  Perhaps of more interest to brewers of more traditional beers than those craft brewers who have come to equate "hoppy" with "resinous."  My taste running to lagers and English accented ales, I look for subtler, more balanced and traditional hop character.  But the bottom line is, whatever you use, the green stuff has to be involved.   If lupulin is only added late and whole or T90 as kettle hops, that covers it.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: denny on July 30, 2018, 02:54:32 PM
Any thought on using a combo of whole and cone as previously mentioned? Or a hop spider?

Denny, I haven't seen any real benefits to cryo hops, and variety is even more restricted than whole. Is there anything coming up in Exp Brew on them? I'm planning on a side by side, but my LHBS is out for a month or two.

Yeah, we did an experiment a few months ago and followed it up on the NBC show with a tasting after a few months of aging.  Cryo hops won.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: denny on July 30, 2018, 02:57:02 PM
Any thought on using a combo of whole and cone as previously mentioned? Or a hop spider?

Denny, I haven't seen any real benefits to cryo hops, and variety is even more restricted than whole. Is there anything coming up in Exp Brew on them? I'm planning on a side by side, but my LHBS is out for a month or two.

The only benefit to cryo hops is less beer loss. You can use half the weight of what you'd use with standard pellets but get the same flavor/aroma expression. This is a big deal on a commercial scale. On the homebrew scale, meh.  Otherwise, no different from standard pellets. Liquid loss is the only difference.

I've found that cryo hops give me a bigger, fresher hop aroma and flavor than other forms.  But I don't use 1/2 as much.  YCH bases that recommendation on AA and I don't care about that for late additions.  I use them 1:1 with other hop forms.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: denny on July 30, 2018, 02:58:32 PM
Any thought on using a combo of whole and cone as previously mentioned? Or a hop spider?

Denny, I haven't seen any real benefits to cryo hops, and variety is even more restricted than whole. Is there anything coming up in Exp Brew on them? I'm planning on a side by side, but my LHBS is out for a month or two.

The only benefit to cryo hops is less beer loss. You can use half the weight of what you'd use with standard pellets but get the same flavor/aroma expression. This is a big deal on a commercial scale. On the homebrew scale, meh.  Otherwise, no different from standard pellets. Liquid loss is the only difference.

Actually, the commercial brewers using lupulin, CO2 extract, oils, downstream products and the like have found their beers distinctly lacking in hop flavor and aroma, due to the absence of glycosides, found in the green vegetal matter they've elimiminated, and have had to add yet more advanced products to provide a "glycoside addition."  Somehow, if you're a process engineer at MillerCoors, you can convince the bean counters all this extra effort is worth it.  Even YCH is selling the green stuff left after making LupulN2 as "American Noble Hops."

I'm gonna need to see some specifics there, Robert.  Every commercial brewery I know loves them and finds them superior.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: The Beerery on July 30, 2018, 03:37:58 PM
I agree. My bittering has moved solely to high alpha ( magnum to be exact, I am RHG compliant afterall :) ) co2 extract. I have found it eliminates the hint of vegetalness I get from to long/strong boil with hops.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: Robert on July 30, 2018, 05:19:32 PM
The research I was referring to was related to big breweries,  Miller I believe did most of the research, who had abandoned any whole or pellet hops for extracts and "advanced" products exclusively.  They found that products providing alpha and oils only were lacking something critical, particularly in "kettle hop" flavor and aroma, which DeClerck had already identified as an important characteristic. (For that matter Wahl and Henius report on lupulin preparations and hop extracts being used at the turn of the 20th century,  and note that these should only replace a portion of the total hop bill or flavor and aroma will suffer.)  Glycosides were one element identified, but I'd expect there are lots of compounds in the vegetable matter that contribute to "hoppiness," and not just in the kettle.  And the research showed that yeast plays a significant part.  Craft and home brewers are using some form of "whole" hops in some part of their process, so this is less problematic.  But I think we should remember, when excitedly seeking new products to "increase aroma without adding vegetable matter," or get better bitterness that the veggie stuff is in fact part of the equation in flavor, aroma and even bitterness. As homebrewers, we've historically been focused on two things, % alpha (and CoH and beta maybe) and oil content.  But we've probably all learned from experience that oil content, for example, doesn't necessarily equate to value in dry hopping.  Try a "noble" or old-school English variety, for instance.  Beer's complicated, there's more going on than we first expect, I guess is the bottom line.  And if my starting point was that I think pellets overdo some things, that doesn't mean they aren't needed in proper proportion.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: The Beerery on July 30, 2018, 05:22:43 PM
The research I was referring to was related to big breweries,  Miller I believe did most of the research, who had abandoned any whole or pellet hops for extracts and "advanced" products exclusively.  They found that products providing alpha and oils only were lacking something critical, particularly in "kettle hop" flavor and aroma, which DeClerck had already identified as an important characteristic. (For that matter Wahl and Henius report on lupulin preparations and hop extracts being used at the turn of the 20th century,  and note that these should only replace a portion of the total hop bill or flavor and aroma will suffer.)  Glycosides were one element identified, but I'd expect there are lots of compounds in the vegetable matter that contribute to "hoppiness," and not just in the kettle.  And the research showed that yeast plays a significant part.  Craft and home brewers are using some form of "whole" hops in some part of their process, so this is less problematic.  But I think we should remember, when excitedly seeking new products to "increase aroma without adding vegetable matter," or get better bitterness that the veggie stuff is in fact part of the equation in flavor, aroma and even bitterness. As homebrewers, we've historically been focused on two things, % alpha (and CoH and beta maybe) and oil content.  But we've probably all learned from experience that oil content, for example, doesn't necessarily equate to value in dry hopping.  Try a "noble" or old-school English variety, for instance.  Beer's complicated, there's more going on than we first expect, I guess is the bottom line.  And if my starting point was that I think pellets overdo some things, that doesn't mean they aren't needed in proper proportion.

I have read those studies, and am very familiar with  "kettle hop" flavor. Glad someone else is as well! Cheers.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: Wilbur on July 30, 2018, 08:05:26 PM
I agree. My bittering has moved solely to high alpha ( magnum to be exact, I am RHG compliant afterall :) ) co2 extract. I have found it eliminates the hint of vegetalness I get from to long/strong boil with hops.

RHG requires German varieties?

Denny, so your recommendation for late hops is to take your normal amount, and double it? Consider it done.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: The Beerery on July 30, 2018, 08:31:19 PM
I agree. My bittering has moved solely to high alpha ( magnum to be exact, I am RHG compliant afterall :) ) co2 extract. I have found it eliminates the hint of vegetalness I get from to long/strong boil with hops.

RHG requires German varieties?

Denny, so your recommendation for late hops is to take your normal amount, and double it? Consider it done.

No.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: denny on July 30, 2018, 08:55:53 PM
I agree. My bittering has moved solely to high alpha ( magnum to be exact, I am RHG compliant afterall :) ) co2 extract. I have found it eliminates the hint of vegetalness I get from to long/strong boil with hops.

RHG requires German varieties?

Denny, so your recommendation for late hops is to take your normal amount, and double it? Consider it done.

Nope...it's to not halve it, like YCH says.  I use the same amount of cryo that I'd use if it was whole or pellets.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: MNWayne on July 31, 2018, 01:57:41 AM
Whole cone gets my vote.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: scrap iron on July 31, 2018, 01:33:13 PM
I use whole cone mostly with some pellets. My BK is a keggle with a false bottom that covers the width of the bottom of the keg. I buy pounds of whole and smaller amounts of pellets. The filter bed of whole hops works well at collecting break and also does pretty good at filtering and holding sludge from pellets added later in the boil. I brew mainly American and English styles. For  the hop forward styles at KO I cool to 170 F add hops and recirculate with a pump for about 30 mins. The wort cools to about 150 F  after this time. When I pump it to the fermenter it is clear and free of the color green.  The beers smell and taste great. I must say I was not a hophead a few years ago but I do enjoy  more bitter and hoppy beers now. To those who say you can't use whole hops with a pump, yes you can if you use a large false bottom.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: hopfenundmalz on July 31, 2018, 01:45:15 PM
I use whole cone mostly with some pellets. My BK is a keggle with a false bottom that covers the width of the bottom of the keg. I buy pounds of whole and smaller amounts of pellets. The filter bed of whole hops works well at collecting break and also does pretty good at filtering and holding sludge from pellets added later in the boil. I brew mainly American and English styles. For  the hop forward styles at KO I cool to 170 F add hops and recirculate with a pump for about 30 mins. The wort cools to about 150 F  after this time. When I pump it to the fermenter it is clear and free of the color green.  The beers smell and taste great. I must say I was not a hophead a few years ago but I do enjoy  more bitter and hoppy beers now. To those who say you can't use whole hops with a pump, yes you can if you use a large false bottom.

My set up is similar, and whole cone hops work great, just like you say.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: charlie on August 01, 2018, 03:37:43 AM
Whirlpooling and/or hop spider solves this issue quite nicely.

I'll take your word for it, but the hop spider strikes me as a way to insure less exposure of the hops to the boiling wort, and I'm not going to screw around whirl-pooling while my favor/aroma hops bake out of the brew and turn into alpha acids.

My wort is in the fermentors at 68F within 10 minutes of flame-out, and I like it like that. :-)

Charlie
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: Kirk on August 01, 2018, 12:21:22 PM
Been thinking (I know, dangerous.)  Switched to pellets a couple of years ago, after nearly three decades of resistance, because it seemed inevitable.   Whole cone availability and variety on the wane, "everybody else is doing it...."  But I just never dug it.  I missed the more elegant flavor, bitterness and aroma, the natural filter bed, the clearer wort, the smoother, clearer beer with less ageing... oh yeah, better boil over prevention with FWH and cleaner yeast crop... I may just be an old fogey, but I missed whole hops.  So I just ordered a bunch. I'll make all my beers with fewer varieties if that's what it takes. The only drawback is, I kind of liked having room for food in the freezer.  Anybody else gone back, or felt the urge?

Get a 2nd freezer for the basement - problem solved. :)
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: Robert on August 01, 2018, 12:45:28 PM
Been thinking (I know, dangerous.)  Switched to pellets a couple of years ago, after nearly three decades of resistance, because it seemed inevitable.   Whole cone availability and variety on the wane, "everybody else is doing it...."  But I just never dug it.  I missed the more elegant flavor, bitterness and aroma, the natural filter bed, the clearer wort, the smoother, clearer beer with less ageing... oh yeah, better boil over prevention with FWH and cleaner yeast crop... I may just be an old fogey, but I missed whole hops.  So I just ordered a bunch. I'll make all my beers with fewer varieties if that's what it takes. The only drawback is, I kind of liked having room for food in the freezer.  Anybody else gone back, or felt the urge?

Get a 2nd freezer for the basement - problem solved. :)
Fermenting fridge, lagering freezer, keezer, all out of room.  I'm gonna need a bigger basement.  :) 
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: charlie on August 03, 2018, 01:09:16 AM
My bittering has moved solely to high alpha ( magnum to be exact, I am RHG compliant afterall :) ) co2 extract.

We used whole cone Magnum for bittering quite a bit in 2012, but everything we made tasted like citrus, so we went to Warrior for bittering, and the citrus flavor went away. About that same time we switched from Wyeast Greenbelt to WLP-001 yeast, and later I realized that the citrus flavor was more likely due to the Greenbelt yeast than the Magnum hops.

Charlie
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: denny on August 03, 2018, 02:53:15 PM
My bittering has moved solely to high alpha ( magnum to be exact, I am RHG compliant afterall :) ) co2 extract.

We used whole cone Magnum for bittering quite a bit in 2012, but everything we made tasted like citrus, so we went to Warrior for bittering, and the citrus flavor went away. About that same time we switched from Wyeast Greenbelt to WLP-001 yeast, and later I realized that the citrus flavor was more likely due to the Greenbelt yeast than the Magnum hops.

Charlie

I thought I knew all the Wyeast strains, but Greenbelt is a new one on me.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: hopfenundmalz on August 03, 2018, 04:20:01 PM
My bittering has moved solely to high alpha ( magnum to be exact, I am RHG compliant afterall :) ) co2 extract.

We used whole cone Magnum for bittering quite a bit in 2012, but everything we made tasted like citrus, so we went to Warrior for bittering, and the citrus flavor went away. About that same time we switched from Wyeast Greenbelt to WLP-001 yeast, and later I realized that the citrus flavor was more likely due to the Greenbelt yeast than the Magnum hops.

Charlie

I thought I knew all the Wyeast strains, but Greenbelt is a new one on me.
Wyeast exclusive with Austin Homebrew Supply, circa 2010, not sure if it is still made. Don’t see it on either site.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: denny on August 03, 2018, 04:45:40 PM


I thought I knew all the Wyeast strains, but Greenbelt is a new one on me.
[/quote]
Wyeast exclusive with Austin Homebrew Supply, circa 2010, not sure if it is still made. Don’t see it on either site.
[/quote]

Darn you're smart!
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: hopfenundmalz on August 03, 2018, 05:08:44 PM


I thought I knew all the Wyeast strains, but Greenbelt is a new one on me.
Wyeast exclusive with Austin Homebrew Supply, circa 2010, not sure if it is still made. Don’t see it on either site.
[/quote]

Darn you're smart!
[/quote]

I used to be.  ;)

Something’s stick in my memory, and the google helps.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: Robert on August 03, 2018, 07:09:43 PM


I thought I knew all the Wyeast strains, but Greenbelt is a new one on me.
Wyeast exclusive with Austin Homebrew Supply, circa 2010, not sure if it is still made. Don’t see it on either site.

Darn you're smart!
[/quote]

I used to be.  ;)

Something’s stick in my memory, and the google helps.
[/quote]

A magician is not supposed to reveal how the trick works.  ;)
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: hopfenundmalz on August 04, 2018, 01:21:36 AM


I thought I knew all the Wyeast strains, but Greenbelt is a new one on me.
Wyeast exclusive with Austin Homebrew Supply, circa 2010, not sure if it is still made. Don’t see it on either site.

Darn you're smart!

I used to be.  ;)

Something’s stick in my memory, and the google helps.
[/quote]

A magician is not supposed to reveal how the trick works.  ;)
[/quote]
Watch the hands, not the cards if you want to se the trick. Early 2017 we stopped at LV on our way to Death Valley NP. We saw Penn and Teller the first night out west. They said they did tricks, not magic, try and find the tricks. I may have caught about half of one tick. Damn those guys are good!
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: Invertalon on August 06, 2018, 01:05:14 PM
I always brew my house Pils with whole-cone hops… It’s been a while, but just brewed my most recent batch this weekend since getting my pump for recirculation/whirlpool for cooling and such… The clarity on my wort going into the fermenter, thanks to the “filter bed” by the whole cone hops was something I had never, ever seen before. It was clearer than any professionally filtered beer I’ve seen. I never have problems getting crystal clear lagers and such after lagering, but I had never seen wort this brilliant and clear going into that fermenter. Makes me really excited to see what the final result will look like after it’s done being cold conditioned.   

I also find, now having brewed a Pils with pellet hops as well, that I have preferred my whole-flower variants. It could have just been the hop crop I had for my whole-flower vs. pellet, but the taste was more vibrant/bright and complex than the pellet. I use pellets for all my ales, but debating about trying an IPA with whole flower to compare here soon as I had never done that aside from my wet-hop IPA I do every harvest, which will be in two weeks or so here with my Chinook and Cascade plants.

Once I work through my large pellet hop inventory, I may buy more non-German varieties in whole leaf form… Citra and Simcoe, for example. Since I dry hop in the keg at times now, it would be nice to pack my hop canisters with whole flower vs. pellet and have less issue/risk with any particulate going rogue to clog up the poppet or faucet (flow control, sensitive to debris!).

Count me as a fan for whole-flower, though. Storage and wort loss with whole flower does suck, but usually for lagers and stuff that is never a huge deal when only using say 6oz total in the boil for say my Pils. An IPA on the other hand would get pretty bad, though.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: James K on August 09, 2018, 05:23:18 AM
Well peeps, I just picked up two fat sacks of some home grown. Bullion hops.

Not sure the true AA but I’m gonna make a stout with them. Oatmeal stout. If they are true to historical bullion’s I’m estimating 8-9%aa. These are dried and I was gonna use a bag @60 and the other bag at like 20 and @0

Happy hopping.  8)

(https://beta-static.photobucket.com/images/k97/Jrk264/s0/43d6eba4-7a28-4e10-b5ab-e67a33071372-original.jpg?width=1920&height=1080&fit=bounds) (https://beta.photobucket.com/u/Jrk264/p/43d6eba4-7a28-4e10-b5ab-e67a33071372)
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: dmtaylor on August 09, 2018, 12:10:46 PM
Well peeps, I just picked up two fat sacks of some home grown. Bullion hops.

Not sure the true AA but I’m gonna make a stout with them. Oatmeal stout. If they are true to historical bullion’s I’m estimating 8-9%aa. These are dried and I was gonna use a bag @60 and the other bag at like 20 and @0

I'm happy to see you're trying them for bittering.  I think your estimate of 8-ish percent alpha is probably pretty close.  One minor concern is they don't have much brown on them, so possibly slightly underripe... but in Arizona, well maybe nevermind!  I have NO idea what they'd be like used at the end of the boil -- exciting!

Cheers!
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: James K on August 09, 2018, 04:34:18 PM
I'm happy to see you're trying them for bittering.  I think your estimate of 8-ish percent alpha is probably pretty close.  One minor concern is they don't have much brown on them, so possibly slightly underripe... but in Arizona, well maybe nevermind!  I have NO idea what they'd be like used at the end of the boil -- exciting!

Cheers!

I’m using them tomorrow, so they are dried out already and maybe I’ll just go and leave the bags open until then.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: Robert on August 11, 2018, 06:25:11 PM
Well, I brewed my Oktoberfest this morning, first batch back to whole cone.  Besides the wonderful, elegant flavor and aroma of the wort (and with no addition after the start of the boil, it does have a nice Saaz character showing through, as well as the expected level of bitterness,) it was a joy to see the perfectly crystal-clear, hop-filtered wort going to the fermenter... and with a loss of less than 1 qt to the hops, rather than the gallon or even more I lose with pellets (and the wort still isn't clear then.)  I have to go back and adjust recipes to my old, shorter brew lengths -- bonus is saving malt.  Felt like coming home to my happy place.  If you're happy with pellets, great.  I like it this way. Can't wait for the beer.  Next up is a hoppy, dry hopped pale ale, for contrast.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: James K on August 11, 2018, 10:31:52 PM
it was a joy to see the perfectly crystal-clear, hop-filtered wort going to the fermenter...
I have to agree. I just used them for the first time and the wort looks really good. First beer I’ve made without using my hop spider and I liked watching the hops circulate around in the boil. I have a filter on the bottom of my kettle and usually, even with the hop spider, there is a brown residue.
This stout looks really clean and I will have to consider buying whole cones from now on if I can get the ones I like. Overall I think my biggest issue would be saving on in contract to buying pellets in bulk.
Title: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: BrewBama on March 05, 2019, 04:21:56 AM
Where are you guys getting your whole leaf hops? I am trying to find some Hallertauer Mittelfrueh and Tettnanger Tettnang but everyone seems to be sold out.

Edit:  I found Hallertau but not Tettnang. I suppose 2 (oz) out of three ain’t bad.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: Robert on March 05, 2019, 12:33:35 PM
Where are you guys getting your whole leaf hops? I am trying to find some Hallertauer Mittelfrueh and Tettnanger Tettnang but everyone seems to be sold out.

Edit:  I found Hallertau but not Tettnang. I suppose 2 (oz) out of three ain’t bad.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
My top choice for whole cone, far and away, is Hops Direct /Puterbaugh Farms.  They sell other growers hops as well as their own, including imports.  Looks like they still have Hallertau Tradition (very fine sub for MF, IME,) Hersbrucker and Saaz, in the vein of what you're after.  They do only sell by the full pound.  (Actually their pounds are always a bit overweight.)
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: mabrungard on March 10, 2019, 02:57:35 PM
While the storability of whole hops is poorer than pellets, storing your hops in the freezer does significantly extend their useful life. Buying a pound is no big deal to me. I’ll use them eventually.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: Lazy Ant Brewing on March 11, 2019, 11:01:28 AM
I use my homegrowns almost exclusively for bittering.  I use pellets for flavor and aroma.  I could also try doing the reverse.  To be honest, I don't mind much either way and don't necessarily have a preference.  If anything, pellets take up less space, and don't require a bag in the boil, so I see more advantages to pellets.  But they're not huge advantages.
Dave, whole hops want to go commando in the boil.  One of the beauties is, you let them settle, rack from underneath them, and they filter out the break, which will have settled on top of the hops. You also thereby recover more wort, not having to leave a sludge layer in the kettle.

I leave nothing in my kettle.  It all goes into the fermenter.  Anything more from me would be... "too much dicking".

Dave,

So you make no attempt at all to leave the sludge behind?

I'm for making brewing as simple as possible as long as  the beer tastes good eind the end.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: denny on March 11, 2019, 02:53:08 PM
I use my homegrowns almost exclusively for bittering.  I use pellets for flavor and aroma.  I could also try doing the reverse.  To be honest, I don't mind much either way and don't necessarily have a preference.  If anything, pellets take up less space, and don't require a bag in the boil, so I see more advantages to pellets.  But they're not huge advantages.
Dave, whole hops want to go commando in the boil.  One of the beauties is, you let them settle, rack from underneath them, and they filter out the break, which will have settled on top of the hops. You also thereby recover more wort, not having to leave a sludge layer in the kettle.

I leave nothing in my kettle.  It all goes into the fermenter.  Anything more from me would be... "too much dicking".

Dave,

So you make no attempt at all to leave the sludge behind?

I'm for making brewing as simple as possible as long as  the beer tastes good eind the end.

Like Dave, it all goes into the fermenter.  I think I speak for him when I say that if it had a negative impact on the beer, we wouldn't keep doing it.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: BrewBama on March 11, 2019, 05:07:59 PM
While I agree I have not noticed a difference in the taste of the beer when whirlpooling and adding the resulting small amount of trub material to the fermenter, I have experienced difficulties with the cleanliness of the yeast cake itself.

I normally don’t harvest yeast, but this winter I had some Imperial brand liquid yeast shipped in and wanted to rinse it for reuse.  What I noticed is the trub dissolved in the wort was so finely incorporated in the cake post fermentation I had a heck of a time getting a clean yeast sample. I finally did and then propagated it up to a desirable pitch size for use it an upcoming brewday.

This yeast rinse episode was such a hassle that it has caused me to explore ways to further clarify the wort going into the fermenter.  Though I’ve added a false bottom to my BK which has helped, I continue to get more material in the post ferment yeast cake than I am wanting.

Therefore, I plan to use at least 33% and hopefully 100% whole leaf hop per brewday for the next few beers to see what the impacts are for myself.

However, I’ve found that actually finding whole leaf hops in varieties required for my planned recipes in usable quantities is the snag in that plan. I’ve discovered a wide variety and availability of pellets sold by the ounce and portions of a pound — whole leaf not so much.

One drawback I’ve read about is wort absorption of the whole leaf. But as I believe Robert found, if the trub is filtered I may actually realize a small net volume gain over leaving wort to hold the trub sludge that collapses when it hits air.  We’ll see.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: denny on March 11, 2019, 05:28:05 PM
While I agree I have not noticed a difference in the taste of the beer when whirlpooling and adding the resulting small amount of trub material to the fermenter, I have experienced difficulties with the cleanliness of the yeast cake itself.

I normally don’t harvest yeast, but this winter I had some Imperial brand liquid yeast shipped in and wanted to rinse it for reuse.  What I noticed is the trub dissolved in the wort was so finely incorporated in the cake post fermentation I had a heck of a time getting a clean yeast sample. I finally did and then propagated it up to a desirable pitch size for use it an upcoming brewday.

This yeast rinse episode was such a hassle that it has caused me to explore ways to further clarify the wort going into the fermenter.  Though I’ve added a false bottom to my BK which has helped, I continue to get more material in the post ferment yeast cake than I am wanting.

Therefore, I plan to use at least 33% and hopefully 100% whole leaf hop per brewday for the next few beers to see what the impacts are for myself.

However, I’ve found that actually finding whole leaf hops in varieties required for my planned recipes in usable quantities is the snag in that plan. I’ve discovered a wide variety and availability of pellets sold by the ounce and portions of a pound — whole leaf not so much.

One drawback I’ve read about is wort absorption of the whole leaf. But as I believe Robert found, if the trub is filtered I may actually realize a small net volume gain over leaving wort to hold the trub sludge that collapses when it hits air.  We’ll see.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

I have found no benefit to yeast rinsing, so I don't have to worry about a clean yeast sample.  It just doesn't matter of there's trub in it.
Title: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: BrewBama on March 11, 2019, 05:48:17 PM
While I agree I have not noticed a difference in the taste of the beer when whirlpooling and adding the resulting small amount of trub material to the fermenter, I have experienced difficulties with the cleanliness of the yeast cake itself.

I normally don’t harvest yeast, but this winter I had some Imperial brand liquid yeast shipped in and wanted to rinse it for reuse.  What I noticed is the trub dissolved in the wort was so finely incorporated in the cake post fermentation I had a heck of a time getting a clean yeast sample. I finally did and then propagated it up to a desirable pitch size for use it an upcoming brewday.

This yeast rinse episode was such a hassle that it has caused me to explore ways to further clarify the wort going into the fermenter.  Though I’ve added a false bottom to my BK which has helped, I continue to get more material in the post ferment yeast cake than I am wanting.

Therefore, I plan to use at least 33% and hopefully 100% whole leaf hop per brewday for the next few beers to see what the impacts are for myself.

However, I’ve found that actually finding whole leaf hops in varieties required for my planned recipes in usable quantities is the snag in that plan. I’ve discovered a wide variety and availability of pellets sold by the ounce and portions of a pound — whole leaf not so much.

One drawback I’ve read about is wort absorption of the whole leaf. But as I believe Robert found, if the trub is filtered I may actually realize a small net volume gain over leaving wort to hold the trub sludge that collapses when it hits air.  We’ll see.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

I have found no benefit to yeast rinsing, so I don't have to worry about a clean yeast sample.  It just doesn't matter of there's trub in it.

While I cannot argue that it doesn’t matter to you, I want to see if it matters to me. As you say; ”Until YOU do the experiments for yourself, you really don't know. So, get your brew on and find out!” and “Question the conventional wisdom and check it out.”

That’s my intent.

(Edit for clarification and adding a quote)


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: denny on March 11, 2019, 06:07:06 PM
While I agree I have not noticed a difference in the taste of the beer when whirlpooling and adding the resulting small amount of trub material to the fermenter, I have experienced difficulties with the cleanliness of the yeast cake itself.

I normally don’t harvest yeast, but this winter I had some Imperial brand liquid yeast shipped in and wanted to rinse it for reuse.  What I noticed is the trub dissolved in the wort was so finely incorporated in the cake post fermentation I had a heck of a time getting a clean yeast sample. I finally did and then propagated it up to a desirable pitch size for use it an upcoming brewday.

This yeast rinse episode was such a hassle that it has caused me to explore ways to further clarify the wort going into the fermenter.  Though I’ve added a false bottom to my BK which has helped, I continue to get more material in the post ferment yeast cake than I am wanting.

Therefore, I plan to use at least 33% and hopefully 100% whole leaf hop per brewday for the next few beers to see what the impacts are for myself.

However, I’ve found that actually finding whole leaf hops in varieties required for my planned recipes in usable quantities is the snag in that plan. I’ve discovered a wide variety and availability of pellets sold by the ounce and portions of a pound — whole leaf not so much.

One drawback I’ve read about is wort absorption of the whole leaf. But as I believe Robert found, if the trub is filtered I may actually realize a small net volume gain over leaving wort to hold the trub sludge that collapses when it hits air.  We’ll see.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

I have found no benefit to yeast rinsing, so I don't have to worry about a clean yeast sample.  It just doesn't matter of there's trub in it.

While I cannot argue that it doesn’t matter to you, I want to see if it matters to me. As you say; ”Until YOU do the experiments for yourself, you really don't know. So, get your brew on and find out!” and “Question the conventional wisdom and check it out.”

That’s my intent.

(Edit for clarification and adding a quote)


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Absolutely!
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: Robert on March 11, 2019, 06:17:08 PM
Yep, I find the absorbed wort is less than the volume I'd lose trying to run clear wort off a layer of pellet debris, and I get crystal clear wort using the cones as a filter bed (I auto siphon, first I put a stainless scrubby over the end of the cane, then jam it down under the hops, and Bob's your uncle as they say.)

If you do have trub mixed into the yeast, rather than rinse, I think it would be better practice to grow it up through a starter, or better yet, just pitch the dirty slurry, allowing a little extra volume to  account for the non yeast material (my usual approach these days.)   As Klickitat Jim would say, trub doesn't propagate!

Sent from my SM-J727V using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: ynotbrusum on March 11, 2019, 08:05:55 PM
I use a stainless mesh hop container - either the kind that hangs over the side of the boil kettle or the closed tube variety, typically.  For whole cone, I use a strainer bag suspended up away from the heat (but I haven't found whole cone easily for the hops I use most (Magnum for bittering, for example).  I am sure that they are out there, but I just go with what my LHBS has and that is typically pellet form.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: jeffy on March 11, 2019, 09:35:15 PM
I found in my system that I didn't get the hop utilization I wanted if I used mesh bags or even with one of those stainless things that hangs in the kettle.  I have gone back to adding pellets, loose. 
In the past I had been trying to find a way to keep all the debris from clogging my therminator and finally settled on running the hot wort through a Hearts Super Chiller https://heartshomebrew.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=17_213&products_id=878 with well water until the wort was 100F or so, then running it through the therminator with ice water and directly into the fermenters.
It helps if I start a whirlpool with my brewing paddle and continue the whirlpool while chilling.
Most of the trub stays in the kettle.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: coolman26 on March 11, 2019, 11:40:51 PM
While I agree I have not noticed a difference in the taste of the beer when whirlpooling and adding the resulting small amount of trub material to the fermenter, I have experienced difficulties with the cleanliness of the yeast cake itself.

I normally don’t harvest yeast, but this winter I had some Imperial brand liquid yeast shipped in and wanted to rinse it for reuse.  What I noticed is the trub dissolved in the wort was so finely incorporated in the cake post fermentation I had a heck of a time getting a clean yeast sample. I finally did and then propagated it up to a desirable pitch size for use it an upcoming brewday.

This yeast rinse episode was such a hassle that it has caused me to explore ways to further clarify the wort going into the fermenter.  Though I’ve added a false bottom to my BK which has helped, I continue to get more material in the post ferment yeast cake than I am wanting.

Therefore, I plan to use at least 33% and hopefully 100% whole leaf hop per brewday for the next few beers to see what the impacts are for myself.

However, I’ve found that actually finding whole leaf hops in varieties required for my planned recipes in usable quantities is the snag in that plan. I’ve discovered a wide variety and availability of pellets sold by the ounce and portions of a pound — whole leaf not so much.

One drawback I’ve read about is wort absorption of the whole leaf. But as I believe Robert found, if the trub is filtered I may actually realize a small net volume gain over leaving wort to hold the trub sludge that collapses when it hits air.  We’ll see.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

I have found no benefit to yeast rinsing, so I don't have to worry about a clean yeast sample.  It just doesn't matter of there's trub in it.
I agree with this


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: coolman26 on March 11, 2019, 11:49:22 PM
As far as utilization with bags or stainless, I felt that I had that issue too. I really liked the filtration, so I just made one to the id of my kettle. It works great, but I like the idea of whole cone and commando. Another must try for myself I guess.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: BrewBama on March 11, 2019, 11:52:48 PM
I watched another video recently that shows pellets and whole leaf dropped into separate erlenmeyer flasks of boiling water. The guys in the video are from Victory and they were touting their use of whole leaf. Though biased, they did make an interesting point: the water turned a brilliant green and filled with vegetation when pellets were added but the whole leaf turned its water a more yellow than green color.

They explained that this ‘yellow-ish-ness’ was simply the lupulin gland resins (what they’re after) vs the bright green ‘chlorophyll-ish-ness’ from the compressed strigs, bract, and other vegetive matter. 

Made me say “huh, look at that.”  I’d never seen that before.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: Robert on March 11, 2019, 11:57:19 PM
Advantages of whole cone and commando (perhaps also pellet and commando) include:  Hops added before the start of the boil break surface tension and help prevent boil over; the action of the circulating material promotes protein coagulation and  break formation; and of course some increase in utilization.  And the ability to use whole cones as a filter medium.   These are all theoretical advantages you'll see in books, but I have found them to be very real in my own experience.

I also definitely think I taste that color difference, if you know what I mean, BrewBama!  (EDIT Mind you, that green stuff has its place.  In there is a part of hop flavor and bitterness you'd miss without it, like if you just used lupulin or certain advanced products.   But it's a matter of balance.  I find I can't help but get too much "green" with pellets.)


Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: denny on March 12, 2019, 02:06:46 PM
I watched another video recently that shows pellets and whole leaf dropped into separate erlenmeyer flasks of boiling water. The guys in the video are from Victory and they were touting their use of whole leaf. Though biased, they did make an interesting point: the water turned a brilliant green and filled with vegetation when pellets were added but the whole leaf turned its water a more yellow than green color.

They explained that this ‘yellow-ish-ness’ was simply the lupulin gland resins (what they’re after) vs the bright green ‘chlorophyll-ish-ness’ from the compressed strigs, bract, and other vegetive matter. 

Made me say “huh, look at that.”  I’d never seen that before.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Sounds like they need to look at Cryo hops
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: Robert on March 12, 2019, 02:28:58 PM
See my reply just above.   You need the whole hop to get the whole effect.  I've read about a lot of research done by big brewers trying to go to advanced hop products that lacked components of the green material, only contained extracts from the lupulin.   They found it just didn't make beery beer until they developed advanced extracts of the green, vegetal matter, to add along with the lupulin products.   (References to this in Stan's book.)  It's way easier to just use the whole thing in the first place.  Whether you best achieve the effects with whole cones or pellets is a process decision to make in your brewery.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: MattyAHA on March 13, 2019, 07:06:32 PM
these days i only brew 3 beers, a german pilsner, a dry stout and a sour beer once a year so i think im going back to leaf too esp for my g pils, hop direct sells lbs of hallertau for 10 bucks
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: denny on March 13, 2019, 07:22:03 PM
these days i only brew 3 beers, a german pilsner, a dry stout and a sour beer once a year so i think im going back to leaf too esp for my g pils, hop direct sells lbs of hallertau for 10 bucks

If you don't brew often, pellets may be a better choice.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: Robert on March 13, 2019, 07:31:56 PM
My key to buying bulk whole cone has been to accept that I'll have no room for meat in my freezer. 

Wait, that's not what I meant to say!  ;D 

Seriously, I just have stopped focusing on specific hop varieties,  and think in terms of categories of hops.  A few varieties can make a wide range of beers.  Even though like MattyAHA I don't make a very wide range of beers either.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: MattyAHA on March 13, 2019, 07:42:08 PM
yeah Idk, i just like whole hops better, been using pellets for awhile they are great but for me there is something about using the hop in its dried natural state, just feels right, if i make an ipa which i dont anymore i will use pellets but for a pils give me some leaf
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: denny on March 13, 2019, 08:03:10 PM
My key to buying bulk whole cone has been to accept that I'll have no room for meat in my freezer. 

Wait, that's not what I meant to say!  ;D 

Seriously, I just have stopped focusing on specific hop varieties,  and think in terms of categories of hops.  A few varieties can make a wide range of beers.  Even though like MattyAHA I don't make a very wide range of beers either.

My point wasn't as much space related as quality related.  Pellets will keep better longer than whole hops.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: Robert on March 13, 2019, 08:08:06 PM
My key to buying bulk whole cone has been to accept that I'll have no room for meat in my freezer. 

Wait, that's not what I meant to say!  ;D 

Seriously, I just have stopped focusing on specific hop varieties,  and think in terms of categories of hops.  A few varieties can make a wide range of beers.  Even though like MattyAHA I don't make a very wide range of beers either.

My point wasn't as much space related as quality related.  Pellets will keep better longer than whole hops.
Still, vacuum sealed in the freezer, whole cone is good for longer than it takes me to use them up.  Probably at least a couple years,  I'd think.  I try to buy a year's worth of my go-to varieties.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: denny on March 13, 2019, 08:35:32 PM
My key to buying bulk whole cone has been to accept that I'll have no room for meat in my freezer. 

Wait, that's not what I meant to say!  ;D 

Seriously, I just have stopped focusing on specific hop varieties,  and think in terms of categories of hops.  A few varieties can make a wide range of beers.  Even though like MattyAHA I don't make a very wide range of beers either.

My point wasn't as much space related as quality related.  Pellets will keep better longer than whole hops.
Still, vacuum sealed in the freezer, whole cone is good for longer than it takes me to use them up.  Probably at least a couple years,  I'd think.  I try to buy a year's worth of my go-to varieties.

Doesn't work that way for me, but maybe I have too much hops.  Or don't brew enough.  Or both.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: denny on March 13, 2019, 08:58:56 PM
yeah Idk, i just like whole hops better, been using pellets for awhile they are great but for me there is something about using the hop in its dried natural state, just feels right, if i make an ipa which i dont anymore i will use pellets but for a pils give me some leaf

I was a "whole hop snob" for maybe the first 10 or so years that I brewed.  Then a guy who is easily the best brewer in our club convinced me to give pellets a try.  After a few brews I decided that was the way for me to go.  For pils and most lagers these days, I'm using the American noble pellets from Yakima Chief.  And I especially prefer pellets for continental hops, since whole hops can suffer so much in the journey.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: Robert on March 13, 2019, 09:29:58 PM
yeah Idk, i just like whole hops better, been using pellets for awhile they are great but for me there is something about using the hop in its dried natural state, just feels right, if i make an ipa which i dont anymore i will use pellets but for a pils give me some leaf

I was a "whole hop snob" for maybe the first 10 or so years that I brewed.  Then a guy who is easily the best brewer in our club convinced me to give pellets a try.  After a few brews I decided that was the way for me to go.  For pils and most lagers these days, I'm using the American noble pellets from Yakima Chief.  And I especially prefer pellets for continental hops, since whole hops can suffer so much in the journey.
Different strokes... I've given pellets an honest try for a couple of lengthy stretches, because I felt compelled to by the general trend in the market, but just am not happy with them.  Variety available is the only advantage I see, but if I don't like everything else, it's a moot point and, as I said, I can easily find a hop to fit the category.   It isn't snobbery at all, just what I find works best.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: MattyAHA on March 14, 2019, 12:53:58 AM
i would not call myself a "whole hop snob" i literally brew 3 styles of beer,  i try to brew twice a month, hoping to get that to once a week, so freshness of the hops is not really a issue, buy by the lb, 2 varieties, i prefer whole hops for my purpose, in my situation whole hops don't really have a downside
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: denny on March 14, 2019, 01:19:04 PM
Didn't mean to implicate that anyone but myself withthe "whole hop snob" comment....
Title: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: BrewBama on March 14, 2019, 09:43:15 PM
I decided to replicate the experiment I saw on YouTube. I poured the same amount of boiling water over one ounce of pellets and one ounce of whole leaf. The first noticeable difference is absorption. In an hour I’ll filter thru a coffee filter and see what the resulting tea looks like.

BTW: ordering from Hops Direct was a very positive experience. I ordered Mon at 0830 and the hops were delivered Thurs at noon.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190314/99dfaf36f495f881d1b8f8db1dd4ad4e.jpg)

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190314/1efc546072667d0893960673b035e53f.jpg)

One hr later:

The whole leaf quickly drained thru the filter to fill the stange with a golden tea.

The pellets clogged the filter and took an extraordinarily long time to drain a Golden/Green tea into the stange.

The pellet tea is sharply more bitter than the whole leaf tea.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190314/c8ecfdbe542b8f38c47c9041e1b9e4f8.jpg)

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190314/ca08d952c7cc3c6671dd8f70d14a1564.jpg)

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190314/48582f2f4aef327846bf168bc03dd535.jpg)

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190314/481482247b6b70c1870db5beaaee17b9.jpg)

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190314/f43ee5824644d84e108eb3cda20db542.jpg)

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190314/a980ab5646963eed68a3e7bab94cf7ba.jpg)

Edit: overnight the pellet particles settled out resulting in a less green stained golden liquid:

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190315/3f01f4f95d2ded6a885aeffc8f7e3516.jpg)

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: denny on March 14, 2019, 09:54:42 PM
What is that going to prove?
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: MattyAHA on March 14, 2019, 09:58:33 PM
I decided to replicate the experiment I saw on YouTube. I poured the same amount of boiling water over one ounce of pellets and one ounce of whole leaf. The first noticeable difference is absorption. In an hour I’ll filter thru a coffee filter and see what the resulting tea looks like.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190314/99dfaf36f495f881d1b8f8db1dd4ad4e.jpg)

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190314/1efc546072667d0893960673b035e53f.jpg)
yeah fact is leaf absorb more wort, can give off more vegetal (which can be preferred), act like filter and its a raw minimally processed ingredient,oils glands have not been broken(to lesser extent), pellets extract better, absorb less but leave more sludge,more uniform extraction but i have a hard time thinking that a minimally processed product is inferior to a higher processed product esp when dealing with essential oils and resins and oils, how can adding whole minimally damaged resin glands be worse then ruptured pulverized glands? Again i have no problem with pellets will still use them again, i love pellets just prefer leaf for what i do

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: Robert on March 14, 2019, 10:10:24 PM
Absorption isn't a straightforward thing.   Using pellets, my losses left behind in the sludge layer in the bottom of the kettle are at least a gallon, and I still don't get crystal clear wort into the fermenter.   With whole hops, the losses are less than a quart, and crystal clear wort.  You can drain most of what's in the whole hops right out through them, as they filter. IME, YMMV.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: BrewBama on March 14, 2019, 10:27:51 PM
What is that going to prove?

Am I not allowed to make hop tea Denny?  Do I have something to prove to you?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: denny on March 14, 2019, 11:14:20 PM
What is that going to prove?

Am I not allowed to make hop tea Denny?  Do I have something to prove to you?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

I'm really sorry about how that came off and I hope you'll accept my apology.  It was meant to be a question, not a challenge.  I'm interested in what you're trying to learn and how it will affect the beer flavor.

Again, I apologize and I'll try to be more precise in the future.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: denny on March 14, 2019, 11:16:02 PM
I decided to replicate the experiment I saw on YouTube. I poured the same amount of boiling water over one ounce of pellets and one ounce of whole leaf. The first noticeable difference is absorption. In an hour I’ll filter thru a coffee filter and see what the resulting tea looks like.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190314/99dfaf36f495f881d1b8f8db1dd4ad4e.jpg)

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190314/1efc546072667d0893960673b035e53f.jpg)
yeah fact is leaf absorb more wort, can give off more vegetal (which can be preferred), act like filter and its a raw minimally processed ingredient,oils glands have not been broken(to lesser extent), pellets extract better, absorb less but leave more sludge,more uniform extraction but i have a hard time thinking that a minimally processed product is inferior to a higher processed product esp when dealing with essential oils and resins and oils, how can adding whole minimally damaged resin glands be worse then ruptured pulverized glands? Again i have no problem with pellets will still use them again, i love pellets just prefer leaf for what i do

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Dude, you've been to Hop and Brew School.  You know the truth behind those statements.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: BrewBama on March 15, 2019, 12:01:47 AM
What is that going to prove?

Am I not allowed to make hop tea Denny?  Do I have something to prove to you?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

I'm really sorry about how that came off and I hope you'll accept my apology.  It was meant to be a question, not a challenge.  I'm interested in what you're trying to learn and how it will affect the beer flavor.

Again, I apologize and I'll try to be more precise in the future.

I appreciate it. I am simply trying to learn the difference between pellets and whole leaf and, like you say, how one or the other positively affects the beer flavor and/or makes the brewday easier.  I have always used pellets.

The whole leaf tea has a more appealing golden color. The pellet tea has a green hue to the tea — it looks dingy. ...but looks aren’t everything.

As mentioned, the taste of the whole leaf is less harsh, or sharp, than the pellet tea. There was a *very* noticeable sharpness to the pellet tea.

The most remarkable difference was how fast the whole leaf sample drained over the pellet sample.

I am looking forward to brewing with the whole leaf hops, either in combination with pellets or exclusively, to see how it goes.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: MattyAHA on March 15, 2019, 04:00:24 AM
i was lucky to make it out of regular school
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: narcout on March 15, 2019, 07:17:32 PM
The whole leaf tea has a more appealing golden color. The pellet tea has a green hue to the tea — it looks dingy. ...but looks aren’t everything.

The color difference is interesting.  Could it be caused by different ratios of chlorophyll to lupulin glands?

As mentioned, the taste of the whole leaf is less harsh, or sharp, than the pellet tea. There was a *very* noticeable sharpness to the pellet tea.

Was the pellet tea just more bitter or was it the quality of the bitterness? An ounce of pellets has more bittering potential than an ounce of whole cone hops, so I would expect at least more bitterness.

The most remarkable difference was how fast the whole leaf sample drained over the pellet sample.

I don't find that aspect very surprising.  I think with pellets, the idea is to position the pick up tube such that it draws off the clear wort from the top of the pellet sludge (or just bag the pellets), while the idea with whole cone hops is to use a pick up tube that draws from underneath a false bottom so  the hops can form a filter bed (I've personally never tried it though).

Cool experiment.
Title: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: BrewBama on March 15, 2019, 07:41:26 PM

The color difference is interesting.  Could it be caused by different ratios of chlorophyll to lupulin glands?


It could be. I say that because the next morning it was more golden than green. It seemed to settle out.


Was the pellet tea just more bitter or was it the quality of the bitterness? An ounce of pellets has more bittering potential than an ounce of whole cone hops, so I would expect at least more bitterness.


It was very noticeably more bitter.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: denny on March 15, 2019, 07:42:21 PM
The thing to keep in mind here is that the characteristics of the tea may have nothing to do with the characteristics of the final beer.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: BrewBama on March 15, 2019, 07:44:21 PM
The thing to keep in mind here is that the characteristics of the tea may have nothing to do with the characteristics of the final beer.

Very true


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: Robert on March 15, 2019, 08:30:36 PM
The thing to keep in mind here is that the characteristics of the tea may have nothing to do with the characteristics of the final beer.
May, but IME it does.  The character of pellet-hopped beers is different.  But not necessarily in the same proportion,  in the same respects, as the tea.  Also, it matters what style you're making.  I find the character of whole cone far more pleasant in the stodgy styles I favor.  Some styles (pretty much all current varieties of American IPAs, for example) didn't exist before pellets and maybe couldn't without them.  The character achieved with pellets seems to have inspired brewers to pursue and capitalize on that nature.  My feeling with pellets is that even late additions give you every aspect of the hop -- bitter, flavor, aroma, vegetal -- immediately,  in spades, in your face.  With whole cone I can better control the degree in which each aspect of hoppiness presents.   But tea is indeed only suggestive.  Experimental Tea Making meets Experimental Brewing... ?
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: BrewBama on March 15, 2019, 11:41:20 PM
... immediately,  in spades, in your face. ...

This is a great descriptor of the sharpness I detected in the pellet tea. I said “Wow!”


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: Robert on March 16, 2019, 12:10:55 PM
Another probable advantage of whole cone is less polyphenols in wort and beer.  We hear a lot of advice about careful milling, to ensure we don't have too many fine husk particles in the mash to avoid excess tannin extraction.   The same people focused on this seem to give not a thought to dumping a heap of micronized hop bracts right into the boil.  I think I've seen a real difference in clarity and stability as well as flavor,  will be interested in whether BrewBama notices a difference.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: denny on March 16, 2019, 02:39:49 PM
Another probable advantage of whole cone is less polyphenols in wort and beer.  We hear a lot of advice about careful milling, to ensure we don't have too many fine husk particles in the mash to avoid excess tannin extraction.   The same people focused on this seem to give not a thought to dumping a heap of micronized hop bracts right into the boil.  I think I've seen a real difference in clarity and stability as well as flavor,  will be interested in whether BrewBama notices a difference.

OTOH, using American Nobles, I've been working on utilizing ployphenols to enhance your beer.  It seems it's not all downsides to tannins.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: mabrungard on March 16, 2019, 03:09:30 PM
Indeed, polyphenols are an important facet of beer flavor in hoppier beers. Tannins are a polyphenol and they are important in wine and cider. So there is little doubt that they are a welcome component in brewing. The only question is the level that your hopping methods take the polyphenol level in your beer. 

I suppose that pelletized hops could contribute more polyphenols to beer since the hop matter is highly macerated. All those broken cell edges from the broken up hop matter could increase the potential for drawing polyphenols from that matter into the wort. An elevated wort pH increases that potential. The other thing to recognize is that hop matter itself often raises wort pH. Maybe if you're getting more phenolic notes in your hoppy beers, it may be time to drop their wort pH so that the pH raising action of those hop additions is better neutralized.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: narcout on March 16, 2019, 03:30:35 PM
I suppose that pelletized hops could contribute more polyphenols to beer since the hop matter is highly macerated.

Is there any data on that? 

Ounce by ounce, which contains more leaf material: pellets or whole cone?

And we need to account for the fact that since they have more bittering potential, by weight you are generally using less pellets than whole cone.

A bit off topic, but there are some hop extracts available that contain no polyphenols.  I wonder if they greatly reduce chill haze.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: mabrungard on March 16, 2019, 03:33:57 PM
Ounce by ounce, which contains more leaf material: pellets or whole cone?

They are the same. The only difference is the processing. By the way, I grow Cascade and Centennial at home and I store those hops by drying and then pounding them into a die to produce something resembling the hop plugs that we used to be able to get.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: denny on March 16, 2019, 03:48:15 PM
Ounce by ounce, which contains more leaf material: pellets or whole cone?

They are the same. The only difference is the processing. By the way, I grow Cascade and Centennial at home and I store those hops by drying and then pounding them into a die to produce something resembling the hop plugs that we used to be able to get.

Based on what I've learned in 5 years at Hop and Brew School, I agree with this.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: Robert on March 16, 2019, 06:00:28 PM


Another probable advantage of whole cone is less polyphenols in wort and beer.  We hear a lot of advice about careful milling, to ensure we don't have too many fine husk particles in the mash to avoid excess tannin extraction.   The same people focused on this seem to give not a thought to dumping a heap of micronized hop bracts right into the boil.  I think I've seen a real difference in clarity and stability as well as flavor,  will be interested in whether BrewBama notices a difference.

OTOH, using American Nobles, I've been working on utilizing ployphenols to enhance your beer.  It seems it's not all downsides to tannins.

As I've often mentioned in referring to the downside of lupulin or some extracts.  Not just polyphenols, dozens of compounds in the green stuff essential to bitterness,  flavor, foam, and all the qualities of beer.  It's just a matter of balance, and different forms of hops make the right balance more or less easy to achieve.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: denny on March 16, 2019, 08:43:54 PM


Another probable advantage of whole cone is less polyphenols in wort and beer.  We hear a lot of advice about careful milling, to ensure we don't have too many fine husk particles in the mash to avoid excess tannin extraction.   The same people focused on this seem to give not a thought to dumping a heap of micronized hop bracts right into the boil.  I think I've seen a real difference in clarity and stability as well as flavor,  will be interested in whether BrewBama notices a difference.

OTOH, using American Nobles, I've been working on utilizing ployphenols to enhance your beer.  It seems it's not all downsides to tannins.

As I've often mentioned in referring to the downside of lupulin or some extracts.  Not just polyphenols, dozens of compounds in the green stuff essential to bitterness,  flavor, foam, and all the qualities of beer.  It's just a matter of balance, and different forms of hops make the right balance more or less easy to achieve.

What I've found in working with cryo hops a LOT is that it's all in where and how you use them.  Big surprise, huh?  My new project is kinda building my own hops by using both the nobles and cryo to customize the lupulin/vegetation ratios.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: Robert on March 16, 2019, 09:06:57 PM




Another probable advantage of whole cone is less polyphenols in wort and beer.  We hear a lot of advice about careful milling, to ensure we don't have too many fine husk particles in the mash to avoid excess tannin extraction.   The same people focused on this seem to give not a thought to dumping a heap of micronized hop bracts right into the boil.  I think I've seen a real difference in clarity and stability as well as flavor,  will be interested in whether BrewBama notices a difference.

OTOH, using American Nobles, I've been working on utilizing ployphenols to enhance your beer.  It seems it's not all downsides to tannins.

As I've often mentioned in referring to the downside of lupulin or some extracts.  Not just polyphenols, dozens of compounds in the green stuff essential to bitterness,  flavor, foam, and all the qualities of beer.  It's just a matter of balance, and different forms of hops make the right balance more or less easy to achieve.

What I've found in working with cryo hops a LOT is that it's all in where and how you use them.  Big surprise, huh?  My new project is kinda building my own hops by using both the nobles and cryo to customize the lupulin/vegetation ratios.

That is an interesting possibility that has occurred to me.  What I've read about the research done (especially by Miller) developing advanced extracts and such, was that they really ended up with some unforeseen challenges that led to essentially putting hops back together once they started taking them apart.  We never would have known how many chemicals in hops make an impact in brewing if somebody hadn't opened that can of worms.  But it does allow a brewer (a big industrial one with resources) to perfectly customize the product.  We can't do that, but LupulN2 + American Noble is about as close as a little guy can get.  I'll be curious about what you learn.
Title: Re: Think I'm going back to whole cone
Post by: BrewBama on March 17, 2019, 12:22:01 PM
My first impression of brewing with whole leaf hops is they have a very real handling difference. For example when you weight out portions from the bulks careful thought has to be given to containing them. Not so with pellets — just open the bag and pour them into a small cup or onto the scale itself. They they put.

Likewise, during the boil they react very different from pellets. They take a minute to become saturated and begin to churn in the boil and seem to provide a better visual indication that the rolling of the wort is working well. Pellets immediately dissolve and provide less visualization.

Cleanup is another remarkable difference. I simply lifted the false bottom and tapped it on the side of a trash can then rinsed it off in the slop sink fitted with a drain strainer. Not bad.

So far so good. We’ll see how the beer turns out.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk