Author Topic: Pellets vs whole hops  (Read 1566 times)

Offline cptnpenguin

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Pellets vs whole hops
« on: March 10, 2015, 04:17:42 AM »
So what are the main differences in terms of flavors, methods, ease of use, price, etc?


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Offline majorvices

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Re: Pellets vs whole hops
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2015, 12:00:28 PM »
You are going to find a lot of different opinions. I like pellets better. Easter to store, stay fresher longer, they have some of the extra vegetation removed and taste less "green" to me. They also don't clog up my chillers the way whole hops do. I still use whole hops for randals, dry hopping firkins, etc.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Pellets vs whole hops
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2015, 12:13:54 PM »
+1 to pellets for all the above.
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Offline duboman

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Re: Pellets vs whole hops
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2015, 12:36:03 PM »
The only whole hops I use are my home grown Centennial and Cascade. The majority of which I use in a few wet hopped beers at harvest. The rest are mainly used for dry hopping. Otherwise I only use pellets for the reasons stated above.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Pellets vs whole hops
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2015, 01:16:33 PM »
Lots of advantages to pellets as others have mentioned.  I too only use whole hops when I'm using my homegrowns, which are great but more of a pain to deal with.  If I could produce my own pellets at home, I would.
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Online coolman26

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Re: Pellets vs whole hops
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2015, 03:21:45 PM »
I used to use all whole a long time ago.  I started having oxidation issues that I thought was coming from the whole cones.  I use my home grown, but I much prefer pellets.  Storage space and increased freshness.  All positives IMO.
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Offline denny

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Re: Pellets vs whole hops
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2015, 03:26:45 PM »
+1 to pellets for all the above.

+2!  When I began brewing I was a whole hop snob.  I live in prime hop growing country and pellets seemed like a perversion of hops.  Boy, was I wrong!  I found all the advantages of pellets that Keith notes...they stay fresh longer, and take up less room to store.  The only time I use whole hops these days is if I absoultely know that they're fresh.
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Offline Stevie

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Re: Pellets vs whole hops
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2015, 03:36:01 PM »
To me the only benefit of whole hops is the filter they form when racking beer out of your kettle. Beyond that, I feel pellets are superior echoing what others are saying plus less volume loss.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Pellets vs whole hops
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2015, 03:48:23 PM »
I typically use pellets because they are easier to store. One reason some brewers prefer whole cones is because they claim the pelletization process applies heat to the hops which degrades the essential oils. I don't use hops fast enough to avoid storage concerns with whole cones nor do I have the space to store much hops. So for me the benefits of using pellets outweighs the benefit of cones.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Pellets vs whole hops
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2015, 03:50:03 PM »
To me the only benefit of whole hops is the filter they form when racking beer out of your kettle.

+1
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Pellets vs whole hops
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2015, 03:59:15 PM »
Whole hops work well on my system with a false bottom. I do use pellets. Equal opportunity hop user here.

Often I find more variety in pellet hops, some like Mandarina Bavaria are only pellets in my experience so far.

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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Pellets vs whole hops
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2015, 04:02:24 PM »
Often I find more variety in pellet hops, some like Mandarina Bavaria are only pellets in my experience so far.

+1.  I definitely find a better selection in pellets, too.
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Re: Pellets vs whole hops
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2015, 05:46:59 PM »
I pretty much use whole hops exclusively; however, then again, I also use a false bottom in my kettle.  Whole cones, a false bottom, and an immersion chiller allow one to drain clear wort from one's kettle.  Whirlpooling helps to reduce, but does not completely eliminate hop material from entering one's fermentation vessel when using a ball valve-equipped kettle.  A good compromise that I have seen used in several craft breweries involves using pellets in the boil and whole cones in a hop back while casting out the wort.

Offline denny

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Re: Pellets vs whole hops
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2015, 06:43:58 PM »
OTOH, I have no problems letting the pellets go through the pump and into the fermenter.  Not a lot of hop trub makes it, but I don't worry about what does.
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Offline chumley

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Re: Pellets vs whole hops
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2015, 08:06:34 PM »
I pretty much use whole hops exclusively; however, then again, I also use a false bottom in my kettle.  Whole cones, a false bottom, and an immersion chiller allow one to drain clear wort from one's kettle.  Whirlpooling helps to reduce, but does not completely eliminate hop material from entering one's fermentation vessel when using a ball valve-equipped kettle.  A good compromise that I have seen used in several craft breweries involves using pellets in the boil and whole cones in a hop back while casting out the wort.

My exact reasons for preferring to use whole hops.  Although I agree with the storage and longevity side of pellets.  I use a lot of pellets, but have to use them in hop bags or knee high panty hose bastardized hop bags in order to keep them from clogging up my BK.