Author Topic: Hop pellet density  (Read 1630 times)

Offline yso191

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Hop pellet density
« on: September 12, 2015, 02:57:47 AM »
I just spent a couple of hours at the BSG (Brewers Supply Group) hop processing plant here in Yakima county.  I am going to help them with their busy selection process and their hop school, Humulus U.  While there, they filmed a demonstration of the difference between pellet densities.

The picture below illustrates the difference pellet density makes.  I found it fascinating.  This is after about 10 minutes.

Steve
All Hands Brewing
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: Hop pellet density
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2015, 10:34:18 PM »
Wow!  That is pretty crazy.  I know which one I would want to dry hop with....

Offline brulosopher

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Re: Hop pellet density
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2015, 04:24:55 AM »
Fascinating.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Hop pellet density
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2015, 04:44:41 AM »
What does it look like after 30 min, hour, day?

Offline yso191

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Re: Hop pellet density
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2015, 02:10:26 PM »
What does it look like after 30 min, hour, day?

I don't know.  I assume the soft pellets would at some point be similar to the BSG pellet.  The hard may just sit at the bottom...again I don't know.  My thought was that I wanted to make a transparent fermenter using real, low SRM wort and do a time lapse on it.
Steve
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Hop pellet density
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2015, 02:33:59 PM »
 BSG's pellets obviously dissolve quicker which would appeal to breweries from a dry hop/production time standpoint. But every nylon dry hop bag I've ever pulled from a keg had a uniformly dissolved pile of hop gunk on the inside (FWIW, I weight the bags with marbles to be sure all pellets are submerged). So I don't think it's much of an issue at the home level.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Hop pellet density
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2015, 03:57:48 AM »
I think it's a neat picture, but I am also skeptical about what this means in the real world. Once the pellets break up, hop bits are hop bits, right? Plus this would only conceivably be a concern during dry hopping. In the boil pellets break up almost instantly and are caught up in the motion of the boil.
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Offline jtoots

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Re: Hop pellet density
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2015, 10:54:22 AM »
I think it's a neat picture, but I am also skeptical about what this means in the real world. Once the pellets break up, hop bits are hop bits, right? Plus this would only conceivably be a concern during dry hopping. In the boil pellets break up almost instantly and are caught up in the motion of the boil.
Agreed.  Give all three a little stir and I bet they all look the same.  Pretty cool to see how dramatic the difference is.  Kinda reminds me of those little sponge dinosaurs that come in pill "egg" form.  I picked some of those up recently just for kicks and was sooo disappointed.  Results were akin to the hard pellet.  Lame.  They don't make 'em like they used to.

Offline yso191

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Re: Hop pellet density
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2015, 01:08:05 PM »
I think it's a neat picture, but I am also skeptical about what this means in the real world. Once the pellets break up, hop bits are hop bits, right? Plus this would only conceivably be a concern during dry hopping. In the boil pellets break up almost instantly and are caught up in the motion of the boil.

I agree.  But in the dry hop context the hard pellets could conceivably just hand at the bottom the entire time.  Regardless, BSG seems to have the right density in their pelleting process.
Steve
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Hop pellet density
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2015, 02:01:19 PM »
I think it's a neat picture, but I am also skeptical about what this means in the real world. Once the pellets break up, hop bits are hop bits, right? Plus this would only conceivably be a concern during dry hopping. In the boil pellets break up almost instantly and are caught up in the motion of the boil.

I agree.  But in the dry hop context the hard pellets could conceivably just hand at the bottom the entire time.  Regardless, BSG seems to have the right density in their pelleting process.
Did they say how they control density?
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: Hop pellet density
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2015, 06:12:33 PM »
Don't forget as well, that as CO2 levels build up in the beer solution towards the end of fermentation (when many dry hops are added) that this gas activity probably helps to break apart the pellets a bit as well and spread them around. 

Offline b-hoppy

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Re: Hop pellet density
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2015, 02:13:56 AM »
I think it's a neat picture, but I am also skeptical about what this means in the real world. Once the pellets break up, hop bits are hop bits, right? Plus this would only conceivably be a concern during dry hopping. In the boil pellets break up almost instantly and are caught up in the motion of the boil.

"hop bits are hop bits" is very true, but think about how the hops became bits in the first place.  At an event in Yakima a month or so ago,  few folks from the industry expressed their displeasure at the increasing number of brewers requesting special density standards for their pellets.  I never got into it with them but am assuming that it has to do with the force that the hammer mill delivers, how fast the material is fed, the diameter of the dye used etc..  Here's one take on the idea: http://inhoppursuit.blogspot.com/2010/06/chad-kennedy-to-hop-merchants-less.html 

I rarely use pellets, but last year I got some from Crosby for doing a little dry-hopping in the carboy.  When I racked and kegged the beer, there were entire bracts (in tact) in the residue.  It was like they managed to run whole hops through the dye?  Really happy with that operation.

Offline yso191

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Re: Hop pellet density
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2015, 02:34:57 AM »
I think it's a neat picture, but I am also skeptical about what this means in the real world. Once the pellets break up, hop bits are hop bits, right? Plus this would only conceivably be a concern during dry hopping. In the boil pellets break up almost instantly and are caught up in the motion of the boil.

I agree.  But in the dry hop context the hard pellets could conceivably just hand at the bottom the entire time.  Regardless, BSG seems to have the right density in their pelleting process.
Did they say how they control density?

I'll ask.  A friend of mine is the one that designed the pelletizer at BSG.  It has several unique features that to his knowledge no one else does.  This is its second harvest.

@ b-hoppy:  That should never happen.  The hammer mill should utterly pulverize the hop cone to tiny bits.  Something was out of whack.
Steve
All Hands Brewing
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Offline yso191

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Re: Hop pellet density
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2015, 02:39:10 PM »
I think it's a neat picture, but I am also skeptical about what this means in the real world. Once the pellets break up, hop bits are hop bits, right? Plus this would only conceivably be a concern during dry hopping. In the boil pellets break up almost instantly and are caught up in the motion of the boil.

I agree.  But in the dry hop context the hard pellets could conceivably just hand at the bottom the entire time.  Regardless, BSG seems to have the right density in their pelleting process.
Did they say how they control density?

Sorry it has taken me so long to answer!  I forgot all about it.  It turns out the answer is 'several things,' but the size of the screen in the hammer mill was the biggest factor - that controls the size of the particle that goes into the pellet.
Steve
All Hands Brewing
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