Author Topic: The condition of hop pellets when you open them...  (Read 943 times)

Offline Village Taphouse

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The condition of hop pellets when you open them...
« on: December 02, 2015, 05:56:41 PM »
Typically when I open a bag of hop pellets, I have dark green pieces that are loose, separate and dry.  But occasionally I have a bag (Saaz and Ultra come to mind) where the hops seemed to have expanded, gotten soft and are almost stuck together.  If you emptied them into a bowl to weigh them or whatever, they would probably come apart but some may still be stuck together.  The resulting beer (in pretty much all cases) is just fine.  But is this a matter of old or mishandled hops or is it something about the makeup of certain varieties that would cause this?  I am expecting a shipment from Farmhouse Supply today and there will be Ultra, Saphir, Willamette and Crystal.  I'd be interested to see the Ultras because last time all four ounces were in this expanded and soft condition.  Cheers Beerheads.

Offline jimmykx250

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Re: The condition of hop pellets when you open them...
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2015, 06:14:43 PM »
Ive had similar experiences with different varities although my difference would be this has happened with pound bags that were nitrogen flushed and supposedly stored frozen. The hops smelled fine and tasted fine too they just look like they absorbed air at some point.
Jimmykx250

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: The condition of hop pellets when you open them...
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2015, 06:17:43 PM »
The pellets I buy in bulk are all vacuum sealed and are often stuck together. I assume the combination of being tightly vacuum sealed together with the presence of hop oils/resins is responsible. Never noticed a negative whatsoever. I just gently smack the bag on the counter once I've broken the seal, to separate the pellets. No worries.
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Offline blatz

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Re: The condition of hop pellets when you open them...
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2015, 06:18:48 PM »
The pellets I buy in bulk are all vacuum sealed and are often stuck together. I assume the combination of being tightly vacuum sealed together with the presence of hop oils/resins is responsible. Never noticed a negative whatsoever. I just gently smack the bag on the counter once I've broken the seal, to separate the pellets. No worries.

same here.
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: The condition of hop pellets when you open them...
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2015, 06:25:59 PM »
It likely also has to do with the type of pellets the hops were made into.  I'm not going quote standard ## because I don't have any references handy but I have seen at least 2 pellet forms.  The really tight hard and thin style (like feed supplements) and fatter looser ones.  The fatter ones seem to fall apart more easily.  I would guess that Saaz and Ultra hops you've used were the fatter pellets and got roughed up a bit in transport and/or storage.

It all a SWAG on my part but would make sense.  To me at least. :)

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Offline denny

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Re: The condition of hop pellets when you open them...
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2015, 06:34:47 PM »
As a semi related tangent...you can tell how well your pellets were made by looking at the outside of them.  If they're shiny, they were processed at too high a temp and won't be as good as they could be.  If the outside surface is dull, they were processed at cooler temps and likely will be better quality.
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: The condition of hop pellets when you open them...
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2015, 06:38:15 PM »
I should mention that I have also received the tightly packed O2-purged, vacuum-sealed packs (Rebel Brewer does this) where you can actually see the individual hop pellet outlines through the foil... but that's not what I'm referring to.  Those hops [once broken apart] look like any other pellet.  The ones I'm describing have swelled up like a pretzel floating in the toilet (now there's an image for you) and seem sort of dusty/spongy.  I have also seen the longer & thinner pellets compared to the shorter & thicker pellets. 

Offline blatz

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Re: The condition of hop pellets when you open them...
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2015, 07:31:38 PM »
The ones I'm describing have swelled up like a pretzel floating in the toilet (now there's an image for you) and seem sort of dusty/spongy.  I have also seen the longer & thinner pellets compared to the shorter & thicker pellets.

hmm - so 3-5 times the size of a 'normal' pellet?  can't say ive experienced that then.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: The condition of hop pellets when you open them...
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2015, 07:39:50 PM »
The ones I'm describing have swelled up like a pretzel floating in the toilet (now there's an image for you) and seem sort of dusty/spongy.  I have also seen the longer & thinner pellets compared to the shorter & thicker pellets.

hmm - so 3-5 times the size of a 'normal' pellet?  can't say ive experienced that then.
Neither have I, but it almost sounds like they've been in contact with moisture and started to swell/break apart.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: The condition of hop pellets when you open them...
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2015, 07:43:23 PM »
The ones I'm describing have swelled up like a pretzel floating in the toilet (now there's an image for you) and seem sort of dusty/spongy.  I have also seen the longer & thinner pellets compared to the shorter & thicker pellets.

hmm - so 3-5 times the size of a 'normal' pellet?  can't say ive experienced that then.
Neither have I, but it almost sounds like they've been in contact with moisture and started to swell/break apart.

My thoughts, too. I've never seen that before.  Maybe luckily.
Jon H.

Offline pete b

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Re: The condition of hop pellets when you open them...
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2015, 07:46:09 PM »
The ones I'm describing have swelled up like a pretzel floating in the toilet (now there's an image for you) and seem sort of dusty/spongy.  I have also seen the longer & thinner pellets compared to the shorter & thicker pellets.

hmm - so 3-5 times the size of a 'normal' pellet?  can't say ive experienced that then.
Neither have I, but it almost sounds like they've been in contact with moisture and started to swell/break apart.

My thoughts, too. I've never seen that before.  Maybe luckily.
You have never seen a pretzel floating in a toilet? Not sure I have either...
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Offline erockrph

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Re: The condition of hop pellets when you open them...
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2015, 07:47:09 PM »
You have never seen a pretzel floating in a toilet? Not sure I have either...
I was told it was a pretzel. It was a lie  :-[
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Offline 69franx

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Re: The condition of hop pellets when you open them...
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2015, 07:54:15 PM »
As a semi related tangent...you can tell how well your pellets were made by looking at the outside of them.  If they're shiny, they were processed at too high a temp and won't be as good as they could be.  If the outside surface is dull, they were processed at cooler temps and likely will be better quality.
This is a neat little nugget of knowledge that I have wondered about, but not because of any deficiencies, rather just because I saw visual differences. Thanks Denny
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Offline Stevie

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Re: The condition of hop pellets when you open them...
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2015, 08:10:39 PM »
I have seen this before, but not in your situation. I often spill pellets in my freezer when dryhopping. Over the course of a few days they swell up to about 3 times their original volume and are very spongey. This leads me to believe they were exposed to high humidity at one point or another.

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: The condition of hop pellets when you open them...
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2015, 08:45:49 PM »
First, the pretzel situation:  Anyone with small kids may know what it's like when the kids decide to do something unusual.  My daughter hid my wedding ring once and it was YEARS before I found it and my son took a handful of small pretzels and [apparently] dropped them in the toilet to see what would happen.  They were probably goldfish pretzels and he thought they may swim away... LOL.  By the time I found them they were the size of a golf ball.  Anyway, my hops have arrived from Farmhouse and all 4 varieties look awesome and are packaged in that O2-purged, vacuum-sealed foil wrapping.  Cheers.