Author Topic: The pellet debate  (Read 1001 times)

Offline Blick Fang

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The pellet debate
« on: November 27, 2017, 05:13:17 PM »
Hi all

We're going to do our first homegrown hops brew.  And I am getting mixed signals about whole hops to pellets ratio.  The hops were harvested when they felt papery.  They weren't green at all actually.  And wet would not be a term to describe them; more like resiny , after you rubbed them in your hands.

With that said, if pellets only you give you 10% more bitterness, wouldn't the ration be 1 to 1.1; to make up for the 10%?

Thanks!

Offline kramerog

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Re: The pellet debate
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2017, 06:32:25 PM »
I think you may have seen ratios of 5:1 or 4:1.  These ratios are for the amount of wet hops versus dry hops.  Hops when picked are often dry to the touch but they still contain a lot of moisture.  4-5 ounces of non-dried hops, i.e. wet hops, dry down to about 1 ounce.

Offline pete b

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Re: The pellet debate
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2017, 06:35:38 PM »
I think the real issue using homegrown hops is unknown oil content. I suggest looking up the range of aa% for the hop variety, assume homegrown to be on the lower end and adjust from there using a brewing program.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: The pellet debate
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2017, 07:13:13 PM »
Homegrown hops are fun to use but use them more as a novelty, don't expect to have any idea what the AA will be or how much bitterness they will provide (or aroma for that matter).

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: The pellet debate
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2017, 11:06:37 PM »
I use my homegrown hops a LOT, almost exclusively for BITTERING.  Mine have an approximate alpha acid value near the middle of the normal range.  They are typically about 21-23% moisture when harvested, occasionally as low as 20% or as high as 25%, but about 22% is typical.  As such...

IF using undried hops, you'll want to use about 4.5 times as much as dried ones.

If you normally use pellet hops and are concerned about the difference between pellets and whole hop cones, then the OP is right, you'll want to use about an extra 10%, approximately, to account for that.

I don't see use of homegrowns for bittering as a novelty thing.  I see it as being very resourceful.  I don't have to buy a lot of hops anymore, even for bittering.
Dave

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Offline majorvices

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Re: The pellet debate
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2017, 12:30:49 PM »
I use my homegrown hops a LOT, almost exclusively for BITTERING.  Mine have an approximate alpha acid value near the middle of the normal range.  They are typically about 21-23% moisture when harvested, occasionally as low as 20% or as high as 25%, but about 22% is typical.  As such...

IF using undried hops, you'll want to use about 4.5 times as much as dried ones.

If you normally use pellet hops and are concerned about the difference between pellets and whole hop cones, then the OP is right, you'll want to use about an extra 10%, approximately, to account for that.

I don't see use of homegrowns for bittering as a novelty thing.  I see it as being very resourceful.  I don't have to buy a lot of hops anymore, even for bittering.

I'll assume most people aren't growing as many hops as you are then. If you get the "feel" for it I'm sure you can figure out how much hops to use for bittering based on experience. I'm guessing most people are using homegrown hops for one or two batches a year.

Offline denny

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Re: The pellet debate
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2017, 07:22:05 PM »
I use my homegrown hops a LOT, almost exclusively for BITTERING.  Mine have an approximate alpha acid value near the middle of the normal range.  They are typically about 21-23% moisture when harvested, occasionally as low as 20% or as high as 25%, but about 22% is typical.  As such...

IF using undried hops, you'll want to use about 4.5 times as much as dried ones.

If you normally use pellet hops and are concerned about the difference between pellets and whole hop cones, then the OP is right, you'll want to use about an extra 10%, approximately, to account for that.

I don't see use of homegrowns for bittering as a novelty thing.  I see it as being very resourceful.  I don't have to buy a lot of hops anymore, even for bittering.

Ever had beer analyzed to see how close your guess is?
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Offline chinaski

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Re: The pellet debate
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2017, 07:53:51 PM »
I use my homegrown hops a LOT, almost exclusively for BITTERING.  Mine have an approximate alpha acid value near the middle of the normal range.  They are typically about 21-23% moisture when harvested, occasionally as low as 20% or as high as 25%, but about 22% is typical.  As such...

IF using undried hops, you'll want to use about 4.5 times as much as dried ones.

If you normally use pellet hops and are concerned about the difference between pellets and whole hop cones, then the OP is right, you'll want to use about an extra 10%, approximately, to account for that.

I don't see use of homegrowns for bittering as a novelty thing.  I see it as being very resourceful.  I don't have to buy a lot of hops anymore, even for bittering.

I'm with you- I've become hop independent & use my own hops for both bittering and late additions for about 10-15 batches a year.  This means I've done enough trial and error to figure out what works for me in the recipes I've developed.  I tend to assume %AA on the low side of what's reported for commercially grown hops, or in some cases lower.  I also use hop trial results from the University of Vermont since I live here and they are active in doing ag extension work to see what might be viable here on a small commercial scale.

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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: The pellet debate
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2017, 08:29:56 PM »
Ever had beer analyzed to see how close your guess is?

No.  My guess is hardly a guess anymore.  My beer doesn't taste overly or underly bittered, so there's no need.
Dave

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Offline Wilbur

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Re: The pellet debate
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2017, 08:52:44 PM »
I use my homegrown hops a LOT, almost exclusively for BITTERING.  Mine have an approximate alpha acid value near the middle of the normal range.  They are typically about 21-23% moisture when harvested, occasionally as low as 20% or as high as 25%, but about 22% is typical.  As such...

IF using undried hops, you'll want to use about 4.5 times as much as dried ones.

If you normally use pellet hops and are concerned about the difference between pellets and whole hop cones, then the OP is right, you'll want to use about an extra 10%, approximately, to account for that.

I don't see use of homegrowns for bittering as a novelty thing.  I see it as being very resourceful.  I don't have to buy a lot of hops anymore, even for bittering.

Ever had beer analyzed to see how close your guess is?

Quoth the Uke, "The IBU is a lie".

If you don't feel the need to test your IBU numbers when using pellets, why should fresh hops make a difference?


If you can accept the ~9% error, assume the middle range. See the examples below:

A few examples:
Bittering-Columbus
AA%-14.5-17% (From YCH)
Boil Time=60 minutes
1 oz. @ 12%AA=40 IBU
1 oz. @ 14.5%AA=48 IBU
1 oz. @ 16%AA=53 IBU
1 oz. @ 17%AA=57 IBU

Aroma-Columbus
AA%-14.5-17% (From YCH)
Boil Time=10 minutes
1 oz. @ 12%AA=15 IBU
1 oz. @ 14.5%AA=18 IBU
1 oz. @ 16%AA=19 IBU
1 oz. @ 17%AA=21 IBU

Throw a little extra in if you're worried about it, otherwise just enjoy the process!

Offline Ellismr

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Re: The pellet debate
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2017, 11:25:28 AM »
I used home grown hops for dry hopping.  At the time was concerned about IBUs in the finished beer.  But recently I listened to a podcast that had Marshall Schott (Brulosophy) on it and they did an experiment in which they brewed beers and sent them out for analysis.  Long story short almost all of them came back at half of the IBUs the were calculated. 


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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: The pellet debate
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2017, 12:46:31 PM »
I grew some hops once, well.. twice. I used about a bunch in a brew. I dried them first on a furnace filter and a box fan. I didn't weigh them, I just put a huge hand full in toward the end of the boil. The beer was infected but I had fun. I think I was spot on at my estimate of IBUs though.

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Offline majorvices

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Re: The pellet debate
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2017, 01:11:02 AM »
Man, if homegrown hops work for you that is great! Personally I don't care for the vegal character I get from whole hops (even in dry hopping), but that's just my personal taste buds. I also don't care for wet hop beers, we all have things we like and dislike, that doesn't mean anyone is right or wrong.

We've been hearing about the IBU tests coming back surprisingly low for at least 15 years now (especially on super hoppy beers), so absolutely no surprise there. But at least you have a guideline to base your taste buds off of. I typically brew low IBU beers anyway and I think those of us brewing on the low to mid side (20-35 BUs) are getting close. In fact I may be one of the few here that has had my beer tested at a lab for BUs and ABV and they came very, very close. Since I am a commercial brewer it is important that my ABV comes within .2% of the stated guidlines hence the test. But the problem really accentuates itself on highly hopped IPAs and IIPAs.

Offline Andy Farke

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Re: The pellet debate
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2017, 03:05:28 PM »
There are a few labs that will test the alpha acids on hops directly, too (I've used brewlaboratory.com, but there are plenty of other options). My recollection on the fee was around $30-$40 per test; that ain't cheap, but it ain't outrageous either for specialized lab work. I've done it on occasion when I've had a pound of homegrown hops sent my way. If I've got that much, a sacrifice of an ounce or two isn't bad for some peace of mind.
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