Author Topic: Switching to Whole Hops!  (Read 4230 times)

Offline bo

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Re: Switching to Whole Hops!
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2011, 01:56:37 PM »
I've never bagged whole hops, but I prefer pellets and I do bag them. Not a clogging issue with either.

Offline calpyro

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Re: Switching to Whole Hops!
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2011, 07:30:01 PM »
Every year I sit down and look back at my last year in brewing and think of ways to modify my process or to try new things out.  Last year for instance was the year of the filter.  Just about every beer I made was filtered.  It was a huge pain in the but; however, I liked the results.  This year I've decided that I am going to use whole hops in every beer!  I realized the other day that I've been brewing for 10 years now but in ten years and well over 100 batches I've never used anything but pellets.  This year that changes.  I just bought a ton of whole leaf hops from Hops Direct and Fresh Hops and I can't wait to start!  One exception that I may allow is dry hopping.  I will dry hop in the 10 gallon conical with whole hops but I am thinking that when I do 5 gallon brews in a carboy that logistically I still may need to use pellets.

This should be fun - anyone selling a hopback?  Might as well go all in at this point!


Here are a few tips:

I coarsely chop all my whole hops to improve the utilization and reduce the wort absorption. I use a cheap food processor from Walmart just for hops.

Use a Surescreen: http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/surescreen.html It allow you to dry hop in a Corney Keg. It allows you to use insane amounts of hops. I chop all the hops I use in dry hopping.

I Cask Condition (add Sugar) while dry hopping in the Corney. Whole hops contain a bunch of Oxygen and the action of the yeast does a good job of scrubbing all of the O2 out of the beer.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Switching to Whole Hops!
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2011, 05:35:09 AM »
I coarsely chop all my whole hops to improve the utilization and reduce the wort absorption. I use a cheap food processor from Walmart just for hops.


I had though about doing this before but was worried about leaving too much of the sticky resin behind in the food processor. Is this not a problem?
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Switching to Whole Hops!
« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2011, 06:27:06 AM »
Use the whole hops with the false bottom and you will have a natural filter for the wort - maybe then you won't have the need to filter the finished product - I never have clarity issues now that my boil keggle has a false bottom.  Just great clear wort comes through.
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Offline denny

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Re: Switching to Whole Hops!
« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2011, 08:56:33 AM »
I coarsely chop all my whole hops to improve the utilization and reduce the wort absorption. I use a cheap food processor from Walmart just for hops.


I had though about doing this before but was worried about leaving too much of the sticky resin behind in the food processor. Is this not a problem?

And how much does it increase utilization, anyway?  It may be one of those things that seems like a good idea, but in reality doesn't make enough difference to be worth the effort.  Has anyone ever seen a study about how much increase you get?  And if you don't know, how do you accurately calculate your hop additions?
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Offline kgs

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Re: Switching to Whole Hops!
« Reply #20 on: October 23, 2011, 07:16:39 AM »
I've never bagged whole hops, but I prefer pellets and I do bag them. Not a clogging issue with either.

The few times I've used whole hops in the boil, I found they made a natural filter (using a very large strainer over a bucket). I also think (without any empirical evidence) that the process of pouring the hot wort through the bed of whole hops gives the beer an extra hit of hoppiness.
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Offline Malticulous

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Re: Switching to Whole Hops!
« Reply #21 on: October 23, 2011, 07:45:15 AM »
I don't like whole flowers. The don't whirlpool nicely and plug my runnoff. Worse they suck up more wort.

Offline calpyro

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Re: Switching to Whole Hops!
« Reply #22 on: October 27, 2011, 07:49:01 PM »
I coarsely chop all my whole hops to improve the utilization and reduce the wort absorption. I use a cheap food processor from Walmart just for hops.


I had though about doing this before but was worried about leaving too much of the sticky resin behind in the food processor. Is this not a problem?

Some of the resin does stick to the food processor. I just swirl some hot wort in it at the end of the boil to clean it up and return it to the kettle.

Offline calpyro

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Re: Switching to Whole Hops!
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2011, 08:10:24 PM »
I coarsely chop all my whole hops to improve the utilization and reduce the wort absorption. I use a cheap food processor from Walmart just for hops.


I had though about doing this before but was worried about leaving too much of the sticky resin behind in the food processor. Is this not a problem?

And how much does it increase utilization, anyway?  It may be one of those things that seems like a good idea, but in reality doesn't make enough difference to be worth the effort.  Has anyone ever seen a study about how much increase you get?  And if you don't know, how do you accurately calculate your hop additions?


How much does it improve the utilization is difficult to quantify. In late additions, the chopped-whole hops perform similar to pellets. The hop resins are almost instantly available to the boil. I find that late in the boil this technique dramatically improves whole-hop performance.

The only person that has done a study about using a food processor to chop whole hops is me as far as I know. However, it is simple logic that by breaking the hop cone structure exposes the luplin that would otherwise be somewhat hidden inside the hop cone.

By coarsely chopping the hops, and leaving the majority of the hop petals intact retains one of the qualities that I prefer in whole hops, which is the filtering effect on the false bottom of my kettle and result is much less wort absorption in regular whole hops.
I accurately calculate my hop utilization like any other brewer. I carefully weigh them and use brewing experience to do the rest.

Offline James Lorden

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Re: Switching to Whole Hops!
« Reply #24 on: October 29, 2011, 06:34:27 AM »
Here we go - first shipment received


Hops by jclorden, on Flickr
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Offline blatz

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Re: Switching to Whole Hops!
« Reply #25 on: October 29, 2011, 07:30:26 AM »
SWEET
The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

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Offline pinnah

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Re: Switching to Whole Hops!
« Reply #26 on: October 29, 2011, 07:39:10 AM »
Looks like two shipments? Freshops and some Puterbaugh Pounds? ;D

Pardon a quick thread drift, those of you who know Dave @ freshops, what is the best way to get a hold of him?
Telephone?  Thanks

I love whole hops BTW.  The packed freezer is a sickness at my house.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2011, 12:56:00 PM by pinnah »

Offline denny

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Re: Switching to Whole Hops!
« Reply #27 on: October 29, 2011, 08:57:55 AM »
My experience is that Dave can be slow to answer emails.  Give him a call.
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Offline James Lorden

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Re: Switching to Whole Hops!
« Reply #28 on: October 30, 2011, 11:07:38 AM »
First brew with whole hops - as predicted by many here - complete disaster.  Doing a lager with only an ounce and a half of hops and still completely clogged my therminator and pump!  Going to have to go to the drawing board!


Perle hops by jclorden, on Flickr
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Offline blatz

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Re: Switching to Whole Hops!
« Reply #29 on: October 30, 2011, 11:14:56 AM »
any screen on your pickup? false bottom?  

sorry for the tough time though.  I had a tough runoff friday night and had to rack out (not hop related though - equipment)
The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

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