Author Topic: Hops - Whole (or plugs) vs pellets  (Read 7314 times)

SFBeerGuy

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Hops - Whole (or plugs) vs pellets
« on: April 04, 2010, 02:47:01 PM »
I know this has been talked about before but I was wondering if what Beersmith reports is true.  Beersmith corrects the bitterness of whole hops by lowering the IBUs by about 10%.

I have been brewing only with whole and plug hops lately and my beers have not been coming out nearly as bitter as when I used whatever I could get a hold of (mostly pellets).  My beers seem to have dropped more than 10% of their IBUs.  Granted, I do use coarse hop bags to prevent hop matter from clogging my hopback.  Perhaps the bag is also lowering the IBUs?

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Hops - Whole (or plugs) vs pellets
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2010, 08:51:08 PM »
I could certainly see whole/plugs being more negatively affected in a bag than pellets: once they expand, there are likely surfaces that are not freely immersed in boiling wort. 

So perhaps the -10% was meant for free-floating hops? 


SFBeerGuy

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Re: Hops - Whole (or plugs) vs pellets
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2010, 01:09:07 PM »
I suspected the same thing.  I try to limit the amount of hops in each bag but it gets tough with heavily hopped beers.  I will have to try an experiment and make the same beer without hop bags.  I just need an efficient way to drain the boil pot through the hopback without it getting clogged.

I'm thinking about this...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFxuooOKe4o
« Last Edit: April 06, 2010, 01:15:24 PM by SFBeerGuy »

Offline CR

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Re: Hops - Whole (or plugs) vs pellets
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2010, 09:15:50 AM »
I'm a huge fan of whole plugs.  I really like the gooey sticky sappy texture and aroma from well packaged plugs.

Whole Hops are also great so long as they were correctly stored and packaged.
Recently I got a shipment from Fresh Hops.  It was the first time I tried them and I was not at all happy with what I got.   The hops smelled like urine and were dried out and packaged in cheezy low density polyurethane  bags. I got last falls poorly stored hops.





SFBeerGuy

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Re: Hops - Whole (or plugs) vs pellets
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2010, 01:54:55 PM »
I'm a huge fan of whole plugs.

+1. Plugs and whole are my preference.  I like the fact that with them it is harder to go way overboard with the IBUs in a small batch.  I feel that with my past experiences using pellets the smallest variation of amounts of hops ended up significantly altering my final product.

I ended up building a large hop-bag using a similar method as shown in the video I posted above.  A 5gal paint strainer bag worked great!  Brew day is on Saturday and i am brewing an IPA.  Hope it works well.

Offline Berkyjay

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Re: Hops - Whole (or plugs) vs pellets
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2010, 04:19:23 PM »
I'm a huge fan of whole plugs.

+1. Plugs and whole are my preference.  I like the fact that with them it is harder to go way overboard with the IBUs in a small batch.  I feel that with my past experiences using pellets the smallest variation of amounts of hops ended up significantly altering my final product.

I ended up building a large hop-bag using a similar method as shown in the video I posted above.  A 5gal paint strainer bag worked great!  Brew day is on Saturday and i am brewing an IPA.  Hope it works well.

So I want to chime in here since Brad is my brew partner.  We both have discussed using hop extract.  I am curious if anyone here has experience with it.

Offline BobBrews

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Re: Hops - Whole (or plugs) vs pellets
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2010, 08:06:53 AM »
I sometimes used HopShot from Northern Brewer http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/hopshot.html I have used it only for a backup for bittering. I keep it in the freezer and take it out to thaw. When defrosted I inject it into the boil. I have never used it at the end of boil because it does not have a flavor profile of any kind. It is nondescript but bitter.
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