Grains, malts, hops, yeast, water and other ingredients used to brew. Recipe reviews and suggestions.

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Postby brewhaha » Mon Jun 10, 2002 12:40 pm

Can someone give me a run-down of the perticular uses of each type of hop, be it whole or leaf etc.. Are there advantages/disadvantages with each type... Thanks...
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off topic but not really

Postby stumpwater » Mon Jun 10, 2002 2:53 pm

I learned a whole smack load about hops from a website called www.freshops.com. I would have ordered hop rhizomes from them as well if not for the cross border tax for the plants to go through customs. I ended up getting my rhizomes from www.rhicters.com, although their website was much less informative. Also, www.howtobrew.com will give you a lot of info on hop types and uses. I have found my local brewyourown to be really helpful for getting hop samples to try. We have a really great brew your own in my town with really helpful proprietor's. Good luck hunting info.
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Postby Brewer2001 » Mon Jun 10, 2002 9:03 pm

Hops are really processed for the major breweries, not for micros, brew pubs or us home brewers. True the hop growers, brokers and retailers do have an outlet in the latter but we don't make a dent.
I was able to get a pound of Kent Goldings hops that was sent to our brewing school to use as a demo. It was wrapped in blue craft paper and closed with a furniture brad. It was the freshest most aromatic hops I have ever smelled or tasted and it stayed fresh for the six months it took me to use it.

All that said, to your question. It is a matter of your 'plant' and desire for freshness.

Whole hops bought in bulk are usually the freshest but your choices may be limited by 'local' production (I live in Washington state fresh could be very fresh). Buying this bulk you could give it away to every brewer you know in order to use it before it goes stale.

Pellets are ground compressed hops that have a minimum moisture content and generally have the longest shelf life. You get the most for your money and the best utilization. Pellets usually give you the most choices but could be old.

Plugs are a toss up between the two giving the brewer the utilization of whole hops and the ease of pellets. Both plugs and pellets may be processed and packed with peservitives.

So pellets are used in some micros and most brew pubs that don't employ hopbacks (hopjacks or strainers). They usually just knock out the kettle to a whorlpool or whorlpool in the kettle. The pellet sediment leaves a nice sediment pile in the vessel that they just flush out.

The larger operations have hopbacks that strain the hop leaves out of the wort (they may not need to whorlpool the wort - that is another subject).

I like the freshness of the whole hops but not the mess so I put my hops in a grain or hop bag and add that to the kettle. I do sacrifice some of the ulilization but I can afford to add the hops.
I did find a hop grower on our links that ships by the pound. They are in Eastern Washington.

It for you to decide...your the Brewer!

Good brewing.

Tom F.
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