Hop amounts, leaf vs. pellet

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Clarkey35, Jul 20, 2016.

  1. Clarkey35

    Clarkey35 New Member

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    Hello everyone,

    Would anyone know how's best to adjust the amount of hops in a recipe between leaf/pellet? I'm of the understanding less weight of hops would be needed for both bittering and aroma in the case of pellets, as the pellets would dissolve in the beer, whereas leaf hops would be removed post-boil?

    I'm asking because most suppliers near me (Manchester, UK) sell a lot of foil-wrapped leaf hops rather than pellets. I'm also weighing up the arguments in terms of cost and storage.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    The recipe calculator allows you to merely choose pellet or leaf and automatically adjusts the IBUs accordingly. You just have to adjust to the amount that gives you the desired IBUs for your recipe.
     
  3. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    Im not sure how much of an issue this will actually be, but leaf hops soak up a bit more wort then the pellets.

    I don't think it'll be enough on a homebrewer's scale to mess things up more than just being off a few gravity points or a liter of wort, but it may be something to consider if you're going for a dry-hopped triple imperial IPA :D
     
  4. Clarkey35

    Clarkey35 New Member

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    Thanks for some more good advice guys.

    I assumed there'd be quite a big difference between the equivalent weight in leaf or pellets, especially given that most of the recipes on here seem to use a much larger weight when using full leaf compared to pellets.

    I've just checked out the separate IBU calculator as you pointed out; a very useful tool! It appears there's very little difference between the two (pellets giving slightly more bittering). I'm assuming the tool accounts for the fact that some hop trub would remain in the fermentation when using pellets, but I guess they're also assuming this is negligible with proper hot and cold breaks and/or whirlpooling.

    Thanks again.
     
  5. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    i think in your profile settings, you can set hop debris loss or whatever it's called (the same page you can set your boil-off rate, grain water absorption, etc.)

    from there, the recipe should pull that data when calculating the water amount, etc.

    but don't quote me, i think Ozarks and Nosy are much more familiar with the intricacies of the software
     
  6. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    yes go through every tab in your profile settings, every scenario is all accounted for but you have to know your equipment to be accurate, for best results always over estimate, trying to make exact amounts, volumes and readings before becoming an experienced brewer is just not going to happen, you learn over time by trial and error
     
  7. Clarkey35

    Clarkey35 New Member

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    Cool. Always learning as I've not actually done an all-grain brew (or used the full capability of this website) yet!

    The IBU calculator actually says "If you select pellets the utilization will increase by 10%". Worth knowing :)
     
  8. artbreu

    artbreu Member

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    Technically speaking, hop trub or dry hops in your fermenter does not contribute to bittering in terms of IBU. If sediment gets into the glass... you're going to get a bitter taste and astringency (and lose serious brewer points). :D

    Flavor and smell, on the other hand, are greatly impacted by contact time with the hops and, to a lesser degree, the trub left over from the boil.

    Some unsolicited info: :D
    The bittering compounds are isomers of the alpha acids in the hop. These isomers are produced in the boil ONLY and their quantity is relative to the boil time, water profile (pH) and the particular hops' acid profile.
     
  9. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    That squares with what I know from other sources.

    One advantage to leaf hops: If your kettle has a false bottom, they'll act almost like the grain bed to filter out some of the trub. Some brewers use them for the final addition for just that purpose. There's some beer lore out there about a difference in flavor between pellet and leaf hops. There may be a few supertasters who can tell the difference but I can't.
     
  10. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    i love this hobby. you can get deep down into the science as much as you want, but at some point, you have to say it's just magic and let the beer fairies do their work
     
  11. Clarkey35

    Clarkey35 New Member

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    Quality info gents, cheers. I don't have a false bottom in the kettle (it's just a fermentation bin which I've jammed a kettle element in but I've just done a test run and can happily declare no leaks!) So good reason to go with boil in a bag leaf hops and not clog the tap. They seem widely available for me and fairly cost effective ;)
     
  12. artbreu

    artbreu Member

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    Some people say that bagged hops lower utilization. I have never found that to be the case. A vigorous boil means water is flowing to and fro so i don't buy it, personally.

    Anyway, utilization is a very technical subject so your eyebrow should raise a bit when you hear a homebrewer use it as a technical measure. That would require a chemical analysis of the hop and an analysis of the post boil wort. Consider the alpha/beta values printed on the label to be an "expected" value only. It's a natural product and will vary... and how were they stored? Etc. etc.

    Also, you can think of IBU's in terms of a range more so than a point. There's no detectable different between 20 and 21 IBUs. 20 and 30? Now that will be very apparent.
     
  13. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    At Brulosophy, they ran a test of the bagged vs not bagged idea. They found a difference but the tasters weren't able to say that one beer was qualitatively better than the other. I add 10% for bagging, empirical determination, works well for me.
     
  14. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I cant say one way is better than the other, I went with no bag and pellet hops my self and never looked back, I have how ever noticed that hops in the fermentation vessel doesn't really change the flavor as a matter of fact its seams to add some just more sediment in the bottom so what ever works best for you is the way to go, good luck :D
     
  15. artbreu

    artbreu Member

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    As an aside, inside my kettle I fashioned a bazooka filter with an internal bit of silicone hose (going about an inch into the filter). It acts as a dip tube/hop filter. No trub to the carboy since. It does get a little clogged nearing the end (for IPAs mostly) but you can run a mash paddle over it to loosen up the clog.
     
  16. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    oh Ive went way farther, I have a stainless steal filter in the pot and an external stainless hop filter, I just got tired of stopping to clean them out and didn't notice any difference, you just cant save the yeast that easy
     
  17. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    as a matter of fact Ill be selling a bunch of cool beer stuff soon, time to clean out the attic so to speak
     
  18. artbreu

    artbreu Member

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    I have a similar cache of stuff that has fallen out of use over the years. I would say that I could have saved about half of my investment, dollars-wise, to end up with the process I have now. I could probably cobble together an entire brewing set with things I don't want to bother with anymore. :D

    But then, that's just part of the fun.
     
  19. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    got some goodies plus a crate full of stainless fittings, also a 50 foot immersion chiller with cam fittings on the ends
     

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