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Hop Pellet Composition

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GalBrew

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Hi all,
After searching on this topic to no avail. I have a question regarding hop pellets. I BIAB and use a hop sock, for the most part it has done its job and contained most of the hop matter from the pellets once they have broken up in the boil. I have recently started purchasing hop pellets from various sources and have found that more often than not the hop sock does not conatain the hop matter. Some of the pellets I have seem to be made up from compressed hop powder which the hop sock has no chance of containing. Other (more expensive) hop pellets seem to be made of bigger particles which are contained by the sock. Has anyone had similar issues with different hop pellets and hop socks? Can anyone recommend suppliers which produce hop pellets made from larger hop particles? Or even a hop sock with a super fine mesh?

Cheers, :beer:
 

bum

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A little bit of hop matter won't hurt your beer, Adam.

RDWHAHB.

But if you're buying from a retailer, you don't have much control over where the hops come from. Just worry about the qualities the hops add to your beers, not the consistency of the pellets themselves.
 

GalBrew

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A little bit of hop matter won't hurt your beer, Adam.

RDWHAHB.

But if you're buying from a retailer, you don't have much control over where the hops come from. Just worry about the qualities the hops add to your beers, not the consistency of the pellets themselves.
One of the other issues of 'powdery' pellets is that the hop matter is getting caught in the top of the sock in a big sludgy pile. I didn't pick up on it in time on my last brew, put i'm pretty sure that quite a lot of the hops I put in did not spend the appropriate time in the boil, rather stuck in the part of the sock just above the level of the wort. I'm hoping the crapload of hop debris that ended up on the fermenter will settle out properly.
 

DU99

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when you transfer your wort into the fermenter,run it thru sieve/strainer,will catch hop matter.
 

bum

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If you've done anything at all about keeping hot break out of your fermenter then a large amount of the hops will have stayed in the trub in your kettle.

I'd hazard a guess that people who use hops socks might be in the minority. Hops floating around in the boil are not going to hurt your beer. Most people consider it a good thing. ;)

[EDIT: typo]
 

MHB

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Hop pellets are available in a few of forms generally T-100, T-90 and T-45 the number refers to the amount of the hop cone used in the pellet. All pellets are just hops no additives, binders, glue or anything else so a T-100 pellet (or plug) is the whole hop flower pressed into a pellet, T-90 has 10% of the not useful stuff taken away and is 90% of the hop cone, likewise T-45 is less than half of the cone with just the best for brewing bits kept.
The more refined the higher the Alpha content and the more expensive but the less you use.

Unless you are talking about Hop Plugs (T-100 pellets) all the rest are made of hop powder, how finely the hops are ground is going to be up to the people running the pelleting mill, some of the larger hop farms now pellet on farm so there are going to be lots of different outcomes, even among the same variety, and the same year so good luck getting what you are looking for.

Personally Im not a fan of hop socks, I believe they reduce the utilisation you get from the hops and can make it a lot harder to separate the rest of the trub from the wort at the end of the boil. The condensed protein (hot break) is the part (well mostly) we need to keep out of the fermenter, by having the hop debris in the bottom of the kettle it is a lot easier to identify the trub leave it in the kettle.
Mark
 

GalBrew

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If you've done anything at all about keeping hot break out of your fermenter than a large amount of the hops will have stayed in the trub in your kettle.

I'd hazard a guess that people who use hops socks might be in the minority. Hops floating around in the boil are not going to hurt your beer. Most people consider it a good thing. ;)
Hops floating around in the boil is good, but the sludge was working its way up the sock and out of the boil due to the nature of my rolling boil. I an doing single vessel stuff here and as I can't get that great of a trub cone in my current setup after whirlpooling, my mainway of keeping crap out of the fermenter is make a little more wort and just leave more behind (and to use a hop sock). The problem I had was that these ultra fine hop particles were remaining in suspension after whirlpooling and I had to get the hot wort into the cube for no chilling, so in it all went. I would prefer to not have this happen again as my previous hops did not have this issue.
 

GalBrew

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Hop pellets are available in a few of forms generally T-100, T-90 and T-45 the number refers to the amount of the hop cone used in the pellet. All pellets are just hops no additives, binders, glue or anything else so a T-100 pellet (or plug) is the whole hop flower pressed into a pellet, T-90 has 10% of the not useful stuff taken away and is 90% of the hop cone, likewise T-45 is less than half of the cone with just the best for brewing bits kept.
The more refined the higher the Alpha content and the more expensive but the less you use.

Unless you are talking about Hop Plugs (T-100 pellets) all the rest are made of hop powder, how finely the hops are ground is going to be up to the people running the pelleting mill, some of the larger hop farms now pellet on farm so there are going to be lots of different outcomes, even among the same variety, and the same year so good luck getting what you are looking for.

Personally I'm not a fan of hop socks, I believe they reduce the utilisation you get from the hops and can make it a lot harder to separate the rest of the trub from the wort at the end of the boil. The condensed protein (hot break) is the part (well mostly) we need to keep out of the fermenter, by having the hop debris in the bottom of the kettle it is a lot easier to identify the trub leave it in the kettle.
Mark
Thanks Mark,
I was using pellets not plugs. I agree about the under utilisation but for now I have been compensating by using a tad more hops in the sock. I am not that big a fan of the hop sock either so what would you say is the best way to get a decent trub cone in a single vessel BIAB? Is it worth getting a whirlpool outlet and using a pump to get a better separation of gunk and wort? That has always been a less than perfect part of my current process.

Adam.
 

MHB

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Mate I can guarantee you that hop particles (no matter how fine) are going to settle a lot faster than Hot Break, so if you are still seeing hop debris you are cubing too soon.
No problem to leave the hot wort in the kettle until it all drops bright, but it might be a good idea to look at how (or if) you are using your kettle fining.
I think making an extra litre or two of wort and giving the whole lot a chance to settle properly before cubing is going to give you better beer, certainly the way I would go. One of the problems with Urns is that they arent really very good at whirlpooling, fortunately wort only costs 50 cents or so a litre and leaving a bit behind wont break the bank
Mark
 

GalBrew

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Mate I can guarantee you that hop particles (no matter how fine) are going to settle a lot faster than Hot Break, so if you are still seeing hop debris you are cubing too soon.
No problem to leave the hot wort in the kettle until it all drops bright, but it might be a good idea to look at how (or if) you are using your kettle fining.
I think making an extra litre or two of wort and giving the whole lot a chance to settle properly before cubing is going to give you better beer, certainly the way I would go. One of the problems with Urns is that they aren't really very good at whirlpooling, fortunately wort only costs 50 cents or so a litre and leaving a bit behind won't break the bank
Mark
I have been using a 15 minute addition of whirlfloc (half a tablet for 23 L batch) as finings. Looks like I have been cubing too early, I am slightly paranoid about making sure it pasteurises properly in the cube. What is the lowest temp that you would use to ensure proper pasteurisation?

Thanks for the tips.
 

MHB

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I wouldnt be worried if you cubed above 80oC, given a nice clean well cared for cube, in theory even 75oC should be ok but it will take a fair while to cool to 80oC and that should give plenty of time for the crud to drop out.
Oh and try a whole Whirlfloc tablet, the range given in the spec sheets is pretty wide and takes in a lot of variables, what a lot of people forget is that a Whirlfloc tablet is a bought Irish Moss and the part that makes it whirl (dispersant) so if you weigh the tablet you need to double that weight to get the dose of Carrageenan you are looking for.
Mark
 

GalBrew

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I wouldn't be worried if you cubed above 80oC, given a nice clean well cared for cube, in theory even 75oC should be ok but it will take a fair while to cool to 80oC and that should give plenty of time for the crud to drop out.
Oh and try a whole Whirlfloc tablet, the range given in the spec sheets is pretty wide and takes in a lot of variables, what a lot of people forget is that a Whirlfloc tablet is a bought Irish Moss and the part that makes it whirl (dispersant) so if you weigh the tablet you need to double that weight to get the dose of Carrageenan you are looking for.
Mark
Thanks again Mark, I will do just that on my next brew.
 

JDW81

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I wouldnt be worried if you cubed above 80oC, given a nice clean well cared for cube, in theory even 75oC should be ok but it will take a fair while to cool to 80oC and that should give plenty of time for the crud to drop out.
+1.

I wait at least 10 minutes after the boil to start whirlpooling (until the turbulence has stopped) and then wait until the whirlpool has ceased before I cube the wort. Could be up to 20 minutes post boil before I chuck it into the cube. I've never measured the temp going in to the cube, but I've never had an infection (touch wood). Waiting that bit longer gives me nice clear sort into the cube. Not draining the kettle too quickly will also help you keep any crud out.

Make sure your cube is clean and sanitised, fill it up to the gunnels and you'll fine.
 
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