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Whole hops vs pellet methods

OK I am getting some hops off my 1st year cascades and chinooks. The 1st harvest is mostly dry and I am storing them in the freezer as they get to dry. Got a few questions:

1 - Is there a ration of pellet to whole hops (dry) or are they interchangable as far as weight used in a recipe?
2- Throw them in whole or cut/crush them up as I drop them in?
3- I don’t currently worry about trying to filter out the pellet hops as I drop the wort into the fermentor, will I need to with whole hops and (I am the curios type) why?
4 - Can I just get a large tea ball and put the hops it it and them have an easy filter job if that is necessary?

Thanks all.

  1. It’s tough to determine because you cannot really know what kind of a punch your home grown hops carry compared to store bought and lab tested hops. Some people say add a bit more, maybe 10%, some people say leave it the same. It’s hard to tell. For this reason I’ve heard a lot of people using home grown hops for flavor and aroma additions more than bittering so that the difference will not be that noticeable.
  2. Just toss them in.
  3. I’d try to filter them out. Also on this note, they suck up a lot more liquid than pellets so just know that ahead of time.
  4. That should work. Or else do a search for hop spider.

Thanks for the aid. I would buy a spider but my wife already has a very nice huge tea ball and I am a serial multitasker :wink:


Yeah, so long as it is big enough for all of your hops it should work

When bittering I like to use the middle of the range of the store bought hops that are the same variety as the home grown ones.

I just want to emphasize that they suck up A LOT more liquid than pellets.

I’m similar to the OP in the sense that I don’t bother to use hop bags when I use pellet hops, and much of the pellet hop debris ends up in the fermenter. Still, with whole hops, I work a little harder to keep them out of my fermenter.

I had plannned to filter them out mainly so they would not compicate siphoning off later.

My next question is : Is there some other reason for doing the filtering? I mean I leave the pelleted stuff in there and no problems. Why is it that I need to filter with whole hops?

Note I ain’t arguing but trying to undetrstand what it is that is happening in the fermentor better.


[quote=“Vulkin’”]Why is it that I need to filter with whole hops?[/quote]It might depend on your setup; I have kettles with and without valves - whole hops will clog the valve, so you either need to use a hop bag or put some sort of filter on your pickup, but pellets pass right through. I don’t mind pellet hops in the fermenter, but the seeds from the whole hops can make it through to the bottle and the individual leaves can easily clog the siphon.

Thanks Shadetree, so it really is a physical handling issue more than a taste changing issue. I don’t have any valves in my system but I do have to siphon from a carboy and just using orange peel loose can cause probelms with clogs.


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