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Wort loss to whole cone hops

I was wondering how much wort people expect to lose to whole cone hops. I brewed yesterday with them yesterday and my brewhouse efficiency was a disaster because i totally over estimated how much wort i’d lose to whole cones.

12 oz. per oz. seems to be right for me. But I end up squeezing the hop bags at the end of the boil, so I get some of that back.

I trust Denny’s math but the loss was significant enough for me that I gave up on whole hops and only use pellets now.

I’ve come to prefer pellets for a couple reasons. They store better for longer than whole hops. They take up less room in the freezer. With my system, I have to bag whole hops and I don’t have to bag pellets. Living in the PNW hop growing country I was a whole hop snob for many years. I eventually came to realize that the quality and ease of use of pellets can’t be beaten.

+1.060

My two experiences using whole hops have been a disaster. I am pretty close to pulling up my hop plants because i am pretty close to not wanting to uses them anymore. As it is, i’m still struggling to get beersmith to work with my system properly. I have to look into it further but i don’t seem to be anywheres near the grain absorbtion as what beersmith calculates. I swear that i pretty much get just about every oz of water that i use for the mash and sparge into the boil, thus ending up with too much to have to boil off each session.

FWIW, I use .12 gal./lb. for absorption and it’s dead on every time. Can you just plug that figure into BS?

I don’t know, i’ll have to check it tonight. It has been driving me crazy, i’ll follow the recipe and instead of getting the volume that beersmith says i should have for the boil, i get way more.

Hmm, checked BS and it has the same numbers as Denny. I don’t get it. For now on i’m just gonna measure what is in the boil kettle after first run off and then add whatever i need to top up as the sparge volume. Probably should have just done this long ago.

I’ve come to prefer pellets for a couple reasons. They store better for longer than whole hops. They take up less room in the freezer. With my system, I have to bag whole hops and I don’t have to bag pellets. Living in the PNW hop growing country I was a whole hop snob for many years. I eventually came to realize that the quality and ease of use of pellets can’t be beaten.[/quote]
Funny, all of that is true, except that in my system, where I use a stainless braid on the end of my pickup tube in the kettle to prevent debris from clogging my plate chiller, I find that pellets will clog the braid, whereas whole hops will act as a filter bed, and make draining the kettle fast and reliable. So I pretty much just use whole hops when they are available.

And I’ll admit it, there is just something very satisfying about throwing a handful of loose hop flowers into the boil.

My buddy is the same way. Whole hops only. Of course, everyone’s system is different.

My hops plant as basically decorative at this point. I don’t have the time for them with a young one. There were a few years when my oldest was my pal and we harvested together and I used them in the keg with a tea ball. They were sublime… Probably the best use for homegrown.

With my IPA I just bump the recipe up a half gallon for hop pellet losses. Never really fooled with all the promash settings… Been brewing a long time and still deal with variation in KO volume. Temp/humidity/whatever all play a role. In the end, I am content if I am within a qt or 2. Best tool I have is my spoon with gallon notches on it. I take a good look at halfway through boil and shorten or lengthen accordingly. Might even turn down or up the regulator too. RDWHAH

I’ve come to prefer pellets for a couple reasons. They store better for longer than whole hops. They take up less room in the freezer. With my system, I have to bag whole hops and I don’t have to bag pellets. Living in the PNW hop growing country I was a whole hop snob for many years. I eventually came to realize that the quality and ease of use of pellets can’t be beaten.[/quote]
Funny, all of that is true, except that in my system, where I use a stainless braid on the end of my pickup tube in the kettle to prevent debris from clogging my plate chiller, I find that pellets will clog the braid, whereas whole hops will act as a filter bed, and make draining the kettle fast and reliable. So I pretty much just use whole hops when they are available.

And I’ll admit it, there is just something very satisfying about throwing a handful of loose hop flowers into the boil.[/quote]

Well, you;re ahead pf me…I can’t get the braid to work at all in the kettle.

I’ve come to prefer pellets for a couple reasons. They store better for longer than whole hops. They take up less room in the freezer. With my system, I have to bag whole hops and I don’t have to bag pellets. Living in the PNW hop growing country I was a whole hop snob for many years. I eventually came to realize that the quality and ease of use of pellets can’t be beaten.[/quote]
Funny, all of that is true, except that in my system, where I use a stainless braid on the end of my pickup tube in the kettle to prevent debris from clogging my plate chiller, I find that pellets will clog the braid, whereas whole hops will act as a filter bed, and make draining the kettle fast and reliable. So I pretty much just use whole hops when they are available.

And I’ll admit it, there is just something very satisfying about throwing a handful of loose hop flowers into the boil.[/quote]

I use a stainless kitchen scrubber. The whole hops work with it to form an excellent filter. Before I started using a hop basket, pellets would form a dense fur ball over the scrubber and clog it. Still prefer whole hops, but when pellets are all I can get the basket at least makes them workable.

I’m sure I lose more wort to the whole hops, but I feel it’s worth it to get clear wort. Now, someone’s going to ask if it really matters if the wort is clear going into the fermenter: don’t know for sure, but it seems to keep the elephants away.

You need to use whole hops and do a whirlpool about 5 minutes before you start draining. I also keep the braid snaked around the outside edge of the kettle, kept in place by having a copper wire inside the braid.

I’ve never had success with a whirlpool; the immersion chiller (and hop basket when using pellets) get in the way. So, why not pull both out once the wort is chilled then whirlpool? Duuuuuh! Good question. I guess they help keep the elephants away.

I hate it when obvious solutions escape me for so long!

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