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Hop Pellets (1lb)

How Pellet Hops Are Made And Are They Better Than Whole Hops?

If it is your first time to make beer, then you probably have encountered a dilemma between choosing whole hops and pellet hops. Is one really better than the other? The thing is that there are both advantages and disadvantages. But what is the difference?

Whole hops, as the name implies, are made from the entire hop cone. The female flowers are picked, air dried then pressed into bales before stored or distributed to beer enthusiasts like you. They are the most unadulterated form of hops that you can ever get. Pellet hops, on the other hand, are dried female flowers that have been processed in a hammer mill to turn into powder. The powder is then forced through an extrusion die so that they form hard shiny pellets that almost resemble like livestock feed. Milling the hops to turn into pellets require a lot of precision. Mill them to fast, then burning and discolouring can happen.

Whole hops, since they are minimally processed, still contain the volatile aromatic compounds so the flavour is very intact. While the intact flavour is something that pellet hops are lacking, they make up for other things. For instance, they [pellets] tend to dissolve and sink thus providing a clear surface that is necessary for homebrewers to see the quality of their wort. This also improves the utilization advantage. Since pellet hops have been broken down into tiny pieces, the isomerization of the alpha acids becomes easier so they tend to be released easily to the wort. Moreover, they are also easy to work with and takes up a smaller storage space than whole hops. Many brewers believe that whole hops are better than pellet hops but there is no scientific evidence that can prove this. It is just a matter of which you are most comfortable using. (more info below)
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If you are buying a 1 lb package of hops that will not be used all at once, you should place the remaining hop pellets in an airtight bag (or use a vacuum sealer if you have one), then place them in the freezer. When stored properly, hop pellets will retain their bittering and aroma qualities for quite some time.