How Are Hop Pellets Made?
Posted by Barley Beaver on
Hops provide flavour and aroma to the beer, and brewers have many different types from which to choose, Cryo hops, fresh hops and dry hop pellets. We sell hop pellets in 1 lb and 1 oz packages. While fresh hops are preferred, not everyone has access to them year-round, so most brewers use Cryo hops and hop pellets.
Hop pellets begin as leaf hops that have been hammer milled into a powder and then have been subsequently passed through a mould to create the hop pellet. Pellet hops concentrate fresh hops, and 1 pound produces only 10 to 12 ounces of dried pellets.
Although dry, they still contain the lupulin material that you will find in fresh hops to provide a slight bitterness to the wort. So how are hop pellets made? This information is useful if you plan on growing hops and you are unsure of what to do with your extra harvest.
The first step in making hop pellets is the drying process. After you harvest the fresh hops, they need to be dried to remove the excess moisture and preserve the lupulin. There are many ways to dry hops, and these include air drying, sun drying or mechanical drying through a dehydrator. When drying the hops, it is vital to have proper air circulation to encourage equal drying.
Once dried, a hammer mill is needed to crush the hops. The hammer mill swallows the crushed leaves for further processing. The leaves should be broken but not too much such that they turn into powder. Once crushed, they can be turned into hop pellets using a pellet machine that includes both a die and roller so that the hops take on uniform sizes.
The hops are then cooled and dried before they are packed. When packing hop pellets, they must be kept in an airtight or vacuum container to avoid oxidation.
Not sure if your hops will hold up? Go online and Google 'Hop Storage Index (HSI)' for a guide.