How Are Hop Pellets Made?

Posted by Barley Beaver on

Hops provide flavour and aroma to the beer, and there are many different types of pellet hops that can be used by brewers, Cyro hops, fresh hops and dry hop pellets. We sell hop pellets in 1 lb and 1 oz packages. While the use of fresh hops is preferred, but not everyone has access to them year-round, that is why most brewers use Cyro 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 mold to create the hop pellet. Pellet hops are a concentrate of 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 so that they will provide a slight bitterness to the wort. So how are hop pellets made? This information is useful if you are planning on growing hops and you don’t know 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 the 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 the hops are dried, they need to be crushed using a hammer mill. 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.  


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