From the HBD Archive
From: bliss@csrd.uiuc.edu (Brian Bliss)
Subject: hop plugs
Date: 1992-05-20 22:02:31 GMT

> I am considering switching from pellets to plugs, and I have a
> couple of questions.
> I have heard that plugs are superior to pellets with regard to
> aromatic qualities, that they are close to whole hops in this
> regard. True or false?
> What is the relative utilization rate of plugs versus pellets?
> I know pellets yield a slightly higher utilization rate than
> whole hops, because they are more resistant to oxidation.
> Where do plugs fit in this picture?

Hops plugs are compressed enough that they have a longer shelf life
than loose leaf hops, presumably on par with pellets. They have
not undergone the processing that pellets have (does this processing
affect the aromatic quality of pellets?), and therefore are on par
with loose leaf hops as far as boiling time/utilization goes
(hop pellets break up more easily, and do not require as long of a
boil as leaf hops to extract the same amount of flavor/bitterness).

Break up the plugs before you add them to the boil. They will not clog
your strainer when you try to remove them, nor will they leave a bunch
of gunk in the wort, an advantage over pellets. In short, they have all
the advantages of loose leaf hops (and the disadvantage of a longer boiling
time, but you should always boil at least an hour anyway), but with the
shelf life of pellets.

They are also conveniently pressed into 1/2 oz. plugs (at least those
I could find were) for easy measurment. I highly recommend them.
Unfortunately, I can't find them anymore.

bb


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