What are hop pallets?
T-90 hop pellets are produced from kiln-dried, whole leaf hop cones which have been hammer-milled into a uniform powder and pressed through a pellet die. Production processes are designed to protect and preserve hop resins by continually monitoring temperature and cooling the pellet die.
Hop pellets retain all of their natural lupulin and cone material. Pellet compression is fine-tuned to achieve a consistent density for repeatable brewing, batch after batch. T-90 hop pellets are primarily used in kettle additions to provide bitterness and hop character to beer, or in post-fermentation dry hopping applications to provide aroma and flavor.
There are two key ways you can use hop pallets in your brewing process. One is during active fermentation and the second is dry hopping at the end of fermentation.
From Russell, our Chief Kit Brewer
I’ve always said that kit brewing leaves plenty of room for brewers to experiment with process and ingredients. And, hop pallets are my favourite way to do both!
From a process perspective you can choose when you add hop pallets into your brew – during active fermentation or at the tail end. The former brings through stronger flavours from the hops while the later offers less flavour but add aroma to your brew.
But to give away one of my secrets I would share an analogy.
If I’m not drinking beer I’m drinking coffee and a good friend of mine is a barista. And as a barista his greatest challenge is a long or a short black.
Like beer brewing a great coffee is dependent on process and ingredients. The perfect bean for an ingredient and from a process perspective – the way the bean is ground and then the extraction process are key. If you get these wrong you can wind us with a burnt, overly bitter or weak coffee. And with a (short or long) black everything is exposed. You either produced a good coffee – or a lackluster. And there is nowhere to go.
But with a flat white or any ‘milky’ coffee you can hide behind the milk. You can cover any small imperfections.
I like to think of hops as ‘the milk for my brewing’. At home we will alway face limitations with our processes and environments that affect our beer. While I appreciate all the great flavours and aromas that hop pallets can give my final product, I also value how I can conceal some of the imperfections of the home brew process.
And as a result I will almost never, set a brew without using hop pallets either during active fermentation or at the end of fermentation.
the only questions for the current brew: am I looking for flavour or aroma and what flavour or aroma do I want to add?