Taste the Difference
Whole Leaf Hops
Whole leaf hops are the dried cones of the hops plant and the least processed form available. Growers pick the cones from the bines (similar to vines), dry them in an oast house, and press them into bales, half bales, or quarter bales. In the United States, a hops bale is 200 pounds (90.7 kg), but homebrewers can purchase whole hops one pound (454 g) at a time or in convenient 1- or 2-ounce (28- or 57-g) bags.
Wet hops are only available during the autumn hops harvest and must be used immediately due to their perishability. These are sold loosely packed and have a moisture content of about 80 percent (dried hops are less than 10 percent). Wet hops are most commonly used as a finishing touch, either in a hopback or for dry hopping, to retain the unique character of very fresh hops. If you live near the Traverse City area, it’s well worth making the trip or calling to set up delivery to get your hands on the freshest wet hops possible.