Author Topic: Hop Rocket  (Read 11661 times)

Offline DrewG

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Hop Rocket
« on: March 15, 2012, 09:58:55 AM »
Does anyone have a Blichmann Hop Rocket? If so, are you happy with it, and do I need a pump to use it or can you use it inline from kettle to fermentor with gravity? I wrote Blichmann but haven't heard back yet and there isn't much information on the website. Thanks
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Offline jmcamerlengo

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Re: Hop Rocket
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2012, 10:03:32 AM »
I have one. I'm pretty sure you could gravity feed through it, although the outlet is on the top so the beer can be pushed through to help reduce foaming.  I don't know if turning it upside down to gravity feed it would affect the filters in there or cause excessive foaming.
Jason
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Offline DrewG

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Re: Hop Rocket
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2012, 10:16:03 AM »
I did some more checking and it does say it can be used w/ gravity but you need 4' elevation. Anyway, are you getting a lot of hop flavor and aroma with it? As opposed to whirlpool/hot stand hopping, any difference?
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Offline jmcamerlengo

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Re: Hop Rocket
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2012, 10:38:49 AM »
I did some more checking and it does say it can be used w/ gravity but you need 4' elevation. Anyway, are you getting a lot of hop flavor and aroma with it? As opposed to whirlpool/hot stand hopping, any difference?

More so of an aroma thing than flavor. I did a side by side of an IPA where I ran the first 5 gallons of wort through the rocket and the second 5 gallons I just whirlpooled and hot stand hopped as normal. I did get more aroma from the rocket, flavor impact I found to be minimal. It definitely gave that big whiff of hops, but honestly I don't use it in very often, only in big IPA's where I want a ton of hop aroma, and I dont brew those all that often.  If you're the kind of guy who likes a lot of hop aromatics in several styles of beer and do those styles often I'd recommend it. Otherwise you can get very similar results with cold steep, hot stand, whirlpooling.

The other thing to consider for that I like more than using on brew day is using it as a randall.  I actually prefer it for that use.  Ive been searching for ways to use it and another thing im considering is whirlpooling cooled wort through it with some whole coffee beans or wood chips in there.
Jason
-Head Brewer, Brewtus Brewers in the Shenango Valley. Hopefully opening a brewpub/nano brewery in the next couple years.

Offline DrewG

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Re: Hop Rocket
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2012, 11:08:11 AM »
Great info, thanks Jason
"Well, the Mexicans got a saying - what cannot be remedied must be endured."

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Offline jmcamerlengo

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Re: Hop Rocket
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2012, 11:12:32 AM »
anytime!
Jason
-Head Brewer, Brewtus Brewers in the Shenango Valley. Hopefully opening a brewpub/nano brewery in the next couple years.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Hop Rocket
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2012, 11:36:56 AM »
I have used it as a way to get more hops in late, and as a Randall.

With some more fitings and orienting my pump right, I will use it as a Torpedo.

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Offline DrewG

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Re: Hop Rocket
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2012, 11:42:41 AM »
Shiny toys are good. And this is a great hobby for shiny toys
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Offline repo

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Re: Hop Rocket
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2012, 11:46:02 AM »
Also I have had no issues using gravity feeds from the kettle at 2 feet and it is an awesome filter too.

Offline bluesman

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Re: Hop Rocket
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2012, 11:47:12 AM »
I use it for finishing hops and filtering. I put it between the kettle and the chiller. It will also act as a filter. It should only be used with whole hops. There's a good youtube video by John Blichmann himself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEO75CszMcI
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Offline jmcamerlengo

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Re: Hop Rocket
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2012, 11:47:29 AM »
I have used it as a way to get more hops in late, and as a Randall.

With some more fitings and orienting my pump right, I will use it as a Torpedo.

A shiny toy, but I like shiny toys.

Care to share how you are doing this? I'm interested!
Jason
-Head Brewer, Brewtus Brewers in the Shenango Valley. Hopefully opening a brewpub/nano brewery in the next couple years.

Offline jmcamerlengo

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Re: Hop Rocket
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2012, 11:49:18 AM »
I use it for finishing hops and filtering. I put it between the kettle and the chiller. It will also act as a filter. It should only be used with whole hops. There's a good youtube video by John Blichmann himself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEO75CszMcI

Blues, you have a Brutus system similar to mine if I recall. Do you gravity feed from the kettle to the rocket to the chiller to the pump then the pump returns to the kettle? I ended up putting the rocket after the pump as I couldnt seem to figure out how to efficiently get a decent flow rate the way you mentioned. Maybe a pic?
Jason
-Head Brewer, Brewtus Brewers in the Shenango Valley. Hopefully opening a brewpub/nano brewery in the next couple years.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Hop Rocket
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2012, 02:06:00 PM »
I have used it as a way to get more hops in late, and as a Randall.

With some more fitings and orienting my pump right, I will use it as a Torpedo.

A shiny toy, but I like shiny toys.

Care to share how you are doing this? I'm interested!

I take that to be a question on using it as a Torpedo?  I will put the Hop Rocket on the floor, and connect the bottom valve from the conical to the in of the Hop Rocket.  Short connection to the in of the March Pump just above the Hop Rocket.  Pump mounted so he output points straight up.  Output of pump to the racking arm, and have the racking arm pointing up, or at least at a 45 angle from horizontal to pump the hoppy goodness around the conical (don't want it pointing down at the out valve).

I tried this before with out thinking and probably got bubbles in the pump.  Correct orientation will help those go to the conical.  You are pumping beer that has CO2.  Will also throttle the pump so it does not have all of the hops up tight against the screen.
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline bluesman

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Re: Hop Rocket
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2012, 05:58:57 PM »
I use it for finishing hops and filtering. I put it between the kettle and the chiller. It will also act as a filter. It should only be used with whole hops. There's a good youtube video by John Blichmann himself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEO75CszMcI

Blues, you have a Brutus system similar to mine if I recall. Do you gravity feed from the kettle to the rocket to the chiller to the pump then the pump returns to the kettle? I ended up putting the rocket after the pump as I couldnt seem to figure out how to efficiently get a decent flow rate the way you mentioned. Maybe a pic?

Yes. I have a Brutus system.

I have it in line after the pump just before the chiller as you have described. I haven't tried it by gravity feed alone because I don't think it would flow consistently, however it might be worth a try someday.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2012, 06:00:37 PM by bluesman »
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Offline gandelf

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Re: Hop Rocket
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2012, 04:09:40 AM »
I use my Hop Rocket often. I use it as a Randall when the guys are around; a reasonable consumption rate. It's primary function is a filter. I load it with rice hulls when chilling with the plate chiller and add rice hulls to the hops when hop backing during the whirlpool. After a lot of experimenting with the Hop Rocket; I agree with Gordon Strong's statement, that each method will produce a unique flavor/aroma profile. Is it needed; no. But, it is a shinny gadget that inspires interest and conversation.
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