Author Topic: Blichmann Hop Blocker  (Read 7710 times)

Offline roguejim

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Blichmann Hop Blocker
« on: September 14, 2010, 03:11:09 AM »
I just came across this new gizmo, and was wondering if anyone here has put it to the test with pellet hops.  Unlike some, I don't have an obsession with preventing every speck of hop particulate from entering my fermenter.  Frankly, most trub enters my fermenter with no ill effects that I can tell.  I believe Denny is on the same page here...But, there are certain situations when I would just as soon not have excess trub mixed in with my yeast.

So, does this gizmo work?  It's certainly spendy.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Blichmann Hop Blocker
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2010, 07:19:08 AM »
I've heard mixed results, with them leaning negative.
Keith Y.
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Offline blatz

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Re: Blichmann Hop Blocker
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2010, 07:21:45 AM »
I've heard mixed results, with them leaning negative.

some friends of mine used it last weekend - they said the only thing it blocks is the pickup tube. YMMV.
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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Blichmann Hop Blocker
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2010, 08:15:04 AM »
I have seen it at NHC this year.
It has a large holes that pallets can flow thru easily.
Correct me if I am wrong but it is supposed to work for whole hops only.
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Offline tumarkin

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Re: Blichmann Hop Blocker
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2010, 08:25:14 AM »
According to the Blichmann website, it is designed to work with pellets.
http://www.blichmannengineering.com/hopblocker/hopblocker.html

Of course, it could also work with whole hops. I've never seen one in operation so don't know how well it works.
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Offline schristian619

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Re: Blichmann Hop Blocker
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2010, 09:01:36 AM »
From what I've heard, the new hopblocker is designed for use with pellet hops, but doesn't work with whole leaf hops.  The previous version works with whole leaf, but not pellets.  In my experience, a 5 gallon paint strainer bag works great with either.  And the cost savings is a couple batches of beer.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Blichmann Hop Blocker
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2010, 10:47:34 AM »
IME you don't need a bag or a strainer if you use pellets.
Keith Y.
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Offline roguejim

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Re: Blichmann Hop Blocker
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2010, 11:30:49 AM »
From what I've heard, the new hopblocker is designed for use with pellet hops, but doesn't work with whole leaf hops.  The previous version works with whole leaf, but not pellets.  In my experience, a 5 gallon paint strainer bag works great with either.  And the cost savings is a couple batches of beer.

How is the 5 gallon paint strainer used?

Offline euge

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Re: Blichmann Hop Blocker
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2010, 11:40:49 AM »
Like a tea-bag.

I've been doing this lately with great success.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Blichmann Hop Blocker
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2010, 01:15:09 PM »
I think it is designed for whole hops.  Pellet hops will flow throught the holes.  I add pellet hops directly into the boiling wort with no issues. YMMV.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Blichmann Hop Blocker
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2010, 01:24:41 PM »
I think it is designed for whole hops.  Pellet hops will flow throught the holes.  I add pellet hops directly into the boiling wort with no issues. YMMV.
It's designed specifically for pellets.

The large holes are too high for the pellets to flow through if you allow the wort to settle before racking.  The small holes are there to block the particles when you're draining the bottom of the kettle.  The theory is you drain it all of the way to the top of the gate, raise the gate, then run off the rest of the wort.  That way the smaller holes are less likely to get clogged because you are filtering less beer.

<edit to add an explanation>
« Last Edit: September 14, 2010, 01:26:56 PM by tschmidlin »
Tom Schmidlin

Offline bluesman

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Re: Blichmann Hop Blocker
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2010, 01:44:27 PM »
I think it is designed for whole hops.  Pellet hops will flow throught the holes.  I add pellet hops directly into the boiling wort with no issues. YMMV.
It's designed specifically for pellets.

My bad Tom.  I was just on the Blichmann website and looked at the specs and photos and it is indeed designed specifically for pellet hops.  I would like to see it in acton.
Ron Price

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Blichmann Hop Blocker
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2010, 01:52:47 PM »
I would like to see it in acton.
Me too.

With Blichmann's reputation it's hard to imagine them releasing a flawed product, so I wonder what the deal is.  Maybe the expectations are just too high, or maybe it's all user error (ie not using the product exactly as it's supposed to be used).  The instructions are pretty specific:

Blichmann Engineering Hopblocker]
   2.  Ensure that the shield is pushed all the way to the bottom of the screen and the HopBlocker is resting resting flat on the bottom of the pot. Proceed with your boil as you normally do. THe HopBlocker may move a bit during the boil but this is not a problem as it will automatically right itself.
   3.  At flame-out stir the wort vigorously with the stir paddle to create a whirlpool which encourages the hops and trub particulates to settle to the bottom center of the pot away from the HopBlocker.
   4.  Allow 15-20 min for the thermal convection currents to slow and allow the break material and hop particulates to settle.
   5.  Drain your pot as fast as you'd like until you see the top of the kettle drain fitting (about 3" of wort)
   6.  Reduce the drain flow rate to about 1/3 the initial flow rate. This allows the wort to permeate through the hops and trub and enter the filter screen to be drained
   7.  Use your stir paddle to hold the filter down and quickly pull the shield up with a gloved finger or a racking cane (or similar) so that it is out of the wort completely. It is important to move quickly through steps 6 and 7 so you do not lose the siphon which will stop the flow.

In my case it will never work.  I use a keggle, so it will not sit flat on the bottom.  I also don't whirlpool and let it sit for 20 minutes to settle, I just run it off into the chiller.

<edit to add source of quote>
« Last Edit: September 14, 2010, 01:55:02 PM by tschmidlin »
Tom Schmidlin

Offline bluesman

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Re: Blichmann Hop Blocker
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2010, 01:58:20 PM »
I would like to see it in acton.
Me too.

With Blichmann's reputation it's hard to imagine them releasing a flawed product, so I wonder what the deal is.  Maybe the expectations are just too high, or maybe it's all user error (ie not using the product exactly as it's supposed to be used).  The instructions are pretty specific:


I am a  big Blichmann fan.   I have Blichmann 15 gallon kettles on my Brutus stand.  If this gadget works as it is designed, which I have no reason to believe it doesn't and being the gadget guy that I am I will give this thing a try.
Ron Price

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Blichmann Hop Blocker
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2010, 02:43:37 PM »
I will give this thing a try.
Let us know how it goes, I'm curious.  It's nowhere on my wishlist since I'm happy with my kettle, but it will be good to know.
Tom Schmidlin