Author Topic: Blichmann Hop Blocker  (Read 7685 times)

Offline dshepard

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 27
  • Concord, NC
    • View Profile
Re: Blichmann Hop Blocker
« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2010, 04:03:39 AM »
I bought a 20 gallon Boiler Maker as well as the Hop Blocker. To be totally honest it seems to work as advertised. I am also using a Jamil whirlpool chiller as well. After the chill down, I let the wort sit for about 15-20 minutes and then drain pretty darn clear wort. The trick is remembering to raise the gate near the end of the rack before you lose the siphon. And no, that operation does not require you to touch the chilled and sanitized wort.

Previously I had been using a 15 gallon pot with a false bottom and a counter flow chiller. I used to bag my pellet hops and let the whole hops free. Now I just use pellets (side benefit is they are more plentiful and cost less) and just dump them in. I am getting better hop flavor and aroma now, and with the Hop Blocker and the chilled wort I am getting clearer wort to the fermenter. I never used to have problems before, but I am now starting to brew more lagers, so I wanted to try and keep more hop and trub out of the fermenter.

Bottom line, I am happy with the performance of the Hop Blocker.
Concord, NC

Offline schristian619

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 15
    • View Profile
Re: Blichmann Hop Blocker
« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2010, 10:32:24 AM »
I use the paint strainer just like a a tea bag as stated.  I took a piece of PVC pipe, drilled holes in it for some rubar, and use a worm clamp to hold the bag in place.  I just let it sit on top of the kettle, the rubar holds it up, and the bag drops into the wort.  But, by all means, if the hopblocker works for you, you should get it.  I'm a big Blichmann fan, its just that this doesn;t work for me since I prefer whole leaf hops.

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 11643
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Blichmann Hop Blocker
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2010, 10:56:37 AM »
I took a piece of PVC pipe, drilled holes in it for some rubar, and use a worm clamp to hold the bag in place.  I just let it sit on top of the kettle, the rubar holds it up, and the bag drops into the wort.


I was _this close_ to building one of those, but I couldn't figure out how it would work with an immersion chiller.  To be perfectly honest, like Jim said, I don't have an issue with pellet hops just going in to the fermenter.  I use a hop bag for whole hops.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline blatz

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2450
  • Paul Blatz - Jupiter, FL
    • View Profile
Re: Blichmann Hop Blocker
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2010, 10:56:52 AM »
you said you are using Jamil's whirlpool chilling method - does the hop blocker get in the way of the IC coil?
The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

BJCP National: F0281

Offline roguejim

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 462
    • View Profile
Re: Blichmann Hop Blocker
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2010, 11:30:45 AM »
I bought a 20 gallon Boiler Maker as well as the Hop Blocker. To be totally honest it seems to work as advertised. I am also using a Jamil whirlpool chiller as well. After the chill down, I let the wort sit for about 15-20 minutes and then drain pretty darn clear wort. The trick is remembering to raise the gate near the end of the rack before you lose the siphon. And no, that operation does not require you to touch the chilled and sanitized wort.

Previously I had been using a 15 gallon pot with a false bottom and a counter flow chiller. I used to bag my pellet hops and let the whole hops free. Now I just use pellets (side benefit is they are more plentiful and cost less) and just dump them in. I am getting better hop flavor and aroma now, and with the Hop Blocker and the chilled wort I am getting clearer wort to the fermenter. I never used to have problems before, but I am now starting to brew more lagers, so I wanted to try and keep more hop and trub out of the fermenter.

Bottom line, I am happy with the performance of the Hop Blocker.

For what my opinion is worth, excess trub in the fermenter does not translate into hazy lagers.  My pils are as clear as a commercial version in spite of what most would consider to be too much trub in the fermenter.

Offline roguejim

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 462
    • View Profile
Re: Blichmann Hop Blocker
« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2010, 11:33:53 AM »
I took a piece of PVC pipe, drilled holes in it for some rubar, and use a worm clamp to hold the bag in place.  I just let it sit on top of the kettle, the rubar holds it up, and the bag drops into the wort.


I was _this close_ to building one of those, but I couldn't figure out how it would work with an immersion chiller.  To be perfectly honest, like Jim said, I don't have an issue with pellet hops just going in to the fermenter.  I use a hop bag for whole hops.

It's been a long time since I saw your brew setup, but weren't using a hop sack before.  You must have replaced that "custom" dip tube with the perforations to be needing hop sacks now?  Doesn't sound quite as "cheap and easy" of a setup these days!

Offline jeffy

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2440
  • Tampa, Fl
    • View Profile
Re: Blichmann Hop Blocker
« Reply #21 on: September 15, 2010, 11:36:53 AM »
roguejim says, "For what my opinion is worth, excess trub in the fermenter does not translate into hazy lagers.  My pils are as clear as a commercial version in spite of what most would consider to be too much trub in the fermenter."
I don't think the issue is about trub causing clarity issues.  It's more about the perception of flavor issues.  I think my lagers have improved since I'v been able to leave the cold break in the kettle and out of the fermenter.
I whirlpool my wort, use a counterflow back to the ketttle, and built a little diverter gate at the bottom in front of the wort-out drain to keep the hops from clogging the pump.  It works real well with any kind of hops.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 11643
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Blichmann Hop Blocker
« Reply #22 on: September 15, 2010, 11:43:57 AM »
It's been a long time since I saw your brew setup, but weren't using a hop sack before.  You must have replaced that "custom" dip tube with the perforations to be needing hop sacks now?  Doesn't sound quite as "cheap and easy" of a setup these days!

I stater having problems with my center pickup with the holes drilled in it and went to side pickup.  That's when I started using bags.  I kinda prefer them...I think it makes cleanup easier.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 11643
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Blichmann Hop Blocker
« Reply #23 on: September 15, 2010, 11:46:52 AM »
roguejim says, "For what my opinion is worth, excess trub in the fermenter does not translate into hazy lagers.  My pils are as clear as a commercial version in spite of what most would consider to be too much trub in the fermenter."
I don't think the issue is about trub causing clarity issues.  It's more about the perception of flavor issues.  I think my lagers have improved since I'v been able to leave the cold break in the kettle and out of the fermenter.
I whirlpool my wort, use a counterflow back to the ketttle, and built a little diverter gate at the bottom in front of the wort-out drain to keep the hops from clogging the pump.  It works real well with any kind of hops.

A guy on the B&V board tested this theory a few years back by splitting a batch and removing trub from only half of it.  He found the half with the trub was clearer and tasted better.  Here are his results...

http://hbd.org/discus/messages/40327/41534.html
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline jeffy

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2440
  • Tampa, Fl
    • View Profile
Re: Blichmann Hop Blocker
« Reply #24 on: September 15, 2010, 12:19:58 PM »
I remember reading that.  I wonder if it makes any difference if it's an ale or a lager?  He didn't mention what sort of beer was in his experiment.  I like my trub-free lagers, but I could probably run the same experiment one day and see for myself.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline blatz

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2450
  • Paul Blatz - Jupiter, FL
    • View Profile
Re: Blichmann Hop Blocker
« Reply #25 on: September 15, 2010, 12:36:33 PM »
has anyone had any degree of success using the hop blocker in a converted keg brew kettle?

A friend has a hop blocker, so I could try it out, but if its futile, why bother?
The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

BJCP National: F0281

Offline blatz

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2450
  • Paul Blatz - Jupiter, FL
    • View Profile
Re: Blichmann Hop Blocker
« Reply #26 on: September 15, 2010, 01:06:55 PM »
I was _this close_ to building one of those, but I couldn't figure out how it would work with an immersion chiller. 

maybe put the IC in at the beginning of the boil and put the paint strainer bag down the center of the IC?

The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

BJCP National: F0281

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 11643
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Blichmann Hop Blocker
« Reply #27 on: September 15, 2010, 01:24:28 PM »
I remember reading that.  I wonder if it makes any difference if it's an ale or a lager?  He didn't mention what sort of beer was in his experiment.  I like my trub-free lagers, but I could probably run the same experiment one day and see for myself.

IIRC from his previous posts, it was a pils.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 11643
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Blichmann Hop Blocker
« Reply #28 on: September 15, 2010, 01:25:40 PM »
I was _this close_ to building one of those, but I couldn't figure out how it would work with an immersion chiller. 

maybe put the IC in at the beginning of the boil and put the paint strainer bag down the center of the IC?



That would work, but for me it's too involved.  Then I have to worry about working around the chiller and the hoses from it.  Sounds like more hassle than what I do now.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *****
  • Posts: 6305
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: Blichmann Hop Blocker
« Reply #29 on: September 15, 2010, 02:14:01 PM »
Yeah, it also sounds like an extra piece of equipment that you don't really need. I just don;t have any problems with hops getting into the fermenter. Sure, some do. But just not enough to worry about. That said, I have a simple, home made diverter plate that keeps about 95% of the hops out of the fermenter (if not more). Way cheaper than another piece of equipment and probably just about as effective.
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner