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Hop blocker

I watched the video for the hop blocker and was impressed. Has anyone used it with success? How 'bout on a non-Blichman kettle? Any other setups used with great success for keeping the runoff clean?

Anyone??? Buehler???

I have never used it, but I have seen it used on other systems a few times and it works great.

I talked to John Blichman about it just the other day when he was Brewing at Northern Brewer and it is made for Blichman kettles. He said it could work with other pots but the way it goes together to the spigot has to be set up correctly so if your hole is already drilled and such your probably out of luck.
If your buying a pot and you set the holes up to be drilled to fit it then you should be fine.

Does it come with the tube that makes the 90 turn from the inside of the kettle’s ball valve?

Use one of these:

I beleive it does, but not sure. As long as you get it to fit correctly he said it should work, but I assume you would have to start with a kettle with no holes and go from there

i will chime in. I have a 10 gallon boilermaker and i got the hop blocker also when i bought the kettle. The 90 degree elbow came with the pot. The hop blocker doesn’t come with one. I had good success the first time I used it. The second time I tried using it with my Plate chiller and the chiller clogged immediately. I throw my hops in and don’t use bags. It filters ok but not 100%. Next time I will use a hop bag or a paint strainer and see if the chiller issue resolves itself. If not I may have to ditch the hop blocker and just use bags if I want to use the plate chiller. I have an immersion chiller too though. I only have 2 brews in so far with the pot and the hop blocker. It looks to be designed specifically for the Blichmann kettles. I wouldnt use it with existing kettles with holes. You’d need to start with a fresh kettle and measure and drill the new holes.

How about whole hops? For some reason it specifies pellet hops only. Seem to me pellets are more of a mess and would make filtering more difficult. What am I missing? Did you use it with whole hops without issues?

it is made for use with pellets, and the few times I have seen it used it worked great. THese were all IPA’s with a high dose of hops

I have one and used it a few times in my boil keggle. Since the bottom of the keggle is not flat, it is less than ideal - I tended to knock it over when bumping it with my immersion chiller. You really need a flat bottom pot to use it. I now use a false bottom and nylon hop bags. I don’t get much hop in my fermenter that way and I can harvest my yeast without concern about hop carry forward.

Do you feel you lose much hop utilization with the nylon bags? I do have a flat bottom kettle so that’s why I’m interested in the hop blocker. I just can’t figure out why it would work with pellets and not whole hops…

I think it would likely clog with whole hops. The small cylinder could be totally covered by hop leaves to the point that it wouldn’t drain through very well. The device has larger holes at rhe top of the cylinder and smaller holes at the bottom with a sleeve that you slide up as you approach the bottom of the tank during run off. The smaller holes could be covered by hop leaves using whole hops. I’m not saying it would not work at all, but it is not recommended.

:cheers:

I don’t understand all the fuss about keeping hops from entering the fermenter…

If it’s a big deal to you, just run the wort through a mesh bag on its way into the fermenter.

Many times, the low-tech solution is the best solution from a cost perspective and most certainly from a “take it easy and enjoy the brew day” perspective, IMHO.

I have been using a mesh bag inside of a funnel for AG batches and end up with zero (as in not-a-trace) hop particles in the fermenter.

If your batch calls for tons and tons of hops, you just switch out the bag when the flow into the fermenter slows down too much.

What am I missing here?

I don’t sweat it too much either but it becomes a bigger deal when you’re using a plate chiller as those hop particles can clog it up.

Sure, but couldn’t one filter the wort thru a bag before sending it to the chiller…as long as you have another vessel…re-use the mash tun, etc. then drain to chiller?

[quote=“HaleBrewer”]I don’t understand all the fuss about keeping hops from entering the fermenter…

If it’s a big deal to you, just run the wort through a mesh bag on its way into the fermenter.

Many times, the low-tech solution is the best solution from a cost perspective and most certainly from a “take it easy and enjoy the brew day” perspective, IMHO.

I have been using a mesh bag inside of a funnel for AG batches and end up with zero (as in not-a-trace) hop particles in the fermenter.

If your batch calls for tons and tons of hops, you just switch out the bag when the flow into the fermenter slows down too much.

What am I missing here?[/quote]

a lot of things. SOme want the ease of use, money savings down the road, getting hops out, not clogging certain chillers, people who want clean yeast with as little hop debri for some reason, etc.
the hop blocker actually seems like the easiest to me, no sanitizing, remembering, etc. it is in the kettle and thats it.

[quote=“HaleBrewer”]I don’t understand all the fuss about keeping hops from entering the fermenter…

If it’s a big deal to you, just run the wort through a mesh bag on its way into the fermenter.

Many times, the low-tech solution is the best solution from a cost perspective and most certainly from a “take it easy and enjoy the brew day” perspective, IMHO.

I have been using a mesh bag inside of a funnel for AG batches and end up with zero (as in not-a-trace) hop particles in the fermenter.

If your batch calls for tons and tons of hops, you just switch out the bag when the flow into the fermenter slows down too much.

What am I missing here?[/quote]

double post

That’s what I’m hoping, mine just got delivered yesterday. Will use it with my blichmann boil kettle when I brew this weekend. I’ll update with comments on how well it works. Picked it up because I also got a therminator, was tired of waiting for my IC to cool down larger batches.

Time for some reverse engineering.

[quote=“HaleBrewer”]I don’t understand all the fuss about keeping hops from entering the fermenter…

If it’s a big deal to you, just run the wort through a mesh bag on its way into the fermenter.[/quote]

I’ve tried that, it doesn’t work. The bag gets clogged. :stuck_out_tongue: I don’t want hops and trub in the fermenter because of possible off flavors, possible stability issues, and difficulties seperating all that from the yeast for repitching.

@ OP:
I have a Hop Blocker and have used it on dozens of batches in my 10 gallon boilermaker. It gets clogged if you use more than a few oz of pellet hops, I never use whole leaf so I can’t comment there.

Bottom line, it’s kind of useless for keeping out hops. Yeah, funny as that is. I have one and still use hop sacks. But it is useful if you want to drain above the bottom couple inches and leave all the trub behind.

Personally, most of the time I do 6.5 gallon batches, allow everything to settle 30 mins after whirfloc/chilling, dump the wort until it drains clear (takes no more than 1/4 gallon), and then the rest goes in the fermenter. It drains clear until there is a bit less than a gallon left in the kettle, then the Hop Blocker stops the draining because of the metal sleeve.

I’ve found that even though there may be a gallon of wort at the bottom of the kettle that doesn’t make it into the fermenter, even if you let that wort settle for a week in jars, you only get 1/2 gallon of useable wort out of it. The rest is inseperable trub. So I’m only losing at most 1/2 gallon of wort with this method. That’s why I do 6.5 gallon batches leading to 5.5 gallons in the fermenter.

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