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Old 11-08-2010, 12:46 AM   #1
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Default Blichmann HopRocket First Use (with photos)

Just brewed a couple of batches this weekend and used the HopRocket for both. First batch was Denny's Rye IPA, second was a brown ale.

I fitted my HopRocket with quick connects. It seems to work pretty well, but several key points I've realized: (a) hoses have to be free of liquid before starting the pump (otherwise the flow seems to seize up -- I had wort in my hose to sanitize before connecting the HopRocket -- a mistake), (b) pump output has to be started minimal in order to not compact the hops in the HR (first time -- I had the output full blast -- and my wort into the Therminator was just a trickle -- another mistake), and (c) figure about a half-gallon (maybe more) of wort loss due to the hops in the HR.

Third batch tomorrow, and I should have the process figured out. I plan to boil down 8 gallons of a Double IPA to about 6.5 gallons or so over a 90 min boil -- aiming for 5 gallons (more or less) into the fermenter.

Wort in the fermenter definitely smells nice -- big, hoppy smell. First batch, I used 3oz of Cascade, second batch 2oz of Wilammette. I may stick with 2-3 oz or so in order to make sure I've got the process figured out.

Cleaning is a bit of a pain. Definitely needs a soak in OxyClean free after using. Lots of scraping off hops and stuff from the interior and the filter grates. But the actual assembly (and disassembly) is pretty quick.

Photo #1 -- 3oz Cascade.

Photo #2 -- All the parts.

Photo #3 -- Looking down into the HopRocket. Under the hops is the small filter grate with the rubber seal. I'm about the put on the rounded base (and rubber seal) -- and then I'll crank everything together.

Photo #4 -- In action. Wort-in is on lower right. Wort-out (to the Therminator near the top of photo) is out the top.

219.jpg   218.jpg   221.jpg   222.jpg  
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Old 11-08-2010, 02:20 AM   #2
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Very cool pictures! Thanks for sharing. I may get to try mine next weekend

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Old 11-08-2010, 02:32 AM   #3
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Nice review.

If the hoses have to be clear to start, how do you prime the pump?

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Old 11-08-2010, 10:32 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samc View Post
Nice review.

If the hoses have to be clear to start, how do you prime the pump?
I have two valves on the output side of the pump. I connect the hose to valve 1 (which is closed). Valve 2 is closed. I start the wort from the BK, open Valve 2 a bit (spilling a couple ounces of wort) to prime, then close it.

Then I start the pump and gradually open valve 1 to the hop rocket. This seems to work.
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Old 01-21-2011, 03:49 AM   #5
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Just got a Hop Rocket and I'm just waiting for winter to break to use it.

I'm curious how did these turn out, and how well did the rocket impact the flavor and nose.

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Old 01-21-2011, 10:35 AM   #6
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For me, aroma-wise seemed nearly identical to a normal whirlpool. The hoppyness was definitely there -- but it was no better or worse (in the 4 IPAs I made with the Hop Rocket) than the whirlpool I was using before. I plan to try it more in the spring.

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Old 05-03-2011, 07:16 PM   #7
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Do you need to worry about sanitizing a Hop Rocket?

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Old 07-20-2011, 01:22 PM   #8
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I've got one of these, yet to use it as I've just upgraded to AG with my new system and didn't want to introduce too many variables.

One question, why wouldn't you have this upside down? Wouldn't it flow a bit better??

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Old 10-27-2011, 04:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jcmccoy View Post
Do you need to worry about sanitizing a Hop Rocket?
How do you sanitize the hops?
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Old 10-27-2011, 04:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
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How do you sanitize the hops?
I would sanitize the hop rocket itself, after cleaning it, but there is no need to sanitize hops.
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