Blichmann Hop Blocker & Immersion Chiller in 10G Boilermaker

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BrewThruYou

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Does anyone have a picture of a 10G Boilermaker with HopBlocker installed? I'm thinking of getting a hopblocker, but I'm afraid that my immersion chiller will sit too off-kilter. A picture of a 50' 3/8" chiller in a 10G boilermaker with hopblocker would be perfect!

I found one picture: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/using-immersion-chiller-w-hopblocker-183807/#post2127967

However, that's a 20G boilermaker with extra bulkhead fittings installed.
 

chemman14

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Is yours a 10G pot? I think I saw a pic of yours. https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/blichmann-boil-screen-pellet-hops-169560/index4.html#post2002731

What size is that immersion chiller? Any chance you know the diameter? Thanks so much!

Here is the image you are referencing. I am not sure on the exact size of my IC but it is around 8-10inches. I will get some measurements later today. On my last batch I actually had an issue with the handle on the screen catching on my IC. I am going to start pushing that to the left or right side to avoid this in the future as it is easy to move it into the correct position to raise it once the level of the wort drops.
Honestly I haven't had much success with the hop stopper. I lose siphon with at least a half gallon or more left in my pot. This causes me to have to tip the pot in order to collect the rest of the wort.
 
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BrewThruYou

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Hmm...that's interesting. I've seen stuff like that before, but didn't know that was designed for the Blichmann.

I'm done using a hop spider with a paint strainer bag - I worry about utilization, I have to keep cleaning the paint strainers, it's annoying when trying to whirlpool, etc. I want to chuck hops into the kettle and clean it all up later.
 

chemman14

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The Hop Blocker is the one blichmann accessory I passed on based on so many negative reviews. Losing Siphon and it tipping easily are the two most common complaints.

I went with the Hop Stopper and it works AWESOME!!!

http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/hop-stopper

I don't see any reason as to why it wouldn't work with an immersion chiller either.
Seems that the site isn't loading
 
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BrewThruYou

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The site works for me. I guess the two issues are the IC might be elevated above wort level (and tilted) and the cold break might clog the stopper. The negative reviews indicate that the hop stopper will clog with break material since that stays in kettle with an IC. Considering I'm doing 5.5G batches, I might have better luck...the hopstopper is the same size for 10-30g kettles, so the surface area to cold break will be better in my smaller pot.
 

jammin

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I use Kal's HopStopper in my 10g Boilermaker. It works great and I am getting much clearer wort now. No whirlpool. You must take caution not to break your siphon with it though. I am imagine the same principle applies to the blichmann stopper.
 
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BrewThruYou

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I use Kal's HopStopper in my 10g Boilermaker. It works great and I am getting much clearer wort now. No whirlpool. You must take caution not to break your siphon with it though. I am imagine the same principle applies to the blichmann stopper.
Do you use an Immersion Chiller?

My perfect solution would be some variation of the hopstopper/hoptaco that could fit around the standard Blichmann diptube and be out of the way of my IC.
 

jammin

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Do you use an Immersion Chiller?

My perfect solution would be some variation of the hopstopper/hoptaco that could fit around the standard Blichmann diptube and be out of the way of my IC.
I do use an IC. Kal's unit comes with a plug n' play dip tube for boilermaker kettles. I'll post some pics in a few.

Btw - clean up is a snap.
 

chemman14

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Hope this helps ~ I just set my IC on top of the blocker. Works great. Wish I had an "action" pic. It does a fantastic job.
Ah this looks awesome!!! I may have to purchase this very soon!!! Do you have any issues with large hop loads? 5-8 oz I am tried of transferring trub and hops to my fermenter
 

jammin

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Ah this looks awesome!!! I may have to purchase this very soon!!! Do you have any issues with large hop loads? 5-8 oz I am tried of transferring trub and hops to my fermenter
I know this might sound crazy, but it works better with at least 2.5 ounces or so. The hops act as a filter on the mesh. If you only have an ounce or so - they don't really filter the break material as well as when you have more hops.
 

day_trippr

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I really like the looks of that! I think Kal has a winner there. Might just have to spring for one...

Cheers!
 

eastoak

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i bought a HopBlocker and must say it is a rare fail for Blichmann. after i bought the thing i discovered the HopStopper which i will be ordering in a few minutes.
 
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BrewThruYou

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i bought a HopBlocker and must say it is a rare fail for Blichmann.
That's why I wanted the HopBlocker...I have a Boilermaker and love it. Everything was just designed so well on it.

I ordered the Kal HopStopper...can't wait to try it out.
 
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BrewThruYou

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Update

I received the hopstopper and it was a disaster. The cold break just clogged it right up and the flow stopped maybe halfway through draining. I had to dump the contents of the kettle (hops and all) into the fermenter manually. This was an IPA with about 6oz of hops (5.5G batch).

Now I have a decision to make - return it or get a plate chiller.
 

chemman14

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This is disappointing. Hope others can chime in that say they have used this same setup without an issue. I will most likely be trying it out in about a month.
 

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I too purchased the hopstopper for my 20 gallon blichmann and was very dissapointed. I recirculate through my plate chiller for the last 20 minutes of the boil and I think this clogged the mesh up. It took me over an hour to get the wort to actually flow through the thing and then I left a bunch in the kettle. I'm still looking for another solution, I hate using the paint strainer bags.
 

jammin

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It states on Kal's site not to re-circ with the hop stopper. I would think the flow rate used for draining with hop stopper wouldn't need re-circ if you're using a plate chiller though. I would try and sanitize the chiller another way if it were me.

To drain the kettle issue free, you need to either pump very slowly, or ensure you have a good siphon and leave it undisturbed. It's sort of like re-circ'n your mash - if you go too quickly, it will get stuck.

I had it stick once and learned my lesson. I now run it issue free every brew with great results. Worth every penny. Super clear wort and improved clarity in my beer.
 

chemman14

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It states on Kal's site not to re-circ with the hop stopper. I would think the flow rate used for draining with hop stopper wouldn't need re-circ if you're using a plate chiller though. I would try and sanitize the chiller another way if it were me.

To drain the kettle issue free, you need to either pump very slowly, or ensure you have a good siphon and leave it undisturbed. It's sort of like re-circ'n your mash - if you go too quickly, it will get stuck.

I had it stick once and learned my lesson. I now run it issue free every brew with great results. Worth every penny. Super clear wort and improved clarity in my beer.
So you should drain this as slow as you can?
 

jammin

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So you should drain this as slow as you can?
I siphon and let nature take it's course. It does go pretty slowly though. I feel the end product is well worth the extra wait. I'll try and time my next siphon and post the results - it will be another week before I brew again though. I have some Nelson Sauvin pellets coming in I want to try. I could bitter With Magnum leafs to really put it to the test.
 

chemman14

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I siphon and let nature take it's course. It does go pretty slowly though. I feel the end product is well worth the extra wait. I'll try and time my next siphon and post the results - it will be another week before I brew again though. I have some Nelson Sauvin pellets coming in I want to try. I could bitter With Magnum leafs to really put it to the test.
how open do you leave your ball valve?
 

jammin

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how open do you leave your ball valve?
All the way. It works fine as long as the hose to your carboy stays submersed in the wort. If you pull the hose out of the wort in the fermenter, you will lose your vacuum/siphon. I pulled it out once to snag an OG sample and lost my
Vac - it just took a little patience to let the drain hose fill back up and start the siphon again.
 

chemman14

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All the way. It works fine as long as the hose to your carboy stays submersed in the wort. If you pull the hose out of the wort in the fermenter, you will lose your vacuum/siphon. I pulled it out once to snag an OG sample and lost my
Vac - it just took a little patience to let the drain hose fill back up and start the siphon again.
Hmm interesting. I have always just had the hose only reach the neck of the carboy. You are saying it should go all the way down to the bottom of the carboy
 

eastoak

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All the way. It works fine as long as the hose to your carboy stays submersed in the wort. If you pull the hose out of the wort in the fermenter, you will lose your vacuum/siphon. I pulled it out once to snag an OG sample and lost my
Vac - it just took a little patience to let the drain hose fill back up and start the siphon again.
i don't see how that could happen, isn't the siphon/vacuum created by the the march pump on the kettle or inlet side? why would it matter where the outflow hose goes?
 

day_trippr

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i don't see how that could happen, isn't the siphon/vacuum created by the the march pump on the kettle or inlet side? why would it matter where the outflow hose goes?
According to physics, it doesn't. If using a simple siphon, it's gravity that gets it going and keeps it going, whether the downhill end of the hose is in a receiving vessel (assuming it's not sealed) or not...

Cheers!
 

jammin

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I gravity drain / siphon my kettle. I don't pump the wort out.

The screen can get a good accumulation of hops making it tough to start a siphon up again once you lose it.
 

chemman14

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According to physics, it doesn't. If using a simple siphon, it's gravity that gets it going and keeps it going, whether the downhill end of the hose is in a receiving vessel (assuming it's not sealed) or not...

Cheers!
This is what I thought as well...
 

jammin

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This is what I thought as well...
I'll try one last time to explain.

The screen develops a mat of hops and break. This impedes the flow.. a lot.

If the drain hose is not submersed, the wort in the hose will simply drain out faster than the flow from the kettle can replace it. This means the drain Jose will fill with air. Once air replaces wort in the drain hose, there is no mass to pull/siphon wort through the blocker.

Make sense?
 

chemman14

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I'll try one last time to explain.

The screen develops a mat of hops and break. This impedes the flow.. a lot.

If the drain hose is not submersed, the wort in the hose will simply drain out faster than the flow from the kettle can replace it. This means the drain Jose will fill with air. Once air replaces wort in the drain hose, there is no mass to pull/siphon wort through the blocker.

Make sense?
ahhh I get it now
 

eastoak

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I'll try one last time to explain.

The screen develops a mat of hops and break. This impedes the flow.. a lot.

If the drain hose is not submersed, the wort in the hose will simply drain out faster than the flow from the kettle can replace it. This means the drain Jose will fill with air. Once air replaces wort in the drain hose, there is no mass to pull/siphon wort through the blocker.

Make sense?
interesting, i never thought of it that way. i just got a hopstopper and was struggling to drain my kettle through it yesterday even though i was closing the drain valve a bit. next time i brew i'll put the hose down into the bottom of the carboy and see if that helps, thanks for the insight.
 

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