New to the Blichmann Engineering lineup is the patent pending HopBlocker boil kettle filtration system! Over a year of brutal but tasty research yielded a filtration system with up to 95% efficiency while being virtually impervious to plugging! Blichmann tested the HopBlocker with over a pound of pellet hops in a 20 – gallon batch and brought them to their knees.
Traditional screens quickly plug with pellet hops and other fine break material as wort is drawn through the filtering apparatus. For the HopBlocker, we utilized preferential flow to leave the settled fine break material (hops and trub) undisturbed at the bottom of the pot while draining the majority of the wort through a coarse filter positioned above. As wort level drains within 2 inches of the kettles bottom, lift the shield with a gloved finger or racking cane, exposing the fine filter. Now the fine filter needs only strain a small portion of the wort instead of all of it. The HopBlocker filters 90-95% of the break material and hops from your wort without plugging. While designed specifically for BoilerMaker pots, the HopBlocker can be installed in any manufacturers pot or keg. Instructions provided.
PLEASE NOTE: The HopBlocker is designed for use with PELLET hops ONLY. Whole loose hops will PLUG the unit. While using whole hops, or a mix of whole and pellet hops, place the whole hops in a large muslin grain bag. Utilization rates will not be affected and wort losses will be significantly lessened.
- Install the HopBlocker into the pot using the snap-in dip tube - this takes only a few seconds!
- Push the shield to the bottom of the screen, ensuring the HopBlocker is resting flat on the bottom of the pot. Proceed with boil as normal. The HopBlocker may move a bit during the boil but will automatically right itself.
- At flameout, stir the wort vigorously with a stir paddle. By creating a whirlpool, the hops and trub particulates will settle to the bottom center of the pot and away from the HopBlocker.
- Allow 15 - 20 min for the thermal convection currents to slow, permitting the break material and hop particulates to settle.
- Drain the kettle quickly or slowly or at a pace in between until the top of the kettle drain fitting is reached (about 3" of wort remaining).
- Reduce the drain flow rate to about 1/3 the initial flow rate. The wort will permeate through the hops and trub and enter the filter screen for draining.
- Use a stir paddle to hold the filter down. Quickly pull the shield up with a gloved finger or a racking cane (or similar) removing the shield from the wort completely.
- Important: Quickly move through steps 6 and 7 or siphon may be lost, thus stopping the flow.
- That's it!
Whole Hop Recommendations: Leaf hops are generally not a problem and are trapped by the coarse screen. However, we highly recommend using large muslin grain bags for one main reason: a large amount of wort will be lost from leaf hop absorption. By using a bag, most of the wort can be squeezed out and hop utilization will be negligibly affected utilizing this method. Lastly, cleanup is significantly easier. Since pellet hops pass through the openings in a muslin bag, the above method will not work for pellet hops. On the other hand, fine nylon mesh bags do not readily allow wort to pass through and utilization is reduced.
Installing in non-BoilerMaker pots: The HopBlocker was specifically designed for use in the BoilerMaker line of brew pots. However, it can be installed in other manufacturers equipment. A 1/2" outside diameter drain tube with a 90 degree bend (not included) will need to be installed 3" from the bottom of the pot. The bottom of the tube should be about 3/8"-1/2" from the bottom of the pot or keg.
When the drain tube is inserted into the HopBlocker, threading the drain tube into the 1/2 ID ball valve port inside of your kettle will not be possible. A flare or compression connection will be needed to tighten the tube in-place without turning the tube. Locate the tube so the HopBlocker is close as possible to the sidewall of the pot. For keg based brew pots, install the HopBlocker in the center of the pot since the keg has a rounded bottom. However, effectiveness of the HopBlocker will be reduced.