New Christmas Toy: The Blichmann Hop Rocket

I must have been really good this year. I got a beautiful Christmas gift from the Mrs.: A Blichmann Hop Rocket. I felt pretty childish and giddy upon opening the box. Oooh so shiny! Anyway, I can’t wait to put this into use! I plan on brewing something hoppy, an IPA or pale ale. Maybe an India Red Ale type beer. I look forward to tasting the hop character in the finished beer.
I have wanted a Hop Rocket for a while for a few different reasons. It goes without saying I want to get more hop flavor and aroma into my beers. Beside the obvious, I look forward to the filtration aspect of the Hop Rocket. I brew with whole leaf hops and use hop spider type device. I make decent beers this way but I actually prefer pellets. I would use them if not for the mess I end up with in the carboy. I have a flat bottom kettle. Even though I whirlpool at flameout, lots of particulate matter ends up in my wort when using pellets. I also bought a plate chiller a few batches ago, and solids in my chiller is something I don’t want. I plan on using hop pellets during the boil then pumping through the Hop Rocket on the way to the fermenter. I hope to get the increased utilization with the pellets, and the fresh hop aroma and flavor from the whole leaf hops in the the Hop Rocket. Best of both worlds! I’ll post the results and review after my first trial run. It should be fun!

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