Blichmann Engineering

Discussion in 'Brewing Photos & Videos' started by EvanAltman36, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. EvanAltman36

    EvanAltman36 New Member

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    Got the chance to meet John Blichmann yesterday and see where the magic happens. Really neat operation they have there and very low-key. It was really great to talk to a guy who took his engineering knowledge and apply it something for which he has a passion. I also appreciated that they're moving to all American-made kettles vs. Chinese. Now, if only I had the money to afford everything they make.

    I do have my eyes on a HopRocket though, as I feel those are really worthwhile because of their triple function. It'd be nice to use as hop-back/filter on brew day and then as infuser for that extra hop aroma in my keg system.
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I share your pain. I know the guys from Ruby Street, great equipment if you want to make up to one barrel but, as I told them the other night, if I were going to spend that much money on a rig, I'd go all the way to seven barrels and open professionally. Its rewards aside, I spend waaayyy too much money on this hobby as it is (or as I tell my friends, the beer I make is the most expensive I've ever bought). So for now, I'll keep doing things manually in my basement using plastic carboys and manual racking, schlepping heavy containers of liquid and dream of that kind of stuff....
     
  3. EvanAltman36

    EvanAltman36 New Member

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    Word. Seeing the Tower of Power setup and thinking about having a 3-kettle system controlled by my computer is pretty awesome, but then I wonder how I'd ever justify all that. The seamlessly-welded conical fermentors are amazing too, but again, not at my volume and means.
    I actually started doing some freelance sports writing in order to make some extra coin to at least partially offset my hobby. It's working, to an extent, but just enough to keep me treading water on the cost of materials.
     
  4. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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  5. EvanAltman36

    EvanAltman36 New Member

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    Dang, that's like some MacGyver stuff there. I'm not the world's handiest person though, so between the time, effort, and additional tools/materials, I'd run myself way over $30. And after the ER bill from the resultant stitches and/or reattachment of a finger, I'd be better off with the HopRocket or other professional implement. However, that's all very much a luxury that I can neither afford nor justify.

    It's hard enough for me to sequester the time to do extract brewing, let alone go to BIAB or all grain. That'd be nice in the future, but I'm turning out what I feel is good beer, so I don't feel the impetus to push the envelope just yet. However, I'm always impressed by the ingenuity of the folks here and in the brewing world in general. But for now, my contribution to the advancement of homebrewing will be to troll these forums and ask questions.
     
  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Agreeing with Evan.... As I tell SWAMBO whenever she comes up with certain home improvement ideas, generally involving large powered tools, there are things that, at my age, I have neither the desire to learn the skills nor to acquire the tools to do a job. If I add to that the unwillingness to coddle whatever Rube Goldberg contraption I come up with, it's often easy to convince myself it's cheaper to buy the finished part than to try to make it myself. I do admire the handy, those who come up with their own, novel solutions to problems. I just can't seem to free up the time to do it myself.

    Anyone know how to insulate a 10-gallon water cooler? :lol:
     
  7. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    took me 30 minutes at the store and 30 minutes to build, already had the fittings in stock, well worth it, now for the twist I'm adding mine to the up side recirculation back into the pot not the down side so it should never fill up or leak :D
     
  8. EvanAltman36

    EvanAltman36 New Member

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    You're a better, or at least handier, man than I. I don't have the equipment, though I could easily get the fittings and such. And I do have a drill. But I can guarantee you that it'd take me longer than 30 minutes. If we were sitting around having a few beers, I could regale you with the cautionary tales of my DIY projects. Even something as innocuous as a dishwasher was an all-day event. And don't get me started on replacing the garage-door opener. Wow.

    The fact that I was able to put together a kegerator was a minor miracle, so it's fitting that I use it to store water that I've turned into beer. But that was just drilling some holes in the door and inserting taps; no collars or temp controllers. Anyway, those of us who were not blessed with mechanical proclivities are forced to rely on the ingenuity of others. I can turn a phrase much better than I can a wrench, so I'm better off not trying to go against the grain of my DNA.
     
  9. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    Ben a do it your self kind of guy all my life, i will say there is a draw back, I get allot of can you help me calls building a deck to a shed to replacing all doors and windows, honey your pretty but "give me a beer Im beat" lol
     
  10. EvanAltman36

    EvanAltman36 New Member

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    Got a HopRocket, plan on using as Randallizer first with Citra for my Zombie Dust clone. Maybe as a hop back in future brewing too.
     
  11. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    excellent, love the hop back system instead of dry hopping, I believe that hot wort will absorb the hop oils better than cold so it makes sense to "hot hop" the wort.

    Ive been building a system added on to my pot that does a whirl pool through a pump while boiling through my home made hop back, made my first test with it last week
     
  12. EvanAltman36

    EvanAltman36 New Member

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    I don't have a counter flow chiller, though that would be nice. I had figured a hopback was a way to simply amp up the flavor addition that would normally be at flameout, but is it better served as dry hop substitute? I'd think that the fermentation would still blow off the aroma a bit.

    I couldn't use the auto siphon with the hot wort though, could I? And gravity alone probably wouldn't be real great with hopback, would it? I figured it'd need a pump to really get that wort through the hops. But it'd probably serve to filter a lot of the excess materials out of the wort, huh?

    Sorry for the rudimentary questions, but I'd be happy to find new ways to add flavor whenever I can.
     
  13. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    the auto siphon will melt, do not try it, I already did lol

    you would need a pump to do what I'm am and as far as the hop back verse dry hopping it works very well if done right, there is more flavor using the hop back in 30 minutes that 3 days of dry hopping in my opinion and the taste is more refined and less raw tasting

    the gravity filter into a carboy will work I guess but just seems like a wast of good hops running it for 5 minutes and for that system to work correct you can only use whole hops, pellets in a bag will not filter anything in fact will add more debris to the wort
     

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