Brewed a double IPA last Sunday and used a HopRocket as a hopback for the first time (standard setup: kettle -> HopRocket -> counterflow chiller -> fermenter using gravity feed.) Overall very pleased with the device. Seemed to add a hop character that was quite different than hops in the kettle or dry hopping. We brew 10G batches and split the output from the kettle into 2 carboys. First half of the "drain" goes into one carboy, last into the second.

I'm interested in knowing if anyone has done any testing on the effects of a hopback at the beginning vs. end of the run. Will there be noticeable differences between the carboys? We thought about swapping the output hose more frequently to try and even out any differences, but that seemed like too much work. For those of you that use a hopback and split the output, how do you handle this?

Also the HopRocket "captured" about 5 cups of wort. Is there any way other than a pump to get this wort to drain through the chiller? Seemed a shame to waste that so we froze it and may use it for priming.

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    Leaving a comment since I have no personal experience. Could you fill the first carboy halfway, then switch to the second to fill completely, then come back and fill the first? It seems that if there were differences over time with the hopback that this would smooth out the inconsistencies with a minimum of switching. – Dustin Rasener Oct 4 '11 at 22:15
  • Is the hop rocket designed for 10Gals or just Gals? Meaning does it hold enough hops for the whole run. Certainly if you split the batch you'll have far more aroma up front than on the tail end. – brewchez Oct 5 '11 at 16:22
  • Re: swapping, we considered that, but ended up just splitting the batch as we usually would. HopRocket holds up to 3oz of hops which I think should be plenty for 10G. I'll report back when things are finished about how different the two fermenters ended up being. – steveax Oct 7 '11 at 4:27
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    Following up here... My brewing partners and I taste tested bottles from the two different carboys and there was very little, if any difference between the two. In short, I don't think it's worth worrying about but will probably keep noting which carboy got the first run through the 'rocket and see if that continues to be the case. – steveax Jan 1 '12 at 20:28

Email Blichmann with your question. They have excellent customer service. Thats the best answer you are going to get. (Meaning from Blichmann, not from me)

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