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Hop Spider - Well That Was Easy

Hate trub? Yeah, me too. That’s why I built this Hop Spider - based on instructions from BYO.com

http://byo.com/stories/item/2427-build- ... r-projects

The parts cost me about $20 and the project took me about 10 mins. Gotta love the quick win DIY projects.

A word of caution from back when I used to use one of those: Before removing it from the kettle following the boil, double check that the worm clamp is secure. The paint strainer bag fell into the wort on two separate occasions, releasing a lot of the hop material. It seemed like the PVC was contracting from the heat, loosening the grip of the clamp.

http://www.stainlessbrewing.com/4-12OD- ... p_141.html

If 10 minutes of your time, plus drive time and gas to HD/Lowe’s is worth $7.95 + shipping, then you win.

Of course, my calculation doesn’t factor in the chest-beating, drywall-hanging, carburetor-fixing satisfaction of DIY’ing :mrgreen:

http://www.stainlessbrewing.com/4-12OD- ... p_141.html

If 10 minutes of your time, plus drive time and gas to HD/Lowe’s is worth $7.95 + shipping, then you win.

Of course, my calculation doesn’t factor in the chest-beating, drywall-hanging, carburetor-fixing satisfaction of DIY’ing :mrgreen:

Chris,

What size nylon bag did you end up using?

I have heard people say that these hop spiders can affect utilization. But does anyone have a good idea about how much of a difference there actually is? I recently was looking to solve my excessive hop problem when brewing IPAs. I bought a couple different sized nylon bags but I ended up going with a bazooka screen that fits on the inside of my brew kettle. It worked pretty well but I lost about 1/2 a gallon of wort at the end when the bazooka screen got covered in hops and wouldn’t allow any more to flow through my wort chiller.

Nice job Chris. Thanks for the link. Looks like something I may build and tinker with this weekend.

[quote=“GeerBoggles”]Chris,

What size nylon bag did you end up using?
[/quote]

I went with a 1 gal bag. You could get a 5 gal too and see what works best. They’re super cheap - like $2.

While I went straight to the largest version of this one http://www.stainlessbrewing.com/Hop-Spi … p_158.html I was quite surprised how big of difference it made in capturing all the gunk that used to end up at the bottom of my kettle. I’ve been able to get a lot more wort out and clean up is easy.

[quote=“Chris-P”][quote=“GeerBoggles”]Chris,

What size nylon bag did you end up using?
[/quote]

I went with a 1 gal bag. You could get a 5 gal too and see what works best. They’re super cheap - like $2.[/quote]

Cool. Thanks. Like I said, I bought some nylon bags when trouble shooting so I have a 1 gal & a 5 gal nylon bag that I am not using for anything.

A bigger question: I stir my wort about every 10 minutes throughout the entire boil just to keep things moving around. When using one of these hop spiders, do you not stir during the boil? Do most people not stir during the boil anyways? Or do you still stir and just let the paddle/spoon spin the hop spider in the kettle? constant stirring is always something that I have done, more because I have always done it rather than for a real proven reason…

[quote=“GeerBoggles”]
A bigger question: I stir my wort about every 10 minutes throughout the entire boil just to keep things moving around. When using one of these hop spiders, do you not stir during the boil? Do most people not stir during the boil anyways? Or do you still stir and just let the paddle/spoon spin the hop spider in the kettle? constant stirring is always something that I have done, more because I have always done it rather than for a real proven reason…[/quote]

Other than knocking some hops off the side of the kettle, which is more like scraping with a spatula, what does stirring do that the act of the boiling water doesn’t?

Stirring gives me something to do the 60-90 minutes I’m waiting. :lol:

^^Yup^^

Get yourself a beer and focus on that. :cheers:

After the hot break, I typically don’t do much stirring.

Get yourself a beer and focus on that. :cheers:

After the hot break, I typically don’t do much stirring.[/quote]

+1
I start the clean up process, work on a recipe for my next brew, or just sit and drink a beer.

If you are extract brewing I can see where you don’t need to be cleaning things during the boil. There is always a fermenter to sanitize.

Stir if you fell like it. I’m a bit lazy and try not to do things that make no difference to the outcome of the beer. 8)

I’ve been known to mow the yard while mashing/boiling.

It took a great deal of restraint in my first reply above to not mention the Stainless Brewing hop spider, but since others have brought it up…highly recommended!

However in my experience the #40 mesh works great as long as you are not boiling wort with large amounts of wheat (>10%) of the grain bill. #30 mesh works great for any grain bill and even did a respectable job holding back pellet hops.

Instead of using a spider, I just use the largest grain bag that NB sells, which fits over the top of my BK. No worries about utilization changes due to the hops having nearly the same volume of wort to float around in during the boil.

Sometimes the simplest and cheapest answer really is the best.

Enjoy.

I’ve used two: sold the first and made some design changes, worked fine.

My second one was an exact replica of yours. For some reason it melted quite a bit so I abandoned the technique.

I’ve read several sources - mostly on forums like this - that say using a nylon bag hop strainer reduces hop utilization by approximately 10%. I use one much like the one pictured by the OP and, in my experience, 10% seems about right. I’ve found that if I specify whole hops in the calculator I use, but actually use pellets, things end up about where the software predicts. YMMV.

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