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SS Hop Spider

Anyone have one? Looking for feedback on it, performance, etc. The web reviews are awesome but one thing that concerns me is the lack of a boil inside the cylinder.

I’ve contemplated making my own. Not sure about the cylinder piece, but I’ve seen some DIY versions online that are basically just a hop bag suspended on the top of the kettle. You can do a google search for some of the DIY ones, as I am pretty sure they are a lot cheaper.

Before I did my last batch (an IPA) I read a lot about the benefits. I’m thinking that it’s generally just easier to keep hop material out of the fermenter, which will help you re-use the yeast later if that’s what you want. This time, I still just tossed all my hops in and did a whirlpool, let it sit for a while and drained using a combination of my auto-siphon and my dip tube. It worked pretty well considering how many hops I had in that kettle. Not perfect, but not a big deal to me.

Yeah I used to go with the traditional hop bag type spider. It worked ok, but was wondering about the SS spiders and if the boil reaches the wort inside the tube.

I see no need to fool with these sort of things bags/socks/etc and would agree it would have to make an impact on isomerization. Everything goes into the fermentor (except lagers) Now that SS sleeve doodad for keg hopping is another thing…

You are correct to be concerned. The boil inside the basket is significantly reduced and of course this affects hop utilization (flavor and bitterness). This negative effect is compounded when using a significant percentage of a high protein grain, such as wheat.

I retired mine last year, although I still use it sometimes when making a malt forward beer with a 100% barley malt grist. It is great for containing hops–especially whole hops.

Not sure why the OP is inquiring, but it is necessary to contain hops when using a plate chiller.

Bummer.

I recently did a double 10g batch of Sculpin IPA and like many of us I put it all in the fermenter. When I transfer these hoppy beers to secondary, I’m losing a minimum of an entire gallon to sludge and muck, which is pissing me off.

Not sure why the OP is inquiring, but it is necessary to contain hops when using a plate chiller.[/quote]

No argument there. I am fortunate water is cheap here. My experience with filtering hop debris/racking/whirlpooling have not been good. A plate chiller scares me… My old school 50’ 1/2" IC does the job.

[quote=“moose”]Bummer.

I recently did a double 10g batch of Sculpin IPA and like many of us I put it all in the fermenter. When I transfer these hoppy beers to secondary, I’m losing a minimum of an entire gallon to sludge and muck, which is pissing me off.[/quote]

That’s typical to me. For 5G of house IPA I scale up to 6G (12-16oz pellets) Usually I brew 5.5G. What’s weird is the trub seems to compact better after fermentation…

I have a plate chiller so I do have to do something about hops. When using whole hops I use this: http://www.stainlessbrewing.com/Hop-Spi … p_158.html Works well, sure it doesn’t boil in the spider but I stir regularly and haven’t had issues though I may end up using more hops than if were able to put the straight in the kettle. With pellet hops the Blichmann Hop Blocker actually works quite well for me, I have to slow down the transfer when getting to the bottom of the kettle to maximize getting the wort out but I’m fine with that.

I also read the best thing to do when building a recipe for a heavily hopped IPA or IIPA is to build for an extra gallon or two depending on your usual batch size. Probably need 6 gallons for a normal 5 gallon and 12 gallons for 10, etc. The NB “Off the Topper” builds for a 6 gallon recipe counting for everything you’ll lose to the sheer amount of hops you add both at flame out and dry hopping.

Not sure why the OP is inquiring, but it is necessary to contain hops when using a plate chiller.[/quote]
Exactly the reason I use paint strainer bags for my kettle hops.

I just got a giant SS tea ball, I’ve used it for 2 batches now, so I really don’t have enough results to be difinitive. The boil sure had it moving around, so I think the isomerization impacts were minimal. I also prefer more malt-forward, or yeast-forward styles, so even if it is a problem, I could adapt. Anyone else use those?

That’s exactly the product I’ve retired. Hoppy beers have improved considerably since.

I’ve tried several solutions. For hoppy character, nothing works better than free balling it.

When you say everything, you mean EVERYTHING? All the break and hops just dumped in?

Digging the thread up from the grave…I recently used my ss hop spider for my imperial IPA. During the boil I was active in stirring around the hop material inside the basket. As I was testing my gravity, I tasted a sample and it barely tasted bitter. For a “projected” IBU of 111 the beer was remarkably sweet and with minimal bitterness. Is the sugar in solution simply masking the bitterness? 60 minute boil with mosaic, glacier, el dorado hops. 2 ounces of each. I’m going to ride this out, but I’m thinking my homemade hop spider with paint strainer bags allowed more hop utilization than the SS one did. I am aware that the spider could drop utilization by 10%

That’s why I stopped using mine. I didn’t like the fact that it never “truly boiled” it seemed. If I’m doing a DIPA or NEIPA I use a big mesh bag used for BIAB.

Hmmmmm…interesting…may try this on the next ipa…I have been slightly underwhelmed by hop presence on certain brews…

I don’t see why it should be a hinderance… Boiling wort and hops… It should extract oils regardless… Imperial any thing has a butt load of grain and unfermentables are its key point… I know nothing of the glacier and el dorado hops… I wonder if the “bittering” power of the used hops had enough power to compete with the maltose… Sneezles61

How big is your stainless hops spider? If the hops were packed in tight and compressed then I could see not getting full utilization. If it was loose enough for wort to flow through then I agree with @sneezles61, shouldn’t have had any impact.

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