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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Hop strainer?
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Old 07-19-2007, 08:22 AM   #1
fatelvis
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Default Hop strainer?

I just finished my first all grain brew and had a lot of problems draining my wort. I used pellet hops and and a ss braid. Any suggestions to solve this? I was thinking of trying a hop bag.

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Old 07-19-2007, 10:15 AM   #2
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You should be able to buy a hop strainer from a homebrew store. They're just a section of copper pipe with small holes punched in it. I made my own with a section of copper pipe. Cut myself about a 9" length and crimped one end shut in a vice. Then just drilled a load of small holes in it with a power drill. About 30 mins work. Attach this to the inside of the tap in your kettle.

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Old 07-19-2007, 02:56 PM   #3
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Or make yourself one of these. Easy and works great.

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Old 07-19-2007, 04:32 PM   #4
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So the hop strainer you made is just a straight piece of copper with a lot of small holes in it? Any pics? The ss braid worked so good in the mash tun, I thought it would work with hops.

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Old 07-19-2007, 04:39 PM   #5
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The copper w/ holes strainer doesn't sound like a very good technique. If the holes are too big, then it lets all of the pellet hop and break material through, thus being fairly worthless. If they're small enough, then you're not getting the large surface area of a hopstopper or hop bag. When the holes clog, then you're going to have a hard time draining the kettle.

Fatelvis - you're not the only one. I've heard other negative reports about using the SS braid as a hop filter. You didn't say what problem you had. Did it get clogged on you?

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Old 07-20-2007, 02:54 AM   #6
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I use a homemade version of the HopStopper, which is commercially available; do a Google search for HopStopper. Mine is a fine mesh stainless steel woven cloth (hi tech window screen). Being cheap, and letting my ego lead me into situations my mechanical skills can't keep up, I built mine from a 12'' diameter cook's spatter screen, and used a fine stainless wire from the braided hose you mentioned to stitch up the edges of the folder-over screen. This screen was sewn over a triangular frame I bent up from heavy guage copper wire, and soldered to a bent up 3/8" dia copper tube as the pick up. I connected it to the 1/2" pipe thread coupling inside my keggle with a compression fitting/male pipe thread fitting.

This is not new, someone else on one of the forums has made one and calls his the HopTaco, and he has photos, so do a search for HopTaco and see what he did. This is the set of directions I followed.

By the way, it works wonderfully, but you may want to use some leaf hops to help form a filter bed. I've used mine twice now, and get no hop particles in the sieve I use in my carboy mouth when I run the wort through my CFC chiller.

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Old 07-20-2007, 07:00 AM   #7
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My ss braid was completely clogged with pellet hops. It worked flawlessly with my grain/mash tun, but the hops clogged it up in the boil kettle. I was trying to think of a way to filter the hops out of the wort before it got to the braid. Something like a screen that you would set on the bottom of the boil kettle and lift up with the hop pellets screened out.

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Old 07-20-2007, 01:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatelvis
So the hop strainer you made is just a straight piece of copper with a lot of small holes in it? Any pics? The ss braid worked so good in the mash tun, I thought it would work with hops.
Don't have a pic of the one that I made, but here's a commercial one.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil Sparky
The copper w/ holes strainer doesn't sound like a very good technique. If the holes are too big, then it lets all of the pellet hop and break material through, thus being fairly worthless. If they're small enough, then you're not getting the large surface area of a hopstopper or hop bag. When the holes clog, then you're going to have a hard time draining the kettle.
Actually, it works wonderfully. I don't use hop pellets though, I use dried hop flowers, so it may not work with hop pellets. The hops form a filter bed on top of the hop filter which filters out the cold break. The hop flowers are too big to fit through the holes in the filter. It all works out pretty nicely. Never had a clog with it.
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Old 07-20-2007, 01:39 PM   #9
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That's the rub. There is no permanently installed hop filtering device I know of that will stop a large, 100% pellet hop bill. The mesh style screens will stop a good deal of it but you need at least 25% leaf hops for it to work. You also can't expect miracles with a lot of pellet hops + cold break if you're chilling inside the kettle.

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Old 07-20-2007, 02:57 PM   #10
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Why not get a hop bag? Works beautifully and you then you don't have too much cleaning to do in the bottom of the keggle. You also don't have to worry clogging up the bottom drain spout either.

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