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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Mash tun as a hop-back?
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Old 07-24-2009, 06:32 PM   #1
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Default Mash tun as a hop-back?

As my backyard hop harvest is about a month off, I am planning my wet hop beer for this year. Last year (1st year growing my own) I just added the fresh hops to the kettle at flameout. I got a pretty good beer from this method, but in my quest to expand my brewing experiences, I am thinking of trying to run the hot wort through a hop-back. I have looked at lots of plans for small stainless and glass hopbacks and I may make one in the future.

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone uses a mash tun as a hop-back?

I figure I can pack my 5 gallon rubbermaid mash tun with false bottom with fresh hops, gently run my hot wort (no splashing to avoid hot side aeration) then let sit for 20 or so minutes, then run through chiller into fermenter.

Comments, concerns are always appreciated.

Cheers, Tim

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Old 07-24-2009, 06:34 PM   #2
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Only concern I can think of is 212 degree wort going into your mash tun, I'm not sure if it can handle it. I could be wrong though.

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Old 07-24-2009, 06:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimBrewz View Post
I figure I can pack my 5 gallon rubbermaid mash tun with false bottom with fresh hops, gently run my hot wort (no splashing to avoid hot side aeration) then let sit for 20 or so minutes, then run through chiller into fermenter.

Comments, concerns are always appreciated.

Cheers, Tim
Is there a reason you plan to leave the wort in there for 20 minutes? Are you trying to extract some alpha acids out of the hops?

The way I use my hop back is to run the hot wort throught the bed of hops and then to my chiller so that the last thing the hot wort goes through is a sweet bed of hops and locks in the aroma.

I think the cooler may not be happy after having boiling wort in it. I have a feeling the plastic will warp.

mike
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Old 07-24-2009, 07:13 PM   #4
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My first thought is to look into coverting a stainless steel coffe canister or, look into what plastics are used for the under counter water filter systems. IIRC, it's the cartridge that breaks down from the heat and not so much the housing itself. At most, I'd think that would need some minor modification with an internal perforated pipe.

I am thinking of a Randall being used as a hop back but, I am only thinking off the hip. The housings may not be appropriate for the use.

Regardless, a SS coffe canister could be had for cheap and would need little more than a weldless fitting and some manner of screening.

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Old 07-24-2009, 07:50 PM   #5
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I'd be worried about Lactobacillus that's left in the mash tun from the grain.
Since the mash tun never gets boiled, wouldn't Lacto still be present?

Just a thought,

drost

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Old 08-11-2009, 08:25 PM   #6
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Thanks to all-I have decided to use my stainless keggle with false bottom for the hopback. I think that will aleviate the potential issues.

TIm

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Old 12-15-2012, 03:38 PM   #7
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Hey, all. I wanted to revisit this topic. I just read about this technique in David Sutula's Mild Ale:

Quote:
Most breweries in the United States are not equipped with specialized equipment for use as a hop back. However, several of John Harvard's Brew Houses (as well as some others) use the mash tun--which by this point in the process has been cleared of spent grains and cleaned--as a hop back. THe surface area of the screens is, admittedly, a lot larger than a typical hop back for the system would be, the effect is about the same.
There were many objections to using a cooler since the plastic, especially the area near the spout, may warp. Would anyone who uses a second kettle with a false bottom be willing to experiment with this and feed us the results?

Sutula goes on:
Quote:
At home, a larger strainer or colander that fits inside a pot can be used, or better yet, a perforated clam steamer. Place some fresh hop cones in the colander and slowly pour the wort through. In most American brewer
I'm wondering if this technique would work when pouring the cooled wort through a colander and into a ferm bucket. Or better yet, can the wort be allowed to cool and then run through a cooler full of hops to attain the same aroma?

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There are actually techniques that some use that are an open fermentation where they basically ferment in a bucket covered in aluminu, alumini, aluemin... tin foil.
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