I've seen lots of hop spider builds but also lots of complaints. I ran across a vendor on ebay that focuses on stainless filters for things like biodiesel etc and I asked a lot of questions and he was very responsive and interested in these being utilized for beer brewing so he built me a prototype of a 200 micron filter!
I will be testing it out this weekend but the objective was to eliminate hop bags and still be able to keep the gunk out of my plate chillers. I do 20 gallon batches so I had this custom built, it is 6" in diameter and 14" long. The idea is that I will just be throwing hops into this strainer at the proper time of the boil and then just clean this out at the end of the brew day! I will report back on it's effectiveness both in straining out the hop gunk as well as it's effect on hop utilization.
I have been looking for something like this. In fact I posted something half a year back with a commercial coffee/tea filter: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/hop-spider-end-all-hop-spiders-308754/, but the size of the item didn't quite work out in a balanced fashion with the cost. Would love to find a simple "off the shelf" solution, else I have been looking at purchasing the mesh myself and creating something like this.
What I liked most about dealing with this guy is that I bought the one at the first link (found him originally through bucket strainer search) and then after a couple of emails we worked out exactly what I wanted (with whatever micron filter you want) for an extremely reasonable cost with shipping.
Note: I am not affiliated with the seller, just wanted to share what I'm working on to simplify my brew day....
Tested it out today. It worked well, I think the 200 micron filter might be a little too fine as the other break material stuck to the outside. Hop utilization was excellent though. It was also not too bad to clean.
I ordered mine from the eBay seller for $42 with shipping. I loved the Stainless Steel Brewing one but with a wife and two kids, I just couldn't justify the price of it. When I saw the one on eBay, I had to pull the trigger on it.
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