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Old 03-13-2014, 07:15 PM   #11
jbaysurfer
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I use the HD/lowes nylon paint strainers and drop a large SSt colander (the mesh basket kind, not the perforated SSt sheet kind with a raised base) in the strainer before attaching to the spider. SSt is safe, the weight keeps the strainer from floating or twisting and opens it up.

My only complaint with the hop spider method is I can't whirlpool while steeping hops at flame out. I have to steep, remove hop spider (with hops), then whirlpool, then run wort through plate chiller. This adds an extra 10-15 minute after flame out and I've wondered how effective my cold break is since the wort has cooled down to 180F by the time I chill.

For low IBU beers I don't bother with hop spider. A good whirlpool I'm fine, but for 40+ IBU beers there's too much hop material for me to whirlpool effectively. I don't use a pump, so I whirlpool carefully by hand.
For beers that I want to do a hopstand on, I tend to use the spider for the bittering/FWH and Flavor additions, and I use the paint strainers for the aroma/flameout additions. Then I can remove the bittering hops while still utilizing all the oils from the aroma hops...and whirlpool.

But to be honest, that's an ideal world. More often then not these days, I do a whirlpool with an immersion chiller and the hop spider in the middle of it. I don't get that beautiful cone to form of break material, but I can live with the results. Basically, whirlpool at whatever flow rate I want. Kill the pump for 5 minutes...and slowly flow through the side pickup and into the fermenter.

Edit, after all that I re read your post and realize you don't use a pump. LOL...maybe the fwh/bittering in the spider and the aroma in the paint strainer could work for you though?
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Old 03-13-2014, 08:27 PM   #12
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Try it and see. It does change up utilization a little bit, but if you don't over pack the bag with hops, it's a very little bit. An all stainless mesh screen hop spider will do the same. It won't mess your beer up. If you decide you want a couple more IBUs on your next batch with the paint strainer bag...then just add a little bit more hops to your bittering addition. I've found it to be mostly a non issue, and I use both a ss hop spider AND paint strainer bags.

Best part about the bags is that they're super cheap and you can throw them away after they start getting nasty.
ditto...I find the strainer bag helps keep the hop cup screen from plugging up.
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Old 03-13-2014, 09:12 PM   #13
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Cool so what about muslin bags and pellet hops? I've heard some say they work and others say they don't?


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Old 03-13-2014, 09:34 PM   #14
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For not much more than the price of a happy meal, you can make one.



You could build it faster than the time it took you to type your message.

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Old 03-13-2014, 09:47 PM   #15
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For not much more than the price of a happy meal, you can make one.



You could build it faster than the time it took you to type your message.
I bought the stuff to make one but ended up returning it since the bolts werent long enough to span to the edges of my kettle... the hop basket I bought works well since the paint bag alone lets some hop solids through it.
I also use muslin bags inside of my hop basket... they work but let even more though if used alone.
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Old 03-13-2014, 09:58 PM   #16
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Your picture of a PVC coupling with bolts looks great--- too bad they fall apart so quickly. Mine got overheated and sagged with the coupling half submerged in the boiling wert. I had turned away to -- ahem --- refill my glass. . and arrived back in time to salvage it.
One made with a Stainless Steel cup, or coupling or I've also heard a dog food dish will stand up better. I'm actively looking for a SS bowl or dish where I can cut the bottom out

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Old 03-14-2014, 12:57 AM   #17
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Absolutely not. That thing is painted. Not stainless.

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Old 03-14-2014, 01:04 AM   #18
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Paint bag and some copper wire. Go!

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Old 03-14-2014, 01:31 AM   #19
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Man you guys deck your paint strainers out!

I just loop the opening over one of the handles so the bag's partially inside out (makes the opening available) then clip it with a clothes pin to secure it.

McLovenBeast - I don't do crazy amounts of hops in my beers typically, but in the event that I would, I have used two bags, one on each handle. AFA hop utilization, I'm still on the fence. I firmly believe that having the hops free in the kettle results in the best utilization. That said, clean up and not having to deal with whirlpooling, not to mention a LOT less debris in the wort at time of transfer is worth the few IBU I may loose from the bags.

YMMV.

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