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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Other > Stainless Hop Spider w/ Custom Voile Bag
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Old 10-31-2012, 04:07 AM   #1
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Default Stainless Hop Spider w/ Custom Voile Bag

I have been using the original hop bag that came with the brewing kit I got for Christmas. Getting tired of burning my finger tips during hop additions I figured it's time to build a hop spider. I wanted something durable, easy to take apart and easy to clean.
After surveying several designs and ideas I started with the ring and supporting rods.
For the main part of the frame I found a Mainstays (Walmart) SS utensil holder.




The can measures 6-3/4", plenty big. It has a nice lip on the edge that will be the bottom.


I need to cut the bottom off so I use my trusty hack saw and a C-clamp. You could use a grinder with a cut-off wheel to accomplish the task. I put a small block of wood, with beveled edges, in between the clamp head and the SS so it wouldn't dent and misshape the side.


Cutting 3"- 4" at a time I worked my way around till the bottom was separated. The metal thickness is about .018" so keep in mind it will get a bit flimsy as you near the end of the cut.


Trimming the bottom left a jagged edge so I cleaned that up with my bench sander by gently rolling the part.


Since the rolled rim will be on the bottom of the frame, this means the thin edge is going to be on the top side I need some type of edge molding. I found some rubber carburetor vacuum hose that will make a great edge molding. BTW, rubber vacuum hose can be picked up at any local auto parts store in any city.


Using a razor to carefully slice one side of the tubing so it will slip over the edge of the frame.


Attached the edge molding and then trimmed to size.


Getting ready to drill holes for the supporting rods. Using the square divider to make sure my holes are in alignment.


The four positions are marked 1-1/4" from the top. The automatic punch is perfect to get my set points.


I used my hand drill, 1/8" and 1/4" drill bits. The 1/4" drill will walk off the slick stainless steel so it is necessary to use a 1/8" bit to drill pilot holes. Follow up with the 1/4" bit to finish. (No Photo)

This is what it looks like with 1/4" stainless rods attached.


Testing in the kettle.


I decided I didn't like the crisscrossing rods so I changed the design up a bit. I dropped by Home Depot and picked up some 3/8" aluminum round rod, SS 1/4-20 button head cap screws and SS washers. As you can see I have already cut to size, drilled and tapped the aluminum rod. I drilled and tapped 1" into the rod to account for the 3/4" SS screws.


Cleaning the aluminum rods with the drill and Scotchbrite.


Before and after.


Button head cap screw and a washer on the inside, no washer on the outside.


Now with all four attached.


Added some shrink tubing(Home Depot) to each supporting rod to deaden any rattling that may occur and it just looks cool. It should aid in not having to touch hot bare metal with your hand. I used 3/8" shrink wrap and it was tight sliding it onto the rod. I used a blowtorch to make sure there was no shrink left in the wrap.

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Old 10-31-2012, 04:52 AM   #2
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On to the bag. I wanted to be able to secure the bag on the ring as solid as possible so I decided on a stainless pipe clamp.
I found a 7" SS hose clamp at Home Depot that fits perfectly.


The bag will be made of tough polyester voile. No fabric store in this small town so a Mainstays window sheer from Walmart does the trick.


The hem on the top was just about perfect for what I wanted to accomplish so I just used that.


I wrapped the voile around the stainless ring and bunched it with my fingers to get an idea what size I needed.


Taking the flap of material and folding it one way and the other to mark the approximate size. I left a little extra so to give a little play. Ideally you'd want the to be just enough extra room slip the bag over the lip of the SS ring. At the same time not to much so there will be less bunching of the bag top.


This shows the bag hemmed up. I sewed the edge with a single stitch and then a zig zag over the top of that. Turned the bag inside out and double stitched the seam again. The bottom is notched to allow for sewing on the bottom of the bag.


I used the ring to get a rough estimate marking to cut out a circular pattern.


Cutting relief cuts every inch or so allows you to flatten the bottom edge of the bag body. The stainless ring makes a nice form for the bag and eases in getting the flaps laying flat. I used straight pins to hold the flaps to the bottom part.


Easing around with simple straight stitch to join the two parts together.


Here we have the bottom attached to the body. As you can see some of the relief cuts go in past the first stitch so I followed that up with another stitch inside of the first one and then a tight zig zag stitch over both of those.


I need to reinforce the top side channel that the pipe clamp will slide into. I had some white polyester seat belt strapping and that will work perfectly.


Folding the strap over the top edge and sewing along the edge give a solid reinforced channel.


Feeding the pipe clamp into the channel.


All in.


In the kettle.


Pushed to the side. The rods are long enough to prevent the spider from falling in the kettle.


Top view.

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Old 10-31-2012, 05:13 AM   #3
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Nice job!

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Old 10-31-2012, 05:18 AM   #4
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impressive.

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Old 10-31-2012, 02:15 PM   #5
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Thanks guys. I am having a 1/8" X 6-1/2" stainless "washer" cut out today to put in the bottom of the bag to keep it weighted down. Will post a few photos this evening.
I'll be brewing an Irish Red this Saturday so I will be able to test the hop spider.

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Old 10-31-2012, 02:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StainlessBrewing View Post
Nice job!
I just visited your website and saw your hop strainer on the front page. That is a nice piece of equipment! Well thought out design and very sturdy.
I would definitely recommended yours to anyone not interested in making their own.
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Old 10-31-2012, 03:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aubiecat View Post
I just visited your website and saw your hop strainer on the front page. That is a nice piece of equipment! Well thought out design and very sturdy.
I would definitely recommended yours to anyone not interested in making their own.
Thanks! It's always cool seeing threads like this though. Looks like you took your time to make it last. If you're interested in the future in making your own DIY out of SS mesh. Let me know and I can help you out.
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Old 10-31-2012, 03:49 PM   #8
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I'm curious what steam will do to your heat shrink though?

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Old 10-31-2012, 04:47 PM   #9
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Well done.

I will assume if he didn't shrink it already it will when he uses it the first time. Once it shrinks I don't think the steam will do anything to it but the edge of the pot might melt it some.

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Old 10-31-2012, 04:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StainlessBrewing View Post
Thanks! It's always cool seeing threads like this though. Looks like you took your time to make it last. If you're interested in the future in making your own DIY out of SS mesh. Let me know and I can help you out.
If I run across some SS screen mesh, which is a real possibility at my place of work, I will consider making one and I will take you up on that. I have an idea how the seams are done but it would be interesting to know how you accomplish that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StainlessBrewing View Post
I'm curious what steam will do to your heat shrink though?
It will be interesting. I hope it will hang on but if it doesn't no great loss. I wonder how the aluminum rods will do with oxidation and all. I wanted to use SS rods but I don't care much for tapping so deep into SS when I don't have to. I went in about 1" into the aluminum rod with the tap.
I will be brewing Saturday but I have decided, Friday evening, I am going go ahead and put the mash water in the kettle and bring it to a rolling boil. I will better be able to see what is going on with the bag and the weight ring.

If that doesn't work as well as I wanted I have some 1/8" 316 SS round stock to fabricate a bag frame, similar to the frame on a wind sock.
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