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Old 04-21-2009, 08:02 PM   #11
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I've seen canning jars explode when hot grease was poured into them at room temp. I'd pre-heat it, myself. When you can with them, you are heating them more evenly than you are when pouring boiling liquid into it.

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Old 04-21-2009, 09:17 PM   #12
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Why not just set the hopback in a bucket of hot water? The water will help keep the jar at a constant temperature. Should alleviate any breaking issues.

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Old 04-21-2009, 09:31 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by ChshreCat View Post
I've seen canning jars explode when hot grease was poured into them at room temp. I'd pre-heat it, myself. When you can with them, you are heating them more evenly than you are when pouring boiling liquid into it.

I am fairly certain all breakage issues will be null when this is put in practice for the following reasons:

1) Its all in technique. When pouring hot grease in a jar as I mentioned above, the trick is to put a fork in the jar and pour the grease slowly over the fork. This spreads the grease out slowly over the fork before it hits the jar, distributing heat and allowing the jar to warm up (albeit rapidly) before the majority of the hot liquid hits the glass.

In this case the hops will do the same thing. this jar will be full of hops which the hot wort (no where close to 300deg grease) which will both absorb some initial heat and distribute wort over a larger area at first allowing the glass to warm a bit more slowly than just dumping it in boiling liquid.

2) for this system to work, the jar needs to be "primed" with a little bit of liquid so it will work with the march pump. I can either prime with star san (over the hops, mmmmm, maybe not...) or with a little hot wort from the kettle... Now you can control the flow of liquid into the jar, over the hops, and pre-warm the jar before full flow of hot wort commences.
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Old 04-26-2009, 11:00 PM   #14
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Update on the project:

I bought a nylon braided hose instead of a SS one on accident, then did some minor re-designs with the SS braid, that is why I have been negligent in posting here.

I did use it yesterday, and after some minor tweaking it worked great! I found it works better post-pump rather than pre-pump, and you have to be a little carefull packing in large amounts of hops because it can reduce flow quite a bit (I orriginaly had 2oz leaf and 1.5oz pellet in there... while it worked it was REAL slow ). Once I figgured that out it worked like a charm! I still have some minor tweaks, but overall am very happy with it. Pics will follow as shortly, as I need to get them off my camera

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Old 04-26-2009, 11:02 PM   #15
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I wonder if you could use two of them, either in parallel or series, to use larger amounts of hops.

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Old 04-26-2009, 11:17 PM   #16
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I've thought about building a hopback, using one of those water filter containers. It's one of the reasons that I really want to get a pump.

Any reason that you couldn't design a hopback that could be used both in brewing AND as a Randall for serving? Probably need to intregrate some quick-disconnects, but it's the same basic principal, right? Wort/beer in; mix with a crapton of hops; wort/beer out.

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Old 04-27-2009, 02:13 AM   #17
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I don't think there is any reason that you couldn't, but my design here may not be the best for that. One of the tweaks that I have to make is to fix some minor leakage since the lid is so thin. It works well with the wort since I am not worried about loosing an ounce or two out of an 11 gallon batch, but any leak on a randal will become large over time either in terms of your beer or CO2.

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Old 04-27-2009, 11:28 AM   #18
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As promised, here are pictures:

hopback5.jpg
These are the additional parts for the braid, I ended up making a loop instead of using a straight braid. I will update the parts list in the first post at some point.

hopback6.jpg
The finished braid.

hopback7.jpg
The "finished" product. Like I said, I may tweak one or two things, like trying to add a washer on the upper seals to try and stop all leakage, but as of now with 11 gallons I only lost maybe 2-3 ounces out the leak. Its very slow, but present, so it will be fixed.

hopback8.jpg
Sanitizing before use. I just shook up some star-san in it then threw it in between my pump and CFC after filling it with hops. I also learned when using the hops to pack them in loosely and not just cram everything in.

hopback9.jpg
In action! At this point the flow was a trickle through my CFC because you can see everything compacted around my braid at the bottom. This was due to 1)the ass load of hops I put in for a trial run, and 2) I put the hops in the jar first, then put the braid and lid on which compacted everything below the braid. I stopped flow and carefully removed the lid and swung it aside just enough to stir up everything on the bottom of the jar so it was less compacted, put it all together and restarted flow. It worked well after that.

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Old 04-27-2009, 12:23 PM   #19
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I don't think there is any reason that you couldn't, but my design here may not be the best for that. One of the tweaks that I have to make is to fix some minor leakage since the lid is so thin. It works well with the wort since I am not worried about loosing an ounce or two out of an 11 gallon batch, but any leak on a randal will become large over time either in terms of your beer or CO2.
That's why I was thinking the water filter-based design, it should be able to hold the pressure. I might well leave it hooked up in the kegerator, so leaks are unacceptable.

Need to buy the pump first, though; unfortunately, I just blew through my father's day present a few weeks early this past weekend!
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Old 04-27-2009, 12:26 PM   #20
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That's why I was thinking the water filter-based design, it should be able to hold the pressure. I might well leave it hooked up in the kegerator, so leaks are unacceptable.

Need to buy the pump first, though; unfortunately, I just blew through my father's day present a few weeks early this past weekend!
Yeah, I have heard of the water filter based design for randals, but I don’t know if the same design would work for the hopback. I just don’t know if those filters are designed to handle the temperatures.
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