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Old 11-11-2011, 03:17 PM   #1
mack65
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Default Ghetto Fabulous Hopback

Well, after finding out my new favorite beer (ODells Mountain Standard Double Black IPA) attributes its awesome flavor to a hopback I decided to build one. I looked around at some posts and got some ideas. In the end, I ended up going with 4" PVC pipe/fittings. I haven't used it yet, but I'm hoping it works. Wish me luck

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Old 11-11-2011, 03:24 PM   #2
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I wish you luck. However I would not run boiling wort through that PVC... There are PLENTY of threads where people have melted PVC hop spiders...I would hate to see that thing fail and burn the crap out of someone, not to mention waste potential beer. Be careful!

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Old 11-11-2011, 03:34 PM   #3
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Hmm..I didn't realize that PVC would melt at such a low temp. Well, I'm not overly worried yet. I did do a test run of sorts and boiled a pot of water and filled the hopback with the boiling water and sealed it up. It didn't seem to affect it. I also did that to get any off smells out before I used it.

I'll make sure I keep an eye on it for sure though.

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Old 11-11-2011, 04:09 PM   #4
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Oh dear. Good luck sir! PVC definitely gets soft at 212F. I dropped a hop spider into my wort for only 5 or 10 seconds, and it got soft enough to wobble when I shook it in my hand...like silly putty.

http://www.pvc.org/en/p/heat-distortion-temperature-softening-temperature

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyvinyl_chloride <- note softening temp of 60-100C.

http://www.madisongroup.com/services/failure/casepipe/pipeanalysis.html <- note the massive drop in modulus in the second graph around 80-100C

I could go on, but I'd sound like a debbie downer. Best of luck, but be CAREFUL. First time you run boiling wort through there, especially with the decreased internal pressure due to pump suction of wort through a big mass of hops, make sure you are standing back, but close enough to shut off the flow if it melts.

Unfortunately finally, isn't that PVC DWV rated? So it's not meant for potable water, only for wastewater? Even at room temp it's not meant for water you drink...never mind at elevated temps...

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Old 11-11-2011, 05:02 PM   #5
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yea, about 170 degrees, PVC starts getting really soft.

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Old 11-11-2011, 05:31 PM   #6
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I'm not sure if it was good to post my creation or not.

Well, now I'm thinking I need to make a new one...but brew day is tomorrow. Crap.

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Old 11-12-2011, 04:41 PM   #7
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OK, well since the PVC hop back turned out to be a bad idea (I ran boiling water through it again and tasted the water that came out, not good) I made a new one last night. Now I'll be trying it out in a couple of hours.

I had to teach myself how to solder. I've sweat copper pipes, but this was a bit different.

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Old 11-12-2011, 04:45 PM   #8
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What is a hopback and what is it used for

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Old 11-12-2011, 05:16 PM   #9
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It allows you to run hot wort through hops in the way to the chiller. Do you don't lose aroma from the hops to the steam that leaves you brew pot.

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Old 11-12-2011, 05:24 PM   #10
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That's kind of a cool looking canister? What was it before it became what it is? Cookie jar of some sort?

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