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Old 12-24-2009, 01:50 AM   #1
ReeseAllen
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Default Simple hop strainer assembly


(chuckger's build)

I've purchased parts to build a hop strainer, a lot like the one in this picture (and the one in the HBT wiki). I realize this is a relatively simple assembly, but to a new brewer it could seem fancy and complicated at first glance. So, I am going to take photos and describe what I'm doing as I build my own version of this.

I bought:

(1) 4 inch PVC coupling, $1.13
(1) 3-5 inch hose clamp, $1.85
(3) 12 inch length of 1/4-20 threaded rod, $0.98
(2) 8-pack of nuts, $0.98
(1) 4-pack of wingnuts, $0.98
Total: $8.86 + tax

I already have a strainer bag whose opening is about 4.5" diameter that will work perfectly for this, shown in the attached photo. I think it cost about $3.

Both of my drill's batteries are dead, so I've been stalled for an hour or so while I wait for one of them to charge. I'll be drilling soon and should have finished pics up within a couple of hours.
bag.jpg   parts.jpg  
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Old 12-24-2009, 03:21 AM   #2
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Are all the metal parts Stainless Steel?

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Old 12-24-2009, 03:53 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacdan View Post
Are all the metal parts Stainless Steel?
Zinc-plated steel.

I drilled 3 1/4" holes in the PVC fitting and installed the threaded rods using two nuts per rod. After that, I tested the fit on my 15 gallon kettle. I spun a wingnut onto the end of each rod and used that to center everything.

First obvious discovery is that I am going to need to get some fender washers involved with the wingnuts, as well as an intermediate locknut on each rod to restrict the washer's range of travel.

My other observation is that if the top of the PVC is level with the top of the kettle, I think the bottom of the bag will just barely dip below the surface of a 5 gallon boil. I think if I drill the 1/4" holes in the PVC to more like 3/8", the threaded rod could angle upward at a decent angle, lowering the assembly further into the kettle. I could replace the nuts that hold the rods to the PVC with nylocks (getting some fender washers involved here, too) and adjust the spacing between them to adjust how high the assembly rides within the kettle.
construction-1.jpg   construction-2.jpg   construction-3.jpg   test-fit.jpg  
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Old 12-24-2009, 04:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReeseAllen View Post
My other observation is that if the top of the PVC is level with the top of the kettle, I think the bottom of the bag will just barely dip below the surface of a 5 gallon boil.
This is funny because this was my first thought. I had two different post typed out and deleted them.


Reason being that in your pics I can't imagine your hop bag to be much longer then 10". That is based on a rough, buzed observation.
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Old 12-24-2009, 04:26 AM   #5
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What size strainer bag do you have? The 5 gallon paint strainers get fairly long.

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Old 12-24-2009, 07:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReeseAllen View Post

(chuckger's build)

I've purchased parts to build a hop strainer, a lot like the one in this picture (and the one in the HBT wiki). I realize this is a relatively simple assembly, but to a new brewer it could seem fancy and complicated at first glance. So, I am going to take photos and describe what I'm doing as I build my own version of this.

I bought:

(1) 4 inch PVC coupling, $1.13
(1) 3-5 inch hose clamp, $1.85
(3) 12 inch length of 1/4-20 threaded rod, $0.98
(2) 8-pack of nuts, $0.98
(1) 4-pack of wingnuts, $0.98
Total: $8.86 + tax

I already have a strainer bag whose opening is about 4.5" diameter that will work perfectly for this, shown in the attached photo. I think it cost about $3.

Both of my drill's batteries are dead, so I've been stalled for an hour or so while I wait for one of them to charge. I'll be drilling soon and should have finished pics up within a couple of hours.
Dude, this is a very elegant design.

Now from one engineer to another, here is my variation on the hop bag design.





I use a Robe Hook instead of the rods. Granted, I do not have a heat exchanger in my brew kettle. I like this configuration because it hangs on the side, giving me a better view of the boil.



Cheers!
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Old 12-24-2009, 10:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lanvp View Post
I use a Robe Hook instead of the rods. Granted, I do not have a heat exchanger in my brew kettle.
Me either, the first photo shows' chuckger's setup.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lanvp View Post
I like this configuration because it hangs on the side, giving me a better view of the boil.
I kind of wish I had seen this before my trip to the hardware store yesterday; I think I like this better than the three-rod design. I have a hunch though, that having the hops in the middle might get better flow through the bag.
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Old 12-24-2009, 10:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReeseAllen View Post
I have a hunch though, that having the hops in the middle might get better flow through the bag.

My kettle boils are always biased to one side. So placing the bag in that area would blast up through it.

How do you fire your kettle?
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Old 12-24-2009, 10:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenMonti View Post
My kettle boils are always biased to one side. So placing the bag in that area would blast up through it.

How do you fire your kettle?
Depends on the weather. In good conditions I use one of the big daddy Bayou Classic propane burners. Otherwise I put it on my gas stove and use two burners to heat it symmetrically. The boil usually looks pretty even in either case.
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Old 12-24-2009, 11:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReeseAllen View Post
Depends on the weather. In good conditions I use one of the big daddy Bayou Classic propane burners. Otherwise I put it on my gas stove and use two burners to heat it symmetrically. The boil usually looks pretty even in either case.

I wonder if it because I use a keg?
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