Big Mouth Bubbler Depth Charge doubles as a hop spider!!!

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Jun 17, 2018
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The Depth Charge is a product made for Big Mouth Bubbler fermenters for dry hopping or other additions. The fine mesh screen does a great job of keeping the finest of particles out of your beer, making siphoning/raking a much easier process.

The mesh screen highly resembles a hop spider, which got me to thinking whether I could do some simple modifications to make the Depth Charge double as a hop spider in a way that does not jeopardize its use for dry hopping. Below are the steps I took to make it work for my needs. The kettle I am using is a 15 gallon MegaPot 1.2. Depending on availability of tools, my approach may not be all that simple so I welcome comments that suggest alternatives.

1) Drill two holes on opposite sides through the top stainless steel sleeve/cuff. I highly recommend using a drill press for stability purposes. I used a 17/32" drill bit to accommodate the stainless steel rod/plunger that comes with the Depth Charge (original intent for the plunger is to use it to push hops or other additives down into your beer). *Note that the steel is VERY hard. It didn't make me very happy but I had to apply and reapply cutting oil to make it through the steel.

2) Use a metal file or rotary tool to smooth out the holes if there are metal burrs. I find that the harder you push while drilling the more work you will have to do at this stage. I used a buffing machine to buff out the surface scratches created by the file.

3) Use a 7/16" die to cut threads onto the stainless steel rod supplied with the Depth Charge. I cut threads onto approximately 2" of the rod end.

4) Assemble hop spider. Slide metal rod through both holes. On the end of the metal rod, screw on a 7/16" nut, a fender washer, and secure with another 7/16" nut. The metal rod can now be placed across your boil kettle and used just like a hop spider. The plunger that was already present on the metal rod and the fender washer just installed will ensure that the rod doesn't slip off the lip of the kettle.

***Make sure you use appropriate cleaners to remove cutting oil residue before use.