DIY Hop Filter Video

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ScubaSteve

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Has anyone had problems cleaning afterward? I did BM's Centennial Blonde (first beer in a while) this weekend with a few ounces of leaf and it drained beautifully...but then....that's leaf hops. At the end, I noticed quite a bit of crap made it inside the screen. I actually had to disassemble and spray it out....crimping it back together later.....:(
 

Ewalk02

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Well I'm happy to report that my screen had no problem straining out 4 oz. of hop pellets! I was able to get all but about a cup of wort out of my BK. For those of you wandering about clean up, it isn't really an issue for me, I made mine so that I can just slide it off my diptube and spay it out in the sink. A few hops got through the screen but not many. I'm very happy with this DIY project...thanks Bobby!
 

Ewalk02

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Just another update...I brewed up an IPA with 3 oz of whole hops and 2.25 oz of pellet hops. My filter had NO problem with clogging and afterwards I was left with this...

Hops.jpg
 
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this will be added to my list as well.
Bobby - your motto should be "Bobby_M - Eliminating everyone's annoying brew day processes, one video at a time"
 
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Bobby_M

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I was a little disappointed in the fact that I wasn't able to really test this contraption out for so long after I posted the video. I finally put it through its paces and found out what breaks it.

I just did 11 gallons of Janet's Brown from Brewing Classic styles and my hop bill was:

2oz NB pellet at 60min.
2oz NB pellet at 15min.
3oz Cascade leaf at 10min
3oz Cascade leaf at 0min

Ok, so that's 4oz pellet and 6oz leaf and the results? Pretty grim when I tried pumping out with the March at about 50% throttle. However, I may have had some kind of slight air leak in my bulkhead, ballvalve, QD setup because the if not, it should have collapsed my silicone tubing when it clogged. Instead I got air. It didn't make sense. There should be no air under 10 gallons of wort. I did get it to flow some by scraping the pellet hop sludge off the sides of the filter with my spoon, but it was a pain in the butt. I really need to figure out how the input hose was getting air though.
 

Beerrific

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For you guys that are having success with this or a similar build, are you using an immersion chiller or some type of external cooling?


And slightly OT....
Stainless compression fittings are ridiculously expensive retail. The cheapest I've seen so far is Stainless Steel Fittings but the one for 5/8" tube like rigid 1/2" copper pipe is $25.
Anyone have a source for copper compression fittings?
 
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Bobby_M

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If you're not using a plate chiller, there's no reason to use a fine mesh strainer like this. If I cooled with an IC, I'd run a really coarse mesh, just fine enough to stop whole hops from pouring into the fermenter.

OT: I've never seen copper compression fittings.
 

Ryan_PA

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I have had the hopstopper for years and used both a plate chiller, and my current setup is a counterflow. I have never had an issue with the hop strainer. I did however add a stainless tee fitting to the bottom of the pickup tube to displace the pickup from the bottom of the mesh, to the sides. I think that is what really helps my flow. I recirculate while chilling now too, which improves my process a million fold. The wort is crystal clear, and the hopstopper makes for a real nice filter bed during the recirc. It strains out all hop material and break material, which I really think is critical for reusing yeast slurry.
 

mnadamn

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Do you mean trying to silver solder the mesh together? Good question, I have no idea.
Yea, what I am thinking is instead of folding each edge individually, fold them then peel them back so you have the crease. At this point Solder and then fold while still hot so that the solder comes through the mesh while pinching it, then touch up from the outside if needed. This should then give a good deal of support and strength to keep it from crushing.
 

mnadamn

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Stainless steel screen wire can be silver soldered, not easy, but do able. Here is a picture of an inlet screen made for one of the club members keggles Picasa Web Albums - Kevin - Keggles for c.... The screen was soldered using one of the butane micro torches and 55% silver solder with Stay Silv flux.
Thanx! I am thinking that with the larger surface area then what is shown in the picture it would be easier to do. If I can get some stainless mesh from either Home Depot, Menards, or Lowes near my parents place I will hopefully be trying this tomorrow, otherwise, it will have to wait for shipping!
 

kladue

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The method used was to cut a strip that would overlap 1/4" when rolled around a rod, twisted to get curvature, and clamped next to solder joint to keep gap at overlap closed. Apply plenty of flux and apply heat gently and test with solder to start joint, be carefull with heat as the low mass of the wire means the mesh will turn orange hot and oxidize and refuse to take solder.
 
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Bobby_M

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Any silver soldering I've done was only successful when I remembered to heat indirectly and never burn off the flux. It seems that it would be pretty hard to do that on a mesh. Give it a shot!

I'm really baffled that my pump inlet hose was seeing "air" when the screen started providing a lot of resistance. MAYBE there's a tiny leak that pull air under suction, but it's too small to leak liquid under ambient pressure.
 

Ryan_PA

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Bobby, I have had the same issue. I just ensure the compression nuts are super tight when I set up on brew-day. I never had this issue until I started recirculating during chilling. I attribute it to the additional break material on the screen.
 
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Bobby_M

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Well, I also have 3-piece ball valves that I've never serviced so I'm going to take it all apart, apply teflon tape to the NPT connections again and tighten the hell out of the ball valve bolts. I think I'll try testing the leak theory by filling with 3 gallons of water and putting paper towels over the mesh. If the connections are tight, it should collapse the hose but not fill with air.
 

gmarcek

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You could try installing the diptube without the mesh, then plug the diptube with your finger once the pump is primed.
 

Ryan_PA

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Hey Bobby, I just got done a 10G batch with recirc. I used teflon tape on the threads and cranked the be-jesus out of the hopstopper. I also added a hop sock to the return port to grab more cold break. That really did the trick. THe flow never stopped or even slowed. I know it could be annoying to add the hopsock to every brew, but at least for bigger batches, I think it is in my new process.
 

phillc

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Bobby_M: I would like to say thank you for your very informative video. Following your instructions, I made my own hop filter using 30x30 316SS mesh and stainless wire from McMaster Carr. I put it together some time ago, but have been on a brewing hiatus for some time. Well, last night it got put to the test and I am extremely satisfied with the results.

The brew was an IPA with 5oz. of pellet hops in the kettle.

Installed Filter (post-brew. Not completely cleaned up yet):

Coated in hops:

Showing the flow. This was taken seconds after the previous picture:

Setup:


I never saw even the slightest little bit of non-liquid material in the flow to the fermenter. My plate chiller had 0 issues. Cleanup was a breeze because all of the solids remained in the kettle!

I need to re-do my dip tube because it left about a half gallon of wort in the kettle, but that shouldn't be an issue.

As I stated before, extremely satisfied.
 
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Bobby_M

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Hey Bobby, I just got done a 10G batch with recirc. I used teflon tape on the threads and cranked the be-jesus out of the hopstopper. I also added a hop sock to the return port to grab more cold break. That really did the trick. THe flow never stopped or even slowed. I know it could be annoying to add the hopsock to every brew, but at least for bigger batches, I think it is in my new process.
Ryan, I totally missed this post. I'm glad you've had success. I still have to figure out where my siphon break is happening. I'm going to teflon tape the heck out of all my threaded connections and maybe replace the stainless ferrule with a silicone ORING since I won't have to tighten down so hard.
 
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Bobby_M

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Bobby_M: I would like to say thank you for your very informative video. Following your instructions, I made my own hop filter using 30x30 316SS mesh and stainless wire from McMaster Carr. I put it together some time ago, but have been on a brewing hiatus for some time. Well, last night it got put to the test and I am extremely satisfied with the results.

The brew was an IPA with 5oz. of pellet hops in the kettle.

Installed Filter (post-brew. Not completely cleaned up yet):

Coated in hops:

Showing the flow. This was taken seconds after the previous picture:

Setup:


I never saw even the slightest little bit of non-liquid material in the flow to the fermenter. My plate chiller had 0 issues. Cleanup was a breeze because all of the solids remained in the kettle!

I need to re-do my dip tube because it left about a half gallon of wort in the kettle, but that shouldn't be an issue.

As I stated before, extremely satisfied.
Awesome. I thought I was looking at a picture of my own kettle there for a second. That's exactly how I was hoping it performed and was disappointed with mine for a while. It's perfectly clear now that I have an air leak somewhere between my siphon tube and pump that I need to fix. Thanks.
 

phillc

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Ryan, I totally missed this post. I'm glad you've had success. I still have to figure out where my siphon break is happening. I'm going to teflon tape the heck out of all my threaded connections and maybe replace the stainless ferrule with a silicone ORING since I won't have to tighten down so hard.
I purchased a jar of food safe paste on thread sealer. I use a bit of tape and this stuff and NEVER have a leak. I can find out the brand if you like...
 

Whiskey

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Bobby_M, are you using the McMaster Carr QD's that seem to be popular here? When I was testing my system I found that at least my kettle side QD's will pull air from the connection if a clog is formed. There do not leak under pressure, but as soon as a good vacuum is started I get a steady stream of bubbles in my tubing. I also have a three piece valve on my kettle so we may be having the same issue.
 
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Bobby_M

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Yeah, that's what I was afraid of finding. I plan to temporarily plug my siphon tube and pressurize my system to 5psi and do a soap bubble test. I might try replacing the gaskets in the QD with a softer piece of silicone tubing if that's the culprit. I also recently found that my bolts on the 3-piece valve were a bit loose but I hadn't brewed since snugging them. In any case, pulling air in on the input side of the pump in all cases is going to be a problem so I need to work on it.
 

Whiskey

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Yeah, that's what I was afraid of finding. I plan to temporarily plug my siphon tube and pressurize my system to 5psi and do a soap bubble test. I might try replacing the gaskets in the QD with a softer piece of silicone tubing if that's the culprit. I also recently found that my bolts on the 3-piece valve were a bit loose but I hadn't brewed since snugging them. In any case, pulling air in on the input side of the pump in all cases is going to be a problem so I need to work on it.
It appears to only occur when I pull from the kettle, however, I only use the QD's when circulating for my IC and pumping to the fermentor.

I will put the hose nipple back on my kettle, and put a short piece of tubing in between the kettle and the QD to see if I get bubbles before or after.

I have already lost a bit of faith in the MC QD's when I saw how restrictive the right angle adapters were. Pulled those things off and my flow rate appeared to double when whirlpooling.

Anyway, I will post my findings back here.
 

Simphoto02

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Hey all,

I built this sucker and it looks way cool and should work like a champ. I will post the results later, still testing the new brutus 9.5

Anyway I just wanted to post a tip.

Bobby's idea is great. I found one little helpful idea though.

It is something I am sure ALL homebrewers have, simply because we weren't ALWAYS homebrewers....

HEMOSTATS!!!

Use them to hold things together, use the needle to make Several holes and stitch several stitches at a time. Made mine in less time than bobby did on his video.

Great Idea Bobby, can't wait to use it for real.
 

smatson

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Thanks for the great tutorial! So does this mean that you don't whirlpool? It seems to me like you would have a hard time doing so. Or I could be totally wrong. I just put a spigot in my kettle and it seems like I am going to need some sort of filter. Thanks!
 

SankePankey

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That's weird, I was just gonna make exactly this. The height is the important part. Thanks for the primer on sewing stainless.

I chose to go a slightly different route since I was given a bazooka screen. Making it about 4" higher than the kettle base and drain. I am also using a piece of 14 X 14 .025" gauge mesh with it. It is similar to the bazooka screen gauge. Stiff and couldn't as be easily bent like what Bobby's using. Just for anyone's reference.... I too spent about an hour trying to find the right piece that had the rigidity and flow I wanted (and price).

Got it at Smallparts.com. Neat source for small quantities of stuff (owned by Amazon).
 

pjj2ba

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I'm on my second generation homemade hop stopper. My latest version took me all of 2 minutes to make (I already had the dip tube). I took a rectangular sheet of mesh and cut a small X to insert my dip tube through. Then I folded it not quite half and folded the extra over the other side. The dip tube is inserted and the edges are sealed up with a whole bunch of 1.5" SS split rings. I do loose a little surface area, but in exchange I can take it totally apart for easy cleaning. No residue trapped anywhere.
 

bendavanza

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Speaking of Hemostats, I saw a brewer using a large pair to close one end of his silicone tubing to prevent spills and keep the tube full when switching QD's around.
 

ScubaSteve

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:mug::mug:
Any silver soldering I've done was only successful when I remembered to heat indirectly and never burn off the flux. It seems that it would be pretty hard to do that on a mesh. Give it a shot!

I'm really baffled that my pump inlet hose was seeing "air" when the screen started providing a lot of resistance. MAYBE there's a tiny leak that pull air under suction, but it's too small to leak liquid under ambient pressure.
I tried soldering screen with just normal solder (not brazing, so it's alower temp).....any kind of flame will be difficult to keep the screen from overheating. I'd consider trying a soldering iron and maybe just solder at main stress points, etc.
 

DakotaRules

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So Bobby, I'm trying to make the decision on either a plate chiller or making a CFC. I have been reading a ton of information regarding cold break and pellet material in there kettles. I'm using a keggle with a pickup tube and also a hop bag. I'm worried that if I buy a plate chiller that it will clog up due to cold break or hop material. I just read on one of your posts, if I use a plate chiller, I wont need a pre-filter or hopstopper on my pick tube. If I don't need a hopstopper I will go with the plate chiller as i think I can get a deal on it and it would be cheaper than building a CFC.
 

kkohlm

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Not to be a jerk, just a math geek. In a 12" x 12" piece of mesh there is 144 in^2

Great build though! I wonder how it compares in performance to the Blichmann HopBlocker
 

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