Hop spiders and filters

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jambop

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So I use a Grainfather S40 to make my wort and it is fine does a reasonable job for not a huge outlay money wise. One thing I dislike about it, and I do not think the S40 is unique here, is cleaning out the hops after the wort has been removed to the FV . I use hop flowers rather than pellets and they are messy to clear out of the boiler . So I am thinking hop spider... cost €52 inc p&p not a huge cost. However thinking about it why not just use the grain basket as a hop filter? Simply dump the spent grain after sparging and put the basket back into the boiler and add the hops into it and at the end of the boil and chill, lift the basket to drain the hops... maybe even sparge those hops there is a bit of full strength wort in them o_O . So question ... does anybody use this method and are there any drawbacks I have not foreseen ? I am tempted to give it a go because the hops are completely free to circulate in the wort then unlike being held in a small volume hop spider .
 

Martys1

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I was using a hop spider ,it was also hard to clean, and I’m sure it started rusting,I started using hop bags again. I let them dry out a bit then empty them and rinse them,then again I use pellets.
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jambop

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Yes that particular hop spider looks to have a fine mesh too. I am going to try my next brew out using the grain basket as a hop spider, worth a try. If it works it works but I will have found something out one way or another 😆
 

Martys1

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It’s not even 6 months old, used maybe10x, there are different grades of stainless, I think this is one of the lowest. I spray it with the hose nozzle,really, spent 6,7 minutes on it each time. Going back to bags and I always put7-10 g in flameout directly in the wort,the Irish moss and tablets-1/2 clear it up nice, also let it sit for an hour before transferring to fv
 
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jambop

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It’s not even 6 months old, used maybe10x, there are different grades of stainless, I think this is one of the lowest. I spray it with the hose nozzle,really, spent 6,7 minutes on it each time. Going back to bags and I always put7-10 g in flameout directly in the wort,the Irish moss and tablets-1/2 clear it up nice, also let it sit for an hour before transferring to fv
Have you tried using a cleaner such as chempro on it soak the strainer in a warm solution of it for half an hour ? There are a lot of resins in hops and that may actually be the problem the gum is building up on the mess ? Worth a try if you have some you are right though some stainless is better than others but I would still expect it to be able to deal with beer wort.
 

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It’s not even 6 months old, used maybe10x, there are different grades of stainless, I think this is one of the lowest. I spray it with the hose nozzle,really, spent 6,7 minutes on it each time. Going back to bags and I always put7-10 g in flameout directly in the wort,the Irish moss and tablets-1/2 clear it up nice, also let it sit for an hour before transferring to fv
I use Barkeepers Friend on my hop spider to clean it up along with a brush (about 5-10 minutes, inside, outside, bottom). I think most of what you have on there is from the hops. I also clean in place with PBW for 30 minutes, gets pumped through the system and the hop spider which I use to collect the little bits that get into my plate chiller. You can see the line from the PBW water height.
 

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Deadalus

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@jambop I don't have a Grainfather but I will mention you'll want to get all the grain off the basket because it can lead to astringency and or cloudiness if they are boiled. I don't think it would be significant if you reasonably cleaned off the basket. I pulled up a picture but I can't tell what the basket looks like up close.
 
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jambop

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The grain basket from the Grainfather cleans up very easily so a quick clean up while the boiler is getting up to the boil is no problem. I am hopeful this will work out ok so nothing to lose trying it at least. The bottom of the basket is well perforated so I would hope the boiling action would not be a problem ... find out next brew 😄
 

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The grain basket may work for whole cones, but I would advise against using it with pellets. Each time I've tried with pellets the false bottom has become clogged, meaning the boiling wort ends up boiling over the top of the basket and it takes forever to drain the wort out at the end. I finally realized what was going on when my first attempt at mash hoping led to my first ever stuck sparge.
 
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jambop

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The grain basket may work for whole cones, but I would advise against using it with pellets. Each time I've tried with pellets the false bottom has become clogged, meaning the boiling wort ends up boiling over the top of the basket and it takes forever to drain the wort out at the end. I finally realized what was going on when my first attempt at mash hoping led to my first ever stuck sparge.

I only use hop cones that is why I am giving it a try they are a pain to wash out of the boiler.
 

pfmeyer

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For whole hops, has anyone tried using a bazooka screen in the kettle? I ran a trial with some old hops and plain water (hops were added loose, not bagged) and it seemed to work. But, I wasn’t dealing with trub.
 
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jambop

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For whole hops, has anyone tried using a bazooka screen in the kettle? I ran a trial with some old hops and plain water (hops were added loose, not bagged) and it seemed to work. But, I wasn’t dealing with trub.

I use a bazooka screen in my Grainfather, I always use hop flowers and they are not in a bag, and it works great ... the problem is when you have finished transferring the wort to the FV the boiler has a lot of hops in the bottom which I find a pain to flush out. I would really like to have no hops left in the bottom of the boiler after the transfer.
 

kevin58

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I made a DIY hop bag using a sewer connector, large ring clamp and a $5 paint strainer bag. I had a length of plastic piping laying around and slide that through holes I drilled into the sewer connector. I use this primarily when using whole leaf hops or when I have a recipe calling for a crap ton of dry hops.
 

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NSMikeD

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+1 on the grain basket for whole hops - never done it but I recall the days of pouring the wort and hops through a big strainer into the bucket way back when and that also helped filter the wort.


I have a hop spider for my anvil, but I don't think the wort flows through it enough and if I run anything that a vey slight trickle using the pump help circulation it can clog and overflow. I left the hop spider in the in and used bags my last brew.
 
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jambop

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I made a DIY hop bag using a sewer connector, large ring clamp and a $5 paint strainer bag. I had a length of plastic piping laying around and slide that through holes I drilled into the sewer connector. I use this primarily when using whole leaf hops or when I have a recipe calling for a crap ton of dry hops.

Good idea but I much prefer to let my hops move through the whole volume of wort to improve utilisation otherwise I would just put them in a bag and have done with it. It is hard to say whether homebrewers just try to make things more difficult for themselves . It is said that if you use a hop bag you lose 10 % utilisation so for my style of beer that is on an average brew between 10 and 15 grams ...cost about
90 cents plus a disposable hop bag 50 cents per brew or 5 cents per litre a good hop spider costs 52€ inc p&p but will last a long time... but I would still rather have my hops floating free. :thumbsup:
 

Deadalus

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I made a DIY hop bag using a sewer connector, large ring clamp and a $5 paint strainer bag. I had a length of plastic piping laying around and slide that through holes I drilled into the sewer connector. I use this primarily when using whole leaf hops or when I have a recipe calling for a crap ton of dry hops.
If the sewer connector you have pictured is pvc it can melt/deform. I had one I bought in a lot and was using it just like the one you have pictured and that's what happened to it.
 
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jambop

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@jambop

Have you looked at this video?



That is an entirely different system to the S40 to be honest. The S40 has none of the screens and overflow tube, which is a huge advantage as there is nothing to hinder mashing in and is just far simpler and dare I say better even though it is a much cheaper system. The down side to the S40 is the control unit ... is not very good ;) ... you get what you pay for but it does make good beer .
 

kevin58

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If the sewer connector you have pictured is pvc it can melt/deform. I had one I bought in a lot and was using it just like the one you have pictured and that's what happened to it.
How? it hangs several inches above the boiling wort. I have used that same rig for 12 years now.
 

kevin58

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Good idea but I much prefer to let my hops move through the whole volume of wort to improve utilisation otherwise I would just put them in a bag and have done with it. It is hard to say whether homebrewers just try to make things more difficult for themselves . It is said that if you use a hop bag you lose 10 % utilisation so for my style of beer that is on an average brew between 10 and 15 grams ...cost about
90 cents plus a disposable hop bag 50 cents per brew or 5 cents per litre a good hop spider costs 52€ inc p&p but will last a long time... but I would still rather have my hops floating free. :thumbsup:
Well, in your original post you did say this didn't you? "So I am thinking hop spider". I suggested something that contains the hops like a spider but provides much more room for circulation. Oh well.
 

JoeSpartaNJ

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Good idea but I much prefer to let my hops move through the whole volume of wort to improve utilisation otherwise I would just put them in a bag and have done with it. It is hard to say whether homebrewers just try to make things more difficult for themselves . It is said that if you use a hop bag you lose 10 % utilisation so for my style of beer that is on an average brew between 10 and 15 grams ...cost about
90 cents plus a disposable hop bag 50 cents per brew or 5 cents per litre a good hop spider costs 52€ inc p&p but will last a long time... but I would still rather have my hops floating free. :thumbsup:
5 Gallon paint strainer bags cost $2.50 each and can be used up until they rip.

I have gotten 15 plus brews our of 1 bag.

You also get more fluid flow through the bag than any stainless spider on the market.
 
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jambop

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Well, in your original post you did say this didn't you? "So I am thinking hop spider". I suggested something that contains the hops like a spider but provides much more room for circulation. Oh well.
Selective quoting in the extreme there bud do read on to the very next sentence.
" However thinking about it why not just use the grain basket as a hop filter? Simply dump the spent grain after sparging and put the basket back into the boiler and add the hops into it and at the end of the boil and chill, lift the basket to drain the hops... maybe even sparge those hops there is a bit of full strength wort in them o_O . So question ... does anybody use this method and are there any drawbacks I have not foreseen ? I am tempted to give it a go because the hops are completely free to circulate in the wort then unlike being held in a small volume hop spider ."
now I I would draw your attention to the bits in bold I was not asking for suggestions as such although of course I am always open to good suggestions
 
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Deadalus

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How? it hangs several inches above the boiling wort. I have used that same rig for 12 years now.
Steam? PVC plumbing is only rated to 140F. It can't even be used for hot water, unlike CPVC or pex. Some formulations of polyvinyl chloride have higher limits.

Like happened to people here


 
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kevin58

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Selective quoting in the extreme there bud do read on to the very next sentence.
" However thinking about it why not just use the grain basket as a hop filter? Simply dump the spent grain after sparging and put the basket back into the boiler and add the hops into it and at the end of the boil and chill, lift the basket to drain the hops... maybe even sparge those hops there is a bit of full strength wort in them o_O . So question ... does anybody use this method and are there any drawbacks I have not foreseen ? I am tempted to give it a go because the hops are completely free to circulate in the wort then unlike being held in a small volume hop spider ."
now I I would draw your attention to the bits in bold I was not asking for suggestions as such although of course I am always open to good suggestions
Yes it is entirely do-able to dump the grain from your malt pipe and use that as a big spider. The hop bag I showed is made from a paint strainer bag made for a five gallon bucket and it will allow the hops to circulate nearly as much.
 

JoeSpartaNJ

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Yes it is entirely do-able to dump the grain from your malt pipe and use that as a big spider. The hop bag I showed is made from a paint strainer bag made for a five gallon bucket and it will allow the hops to circulate nearly as much.

Another thing to add......When I was brewing on my outdoor system (10 gallon kettle), I used the same thing above. Started with PVC, then bought a stainless steel ring.

Now with the Anvil, the paint strainer bag will almost fit over the top. I just secure it to the top of the boiler with 3 binder clips.

All low grade engineering......and cheap
 

Grizwold1

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Another thing to add......When I was brewing on my outdoor system (10 gallon kettle), I used the same thing above. Started with PVC, then bought a stainless steel ring.

Now with the Anvil, the paint strainer bag will almost fit over the top. I just secure it to the top of the boiler with 3 binder clips.

All low grade engineering......and cheap

Exactly what I use. Cheap, effective and readily available. Fits perfectly over rim of Anvil 6.5
 
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jambop

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For the moment I will stick with what actually comes with the system, as far as I can see there is no reason why the hops cannot boil in the grain basket but time will tell . I guess the real thing is that I use hop flowers rather than pellets which are much finer and would probably go through the perforations in the basket whereas a hop spider would hold them ? Find out on Friday which is a brew day.
 

toxdoc49

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Good idea but I much prefer to let my hops move through the whole volume of wort to improve utilisation otherwise I would just put them in a bag and have done with it. It is hard to say whether homebrewers just try to make things more difficult for themselves . It is said that if you use a hop bag you lose 10 % utilisation so for my style of beer that is on an average brew between 10 and 15 grams ...cost about
90 cents plus a disposable hop bag 50 cents per brew or 5 cents per litre a good hop spider costs 52€ inc p&p but will last a long time... but I would still rather have my hops floating free. :thumbsup:
I have a recipe that calls for straining the wort through the hops (pellets), rather than adding during the boil. I was planning to use a hop strainer (muslin) bag, but wondered if the hop pellets would simply dissolve and thus negate the point of straining the wort through them. I don't have a hop spider. I need to avoid bitterness in the finished beer so cannot just add the hops to the boil. Any ideas/suggestions I would appreciate.
 

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Moderator's Note:
The OP has started a new thread on his findings on how well this worked:
 
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