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29Savoy

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I'm shopping for a hop spider to fit an 8gal brewpot and would appreciate any advice / recommendations on a brand and source. I think I'd like to have one that hangs on the side of the pot so I can make additions throughout the boil and not have to handle overly hot equipment. But I'm open to design to meet the function. I've noticed a lot of ads for hop spiders from Wish in my Google searches. I'm suspicious when they come in at half of many competitors. So I was wondering if anyone has used hop spider products bought from Wish. Thanks.
 

Jag75

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Not from wish . Ive used mine a few times but its more of a pain . If you brew a real hoppy beer grab a snickers bar because you ain't going anywhere soon.

It drains very slow and its a pain to clean. Hop bags are much easier imo. As for trusting wish , you never know if those products contain lead. I'd pay a bit more to be on the safe side.
 

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when I used mine, the screen would clog/clot up with break material, the kettle would be boiling, and the stuff in the hop spider would be still, I had to question how well it was actually working, the same with a hop bag.

Now I just toss them in, whirlpool and if some get into the fermenter, they will settle out with the yeast.

Mine has been used a half dozen times or so, and now sits unused, for several years now. It is the cone shaped type that hangs on the edge of the kettle, roughly 8 inches at the top and 3-4 inches at the bottom, and like Jag75 said, drains really slow. So slow, that by the time the kettle has drained, there is still wort in the hop spider.
 

Snuffy

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I have a love/hate relationship with my hop spiders. If I am adding lots of hops or if I will be pumping the wort, I use them. I have a standard top hanger one that is great for 5 gal batches and an adjustable one I can use lower in the kettle for small batches. Both are cylinder shaped and quite large. I stir inside the spiders and lift them up and set them down again a few times during the boil to kinda change out the wort inside. They do suck to drain but the resulting minimally sludged wort is a beautiful thing.

id much rather just toss them in but you lose more wort to sludge. It’s a trade off. Both methods provide plenty of hop presence in the beer IMO.

I bought the adjustable one fro AIH, I think, for about 30 bucks. The other one i got as a bonus when buying an electric system from an individual. They’re hot to handle, funky to clean and and drain slow, but I still use them unless I’m just not in the mood.
 
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Golddiggie

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I picked up this one earlier this year and modified it to work in my keggle. I, basically, had the ring that I was using for the nylon mesh bag welded to the top of that filter. That extended it up and also allowed me to use the legs that were part of the old spider to keep it in position.

I'm looking to get a larger one from Utah Biodiesel Supply (Custom Metal Filter Fabrication - Stainless Steel Filters, Lids, Screens, Towers, You Name It, We Can Build It! - Utah Biodiesel Supply) at some point. Basically, when I need to add more hops than my current one can handle. I was able to get 18oz into it without issue in a previous brewing (about 10 gallons post boil volume). I'm holding off a bit more until I've moved and see if I'm going to go to a new system. If I stick with what I have, I'll have to decide. My decision will depend on the AA% of the next batch of hops I buy.

I've not had drain issues with mine. Even when I used 18oz of pellet hops in it. Still, I'm looking at getting one that's about 10" in diameter next (extending down to my pickup tube in the keggle). That will give me more hop capacity in that vessel.
 

twd000

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I wonder if it would be possible to fabricate a hop spider that essentially occupies 90% of the boil kettle volume? Like a BIAB basket made of fine mesh . Then the wort volume is mostly inside the basket, interacting with the floating hops. Then post-boil, rack or drain the wort and let the basket drain was you go.
 

Dr_Jeff

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I wonder if it would be possible to fabricate a hop spider that essentially occupies 90% of the boil kettle volume? Like a BIAB basket made of fine mesh . Then the wort volume is mostly inside the basket, interacting with the floating hops. Then post-boil, rack or drain the wort and let the basket drain was you go.
or just use a false bottom in your kettle
 

twd000

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or just use a false bottom in your kettle

yeah, same idea. I have a false bottom for my mash tun, but the holes are too big. Is there a false bottom for a keggle that has the fine mesh screen to filter out pellet hop particles?
 

slayer021175666

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Wish is legit as far as, it is not a "scam" site. That doesn't mean that the products are actually up to snuff though and, you'll be waiting an ion to get shipping from China.
I bought this POS though and it was no better. It rusted right up within a few brews. Stainless, my ass. Since a good %90 of all brewing equipment comes from China, you are taking a chance whomever you buy from. I myself, like paint strainer bags and a stainless garbage disposal flange.
 
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IslandLizard

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[Edits] I use fairly large fine mesh hop bags, tied to a kettle handle. They get massaged with a brew spoon or a wooden paddle and lifted and drained repeatedly. Good extraction from that, because they can swim freely inside the bags, and the wort is refreshed often.

If I were to experiment with a hop basket I'd probably use one with a larger mesh opening, like 600 microns or even a bit more to prevent clogging and offer good permeability.
 
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Bramling Cross

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I wonder if it would be possible to fabricate a hop spider that essentially occupies 90% of the boil kettle volume? Like a BIAB basket made of fine mesh . Then the wort volume is mostly inside the basket, interacting with the floating hops. Then post-boil, rack or drain the wort and let the basket drain was you go.

Yes, although 40% is a more attainable number.

I made something similar to this several years ago and it works quite well. It's far cheaper than the commercially available units, it has a far larger surface area, squeezing your wort out of your hops at the end of the boil/whirlpool is simple and quick to do with the aid of a pair of tongs, and I'm assuming it must be far easier to clean.

I've also toyed with the idea of removing the carriage bolts and simply C-clamping the reducer to the side of my kettle. This will place it in the highest velocity portion of the whirlpool, but the spider works well enough as it is, so the C-clamp idea is likely a solution in search of a problem.
 

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For those that use hop bags, do you weigh them down ? And if so, what do you use ?
 

bwible

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Wish is legit as far as, it is not a "scam" site. That doesn't mean that the products are actually up to snuff though and, you'll be waiting an ion to get shipping from China.
I bought this POS though and it was no better. It rusted right up within a few brews. Stainless, my ass. Since a good %90 of all brewing equipment comes from China, you are taking a chance whomever you buy from. I myself, like paint strainer bags and a stainless garbage disposal flange.
I have a couple of these but never even thought of putting one in the boil. I use them for dry hopping. In a big mouth fermenter or directly in a keg. Several batches and mine are not rusted so far. Yeah, I think they did come from China.
 

IslandLizard

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I wonder if it would be possible to fabricate a hop spider that essentially occupies 90% of the boil kettle volume? Like a BIAB basket made of fine mesh . Then the wort volume is mostly inside the basket, interacting with the floating hops. Then post-boil, rack or drain the wort and let the basket drain was you go.
[Edits] Someone tried that a few years ago. The problem was (is), the wort inside the bucket basket won't boil. But the wort underneath and around the basket will, gushing out the sides. I don't know what the actual temperature of the wort inside a basket is. The larger the diameter, the lower the temp inside the basket, as the temperature inside relies on permeation and conduction instead of convection, the most powerful of all heat transfers.

Also, with decreased temps inside the basket, hop utilization (bittering) will be reduced, among other slowed down reactions.

So, we need to find a keen balance between hop basket and kettle size, and concentrate on permeability in and out, as well as a form of agitation inside the basket, or the hops are merely steeped.
 
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JSmetalcraft

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I been using one of the 6x14 inch spiders. Really not perfect or needs to be 6-8 x18 for a 20 gallon pot and 10g batch. Not that the hops will not fit, but the spider don't sit down in the pot far enough or needs to be made adjustable. I guess as a fabricator with shop it would be just a matter of a little time to modify. I have no problems with the draining part. Turn on side and shake after using a spoon to swirl the spent hops to get most out.

With all that I have started to have a love/hate with the spider. I only have one 5 gallon batch as a test, but I bought the 4" spider. I dumped the hops in the kettle. The 4" spider sits inside the big mouth bubbler. I then just drain the wort through the spider and into the fermenter. I had to stop once to clean or dump out the collected hops. I had 4.5 oz hops in this batch. This week I will try a 10 gallon batch and see how well the spider works as a filter and if it becomes a better method for me.
 

Don_Coyote

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[Edits] Someone tried that a few years ago. The problem was (is), the wort inside the bucket basket won't boil. But the wort underneath and around the basket will, gushing out the sides. I don't know what the actual temperature of the wort inside a basket is. The larger the diameter, the lower the temp inside the basket, as the temperature inside relies on permeation and conduction instead of convection, the most powerful of all heat transfers.

Also, with decreased temps inside the basket, hop utilization (bittering) will be reduced, among other slowed down reactions.

So, we need to find a keen balance between hop basket and kettle size, and concentrate on permeability in and out, as well as a form of agitation inside the basket, or the hops are merely steeped.
Why do the baskets have the legs on them? If the basket was on the bottom wouldn't it heat up with it's contents at the same rate as the kettle?
 

Don_Coyote

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Not from wish . Ive used mine a few times but its more of a pain . If you brew a real hoppy beer grab a snickers bar because you ain't going anywhere soon.

It drains very slow and its a pain to clean. Hop bags are much easier imo. As for trusting wish , you never know if those products contain lead. I'd pay a bit more to be on the safe side.
Does using lead in items like this save money or time for the manufacturer? Is there a way for the consumer to easily test for it?
 

IslandLizard

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Why do the baskets have the legs on them? If the basket was on the bottom wouldn't it heat up with it's contents at the same rate as the kettle?
A. To allow clearance of the valve, etc.
B. To prevent scorching

Maybe the wort would get hotter if the basket were lying flat on the bottom, making good contact. I still doubt the wort would boil inside the basket the same way as if it were in a kettle, without a basket.
 

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I do a 6 x 14 for 5 gallons, with a 400 micron mesh. I used to use one that was both smaller and finer. I had issues with it but since going to the bigger one no problems at all. The more open mesh allows some flow to be seen through it and the size is plenty. I give it a lift and shake every once in a while during a boil, just in case it helps, but I've not noticed any reduction in hops flavor with it.

I don't whirlpool, so it helps, I see less trub for sure. If I WP'd I'm sure I'd just skip it. I like keeping it out, personal opinion. I'm not a fanatic about it, but if it's this easy I do it.

It's also a good stainer for the wort out of the mash tun when I'm too lazy to do a proper vorlauf.
 

IslandLizard

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Does using lead in items like this save money or time for the manufacturer? Is there a way for the consumer to easily test for it?
I don't know if there's lead in those Chinese-made hop/steep baskets. There shouldn't be, as there is no need for using lead anywhere, it doesn't contain any brass and it's not soldered, it's welded.
They're typically made out of stainless steel flat bar, stainless mesh, and welded together.
 

Jag75

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Does using lead in items like this save money or time for the manufacturer? Is there a way for the consumer to easily test for it?
I can't answer that . Things made in other countries don't have the regulations we have here . It may or may not contain lead . Personally I hate the hop spider. It makes a better basket to hold some of my hop bags and stainless washers . Thats just me though.
 

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It could indeed contain lead but I don't see it. As far as I know it's not something that is normally in steel or the other SS elements to start with, and so it wouldn't need to be removed (where they could do a crappy job and leave it behind). And it's not normally added for any reason at all.

Never say never, but I find it unlikely to be a concern.
 

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A. To allow clearance of the valve, etc.
B. To prevent scorching

Maybe the wort would get hotter if the basket were lying flat on the bottom, making good contact. I still doubt the wort would boil inside the basket the same way as if it were in a kettle, without a basket.
A: So no concern in a plain kettle, and only needed otherwise if your basket is pretty much an exact match for the ID of the valved kettle (in which case you couldn't use a thermometer port with or without the legs).
B: Only relevant when used as a basket for mashing and needing to apply direct heat to control temp.

So significant amounts of heat are going to be conducted out to and up the walls of the kettle as opposed to into the strips of metal of the basket that are in contact, plus into the fluid and through the mesh ~2mm away from the bottom?

I just bought one of these and haven't tried it out yet. I'm thinking I should just go ahead and cut the legs off so it will fit in my kettle with the lid on and I don't need to find a new kettle for mashing. It should also then work somewhat better as a hop filter, depending on how efficient that heat transfer is...
 
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IslandLizard

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For those that use hop bags, do you weigh them down ? And if so, what do you use ?
I weigh the nylon hop bags down with a handful of glass marbles. They're tied down on a handle, so they don't lie on the bottom, avoiding potential scorching. They still move and I agitate them too, as well as draining, massaging, squeezing.
 

Don_Coyote

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Maybe try boiling some water with the legs still on before you cut them off. That gives you something to compare to.

Keep us posted, please.
As another twist on B. above, I'm thinking if the 300 microns is restricting fluid flow, those tiny pockets between the kettle and the mesh created by the thickness of the basket frame are at risk for scorching. I can always hope for a psuedo-decoction effect I guess. A test run with the legs on wouldn't indicate this, but I'll do it just to see what it looks like.

Any idea about how stainless 304 reacts to damage, is it homogenous? Will it be good to go after grinding the legs off or would there be newly exposed layers of metal needing some sort of treatment?
 

szap

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For those that use hop bags, do you weigh them down ? And if so, what do you use ?
Putting hop bags in the boil they will sink (they're bad to block the output valve). Will float in dry hop.
 

szap

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Why do the baskets have the legs on them? If the basket was on the bottom wouldn't it heat up with it's contents at the same rate as the kettle?
I put my hop spider flat on the bottom of a kettle using propane burner and it scorched badly as a matter of fact it scorched bad enough that I have not been able to get it totally removed from my kettle.
 

Don_Coyote

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I put my hop spider flat on the bottom of a kettle using propane burner and it scorched badly as a matter of fact it scorched bad enough that I have not been able to get it totally removed from my kettle.
With the widespread bastardization of the term 'hop spider', not sure what you are talking about. I'm guessing this isn't the bag from a 'proper' hop spider. Is it one of the smaller mesh tubes or a large mesh basket like Beermeister32 posted above? Was the wort around the bottom overheated and scorched onto the kettle?
 

szap

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With the widespread bastardization of the term 'hop spider', not sure what you are talking about. I'm guessing this isn't the bag from a 'proper' hop spider. Is it one of the smaller mesh tubes or a large mesh basket like Beermeister32 posted above? Was the wort around the bottom overheated and scorched onto the kettle?
It is thistypehttps://www.wish.com/product/5b6d06c0387408788c3b1430?from_ad=goog_shopping&_display_country_code=US&_force_currency_code=USD&pid=googleadwords_int&c=%7BcampaignId%7D&ad_cid=5b6d06c0387408788c3b1430&ad_cc=US&ad_lang=EN&ad_curr=USD&ad_price=8.99&campaign_id=6948791183&gclid=CjwKCAiAuoqABhAsEiwAdSkVVHelJtMrXXD9AcMjTjEzkEfwM_jTvMrz9FDcB1dvo5H9HlxqZfOkuhoCILsQAvD_BwE&hide_login_modal=true&share=mobileweb
With the widespread bastardization of the term 'hop spider', not sure what you are talking about. I'm guessing this isn't the bag from a 'proper' hop spider. Is it one of the smaller mesh tubes or a large mesh basket like Beermeister32 posted above? Was the wort around the bottom overheated and scorched onto the kettle?
It is the mesh basket that hangs on the side of the brew pot and yes, it did overheat the wort.
 

Don_Coyote

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It is thistypehttps://www.wish.com/product/5b6d06c0387408788c3b1430?from_ad=goog_shopping&_display_country_code=US&_force_currency_code=USD&pid=googleadwords_int&c=%7BcampaignId%7D&ad_cid=5b6d06c0387408788c3b1430&ad_cc=US&ad_lang=EN&ad_curr=USD&ad_price=8.99&campaign_id=6948791183&gclid=CjwKCAiAuoqABhAsEiwAdSkVVHelJtMrXXD9AcMjTjEzkEfwM_jTvMrz9FDcB1dvo5H9HlxqZfOkuhoCILsQAvD_BwE&hide_login_modal=true&share=mobileweb

It is the mesh basket that hangs on the side of the brew pot and yes, it did overheat the wort.
That site is a worse mess than Amazon- some of the pics show one with hooks at the top, others show no hooks but a screw on cap. How do you know what you are ordering? Sounds like you got the first kind.
Any idea what kind of mesh it is? When I've looked around most have used 300 microns, a few 400. Sounds like 600 might be good in this application if flow is producing boil issues. I might just try a whole batch with the legs before considering removal...
 

szap

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This is the one I have. I thought I had removed the first link before posting but apparently not.

 

day_trippr

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I put my hop spider flat on the bottom of a kettle using propane burner and it scorched badly as a matter of fact it scorched bad enough that I have not been able to get it totally removed from my kettle.
I did the same thing once, and indeed it left a matching scorche. I was able to get it all off but it took time and effort. Not gonna do that again...

Cheers!
 

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A 5 gallon paint strainer bag works good for me. I tie a string around the top and hang it from the pot handle. I use the stir spoon to press the bag against the side of the pot to get the wort out when it's time to pull the bag.
 

belowi

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I put my hop spider flat on the bottom of a kettle using propane burner and it scorched badly as a matter of fact it scorched bad enough that I have not been able to get it totally removed from my kettle.
Arrgh, I just did this a couple weeks ago, wish I’d seen this thread. I have the same mesh filter you have, 6”x14” stainless one that hangs on the side of the kettle. I didn’t feel like it was getting the amount of circulation I wanted from the boiling wort for a 5 gal batch so I put it on the bottom of the kettle for about 20 minutes with the propane burner on. Bad idea. After draining the kettle there was a perfect scorched circle on the bottom. I forgot about it after the brew day and when I tasted the finished beer this weekend I thought there was a funny taste but couldn’t place it. My wife took one sip and made a face and said it tasted burnt, like burned popcorn. No mystery there! But I wonder if it is scorched hops or malt taste (or both). Either way its pretty gross. The beer was also quite a bit darker than another I had just brewed with the same malt bill. Between this experience and the almost complete absence of hop flavor and aroma in the beers when I’ve used it for late additions I think the mesh filter is going away for a while.
 
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