Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Boil Pot Hop filter, $20 in 20 minutes

This quick and easy project is useful for keeping hop gunk out of your beer, but still getting high hop utilization.
It’s essentially a mesh bag that is suspended into the boil kettle and supported by rods that extend over the side of the kettle. A 4" PVC coupler provides a hole where you can drop in your hops.
Builds of these contraptions are all over the internet, pick and choose which method works best for you. I name a few different ways to do it.
I don’t know why it took me so long to get around to because it is really simple to make.

The original design called for using threaded rod, but i have some nice aluminum angle iron I plan on using.
  • 4″ PVC coupler. $2.01
  • Hose clamp to fit the 4″ coupler $1.85
  • Stainless steel L brackets, 4 pack $4.57 (my choice to use this)
  • 5 gallon paint strainer bag, 2 pack $3.97
Total cost, minus your choice of side supports, is $12.40.

The only tools used was a drill for the holes, a screwdriver for tightening the hose clamp.

How to Make it:

Draw a circle around the exterior of the coupler onto a piece of paper. Mark all 4 sides with a pen and then transfer it to the coupler.

Drill 4 holes in the middle of the coupler. I measured and marked the 4 holes so that they were equal distance from each other, also in the middle equal space between top and bottom.

Insert the threaded rods and attach nuts and washers on the outside and inside of the coupler... (If you are using the threaded rod.)

Attach the mesh bag to the coupler with the hose clamp. Adjust the length so it doesn't sag on the bottom of your pot too much.

That’s it! Pretty easy and like the title says, it only took 20 minutes to make. My version using the aluminum angle took a few more tools and about 45 minutes, but I like it. 

How did it do?

It kept all of the hops nice and contained and at the same time they floated more freely than they would in a hop bag. You will probably need to remove it for a second in order to use your immersion chiller. If you use a counter flow or plate chiller, just leave it in place until your wort is cooled down. 
I see myself using this over hop bags, specially for a recipe that calls for a lot of hops. 
This is defiantly worth trying out if your hop filter in the boil pot keeps getting clogged, like my scrubber at the bottom of my pot around the pick up tube... That thing clogs fast... Not anymore!

Found this reference pic online while doing a google search.
With using the rods.

My version using the aluminum angle and L brackets.

Hop bag in action.

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