Hoppy beers have a way to rush a feeling of deliciousness into your mind before you even drink the beer… and many home brewers or craft beer drinkers seem to have gained interest in craft beer after coming across a beer like an IPA…

Yes, hops are delicious… I love the aroma and flavor of hops…

… but hops can throw tantrums every now and then, which is why I’ve decided to build a hop filter… (also known as a hop spider)

One thing I kept hearing was that ‘clear wort in equals clear wort out’… a theory that mainly believed wort wouldn’t clear much if it’s already cloudy going into the fermentor…

Now in my experience, I’ve had really cloudy wort (from hops), but given enough conditioning time and low temperatures, the beer clears up naturally… so that theory is not exactly one I am concerned with much…

What I am concerned with is taste…

I leave most of the hop debris in the kettle, but some hops may make their way into the fermentor… it normally isn’t a quantity that would concern me and I haven’t seen many noticeable effects from that… but taking a closer look, there may be room for improvement…

See, one thing I’ve become more interested in is late hopping… increasing the amount of hops, and reducing the boiling time of the hops…

I tried this with my last IPA, and I purposely left out most aroma hops to get a good feel for what the effects are from boiling hops only 30 minutes or less…

Here’s what I found…

The beer was bitter… hoppy bitter, and it was a damn smooth bitterness… actually surprised at how good that bitterness felt…

and now that I’ve got a good base beer to work with, I want to add more hops…

However, more hops in the kettle can start causing problems when I’m trying to transfer the beer… Every now and then my valve gets clogged… so I want to keep that from happening…

Most importantly though, when trying to nail down a smooth bitterness, other components of beer will either help you or bury your beer with a subtle hop astringency that sometimes creeps into your beer…

This seems to happen mostly with beers with higher amounts of aroma or late hops… IPAs are most prone to this…

… and the subtle hop astringency I’m describing I believe comes from hops getting into the fermentor and leaching out tannins…

You can’t really taste this… but it adds a little something to the mouthfeel that while it’s not bad, it seems to take away from the beer…

Again, it’s very subtle and most people wouldn’t even notice the difference… but it’s always the little details that make most of the improvements in our beers…

Stay tuned to see how good is this hop filter at keeping hops in the kettle and out of the fermentor, and the results I get from that…

Parts Used
5 Gallon Nylon Paint Strainer Bag ($3.97)
4″ ABS Coupling/PVC joint ($3.53)
Hose Clamp ($1.93)
3 1/4″ x 12″ Threaded Rods ($2.94)
3 1/4″ Lock washers ($0.45)
3 1/4″ Flat washers ($0.33)
9 1/4″ Hex Nuts ($0.54)
Total $13.55 with tax (after 10% military discount at Home Depot)

Tools Needed
Drill with 1/4″ drill bit
2 Clamps

This Hop Filter worked well, but I made a slight variation of it that I like a little better… here’s the review of the hop spider:

Cheers!


    2 replies to "How to Build a Hop Filter"

    • Robin Phillips

      Do you have a list and pictures of the equipment that you use?

      • Jorge

        I don’t have pictures, but here’s the list:

        Parts Used
        5 Gallon Nylon Paint Strainer Bag ($3.97)
        4″ ABS Coupling/PVC joint ($3.53)
        Hose Clamp ($1.93)
        3 1/4″ x 12″ Threaded Rods ($2.94)
        3 1/4″ Lock washers ($0.45)
        3 1/4″ Flat washers ($0.33)
        9 1/4″ Hex Nuts ($0.54)
        Total $13.55 with tax (after 10% military discount at Home Depot)

        Tools Needed
        Drill with 1/4″ drill bit
        2 Clamps

        Also, note that the hop filter I use now is just an aluminum vent coupler, a hose clamp, paint strainer bag, clothes hanger hook and two screws to put it all together…

        Cheers!

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