In 7 ways to filter your hops when homebrewing, I wrote about the paint strainer bag hop filter. This gadget 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 PVC coupler provides a hole where you can drop in your hops.
Builds of these contraptions are all over the internet, and one of my readers, Chris, even built one shortly after that post and shared pictures down in the comments. I liked his design so I based mine off of his.
Time for me to step up to the plate.
I don't know why it took me so long to get around to because it is really simple to make.
- 3/8″ Threaded rods. 3 of these. ($3.72)
- 3/8″ Nuts and washers for connecting the rods to the PVC coupler. The section that had the rods also had a 6 pack of these – perfect for the inside and outside of 3 rods. ($1.97)
- 4″ PVC coupler. ($1.92)
- Hose clamp to fit the 4″ coupler ($2.00)
- 3/8″ spade bit ($3.18)
- 5 gallon paint strainer bag ($2.97)
Total Cost = $15.76 before tax
The only tools I used were a drill for the holes, a screwdriver for tightening the hose clamp, and a wood clamp for securing the coupler while I was drilling the holes.
How to Make it
- Drill 3 holes in the middle of the coupler. I measured and marked the 3 holes so that they were equal distance from each other. I then clamped the coupler to a wooden stand because the spade bit tends to bite and pull. A wooden block gave me a large surface for the top of the clamp.
- Insert the threaded rods and attach nuts and washers on the outside and inside of the coupler.
- Attach the mesh bag to the coupler with the hose clamp.
That's it! Pretty easy and like the title says, it only took 15 minutes to make.
How did it work out?
It worked great. It kept all of my hops nice and contained and at the same time they floated more freely than they would in a hop bag. The one part that wasn't so smooth was when I had to add my immersion chiller. The filter actually fits inside the coils, so I just removed the filter for a second, added the chiller, then put the filter back.
For recipes that don't require a lot of hops I will probably keep tossing them in loose, but this will really come in handy with my IPAs and other highly hopped beers where the gunk is really a nuisance. If only I had this thing for my Pliny the Elder Clone…
For $15 and 15 minutes of labor this thing is certainly worth trying out.