I’ve tried various methods of adding hops to my boil kettle during the course of the last several years. When I first started brewing, I was brewing extract beers. With this process, I used lots of hop pellets. With the pellets came the hop bag. Some of the beers required two or three separate hops bags depending on the style and additions.
Soon after switching to all grain brewing I faced a new challenge. I really enjoy using leaf hops for brewing. I also enjoy letting them float in the boil unrestricted. The problem comes when it is time to transfer the cooled wort into the fermentor. I don’t want the hop debris making there way into the fermentor. I found several solutions to work around this issue but I was still faced with lots of loose hops to clean out of my boil kettle at the end of the brew day.
I finally found the answer after reading one of my favorite home brew magazines. It is called the hop spider. For whatever reason(s) you have decided to try the hop spider, you will find this build very simple and inexpensive. The hop spider allows you to make whatever additions you want to make at whatever time you want to make them. You can do all of this by using only one strainer bag. This is a very simple process. Once the boil is over and its time to remove the hops, You simply remove the hop spider and attached strainer bag. This is incredibly easy to use.
- One 4 inch to 3 inch PVC reducing coupling
- One nylon paint staining bag or other hop bag
- Three 1/4″ All Thread” with 6 each 1/4″ x 20 nuts and 3 each 1/4″ wing nuts
- One stainless steel hose clamp that will fit the 3 inch end of the coupling
- Power drill with a 1/4″ drill bit
Start by drilling three 1/4″ evenly spaced holes into the top (4″ side) of the reducer coupling
Thread one of the 1/4″ nuts approximately 1/2″ onto the “all thread”. Repeat this for all three threads.
Place the all thread into the coupling as shown. Thread a 1/4″ x 20 nut onto the all thread on the inside of the coupling to hold the all thread securely in place. Complete this process for all three threads.
You should now have something that looks like the picture above.
Gently place the strainer bag over the outer edges of the coupling. Once in place, secure the strainer by using the stainless steel hose clamp.
The wing nuts are used to keep the hop spider in place. Simply thread the wing nuts onto the all thread until they line up with the edge of your kettle.
You should now have a completed hop spider. Enjoy!