DIY Hopback

I migrated from a three vessel brew system to BIAB a few months ago and it’s been an interesting journey. I really like the brew day efficiency of BIAB – less to prepare and clean and a much shorter brew day.Hopback assembly However, there are a few things about BIAB for which I’m actively developing solutions. One of those things is filtering the particulates from my wort prior to chilling. Enter the DIY hopback.

I first got the idea from a youtube video and thought ‘That would make a great filter, too!’ I bought an asparagus steamer from Bed Bath and Beyond, drilled some holes and installed my fittings. Here’s a shot of the finished product.

 

Hardware Specs

Inlet Connection

1 x 1/2″ Hex Nipple
1 x 1/2″ Machined Coupling
2 x 1/2″ Lock Nut
1 x 1/2″ Type B Camlock Coupler
1 x 7/8″ ID Washer
1 x 1/2″ Food Grade Gasket

Outlet Connection

1 x 1/2″ 90* Street Elbow
1 x 1/2″ Lock Nut
1 x 1/2″ Food Grade Gasket
1 x 1/2″ Hex Nipple
1 x 1/2″ Type F Camlock Adapter
1 x 1/2″ 2-Piece Ball Valve
1 x 7/8″ ID Washer

Finished Product

Here are some pics illustrating how this is assembled. Right now, I’m using a very fine mesh hop bag as the filter. It prevents pellets and other particulates from clogging my plate chiller.

HB-outlet2HP-outlet1

HB-outlet3HB-ballvalve HB-inlet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some future plans:

  • I’m replacing the vessel with this one. It’s 2 inches shorter and 1.5 inches wider and doesn’t have handles.
  • Replace the hop bag with a stainless steel fine mesh screen. This will help with cleaning and durability.
  • Weld 1/2″ spuds to the inlet and outlet and ditch the gaskets.
  • Install an electronic flow control sensor to turn my pump on and off at specific fluid levels.

I bought a Crouzet NNR110A fluid controller from Mouser. Here’s the link. Right now, I’m using a remote to turn the pump on and off as the vessel fills but sometimes I’m not quick enough and the vessel empties and the pump runs dry for a moment. This will ensure that there’s always fluid inside the vessel preventing any pump issues.

That’s all I have for now.

Cheers!

  • KM

    so if you are BIAB now, you’re no longer using the HLT and RIMS coil?

    • I’ll use the three vessel system if I brew batches larger than 5 gallons or that have a huge grain bill. The bag is super heavy and hot and the last thing I want to do is knock over my kettle :)