DIY: Stainless Steel Hop Spider

I’ve seen a few write-ups on DIY hop spiders around and decided to make one myself.  Most of the other builds use a PVC pipe coupler, PVC is not safe at high temp.  A lot of people building them with PVC say it doesn’t touch their wort during boil but I’ve also seen a lot of posts where the PVC has warped from the heat, I ain’t taking any chances.  As a disclaimer, this isn’t my design but I can’t find the post where I first saw it to give credit, probably a post on HBT.

Hop Spider ready to rock

Hop Spider ready to rock

Material and tool list:

  • Stainless steel sink / garbage disposal flange. (I paid $18.00 at Home Depot but found this one on Amazon for $12.78 with free shipping 2-day for Prime members.)
  • 3 ea. stainless steel bolts.  Measure your kettle to see what total diameter you need.  My kettle is 15″ across, I used 3/8 x 8″ bolts
  • 6 ea. stainless steel nuts to fit your bolts
  • Stainless hose clamp big enough to fit the sink flange
  • Reusable hop bag
  • Power Drill
  • Metal punch
  • Metal drill bit, one smaller and one the same size as your bolts
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Pliers
  • Safety glasses so you don’t get metal shavings in your eyeballs

What you need to do:

I always mean to take pics of the process on these things but I forgot to here.  The build on this isn’t that complex though so it should be simple enough.  You can do it, I believe in you.

  • Measure the inner diameter of the flange and mark equal spaces for your three bolts, centered along the height of the flange
  • Using your metal punch, mark a starter spot to drill your holes
  • Drill a hole with the smaller drill bit, if you have a drill press and vise you can likely skip this step, but this made it easier for me
  • After drilling the pilot holes, drill out the holes the same size as your bolts
    • Be careful doing this.  The metal can grab the bit and spin the flange and can hurt you, which sucks.
  • Put a nut on each bolt and screw it about 1/2″ onto the bolt, these nuts will be on the outside of your flange
  • Place the bolt through the hole and adjust the outer nut so just enough bolt is inside the flange to secure the second nut
  • Put another nut on the bolt inside the flange, use the pliers to hold the outside nut and tighten the inside not to secure the bolt to the flange, repeat the last 3 steps for each bolt
  • Take your hop bag and put it through the center of the hose clamp
  • Place this over the bottom of the flange, most of the flanges have a lip at the bottom that works well to keep the clamp from slipping.
  • Measure the depth of your kettle to see how much of the bag you’ll need hanging down, you want a bit of clearance so it’s not setting on the bottom of the pot but you also want to make sure it’s deep enough to stay in the wort when full of hops.
  • Pull the bag through the hose clamp to adjust the length and then tighten the clamp down.
  • You now have a hop spider, go brew some beer.

This setup worked great for me, I used it this weekend to brew an IPA with fresh Simcoe hops.  It held 12 oz of hops with plenty of room to spare.

Hop Spider in action

Hop Spider in action

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2 thoughts on “DIY: Stainless Steel Hop Spider

  1. Pingback: Beervolution – Hop Spider | Fermentation Nation

  2. Pingback: 2014 Brew Year in Review | The Mostly Harmless Brewing Co.

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