Dry hopper

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Buffers brewery

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Some of you might remember a recent post of mine in my brew day thread....

FE50BECC-2270-4134-8573-7727FA4C6F6E.jpeg

..where my dry hopper gadget failed to dispense half the hops for my dry hopping.
Well, undeterred I’ve pressed on and following the purchase of a new toy (3D printer! clapa) I’ve been able to make a MK2 version that I have high hopes for. You might find this video entertaining (and look out for it in my brew day posts to see if it worksashock1 )!

 
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crowcrow

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Love it! Have you used in anger yet?

Even though this keeps it away from the damp directly, do you find the hops gets damp just from the environment??
Do you start the fermentation vessel off with a blast of co2 at the start before the yeast gets going?
 

DocAnna

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Cool :cool: a plastic spring clapa. I gave up with my last couple of dry hops and just opened the lid and added them then flushed CO2 into the headspace a couple of times releasing the pressure each time. There is though a certain elegance to your custom built dry hopper!
 

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Love it! Have you used in anger yet?

Even though this keeps it away from the damp directly, do you find the hops gets damp just from the environment??
Do you start the fermentation vessel off with a blast of co2 at the start before the yeast gets going?
Not yet. It’s due to be tested out next brew in a couple of weeks when my fridge is freed up. The hops do get damp during fermentation so I’m going to line the hopper with silicone baking sheet to stop the hops sticking. Won’t add any CO2 will let the fermentation do that.
 

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Cool :cool: a plastic spring clapa. I gave up with my last couple of dry hops and just opened the lid and added them then flushed CO2 into the headspace a couple of times releasing the pressure each time. There is though a certain elegance to your custom built dry hopper!
The plastic spring is cool athumb.. . Got a design for a dry hopper for an All Rounder. It kind of works but sadly 3D printed parts are porous and won’t hold pressure:confused.:
 

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Cool :cool: a plastic spring clapa. I gave up with my last couple of dry hops and just opened the lid and added them then flushed CO2 into the headspace a couple of times releasing the pressure each time. There is though a certain elegance to your custom built dry hopper!

Absolutely this. I love elegant solutions, but sometimes you can absolutely frazzle yourself trying to reinvent the wheel. I'm an "open lid, and bang them in and flush with CO2" kinda guy.
 

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There were 2 reasons for creating this piece of brewing gadgetry. First, the lids on my fermenters are a tight fit and I always struggle to get them off ashock1 . Second, having started to harvest CO2 during fermentation, taking the lid off would compromise the quality of the gas collected after dry hopping.
Oh, and third, I like creating unnecessary complicated gadgets! clapa
 

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So, gave the MKII dry hopper a run with my last brew, an NEIPA. Discovered the hop bucket was a little small for the hop quantity I needed (250 grms) but I managed to get 200 grm of pellets in....just
IMG_20210821_165648965.jpg

When it came to dry hop time it seemed to work OK as after transferring the beer to my PB inspection of the dry hopper showed the hops had been dispensed clapa
IMG_20210906_185143431.jpg

Just need to make MKIII now with a bigger bucket to take 250 grm of pellets comfortably. Probably go for 2 springs as well while I'm at it!
 

DocAnna

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That looks to have worked flawlessly 🥳 and good to see that the plastic spring worked as expected. I've no experience with 3D printed things, but I was wondering if there was any issue with degassing of the plastics with increased brittleness over time that would affect the spring? As a prototype this is now a genuinely useful bit of kit 👏. As for capacity - you could always just reduce the size of the batch, after all size isn't everything 🙈.
 

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The plastic I used for the whole prototype was PETG which is what's used for coke bottles. The spring is made up of 0.2mm layers of 0.4mm diameter filament extruded in a continuous spiral path so no breaks to create weak spots. UV is the biggest killer of plastic and my hopper is kept indoors or in FB away from direct sunlight.
As for your suggestion to reduce, yes, REDUCE the batch size!!!????? asad. I thought you understood me @DocAnna
aheadbutt
 

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MkIII dry hopper completed. Should easily accommodate 250 grm of hop pellets athumb... Double sprung as well! :laugh8:
IMG_20210915_155137901.jpg

IMG_20210915_155116244.jpg

Just got to wait for another NEIPA brew day to come along.
 

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That gaget looks professionally made, it must have cost a fortune for a firm to tool up and make such.
How can the ordinary 'man in the street' make one?
 

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Not sure I'd be comfortable with hops being kept at fermentation temps until they are dumped in. My fears are likely unfounded given they'll be surrounded by co2 for the duration. Just makes me feel uneasy.
 

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Not sure I'd be comfortable with hops being kept at fermentation temps until they are dumped in. My fears are likely unfounded given they'll be surrounded by co2 for the duration. Just makes me feel uneasy.
Just the same as being in a bag supported by a magnet in a pressure fermenter (Fermzilla) :confused.:
 

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Interesting, but upto 250gms dry hop seems terrifically expensive. Is that for hops that have a very low aau rate ?
It's a recipe from Greg Hughes book Home Brew Beer. NEIPA. Yes, it is expensive! The price of a pint goes from under 50p for a pale ale to just shy of a quid for this NEIPA. Still, I have to pay £6, yes £6 a pint for a 6%ABV NEIPA at my local Brewhouse!

Edit: 150g citra 13.8% and 100g galaxy 14.5%
 
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matt76

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MkIII dry hopper completed. Should easily accommodate 250 grm of hop pellets athumb... Double sprung as well! :laugh8:
View attachment 54270
View attachment 54271
Just got to wait for another NEIPA brew day to come along.
Excellent work sir 👍 Sometimes the creations of homebrewers leave me a bit "meh" but this seems genuinely ingenious!

Out of interest, how is the dry hopper fixed to the lid? Sky hooks? Wishful thinking? 🤔😉
 

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Excellent work sir 👍 Sometimes the creations of homebrewers leave me a bit "meh" but this seems genuinely ingenious!

Out of interest, how is the dry hopper fixed to the lid? Sky hooks? Wishful thinking? 🤔😉
Magnets, aka sky hooks :laugh8:

5B5F393A-A9B1-46CB-B568-B8484EE2F5D4.jpeg

The magnet holder with 4 magnets holds the lid in place and the magnet holder with 2 magnets holds the hop bucket up. When you’re ready to release the hops you just slide the 2 magnet holder away and the bucket is released to swing down and spill the hops onto the beer.

FYI The plastic parts take 3 days to print ashock1 and cost me £6 for the material. The main issue with 3D printed parts is their porosity so they need to be sealed to stop beer getting inside the parts and festering. I’ll be painting the parts with shellac to seal them.
 

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