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hopstopper in 10 gallon kettle
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itsnotrequired



Joined: 15 Sep 2015
Posts: 45
Location: central wi


PostLink    Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 12:41 pm    Post subject: hopstopper in 10 gallon kettle Reply with quote


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i'm about to order up a boil kettle and plan on using the hopstopper with it. before purchasing, i had a couple dimension questions. the kettle is 13.8" in diameter and i plan on using a ripple heating element. element connection will be a 2" tri-clamp with a tri-clamp element housing. i am wondering about what height i should set my element. should i try to keep it entirely above the hopstopper assembly? if so, what height should i set the element at?

or can i set it lower in the kettle, such that the element 'snakes' around the hoppstopper? this would be my preferred method. how low can i go? i noticed the element and hoppstopper are 90 degrees apart in kal's set up. would a 135 degree orientation work? it seems like it would from the photos but i figure i would check with others.

any help would be much appreciated!
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wscottcross



Joined: 03 Jul 2015
Posts: 135
Location: CT

Drinking: Launch IPA, Double Sunshine clone, Maple Coffee breakfast stout

Working on: expanding my beer horizons (and my beltline)


PostLink    Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One other thing to note: Both the Hop Stopper copper tube and the element can be bent somewhat. My kettles have the element directly opposite the drain and I bent both in opposite directions so the don't interfere. My drain is at 1.5" and the element is at 2".
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itsnotrequired



Joined: 15 Sep 2015
Posts: 45
Location: central wi


PostLink    Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

can the hopstopper tube be cut short, such that the dip tube takeup is not in the middle of the kettle but closer to the edge?
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wscottcross



Joined: 03 Jul 2015
Posts: 135
Location: CT

Drinking: Launch IPA, Double Sunshine clone, Maple Coffee breakfast stout

Working on: expanding my beer horizons (and my beltline)


PostLink    Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, it's soft copper tubing (at least mine is). Easy to cut and to bend. It works well if you get the hop stopper away from the center. That way you can whirlpool to get most of the hops/trub to the center and then let the hop stopper catch the rest without clogging up as quickly. It keeps you from having to slow down as much at the end due to draining the hop stopper faster than it can refill.
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buhjangles



Joined: 26 Jun 2015
Posts: 9



PostLink    Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been thinking about doing something like this to keep my element lower for smaller batches, does anyone have any pics they can post of how they have bent the hopstopper and elements for reference?
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 5962
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Mexican Lager, ESB, Mild, Belgian Wit, Brown IPA, Electric Pale Ale, Russian Imperial Stout, Irish Red Ale

Working on: German Pils, Altbier, Belgian Tripel


PostLink    Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can most certainly cut the Hop Stopper dip tube to make it shorter. That's what I did.

Before:



After:



To order a Hop Stopper and support our site at the same time (at no additional cost to you), see: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/hop-stopper
Custom Hop Stoppers are available for any kettle too. Email us at IHomeBrewSolutions@TheElectricBrewery.com . Thank you!

Kal

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chastuck



Joined: 06 Oct 2013
Posts: 126
Location: Beckenham, Kent, UK

Drinking: Bitter

Working on: IPA


PostLink    Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Slightly off topic, but still concerns the Hop Stopper. The standard Blichmann dip tube has a slight groove to engage the O ring in the Boilermaker outlet. The hop stopper 1/2" tube doesn't have this. I have bought two hop stoppers and never had a sealing problem, but I just wondered, is it worth trying to file or etch this groove on the hop stopper tube to replicate the Blichmann dip tube?
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
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Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Mexican Lager, ESB, Mild, Belgian Wit, Brown IPA, Electric Pale Ale, Russian Imperial Stout, Irish Red Ale

Working on: German Pils, Altbier, Belgian Tripel


PostLink    Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No. There's no need. It'll work fine without it.

Kal

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chastuck



Joined: 06 Oct 2013
Posts: 126
Location: Beckenham, Kent, UK

Drinking: Bitter

Working on: IPA


PostLink    Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kal wrote:
No. There's no need. It'll work fine without it.

Kal

Cheers for that. I guess one can carry perfection too far. As I said, I've had no problem with the hop stopper tube as is.
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jcav



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 81
Location: Central Florida


PostLink    Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kal, can you even make one to fit over a Sabco tri clover siphon? It has a 1/2 inch tri clamp ferrule and clamp about two inches or so from the kettle wall. So the mesh would have to fit over that near the neck portion........

John

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wscottcross



Joined: 03 Jul 2015
Posts: 135
Location: CT

Drinking: Launch IPA, Double Sunshine clone, Maple Coffee breakfast stout

Working on: expanding my beer horizons (and my beltline)


PostLink    Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

buhjangles wrote:
I've been thinking about doing something like this to keep my element lower for smaller batches, does anyone have any pics they can post of how they have bent the hopstopper and elements for reference?


Here is my mildly bent ULWD coil and the moderately bent hop stopper tube. This is in a 30 gallon kettle.
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 5962
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Mexican Lager, ESB, Mild, Belgian Wit, Brown IPA, Electric Pale Ale, Russian Imperial Stout, Irish Red Ale

Working on: German Pils, Altbier, Belgian Tripel


PostLink    Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jcav wrote:
Kal, can you even make one to fit over a Sabco tri clover siphon? It has a 1/2 inch tri clamp ferrule and clamp about two inches or so from the kettle wall. So the mesh would have to fit over that near the neck portion........

Email us at IHomeBrewSolutions@TheElectricBrewery.com and we'll figure out what works best for you.

Kal

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jcav



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 81
Location: Central Florida


PostLink    Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kal wrote:
jcav wrote:
Kal, can you even make one to fit over a Sabco tri clover siphon? It has a 1/2 inch tri clamp ferrule and clamp about two inches or so from the kettle wall. So the mesh would have to fit over that near the neck portion........

Email us at IHomeBrewSolutions@TheElectricBrewery.com and we'll figure out what works best for you.

Kal


Thanks Kal, will do!

John

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Vesteroid



Joined: 02 Sep 2015
Posts: 49



PostLink    Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a note, I ordered a "custom" hop stopper to go into my mega pot and still had to cut it to install it. I gave all the appropriate dimensions and it would not even fit in the pot when it was delivered. Also a note while trying to cut said dip tub, be very careful as the stainless mesh has lots of unfinished edges that just love to puncture what ever hand part they can get their teeth on.
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itsnotrequired



Joined: 15 Sep 2015
Posts: 45
Location: central wi


PostLink    Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kal wrote:


After:




Kal


do you see any issues with mounting the heating element down at 2.5" off the bottom and having the shorter tube on the hopstopper, like in the photo above?
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 5962
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Mexican Lager, ESB, Mild, Belgian Wit, Brown IPA, Electric Pale Ale, Russian Imperial Stout, Irish Red Ale

Working on: German Pils, Altbier, Belgian Tripel


PostLink    Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think you'd want the heating element too low - it may make it harder to clean. I believe I've heard some people say that placed too low there isn't good convection current low. 2.5" off the bottom is still quite a bit of space though.

I'm just now sure of the benefit however. With my placement I can still do 5 gallon batches in my 20 gallon kettles. If you want to do that with 30 gallon kettles you'll probably run into other issues like a grain bed in the MLT that isn't thick enough and mash efficiency may suffer. You can't have it all. Wink

Or maybe wscottcross didn't have a choice since the holes were already made and he had to work with that?

Kal

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itsnotrequired



Joined: 15 Sep 2015
Posts: 45
Location: central wi


PostLink    Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i am AGONIZING over a 10 gallon vs 20 gallon setup. i certainly enjoy beer but also enjoy wine and mixed drinks. my wife isn't a big beer drinker and we don't do a lot of entertaining at our place. i have concerns that 10 gallon batches won't get used up in a timely manner. on the other hand, maybe i would drink less wine/liquor if i had a supply of cheap, quality beer available. Mug

so my big questions revolve around the ease of doing 5 gallon batches in 20 gallon kettles. i've checked out the various threads here and at homebrewtalk and the consensus seems to be that it is fine. i believe your elements are at 4" above the bottom? what is the depth of a 6 gallon (pre-boil) batch in a 20 gallon kettle? a 2.5" element height seems like it would be more 'centered' in a 6 gallon volumn. i certainly plan on starting out with 5 gallon batches but would like the capability to go to 10, who knows what the future holds. but if 10 gallon batches don't pan out, i don't want to be 'stuck' with an oversized system that isn't as user-friendly.

what about the herms coil? do you simply heat up more strike water than necessary for a 5 gallon batch, to keep the coil submerged?
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 5962
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Mexican Lager, ESB, Mild, Belgian Wit, Brown IPA, Electric Pale Ale, Russian Imperial Stout, Irish Red Ale

Working on: German Pils, Altbier, Belgian Tripel


PostLink    Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

itsnotrequired wrote:
i believe your elements are at 4" above the bottom?


Link: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/heating-elements?page=6

Quote:

"In our Boil Kettle (BK) the center of the element is 4" from the bottom and on the right side. In our Hot Liquor Tank (HLT) the center of the element is 3" from the bottom and on the left side. The Boil Kettle element is installed slightly higher than the one in the Hot liquor tank as we have a large hop strainer installed in the boil kettle which sits on the bottom so the element could not be installed any lower. This places the element just below the 5 gallon marker in the boil kettle so 5 gallons is the minimum volume of beer we can produce with this setup. We typically brew 10-13 gallons."

Quote:
what is the depth of a 6 gallon (pre-boil) batch in a 20 gallon kettle?

Not sure - I haven't measured. Be aware that all kettles are different too. What I wrote above is only for my specific kettles (20 gal blichmann).

Quote:
what about the herms coil? do you simply heat up more strike water than necessary for a 5 gallon batch, to keep the coil submerged?

Yes.

Kal

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itsnotrequired



Joined: 15 Sep 2015
Posts: 45
Location: central wi


PostLink    Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kal wrote:


"This places the element just below the 5 gallon marker in the boil kettle so 5 gallons is the minimum volume of beer we can produce with this setup. We typically brew 10-13 gallons."

Kal


this was the statement that had me concerned and prompted my question. it seems that with the hop stopper dip tube cut short so it isn't in the center, the element could be dropped to, say, 3" to give that extra margin when doing a five gallon batch yet still not interfere with the hop stopper. am i seeing this correctly?
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wscottcross



Joined: 03 Jul 2015
Posts: 135
Location: CT

Drinking: Launch IPA, Double Sunshine clone, Maple Coffee breakfast stout

Working on: expanding my beer horizons (and my beltline)


PostLink    Posted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like Kal said, it depends on the kettle. I got my 30 gallon kettles from Ben at www.spikebrewing.com and he customized them for me (actually all 30 gallon kettles from him are built when ordered) My elements are at 2" from the bottom, which means I can pretty easily boil as little as 3 gallons without exposing the coil. If you are modifying your own kettle as in Kal's instructions, where you place the element will determine your minimum batch size.

One thing I learned: I upgraded several times before I made the big leap to 30 gallon kettles. It was not cheap, but I think I won't need to upgrade again for a very long time (as in ever). If you can afford it, 20 gallon kettles allow you to brew 10 gallon batches without risking boilovers. The 10 gallon kettles WILL limit you to 5 gallon batches.
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