Written by Mike Davies
Hop Spider Project
My old coffee can hop spider has seen bitter days, to say the least. I made this a couple of years ago and attached a paint strainer bag to it with a stainless hose clamp. I knew deep in my heart of hearts the day would come when I would need to replace it with a “real” one and sure enough, the steel can was showing signs of rusting.
I’ve seen quite a few PVC designs which look great but I opted to break open the piggy bank and splurge for a stainless one. I found a SS sink flange on Amazon for $13 which looked perfect.
The length of the flange from top to bottom is very short, only 1½ inches. As I was fiddling around with it, marking where I could drill the three holes for my 6″ bolts (also stainless), I realized that there would be very little room to clamp down the filter bag and still have room for the nuts and bolts. Not impossible but a tight fit nonetheless. This caused me great angst, as you can imagine; now I was on a mission to fix this non-existent problem.
By chance, as I was looking around trying to find something to “elongate” the flange even a little and to help keep the clamp on properly, my eye wandered across the mason jars I have filled with starter wort for yeast starters. I use both regular and wide mouth jars of different sizes and the rings that hold the lids down spoke to me. They whispered “hey Mike, over here!” in a soft, sinuous voice.
I harkened and tried one of the wide moth rings and lo! It fit snugly over the bottom of the flange, almost like it was meant to be.
I put the filter bag on and along with the ring, it was such a tight fit that there was no longer a need for a clamp to be on. Also this created more room for drilling the bolt holes which accomplished the solution.
In fact it was somewhat difficult to pry the ring off the flange but with the help of needle nose pliers, it came off and the bag was not damaged. The holes were drilled, the bolts fitted onto the flange, and along with the ring holding the filter in place, I have created a nice stainless steel hop spider that should last me a very long time.