Hop Basket Review

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Hop Basket Review

Unread postby RichM » Sat Jan 16, 2016 12:07 pm

Hi Chaps

my new hop basket arrived yesterday, so decided i'd do a quick review and post some pics (if it works)

So this is an initial review, i've yet to use the basket in anger and there's been a couple of bad points as well as mostly good stuff, this reviews about the product not weather i could have made a sieve or filter from an IKEA fruit sieve or a Wilko 99p tea strainer for less as i've gone through that train of thought and decided on this route.

Firstly i wanted a centre basket to fit onto the malt pipe pole, which i wanted to be able to use the stainless steel wort chiller at the same time, the 6" basket i bought fits superb, its come with an extender which i guess you'd use if you have a full boiler and opt not to use if less wort etc, the build quality looks as i'd expect, its not as polished and nice as the products Spiedel produce, however its 304 stainless so looking a little industrial won't affect its function, so far it looks the business.

Price - well with the postage all in i paid 97 dollars which translates to £67, that included the upgrade to 400 micron mesh which i specifically wanted as i mainly use leaf and bud rather than pellets, however i got stung with VAT and customs handling which added another £21 to my overall costs, on top of that Parcel force tried to deliver mid week when there was no one home, so to re deliver they wanted another £12 to deliver on a weekend :shock:

So positives:
1, the price felt about right
2, free mesh upgrade
3, super fast production (was told 5 days to make it, but it was shipped in 3)
4, It fits to my exact requirements

Downsides:
1, postage cost was a lot considering it weighs nothing (however it was super fast production and shipping over)
2, Hidden VAT cost and had i not picked it up the extra delivery charge

So in conclusion its cost me £88 and a few quid in petrol to go pick it up from the depot this morning

I've attached the link to Arbor fabrications below in case your interested below and i'll update my review once i've used the basket

https://arborfab.com

IMG_1238.JPG
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IMG_1237.JPG
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Re: Hop Basket Review

Unread postby Wezzel » Sat Jan 16, 2016 4:12 pm

That looks really smart. I'll be interested in how it performs as I like the idea of an easier cleanup and the ability to run the pump during cooling.

Hope it works well.
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Re: Hop Basket Review

Unread postby The Fat Jedi » Sat Jan 16, 2016 4:31 pm

OK. That looks Magic! Where did you get it?! Web link please! I need to order one....
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Re: Hop Basket Review

Unread postby RichM » Sat Jan 16, 2016 5:12 pm

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Re: Hop Basket Review

Unread postby ibbones » Sat Jan 16, 2016 5:18 pm

Can't wait for the first review after you use it. I have been "looking" at one myself but I only use pellets.
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Hop Basket Review

Unread postby btd1975 » Sat Jan 16, 2016 5:27 pm

I got one for pellets from Utah Biodiesel in the States (300 micron). I've pretty much gone back to using leaf as I have the Speidel hop filter and it does me. So I'll be selling my one soon.
Image

Actually the one I have is stamped 'Arborfab' so think they are the same company?

For sale;

ArborFab Stainless Steel 300micron Pellet Hop Filter
http://www.jimsbeerkit.co.uk/forum/view ... hp?t=74656
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Re: Hop Basket Review

Unread postby RichM » Sat Jan 16, 2016 6:53 pm

Hi Ben

They are the same company

I bought mine with 400 micro specifically as i tend to only use lose leaf or buds, the 300 micro isn't fine enough to stop bits falling through, though will work if i do ever use pellets
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Hop Basket Review

Unread postby btd1975 » Sat Jan 16, 2016 6:55 pm

Hi Rich, I've used it for (300 micron) pellets and it does just fine, I believe the 300 micron is finer mesh for pellets and the 400 micron is not so much for whole hops).

But I prefer whole hops which the 300 micron isn't good for. So I'm selling it and probably put the funds toward the 400 micron if your review is any good!
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Re: Hop Basket Review

Unread postby RichM » Sun Jan 17, 2016 11:21 am

Hi Ben

I'm planning a brew next weekend, probably do a simple golden ale or whatever i have the ingredients for, primarily the intention is to try out the hop basket and see what happens and if it will work in conjunction with the wort chiller whilst cooling, i'll post up some photos and a review of my findings.

I've noticed that BrewUK have started to stock more Braumeister and after market Braumeister compatible products on their site including the BackBrew product range, it might be worth seeing what they have to offer and how the prices differ.
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Re: Hop Basket Review

Unread postby btd1975 » Sun Jan 17, 2016 11:29 am

Thanks Rich, will do. When I used my hop filter the speidel chiller was no problem going over it. I tended to lift the hop filter up first though, to drain the wort inside out, it also allowed me to easily whirlpool to get the break material piled in the centre. If you're not too bothered by that you can used the pump to help chill as it won't be clogged with hip debris!
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Re: Hop Basket Review

Unread postby RichM » Sat Jan 23, 2016 8:31 pm

Quick update - decided to repeat my last brew, with my new hop basket, so brewed a Munich Helles as i had half the ingredients left form the last brew and i wanted to compare the difference using the same recipe but this time with the hop basket rather than the old muslin bags.

As per last time the brew was straightforward, though once the wort came up to the boil i added the basket and then the hop additions as the specific times.

Te wort chiller fits over the outside of the basket (see pic attached) and actually kept the chiller in place better than normal.

Clean up was pretty simple, i just ran the basket under a jet of hot water in the sink, i might invest in some sort of brush to speed up the cleaning, but to be honest it wasn't a problem.

I've attached a few photos showing the various stages

:D
Attachments
IMG_1246.JPG
Basket and wort chiller
IMG_1245.JPG
Hops added in at start of boil
IMG_1244.JPG
Filter in BM
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Re: Hop Basket Review

Unread postby Neander » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:40 am

How did a side by side tasting go?
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Re: Hop Basket Review

Unread postby RichM » Tue Mar 15, 2016 10:29 am

Neander wrote:How did a side by side tasting go?


Hi Neander
I can't say conclusively as I've not done a comparision taste test against my old method which was to use mesh bags for the hop infusions. There's a few minor flaws that I'll detail below, but in general I'm happy with the flavours I'm getting using it

So negatives of the basket:
1, more cleaning - the basket takes a bit more cleaning to get the crusted in crud out of the mesh
2, the water inside the basket does roil boil like the rest of the water (not sure how much difference this makes really as my beers are hoppy enough for me)

Positives:
1, wort chiller fits over the basket, which enables cooling and late stage hops to sit nicely in the wort
2, less cleaning inside the tank as the hops are contained and easily emptied at the end
3, the basket is easy to remove if you need to get it or the hops out during the boil
4, as yet I've not encountered a blockage when running of

In conclusion there's good and bad points, the basket does look nicer and cleaner than cruddy bags hanging in the boil, and although there's a bit more cleaning it's not that bad in the grand scheme of things, the basket it's nicely inside the boiler when in storage with the lid on and makes a nice container to keep the lose bits and power lead safe while in storage
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