It's been some time since I've actually sat down to write a post, but as the summer winds down, I finally found some time to sit down and share what's happening over here at Brau Supply.
I've been busy designing and testing some accessories for the Unibräu system, and I've promised a hop filter for some time that is finally here.
First let me tell you how I came to this place. I was tired of the crappy filter designs, and yes I used to include a hop filter in the early version of the V.3 Unibräu system, but quickly deleted it. It was a small 400 micron mesh filter, that was around 10" deep. I found it could only hold a couple ounces of hops, and it just wasn't enough to satisfy mine, or your growing taste for more hops in a batch. It seems over the last 5 years or so, we just keep wanting to throw more hops into the boil, and especially the whirlpool.
I quickly realized that the stainless mesh filters that most companies provide, just aren't good enough. The mesh rips, they clog easily, they hold only a couple ounces, and the utilization sucks. I found to brew a DIPA successfully and to get maximum flavour, I needed at least 4 hop filters, and because of lost utilization I was spending more money on hops than I needed to.
Also, I hadn't designed a good dip tube for Unibräu, and you (my customers) have been asking me how to solve the problem of the remaining wort you worked so hard to get!
So, to the drawing board I go.
What resulted from the problem, is a 10" filter disc we call the HopBlock, with a continuous silicone seal at the bottom, and the right size holes to filter both pellet and leaf hops. We designed a dip tube that comes almost to the bottom of the kettle, and press fits into the Tri-Clamp port with the included silicone seals. We tested it in many scenarios for almost a full year, and are very impressed with the results. No more clogged pump, or clogged wort chiller, and most importantly we get all the utilization of the hops into the wort. It is a fine balance to filter hops; too fine a filter and you have clogging issues, too coarse and you'll get debris into the fermenter. We think it's just right. Yes, you'll get some hops from the pellets get through, but it does a pretty damn good job we think. If for some reason the pump does slow down the flow more than your liking, the strong and smooth plate design of HopBlock allows you to lightly scrape it with a flat spoon, opening up the holes again for improved flow. Most important, we're happy with this design, and we're confident you will be too.