Beer / Made From Scratch

Building a Hop Filter

So we decided to build a hop filter for Punk’s. It was inspired by the fact that I love aroma and flavor hops in beers, sometimes more than bitterness. It depends on my mood, as I like good bitterness as much as the next guy or gal. But this time of year, when it’s 900 degrees out and humid, I love that hoppy aroma and flavor.

Since it takes somewhere between 30 and 60 minutes to extract bitterness from hops, you’re not going to get a lot of that bitterness if you use a filter like this. Even the highest alpha acid hops aren’t going to add bitterness if the beer is run through them. What that means is that you can use any hops you like. Want some piney flavors? Done.  Citrus? Done. Spicy? Done.  The combinations are endless and awesome.

To make a long story short(er), this is what I created:

To construct this machine, I took a water filter housing, added some plumbing fixtures on the “in” and “out” valves to make it a 1/4″ instead of 3/4″, and got the appropriate attachments to hook it up to our draft system. To make sure that the beer filtered through the hops and didn’t just move straight through without hitting the hops, I took a mesh plumbing pipe and ran it from the “out” valve to the bottom of the canister. That helps to make sure there is some circulation in the canister.

When hooked up to the draft system, it looks something like this.


Pretty awesome, right? We add a tap handle to the front (Draft Punk this time) and start pouring! The beer runs from the keg, through the filter and into the glass. I’ve found the magic number to be 4 oz of fresh hops, but I fully intend to fill that canister with other stuff as well. Citrus fruit, stone fruit, fresh herbs, etc. You name it, I’ll fill that damn canister with it.

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7 thoughts on “Building a Hop Filter

    • Not really. We would attach it for one night at a time, then pull it at the end. I imagine if it was on for multiple days you would have foam problems. But if you pull a pint every 30 minutes or so, the beer stayed cold and didn’t foam.

    • It adds a lot. Changes the complexity a lot and actually dials down the bitterness. We’ve also added a bunch of other things to the filter (grapefruit, mint, juniper, etc) which has been really interesting.

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