THE HASHBACK IN OPERATION DURING THE 2004 AHA NHC CLUB NIGHT
In 2004 Dogfish Head Brewing created a stir with their release of "Randall the Enamel Animal". The Falcons, not being shy with the hops decided that this was the device for them. Without ever seeing a real life Randall (since corrected), Kent Fletcher and Drew Beechum sat down and thought of the best/easiest way to build one of these devices at home. Built from a small whole house filter, the beer is forced through a whole mess of hops (2 ounces of Cascade in this case). The alcohol and pressure strip the volatile oils from the hops to give the beer one last blast of hoppiness on the way to the glass.
Incidentally, the name Hash Back is a play on Hashell Dammet, our mascot, and a hopback. The "Moorminator" tag is a tribute to our crazy friend Jim Moorman, who's never met a hop he didn't want more of.
A FULLY ASSEMBLED, BUT EMPTY DRAFT HOPBACK
THE PARTS LIST
- 1 - 10" Whole House Water Filter (the kind with a screw-on lid that accepts a cartridge)
- 1/4" NPT threaded inputs and outputs are easiest to use
- A clear housing makes for the best presentation
- 2 - 1/4" MPT to 1/4" male flare Fittings for Quick Disconnect's
- If the filter housing has threads other than 1/4" NPT threads you will need reducers to fit the flares.
- Many filter housings have 3/4" FPT threads.
- Alternatively, you can use Kynar barbed fittings (McMaster-Carr #53055K213)
- 1 - 1" long piece of 1/2" ID (Inside Diameter) x 3/4" OD PVC hose.
- 1 - 1/2" OD (Outside Diameter) Stainless Steel Tubing
- McMaster Carr #8989K78
- cut to fit the length of the canister interior (about 10")
- 1 - Keg line to flare (input connector)
- 1 - Serving line or Beverage line for Faucet hookup
Optional Parts (for Split Service - One Keg, Two Beers)
1 - Keg line (no flare)
1 - Y barb connector
1 - Beverage line to flare
1 - Beverage line to tap or faucet
- Clean the filter in soapy water to remove all the packaging gunk.
- Screw flare connectors (and optional reducers) into the input and output of the filter.
- Plug the PVC hose into the port on the underside of the top lid. This acts as the gasket for your stainless tube
- Place stainless tube into the PVC hose "gasket". The fit should be secure.
- Screw the filter housing together. If your stainless is cut to the right length, it should fit snugly into the bottom port. If not trim the tube and repeat.
- Remove the stainless steel tube and drill approximately 20 1/16" holes in the bottom two-thirds of the tube.
- Deburr the tube. Voila you have a Draft Hopback!
- Check the placement of the "gasket" in the lid.
- Place the stainless steel tube, holes down, into the well on the bottom of the housing.
- Stuff ~2oz of fresh whole hops around the stainless rod. Enjoy the aroma
- Push the tube into it's "gasket" and screw down the housing lid.
- Securely attach the serving line to the output side of the housing
- Securely attach the keg line to the input side.
- It's important to get this right or the beer will always pour foaming
- Attach the Draft Hopback to your keg.
- Open the pressure relief on the filter housing and allow beer to slowly fill.
- Once filled, close the housing, let sit for a couple of minutes and then let the beer flow!
If you'd like to be able to compare the beer, regular vs. draft hopped; attach the input line from the keg to a "Y" connector. One output of the Y should go straight to a serving line/faucet. The other output gets connected to the Draft Hopback. Now it's possible from one keg to try a beer two separate ways!
A DRAFT HOPBACK AT THE END OF SERVICE
- Avoid using copper piping for the interior pipe. Copper imparts an off flavor to draft beer
- Use hop varieties that you would use for dry hopping a beer: Cascade, Centennial, Amarillo, etc.
- The draft hopback works most effectively with higher alcohol beers: IPA, Double IPA, Barleywine, etc.
- Don't just think of the hopback as a "Party" item. If you leave the hops wet and place the hopback in your kegerator/beer fridge, the hops can last for a few weeks.
- An easy way to securely mount the hopback is to take a piece of Simpson Strong-Tie, bend into a hook and screw into the mounting holes on the filter lid. Now you have a simple moldable mounting strap that can hang off your bar, keg, kegerator, etc.