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Overview of 100 Gallon Hopback

A hopback is a vessel used in brewing to filter hops and trub out of wort after the boil kettle and before fermentation. It serves as a settling tank to remove solids before the heat exchanger or chiller. A 100 gallon hopback has higher capacity for larger scale commercial brewing operations producing greater volumes of beer.

100 Gallon Hopback Equipment Guide

Equipment TypeDetails
HopbackVessel used after the brew kettle to filter hops and sediment from hot wort before the heat exchanger
CapacityTypically 100 gallons for high volume commercial brewing
Construction MaterialStainless steel for durability and cleaning
DesignCylindrical or rectangular, vertical orientation, cone bottom design allows trub to settle
FeaturesInlet and outlet connections, sight glasses, thermometer, pressure relief valve
Optional AccessoriesSpray ball CIP system, legs/casters, insulation jacket
100 Gallon Hopback

Types of 100 Gallon Hopbacks

There are a few design variants of 100 gallon hopbacks to consider:

Cylindrical: Classic vertical cylinder shape allows even flow distribution and sedimentation

Rectangular: Squarer tank can fit better in tight spaces but flow is not as uniform

Conical Bottom: Angled cone bottom enables easier trub removal compared to flat bottom

Closed Transfer: Special valves and ports enable closed, oxygen-free transfers to fermenter

Jacketed: Insulated outer shell allows precise temperature control with a heating/cooling jacket

Custom Fabricated: Many suppliers offer full customization of dimensions and features

100 Gallon Hopback Spaces and Sizing

Properly sizing your hopback will ensure it meets production goals.

ParameterDetails
Batch SizeAccommodate single batch volumes from the boil kettle; from 50-100 gallons is common
Height/Diameter RatioAround 2:1 ratio for proper sedimentation
Floor Space NeededApproximately 4 ft x 4 ft footprint
Vertical ClearanceAllow 7-8 ft overhead room for installation and operation
Weight When FullUp to 900 lb including liquid weight at 8.3 lb/gallon
Connections1.5” – 2” tri-clamp connections to boil kettle, chiller lines

100 Gallon Hopback Design and Customization

A hopback is a relatively simple cylindrical or rectangular vessel, but variables in design and functionality impact performance.

ParametersOptionsFactors to Consider
ConstructionStainless steel, aluminumStainless best for cleaning, durability, acid resistance
ShapeHorizontal, vertical, rectangular, cylindricalVertical best for sedimentation; match kettle shape
FabricationWelded, passivatedSmooth polished welds prevent bacterial collection
DimensionsCustom or standard sizingMatch volume; stabilize height:diameter for trub settling
Drain ConfigurationCone or slope bottom, side drain port, racking armCone bottom with center drain port ideal for trub
Port ConnectionsTri-clamp, threaded, flangedTri-clamp best for modular breweries,easy cleaning
LayoutStand-alone, inline, under brew deckDeck integration saves space but reduces access
InsulationJacketed design, steam, glycolImproves temperature control to avoid cold side oxidation

Configuring a Commercial 100 Gallon Hopback System

Commercial hopbacks are part of an end-to-end brewhouse system. Proper configuration ensures smooth wort transfer and production scale.

Brewing EquipmentFunction With Hopback
Boil/KettleHopped wort feedstock enters from the kettle
Whirlpool OutletOptional entry point for wort depending on whirlpool usage
Inlet ControlsValves to regulate wort flowrate into hopback
Sight GlassView trub levels for drainage timing
Outlet/Drain PortTri-clamp for connecting to heat exchanger or chiller
Cleaning/DrainingRemove trub through bottom drain after batches
Temperature GaugeMonitor if uninsulated to avoid cold-side oxidation
Glycol/Steam JacketMaintain precise temperatures for cold side transfers
castersEnable mobility for cleaning if jacket is not in place

Properly integrating a hopback into the overall brewing line is critical for smooth operations and preventing downstream issues. Consulting with the manufacturer’s engineering team is advisable during the design phase.

Suppliers of 100 Gallon Hopbacks

Many brewing equipment OEMs offer standard or customizable hopback vessels across a range of capacities. Prices vary based on dimensions, materials, and features.

CompanyBase Price RangeOfferings
JV Northwest$6,500-$9,500Standard cylindrical & rectangular
Spike Brewing$7,900-$10,500Conical and custom options
SS Brewtech$7,800-$15,000Uni-shape, jacketed, custom
Premier Stainless$10,000-$30,000Square & cylindrical; wide customization
Brewery Supplies Group$8,000-$15,000Standard & heavy duty available

In addition to commercial vendors, many breweries work with local metal fabrication shops to create fully customized hopback vessels. Prices will vary more widely based on specifications. Expect to pay $15,000+ for heavy duty designs with exotic alloys and precise fabrication.

Installation, Operation, and Maintenance of Hopbacks

FunctionKey ActivitiesFrequency
InstallationPosition hopback inline after boil kettle/whirlpool
Connect inlet/outlet to valves and lines
Test fittings for leaks with water
One-time setup activity
OperationMonitor sight glass and sample valve for trub buildup
When clear, open outlet valve to transfer wort forward
Potentially activate a spray nozzle to dislodge particulates if needed
Each batch/brew day
Cleaning (CIP)Fill with cleaner solution and agitate
Use spray nozzle and recirculation pump
Push cleaner through all ports
Weekly or as needed if buildup occurs
InspectionCheck all sight glasses, valves, gaskets for wear/cracks
Ensure smooth interior welds
Annual
MaintenanceLubricate valves; replace gaskets/seals
Repair worn surfaces or fittings
As needed
CalibrationUse sight glass markings to confirm volume
Calibrate temperature and pressure sensors
Semi-annual

Thorough cleaning and avoiding abrasion of the polished interior will maximize lifespan. Many parts are modular for easy replacement and manufacturers provide repair services.

Choosing a Commercial Hopback Supplier

With custom fabrication shops as well as vendors providing hopbacks across a wide range of configurations and budgets, selecting the ideal partner involves both technical compatibility and service factors:

Evaluation CriteriaKey Considerations
Technical FactorsConstruction material quality and compatibility
Dimensioning matches brewery scale and batches
Port sizes/types integrate with existing equipment
Offer full customization services
Quality and TestingUse proper welding methods; pressure test vessel
ConfigurabilitySupport wide range of dimensions, connections, fittings, accessories
Business FactorsReasonable pricing for required customizations
Responsive sales and engineering team
Positive reputation based on client references
ServicesProvide installation assistance and operator training
Offer ongoing maintenance and repair services

Vetting multiple vendors using the above framework can help identify the right fit based on both brewery integration needs and long term service requirements.

100 Gallon Hopback
10HL Brewing system

Comparing Pros and Cons of Hopback Options

TypeAdvantagesDisadvantages
CylindricalEven sedimentation from circular flowLimited rectangular customization
Conical BottomTrub stacks for easy drainingMore expensive than flat bottom
JacketedExcellent temperature controlAdded cost and complexity
Bottom DrainNo need to open lid for trub removalCan clog more easily than side port
CastersPortable flexibility for cleaningStability issues if not locked during operations
Steam HeatingUses readily available steamLacks precise control of glycol systems
External Spray BallPowerful CIP cleaningAnother piece requiring maintenance

Understanding these types of trade-offs allows configuring a balanced system matching functional priorities to the brewery’s budget. The wide range of potential accessories enables precise customization for production environment and work styles.

FAQ

What are the key differences when upgrading from a 50 gallon to 100 gallon hopback?

The main differences come down to capacity, size/weight, design constraints, and integration complexity. A 100 gallon hopback requires more vertical space, stronger structural support and connections for 2-3X weight when full, 1.5″ – 2″ ports to handle higher flow rates, and better pumping systems and controls to manage the batches.

How can I calculate the proper height:diameter ratio when custom sizing a hopback?

As a rule of thumb, use a height:diameter ratio between 2:1 and 3:1. The taller and narrower the cylinder, the more vertical room for trub to settle downward. A short wide hopback will need strong inlet flow or a raking system to prevent solids from accumulating on the sides.

Should I invest in an expensive glycol jacket or external insulation?

It depends on your climate conditions, fermentation requirements, and budget. Glycol enables dialing in precise temperatures, while insulation is cheaper but lacks precision. If you need to cool wort to pitching temps, glycol is worth it. Otherwise, insulation suffices for most small scale breweries simply avoiding cold-side oxidation.

What are the signs that wear parts like valves or seals need replacement?

Keep an eye out for wort leaks or drips, which indicate a worn gasket. Valves that become difficult to operate or need excessive force likely have internal issues. If you notice cloudier wort transfers or decreased bitterness, worn valves/seals could be allowing hop particles and sediment to pass through. Replacing regularly is good preventive maintenance.

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