Here's my stainless steel DIY hop stopper that I made for $10. It started it's life as a jumbo tea ball from Amazon.com.
I took a phillips screwdriver and forced a hole in the side of the SS screen and stretched it out until it was large enough to fit over my SS pickup tube. I also cut about 1.5" length off the side pickup tube, and cut some grooves into the end of the tube so that if the screen got pushed up against the end of the tube and some hops got sucked into the screen, the wort can still drain out thru the grooves.
I brewed an 11 gal batch of porter today that had 5oz of whole hops in it, and it filtered out everything with no trouble. I could drain with the valve fully open and there was no blockage or hops getting into the fermenter. [Read More]