About this project
HOPTOP: The fermenting air-lock for mason jars. Brew, ferment foods, store live cultures, make wine cider and more! One tool, many delicious uses.
HOPTOP is a low profile, easy to use, easy to clean, and dishwasher safe.
Mason jars are a great fermenting vessel because they are glass, inexpensive, manageable, easy to clean, and they even fit in the dishwasher. Mason Jars are widely available and have a standard wide mouth opening. I buy ours from Menards. A six pack of 1/2 gallon jars were about $8.99. All the big box stores carry them these days.
The idea for HOPTOP started with the great carboy explosion of 2010. I shattered a carboy against the side of my tub leaving a massive crater in the enamel and a couple stitches in my hand. I have always hated cleaning the carboys with that ridiculous brush, is it ever really clean? But, glass is still the best option for good flavor so why not break up the batch up a little. Mason jars are nice to have around where a carboy is just a pain.
Take brewing to the next level using HOPTOP. I have long struggled with fermenting temperature control. I have tried a number of crazy boxes made of Styrofoam and used old fridges taking up space and energy. With HOPTOP you can just find a dorm fridge, put an external thermostat and wa-la you don't need a special contraption or full size fridge to house a giant carboy.
And for you wine and cider makers, you know it's not always clean in those magnum test batch bottles, you cant even see through the glass!
My friend lives on a sailboat and once he asked if I could design for him a method of brewing that he could use while underway without all the "big stuff." Finally, here it is buddy. It will also serve those of us with small kitchens or without a special brewing location.
HOPTOP is also a food fermenting airlock. Because of its shape you can lay up way more food and simply place the jars in the cupboard the compact design is so easy to store out of sight so your kitchen doesn't have to look like a laboratory. Its also has a great shape for fermenting food the base of the lid serves to press food down and allow the brine or water to rise above the food this prevents any of the food from poking above the waterline and being spoiled.
Fermenting food is ancient, awesome and in style! Minneapolis has at least one new fermentation restaurant, (isn't that diff-er'nt). People are picking up that we are made of many organisms working together, particularly in our gut. Many fermented foods can have pro-biotic qualities, encouraging healthy propagation and diversity of micro-organisms in the gut, this could help us digest food efficiently, deal with certain fats and prevent certain diseases and the list goes on. We are not saying HOPTOP does anything for your health, or that we even really know anything about the health benefits fermentation or the pro-biotic movement, we just think the whole thing is cool and that real sauerkraut is delicious.
HOPTOP is made of quality, inert, bpa free, food grade plastic (there is a difference!). For those of us who don't really like plastic in direct contact with our food it is important to note that hop top typically sits suspended in air above the contents having no contact. It is also made of a more stable material than those rubber rings on flip top jars which often have a rubbery smell.
HOPTOP was prototyped at our local makerspace TC Maker! The final product you will receive will have some minor changes from prototypes in the photos and videos. First it will have HOPTOP neatly embossed on it instead of Mixed Media Engineering. We didn't have a name when we made the prototype. We may ultimately go with a slightly translucent white plastic that simply has less pigment.
I'd like to thank Tom and the whole team at Indeed Brewing of Minneapolis for offering us carte blanche access to their amazing facility. They also make great beer!
Id like to thank and attribute the song in the video to Lee Rosevere!
I'd like to thank you all for looking. The community of Kickstarter is unique in all the world. The supportive vibe of patrons is so cool and symbiotic. I love to make and support projects. It blows my mind how reliable it is to find a totally novel concept every single time I look. I cant imagine any other way I could make my small business work. Thank you!
Risks and challenges
Mixed Media Engineering has been bringing Kickstarter fans great products for a few years. This is debatably our simplest product but requires the most outside manufacturing. We will have HOPTOP in your hands by June if not before. I feel that I am putting a healthy buffer into time frame so we do not disappoint, there is always the possibility we are late to deliver but I think we are more likely to be early this time. At any rate you will have your product well before the garden harvest.
We are manufacturing this for the long haul. We are setting out to be the best and cheapest American made fermenting product on the market. We have patents pending on the utility and design of the device and have some more products to compliment HOPTOP in the pipeline so you will want to stay tuned.
After Kickstarter (not immediately) HOPTOP can be found here: www.hoptop.us
You can also look for info at our website www.mixedmediaeng.com
This is also where to look for wholesale inquiries. Thank YouLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
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