Thanks for the info. I'd heard of the hop spider and after looking it up, it looks like something I'll try. I've read that utilization may be an issue because confining the hops to one area would restrict movement, any thoughts on that?
No problem. I use what might be called a modified spider. Got the idea here. Instead of having the PVC ring sit in the center of the pot with long arms extending to the sides, I hang the PVC from the side of the pot with a wall mount coat hanger used up-side-down like this one from Lowes.http://www.lowes.com/pd_89226-89973-P27115-SC_0__?
The coat hanger must have two hooks so it stays securely on the pot edge without rocking back and forth. Just attach to a PVC ring, think they are connectors to put lengths of PVC pipe together, and hang. I use a 2" PVC ring as the pellet hops go in fine. Have a 3" set up for when I use fresh hops.
Have heard using a bag may give you a drop in hop utilization of 10% but I don't think it really makes a difference. I use a 1 gal paint strainer bag and secure it to the PVC with a SS adjustable circular clamp. With a 1 gal bag I figure the hops have plenty of room to infuse into the wort. The nice thing is you can add hops at any time without. If you are at all concerned you could increase your hops by 10%.