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Old 11-09-2009, 03:25 PM   #1
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Default Blichmann Boilermaker sight glass

I kmow there have been threads and I've read some but I'm still unsure.

I won some monies so I'm gonna get a nice brew kettle. I like the Blichmann except I'm concerned about the sight glass. If the sight glass ever breaks or leaks one drop, evar!, I'll be sorry I got it. It's just too easy to stick a dowel down in a pot to measure volume those couple of times I need to measure volume and there's nothing to clean ('cept a dowel).

How easy/hard is it to clean the sight glass?
Are you glad the sight glass is there or do you think it would be easier and simpler to just do away with it and use a dowel (or equal)?

There also have been complaints that the dip tube attachment for keeping hops/trub out of the fermenter clogs frequently. Is that true or is that more of a 'pilot error' thing?

I only know of the Blichmann, Sabco kegs (which I don't want), and Megapots. Any other contenders? I think I like the false bottom design of the Blichmann better than the Megapot. I also like the build of the Morebeer kettles but they have stupid volumes for their pots imo. It MUST be 10 gallon...an 8 gallon kettle is a mistake I won't make again.

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Old 11-10-2009, 12:31 AM   #2
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I have one I use as a MLT. It does not leak a drop and I just flush it with a hose and all is good. It actually has an allen plug in the top that can be removed and comes with a brush.

For a MLT, however, I have a problem with it sucking air while I'm pumping when it's a low gravity beer.

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Old 11-10-2009, 12:40 AM   #3
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After one brew with a sight glass, you'll wonder how you ever got by with a dowel. Shoot the hose water into the glass and it's clean. It looks like the BM glass is well protected so it would have to be a catastrophe to make it break.

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Old 11-10-2009, 12:11 PM   #4
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Thanks for the responses. Sometimes I'm too much of a slave to the KISS rule and always trying to keep things as simple as possible. Simplicity is really the only reason I'm getting a new kettle...sick of dicking around with the last gallon or so of wort preboil (my preboil volume is often right at 8 gal so an 8 gal kettle is a PITA). Similar 'capacity' problems with my Zapap lauter tun, just a bit too small sometimes.

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Old 11-10-2009, 12:25 PM   #5
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I've been using a Blichmann 15gal pot for the boil. As another poster said, it comes with an allen wrench and brush, so cleanout is a breeze. I didn't bother with the dip tube attachment because I read mixed reviews as well. The base of the pot is stepped with the dip tube coming down on the upper portion of the step, so a decent whirlpool gets most of the trub to settle in the center and I'm not too concerned with a bit of pellets/trub entering the primary. And, when doing a highly hopped beer, I'll also bag some of the pellets.

Only minor issues are that site glass on the 15gal pot starts at around 3 gallons, so it doesn't really help in telling you how much you drew off from your 1st runnings. Also, the thermometer is at about the 7gal line which basically makes it a nice way to figure out when you have enough volume for the boil, but is useless otherwise (would be nice if I didn't have to drop another thermometer in during the chill). These are only issues with 5gal batches - having the flexibility to do a 10gal batch is still worth it to me.

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Old 11-10-2009, 12:57 PM   #6
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How old is your boilermaker pdbreen? I had read similar complaints about the thermometer being mounted too high but the photos on their site look like it's mounted relatively low. Did they change the design and lower it at some point?

I don't measure temp during the chill but it would be a shame to not be able to use that feature. But I'm getting the 10 gal. model for ~5.5-6 gal batches so it shouldn't be an issue anyway.

The font on their site is unreadable and hurts your eyes to even try. They should fix that. EDIT: looks like they did, last night it was all a mess.

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Old 11-10-2009, 01:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpanishCastleAle View Post
How old is your boilermaker pdbreen? I had read similar complaints about the thermometer being mounted too high but the photos on their site look like it's mounted relatively low. Did they change the design and lower it at some point?
It's from early Oct so I would expect this is current design. I knew it would be at aroung the 7gal mark when purchasing. It was a trade-off - optimize for 5gal w/the 10gal pot or compromise and allow for an occasional 10gal batch w/the 15gal pot.
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