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Old 02-25-2013, 02:02 PM   #1
jmcquesten
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Default Different idea for a sight "glass"

After dealing with broken racking canes, and leaking o-rings, I decided i needed a better solution for a sight glass/tube. While the racking cane with o-rings works, I had trouble keeping mine from leaking, and it always seemed to start at the worst time (middle of a 12 gallon boil). Here are some pictures of what i came up with. The picture of the elbow shows a piece of vinyl racking tubing which was not used. Also, hose clamps at top and bottom are not shown.

The parts i used were.

1 - 3/8" stainless compression elbow (3/8" male pipe thread to 3/8" compression)
1 - 1/2" to 3/8" stainless bushing (welded in)
3" of 3/8" stainless tubing (stainless racking cane)
17" - 3/8" (i.d.) high temp silicone tubing
2 hose clamps (not shown in pics)

I was concerned with being able to see the liquid level through the thick walled silicone tubing, but this was not a problem. I tested with water, and was able to see the level fine. I will put marks on the kegs at each 1/2 gallon so if the hose ever needs to be changed, it won't need to be re-calibrated. My fittings are all welded in, but could be done weld-less as well.
After coming up with this solution, and much time spent on this forum, I found that someone else came up with almost the exact same idea and was asking about it on here a few years ago, so i linked that thread below.

Now, I have no worries of a broken, melted, or leaking sight "glass" mid-boil. I hope this helps others looking for a better sight glass solution.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/silicone-tubing-sight-glass-79858/

20130224_174453.jpg   20130213_001034.jpg   20130221_124305.jpg  
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:32 PM   #2
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I think this is a fantastic solution, thanks for sharing! I just sold off my kettles and keggles with site glasses because of how annoying they can be. This may be my next project. Cheers!

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Old 02-25-2013, 04:27 PM   #3
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I've tried this in the past and it worked reasonably well. I was expecting the tube to go murky after a few brews but it didn't seem to. Was thinking about going the floppy tube route again for my HLT which has bulgy sides making rigid tubes a bit tricky to put in.

I did find it a bit tricky to calibrate - good idea to have the tube tight to the keg wall and put marks on the keg Although my HLT is quite high up which could introduce a bit of parallax.

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Old 03-03-2013, 05:52 PM   #4
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genius! I was looking for an easy way to build a sight glass at home and couldn't figure out how to make the poly tube work with the hardware. Not to mention I'd have to buy 8' of tubing.

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Old 03-08-2013, 09:20 PM   #5
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Yep...this is a good solution...just be sure to check the clamps every now and then. FWIW, an oteiker clamp may be useful, since they apply even pressure all the way around.

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Old 03-09-2013, 01:00 AM   #6
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Good option also if you have concerns about bisphenol-A from polycarbonate sight tubes.

I don't personally, although I probably wouldn't use polycarbonate water bottles for FVs.

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Old 03-09-2013, 01:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScubaSteve View Post
Yep...this is a good solution...just be sure to check the clamps every now and then. FWIW, an oteiker clamp may be useful, since they apply even pressure all the way around.
Yeah, I'm hoping that maintaining the clamps will be an easier task than messing with the double o-rings. The racking cane setup seemed to fail at the worst time, every time. At least if this setup fails I have the option of tightening clamps or throwing a new piece of hose on my fittings. Not sure I've heard of those clamps, at least not by their real name.
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Old 03-09-2013, 02:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alien View Post
Good option also if you have concerns about bisphenol-A from polycarbonate sight tubes.

I don't personally, although I probably wouldn't use polycarbonate water bottles for FVs.
I hadn't considered that, but it's another benefit of the hi temp silicone. I'll post more pictures of the finished setup with measurements as soon as I get back to it.
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