Electric Brewing Supply 30A BCS Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > HLT, MLT, and BK appendages, doo-dads, and accesories.
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 09-05-2007, 07:18 PM   #1
Bobby_M
Vendor and Brewer
HBT_SPONSOR.png
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
 
Bobby_M's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Whitehouse Station, NJ
Posts: 22,103
Liked 1012 Times on 677 Posts
Likes Given: 28

Default HLT, MLT, and BK appendages, doo-dads, and accesories.

I've been researching and thinking about how to setup my 3-keg brewstand for way too long and I'm almost there. This thread is a way for me to document my thought process for those who might be thinking the same thing and to solicite feedback if you have any. It's a long post so I don't blame you if you skip it.

I have the kegs, burners and March 809. I know I'm going single tier, direct fired MLT with a constant recirc'd mash and for now will use a CFC. I've decided on brass "coolant" QD's from Mcmaster instead of hard plumbing, I scored three stainless 3-piece ball valves for $10 each... Well on my way right?

Ok, not so fast. I want:
1. A dip-tubed drain on each vessel (no brainer). I'll use a 1/2"MPT to 5/8" tube compression fitting on the inside for this.
2. A sight glass on every vessel. I'm planning on using cut down 3/8" racking canes shoved into a compression fitting for this. I don't like the idea of Teeing this off my drain bulkhead. It's silly to have to cap off the tube to maintain siphon.
3. I want a probe thermometer in each vessel. Obviously I'm mostly concerned with an accurate mash temp. I have 6 thermos available at the moment: 3 Tel-Tru 3" face, 20-240F with 1/2" NPT and 6" probe:


and 3 Trend 2" face, 50-300F, 2.5" probe, 1/4" NPT on the back.


I've ordered all my fittings that will be welded into each vessel, actually more than I'll use just for flexibility. I like designing things with the parts in my hands rather than on paper but my initial ideas are as follows:

Option 1
a. 1/2" coupling for the drain bulkheads, close nipple, ball valve, male disconnect.
b. 1/4" Tee into which threads the 2" probe thermos into the front and the compression fitting for the sight glass on the branch leg.
Pros: Two welds per, nice and clean and compact.
Cons: the 1/4" NPT thermo probe won't penetrate into the vessel far enough to be accurate.

Option 2
a. 1/2" Tee welding for the bulkhead with the branch to the side. On the front, insert 1/2" probe thermo. On the side leg, close nipple to ball valve.
b. 1/4" NPT elbow welded in for the site glass.
Pros: two welds, still compact.
Cons: temps are measured inside the diptube. In the case of the MLT, it will read higher than the overall mash temp.

Option 3
a. 1/2" coupling welded for bulkhead drain, close nipple, ball valve, male discon.
b. 1/2" Tee welded with branch "up" for thermo and sight. 6" probe thermo in the end, compression for sight glass on the branch.
Pros: temp probe makes it into the vessel by at least 4.5". Still two welds per.

Option 4 - everything on its own bulkhead
a. 1/2" coupling for the drain.
b. 1/2" coupling for the thermo.
c. 1/4" elbow for the sight glass.
Pros: Most compact, most flexible.
Cons. Most expensive, 3 welds per.

Thinking, thinking.. but not brewing.

__________________
BrewHardware.com
Sightglass, Refractometer, Ball Valve, Weldless bulkhead, Thermometer, Decals, Stainless Steel Fittings, Compression Fittings, Camlock Quick Disconnects, Scale, RIMS tube, Plate Chiller, Chugger Pump, Super Clear Silicone Tubing, and more!

New Stuff?
Bobby_M is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-05-2007, 08:14 PM   #2
Lil' Sparky
Cowboys EAC
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Lil' Sparky's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 4,013
Liked 50 Times on 33 Posts

Default

I'd go for option 3 or 4, but really you only need the 6" probe on the MLT. You can use a bushing for the shorter thermos if you decide to use those on the HLT and BK. I think, with all the thinking you've been doing, that you'll end up with one helluva nice rig.

__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by duffman2 View Post
I dub this beer the Double Slutty Triple Nutty Bodacious Booty Brunette!
Lil' Sparky is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-05-2007, 08:23 PM   #3
lustreking
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Bethlehem, PA
Posts: 750
Liked 18 Times on 17 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

I think that a sight glass on a mash tun and a thermometer on a boil kettle would COMPLETELY useless. I also think that a sight glass on a boil kettle wouldn't be very useful. If it's not there to serve any useful purpose, it's just something that can break and screw up your brew day.

I think you'd also want a full coupling for your drain valves if you want to attach dip tubes.

On my HLT, I have a full coupling and a half coupling welded on. The full coupling is for my drain valve. Into the half coupling I have a close nipple and a tee to take care of my thermometer and sight glass.

My BK only has a full coupling welded on for my drain valve.

__________________

lustreking is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-05-2007, 08:33 PM   #4
olllllo
[]-O-[]
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
olllllo's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 13,514
Liked 126 Times on 106 Posts
Likes Given: 13

Default

I have to go with 4.
I have T's and and I hate it.
My thermo probe is too short and so I have to stir.
I realize that you have a strategy for that, but beer feng-shui dicates, "Everything on its own bulkhead."

I'm a freak like that. Those T's just stare at me and taunt me.

__________________
Rabbit And Coyote Schwag
Rob - Phoenix Ambassador to Milwaukee
Where did your avatar go?
Ginger Beer for Moscow Mules Bacon Vodka
Twitter
olllllo is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-05-2007, 08:54 PM   #5
Craig5_12
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Valley Springs, CA
Posts: 292
Default

You done a lot of thinking. I don't like having thermos in my mash, so I can stir when needed. I've got a similar setup and I've not done it yet, but I plan on putting a thermo on the intake and outlet of the recirculation part of the mash so I can better monitor the mash temp.
I've got a T on my drain and my sight tube coming off of it...not ideal but it works and I'm cheap...I also use duct tape and bailing wire everytime I brew

__________________
Craig5_12 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-05-2007, 10:33 PM   #6
Lil' Sparky
Cowboys EAC
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Lil' Sparky's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 4,013
Liked 50 Times on 33 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by lustreking
I think that a sight glass on a mash tun and a thermometer on a boil kettle would COMPLETELY useless. I also think that a sight glass on a boil kettle wouldn't be very useful. If it's not there to serve any useful purpose, it's just something that can break and screw up your brew day.
It depends - you've gotta think outside your own equipment and how you use it.

I've got a sight glass on my MLT because it's direct fired and I fill it with a water hose. It's nice to be able to measure while I fill it. I don't have a thermo on the BK, but I would want one if I used an IC or recirculated my CFC back into it. I also don't have a sight glass on the BK, but I understand why some people would want one - to know their pre- and post-boil volumes for accurately determing efficiency, etc.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by duffman2 View Post
I dub this beer the Double Slutty Triple Nutty Bodacious Booty Brunette!

Lil' Sparky is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-05-2007, 11:07 PM   #7
mr x
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Mainly Halifax
Posts: 1,589
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

Option 3. I'd have an isolation valve for the sight glass, or use a different material. Teflon or poly tubing.

__________________
mr x is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-05-2007, 11:09 PM   #8
Brewiz
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Brewiz's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Stockbridge, Ga
Posts: 964
Liked 3 Times on 2 Posts

Default

You may want to rethink the racking can for a sight tube, I tried it and at high temps a racking cane gets soft and distorts. This is what I used 8585K11 from McMaster Carr.

__________________
Do you ever see a motorcycle in front of Therapist's Office???
Insert Name Here Brew Club
Brewiz is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-06-2007, 02:27 AM   #9
Bobby_M
Vendor and Brewer
HBT_SPONSOR.png
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
 
Bobby_M's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Whitehouse Station, NJ
Posts: 22,103
Liked 1012 Times on 677 Posts
Likes Given: 28

Default

Aren't racking canes polycarbonate? Man, what did you pay in shipping for an 8-ft length? I might actually go pick it up since they're pretty local.

I don't agree that a sight tube on the MLT is useless. As mentioned, I can fill the MLT directly and heat mash water in there. No reason to heat two vessels until necessary.

Also, a thermo on the BK is useful for a couple reasons. To give you a hint as to when the wort is about to boil without peering in. The more important reason is when I'm doing recirculated cooling during the summer. I want to know when I'm hitting sub DMS temps. I also want to make all three vessels convertible between applications if I ever decide to unload them (long shot). Overall we're talking about $20 extra for shiny dials.

I'm leaning towards option 4 also but I wonder what the welder is gonna bang me for that one, nine welds vs. 6.

Hmm, putting an emergency shutoff on each sight glass? Dang.. another 3 stainless valves... I think I'd rather risk losing a batch.

__________________
BrewHardware.com
Sightglass, Refractometer, Ball Valve, Weldless bulkhead, Thermometer, Decals, Stainless Steel Fittings, Compression Fittings, Camlock Quick Disconnects, Scale, RIMS tube, Plate Chiller, Chugger Pump, Super Clear Silicone Tubing, and more!

New Stuff?
Bobby_M is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-06-2007, 01:09 PM   #10
mr x
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Mainly Halifax
Posts: 1,589
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

I think you will find that metal compression fittings can cause small cracks in hard racking cane. Plastic ferrules would be a better choice is that's what you decide to use. I personally like teflon tubing. It's clear enough to use for a sight glass.

Shut off valves don't need to be SS, there is nothing wrong with brass if it's cheaper. And you can use 1/4" O.D. as well.

__________________
mr x is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What accesories do I need now for the cornelius keg? tabasco Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 3 03-03-2009 01:12 AM
Any stay at home dads here? tony4444 General Chit Chat 20 02-23-2009 05:45 PM
Hard or Soft (not water or appendages) GreenwoodRover General Beer Discussion 1 01-25-2009 04:26 AM
Hats off to single moms & dads Glibbidy General Chit Chat 17 11-11-2007 10:33 PM
What do HBT Dads want out there for Father's Day? EdWort Equipment/Sanitation 49 06-17-2007 06:14 PM