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Old 08-31-2008, 07:26 PM   #1
Kulprit
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Default Keggles - Bulkheads vs IC's

Hey guys - I just finally got my keggles cut and ready to go - so naturally I am already looking towards the next project.

While researching about some weldless fittings to put into the keggle I really liked the idea of having a thermometor - a ball valve - and a sight glass installed and was ready to place the orders.

Then I read that these can really cause havoc with an immersion chiller. Is this true? I have the standard 50' IC that I can't see us doing 10 gal batches without.

So I was concerned if it is possible to have the best of both worlds. If I put the bulkheads low enough will they not interfere with the IC? Or will, over time, the repeated use of the IC start to beat up the thermometor probe and the pickup tube?

Any info/advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 08-31-2008, 07:49 PM   #2
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What kind of havoc have you read about? Not sure if I could address your concerns without more info. If you're just worried about banging the end of the thermometer probe all the time I guess I'd just be careful not to do it. Your IC would have to have a tight enough circumfrence that it could fit in there without hitting though. If that was your concern . . .

A bigger concern for me would be the weldless bulkheads. Before I built my system I read several testimonials about people's frustrations with weldless bulkheads leaking. Other folks seem to be able to avoid this problem, of course, but chose not to risk it and had mine welded on.

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Old 08-31-2008, 08:14 PM   #3
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What's the advantage of having a thermometer in a boil kettle? I can see it for mashing and all but not for a boiling kettle.

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Old 08-31-2008, 08:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
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What's the advantage of having a thermometer in a boil kettle? I can see it for mashing and all but not for a boiling kettle.
I don't have one built into my kettle but I do hand a probe into the wort so I know when its getting close to a boil. Also when using an IC its nice to know what temp you've gotten down to.
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Old 08-31-2008, 10:07 PM   #5
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Why not just get a turkey thermometer and hang it into the wort with a hanger?

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Old 09-01-2008, 12:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
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What's the advantage of having a thermometer in a boil kettle? I can see it for mashing and all but not for a boiling kettle.
You're right - probably not absolutely necessary for AG. But I do use mine. Sometimes if my burner is too low the temp will settle at somewhere below 212* (boiling) yet still appear to be "boiling" with bubbles coming up. If my burner is too high it'll boil over. With a thermometer I can make sure I've hit 212* w/o boiling over. Could I get by without it? Yeah, but I like having it.
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Old 09-01-2008, 12:57 AM   #7
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If you're the type that doubles the kettle as an HLT, it's pretty important to have a thermo but I also like it in dedicated kettle because I can see when I'm about to boil.

If you're going to use an IC, make sure the probe is short. Also, the siphon tube shouldn't go straight out to the center of the keg and then down. I'd have it drop down immediately and stay off center.

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Old 09-01-2008, 01:03 AM   #8
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Thanks guys - good advice.

As for the thermo in a boil kettle - yeah it's probably overkill - but I am making two keggles so figured I would just do both the same to give me the most flexability.

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Old 09-01-2008, 01:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kulprit View Post
Thanks guys - good advice.

As for the thermo in a boil kettle - yeah it's probably overkill - but I am making two keggles so figured I would just do both the same to give me the most flexability.


I think the thermo in the boil kettle is crucial if you use an IC. I transfer directly to my primary at pitching temp, so I need to know when I'm at the right temp. Maybe not so important with a CFC though.
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Old 09-01-2008, 02:06 AM   #10
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I like the thermo in the bk so I can see the temp when I'm chilling.

I recirculate my wort through a plate chiller back to the kettle using water from the garden hose to knock it down to near 100. That's as good as I can do with the garden hose because my ground water is about 82 degrees this time of year. Then I disconnect the water hose and hook up my HLT full of ice water and continue to recirculate my wort until the temp is down to 60 to 65 degrees. Then I just drain the chilled wort straight from my keggle to my fermenter.

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