*Ss Brewing Technologies Giveaway - Enter Now!*

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Sight Glass on a Mash Tun ? Do i reall yneed one ?
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 08-23-2014, 11:54 AM   #21
ChuckO
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
ChuckO's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Keyrock, WV
Posts: 902
Liked 79 Times on 71 Posts
Likes Given: 13

Default

I have a sight glass on the MLT and have found some problems with using it during fly sparging. The sight glass inlet falls somewhere within the height of the grain bed close to the false bottom. When the grain bed has been properly set and is doing a good filtering job there is a pressure reduction at the sight glass inlet. This causes the liquid level in the glass to drop below the actual height of the wort and provides false readings. I still have to look in the MLT to see the actual level above the grain bed. If I get a stuck mash I can actually start sucking air through the sight glass and see bubbles in the line going to the pump, sometimes loosing prime. It does give me some good indication that I need to reduce flow rate or work to avoid a stuck mash.

The benefit to me for the sight glass in the MLT is before mash in. I heat my strike water in the MLT with my RIMS tube at the same time I am starting to heat the sparge water in the HLT. I fill the MLT with the strike water to the right level and let the RIMS heat it. No worries about pre-heated MLT or having to calculate an overshoot to compensate for a cold MLT.

__________________
ChuckO is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-23-2014, 12:59 PM   #22
AnOldUR
fer-men-TAY-shuhn
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
AnOldUR's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 6,231
Liked 586 Times on 426 Posts
Likes Given: 447

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckO View Post
I heat my strike water in the MLT with my RIMS tube at the same time I am starting to heat the sparge water in the HLT.
Hadn't thought about this or someone doing no sparge without the need for an HLT. Both cases that justify having a sight glass on an MLT. For my system, my HLT has much more heating capacity than my MLT. It's faster to heat strike water there and transfer measured amounts.

(Although nothing so far has addressed the OP's stated reasons for wanting a sight glass on his MLT.)
__________________
Sent from my POS computer because I refuse to own a smartphone!
AnOldUR is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-23-2014, 01:25 PM   #23
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Upper Michigan
Posts: 61,213
Liked 4507 Times on 3278 Posts
Likes Given: 883

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnOldUR View Post
So, the real question (at least in my mind) here is, "Will a sight glass on my MLT tell me if my grain bed is compacted?"

I would think not. A compacted bed would not change the amount or level of fluid in the tun. Maybe someone using a pump and who has a sight glass on their MLT can answer better.
In my experience, that is exactly what happened. I used to have a sightglass on my first MLT that I had on my HERMS. The liquid in it would disappear- and that's when I knew the grainbed was compacted. I hated that thing, by the way! It was only handy when filling it, but even as dumb as I am, I could see from the HLT's sightglass when 7 gallons is gone from it and so into the MLT.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad2287 View Post
A sight glass on the MLT can have some value for those who fly sparge. It allows you to make sure your water level has not changed with a quick glance indicating water input equals wort output. With that said i do not have a sight glass on mine. For me the detriments outweigh the advantages.
That to me is the only advantage- if I"m filling my BK, and water is coming out of the HLT into the MLT, if the water level is the same, then I know it's set up ok.

When I went with my current MLT, I skipped the sightglass because it really wasn't very useful and was one more thing to avoid when trying to clean it out.
__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006
Yooper is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-23-2014, 01:36 PM   #24
AnOldUR
fer-men-TAY-shuhn
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
AnOldUR's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 6,231
Liked 586 Times on 426 Posts
Likes Given: 447

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
The liquid in it would disappear- and that's when I knew the grainbed was compacted.
Makes sense. If the bottom of your sight glass is below your false bottom and the bed compacted, it would draw the liquid out of the sight glass. Now that I think about it. The grain bed is always causing some restriction to the flow. By comparing the level at rest to what is measured with the pump on, you get an indication of the load on the pump. Should help when adjusting the flow rate?

(All this will only work if you use a false bottom and mount the base of the sight glass below it.)
__________________
Sent from my POS computer because I refuse to own a smartphone!
AnOldUR is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-23-2014, 02:06 PM   #25
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Upper Michigan
Posts: 61,213
Liked 4507 Times on 3278 Posts
Likes Given: 883

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnOldUR View Post
Makes sense. If the bottom of your sight glass is below your false bottom and the bed compacted, it would draw the liquid out of the sight glass. Now that I think about it. The grain bed is always causing some restriction to the flow. By comparing the level at rest to what is measured with the pump on, you get an indication of the load on the pump. Should help when adjusting the flow rate?

(All this will only work if you use a false bottom and mount the base of the sight glass below it.)
Spoken like en engineer.

Since it drove me crazy (I KNOW when my grainbed is compacting, thank you very much!), when I went with a bigger MLT, I set it up without a sight glass and went with a tippy dump instead. The only place I have a sight glass now is my HLT, and that's the only place I have a thermometer as well now. (The HERMS has a three degree differential between the HLT temperature and the mash temp).
__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006
Yooper is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-23-2014, 02:18 PM   #26
dzlater
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 1,048
Liked 27 Times on 26 Posts
Likes Given: 117

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by steveoatley View Post
Yes, I use Sparge Pal - on the iPhone
And Beer Tools Pro for recipe building & water volumes etc.....

I always seem to come in under, then have to heat up...

That's is why I want to finish my HERMS build
I have a RIMS system right now
If you "always" come in under. Why not just use hotter water?
__________________
dzlater is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-24-2014, 12:58 AM   #27
tracer
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Titusville, Florida
Posts: 12
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

If you have a rims or herms a sight glass is a needed tool. It will show you if you are recirculating too fast, and you can slow down the flow before you get a stuck mash. the port for the sight glass does not have to be below the false bottom to suck down the fluid level.
Just be cause the fluid in the tube is gone it most certainly does not mean there is not wort above the grain bed. It sucks the wort out of the glass because it can't get it through the grain bed.

Tom

__________________
tracer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-24-2014, 04:57 AM   #28
kal
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
kal's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 2,125
Liked 208 Times on 142 Posts
Likes Given: 6

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnOldUR View Post
If you're fly sparging a sight glass in your MLT will be useful.
+1 to that. Very handy:



A handy trick to match pump rates into and out of the MLT: I use a black binder clip as shown above to mark the water level and watch it for the first few minutes of sparging. If the water level moves up or down over these few minutes, I adjust the water pump flow rate slightly to compensate. It takes about 5 minutes to match rates at the beginning of the sparge. You can use an automatically regulated sparging system (such as the Blichmann 'Auto Sparge') but I prefer the simplicity and no chance of clogs / less parts to clean.

Also makes it easier to get the right amount of strike water (no calculating required).

Kal
__________________
TheElectricBrewery.com: A step by step guide to building your own electric brewery
My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0
kal 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
Ohio 15 Gallon Mash Tun with False Bottom, Sight Glass and Blichmann Auto Sparge southwoodbrew For Sale 1 06-01-2014 03:25 AM
Sight Glass in Mash Tun? billr1 Equipment/Sanitation 7 09-09-2013 05:25 AM
Sight glass on Mash Tun or no sight glass on Mash Tun? AndMan3030 All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 15 07-22-2013 03:53 PM
Sight glass on a mash tun? yes or no? Bsquared Equipment/Sanitation 4 08-09-2011 03:36 PM
Mash Tun Sight Glass BoxofRain Equipment/Sanitation 8 03-03-2011 02:00 PM