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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Kettles, Mash Tuns, & Hot Liquor Tanks > Kettle draining problem & grounding for element
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Old 12-31-2009, 06:16 PM   #1
tkone
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Default Kettle draining problem & grounding for element

So I finally got myself a new drill and finished boring the hole for my electric heater element and everything is water tight without needing any jb weld etc, which is pretty awesome.

BUT! I have two (hopefully simple) questions:

1) There's about 1.25 gallons of "dead space" in the kettle when I drain with gravity. I dried lowering the intake by using some pipe elbows and nipples, but that doesn't seem to do anything -- i figured this was what a dip tube basically is (only nicer) but i can't get that remaining 1.25 gallons to drain unless i tip.

so -- do i have to tip? will using a pump or a real dip tube help?

2) as I'm wiring the element, can i just ground to the kettle? or to the metal rim on the element? i read pol's eherms set up, but he says to ground at the thermocouple, but i'm not using one.

any help is greatly appreciated. happy new year!

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Old 12-31-2009, 06:20 PM   #2
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Can't help with the grounding issue, but if you are using a dip tube, you need to have a length of hose attached to your valve/barb at the outlet. This creates the vacum for the siphoning action. I leave about 750 ml in my keggle with a dip tube to the side.

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Old 12-31-2009, 06:37 PM   #3
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Grounding to the thremal couple is the same thing as grounding right to the side of the keg. Just make it water tight or make the ground go to the bottom of the keg at the skirt area where it wont matter.

Your drain I suspect is sucking in air causing it to loose the siphon. It doesn't take much air to break the siphon. If your using threaded fittings then I suspect the threads are leaking the air.

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Old 12-31-2009, 07:36 PM   #4
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I'm guessing its the missing hose from the valve.... you have to have your output lower than the lowest point of your dip tube to continue the siphon

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Old 12-31-2009, 08:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrShake View Post
I'm guessing its the missing hose from the valve.... you have to have your output lower than the lowest point of your dip tube to continue the siphon


Yes, but even that does not matter if the inside "dip tube" isn't air tight.
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Old 12-31-2009, 08:10 PM   #6
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awesome. the air tight thing is getting me.

anyone have a good way to make a dip tube that ends in a 1/2" male NPT?

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On tap:
You Porter, You Dug 'er Up (Munich/Crystal version)
Todd's Special Bitter
Brown Cascade Hoppy Brown Ale

Fermenting:
You Porter, You Dug 'er Up (Amber/Brown malt version)
Shortwrench IPA (Longhammer Clone)

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Old 12-31-2009, 08:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkone View Post
awesome. the air tight thing is getting me.

anyone have a good way to make a dip tube that ends in a 1/2" male NPT?

How big of a dip tube do you want? 3/8" or 1/2" ?

When I used a dip tube I used 3/8" soft copper. I used a 1/2" male NPT to 3/8" compression fitting. Total was like 5 bucks cause my local hardware store will sell soft copper by the foot.

You can do a 1/2" male to 5/8" compression fitting. This will allow you to use standard 1/2" copper pipe. You can sweat an elbow on the end and a small piece so the pickup goes all the way to the bottom.

I like the compression fittings at the coupler so the tube can be made to pickup more wort (almost nothing left) and still be removeable.
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Old 12-31-2009, 08:38 PM   #8
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i just ordered a 1/2" dip tue from bargain fittings. seemed like the cheapest solution since i don't have to do anything but bend it when it comes .

although it'll look funny surrounded by all that stainless steel!

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On tap:
You Porter, You Dug 'er Up (Munich/Crystal version)
Todd's Special Bitter
Brown Cascade Hoppy Brown Ale

Fermenting:
You Porter, You Dug 'er Up (Amber/Brown malt version)
Shortwrench IPA (Longhammer Clone)

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