Get your HBT Growlers, Shirts and Membership before the Rush!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Kettles, Mash Tuns, & Hot Liquor Tanks > Sight Glass DIY
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 02-24-2007, 04:58 AM   #1
Jester4176
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 227
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default Sight Glass DIY

I’ve looked at all kinds of ways for putting a sight glass on my kettle now that I have a weldless fitting. I decided to make my own, and was able to do it for under $10 without tax. If you have a few spare materials around, you can too. If you have to buy all the materials, you can certainly make it for less than $20, which is the cheapest route of all the one’s I’ve looked at. I decided to use a T fitting off the kettle valve rather than drill an additional hole for one.

Materials list:

½” Brass pipe nipple A-835 at Lowes - $2.34
½” Brass pipe T A-808 at Lowes - $4.46
3/8” compression to ½” MIP elbow A-130 at Lowes - $2.96

Broken clear racking tube – Free
1 inch of 3/8” copper tube – Free…left over from the Chairman’s CFC DIY
1 inch of tubing for racking tube – Free…you should have tons of this stuff.
Eye bolt and nuts – Free, but can be bought for ~$2
3/8" hose clamp – Free, as I took one off my old immersion chiller.

Pipe cutter
Flaring tool (optional)
Scissors
Pipe tape
Wrenches
Dremel or hacksaw to cut racking cane to length

Ok, here’s how to make it. Coat all threads with a good amount of tape before beginning. Then, attach the pipe nipple to one end of the T fitting as seen here:



Next, screw the compression elbow into the bottom of the T as seen here:



Now take the 1 inch piece of copper and flare one end of it. This end will have the rubber tubing slipped over it. You don’t have to flare it, but I do it for extra protection against the tubing slipping off the copper. Now, insert the unflared end of the tubing through the compression fitting, and screw the fitting into place nice and snug. Your fitting should now look like this:



Now, get the tubing and slip it on the end of the racking cane and submerge in hot water. The hot water will allow the tubing to slip over the copper easily. Slide the rubber tubing all the way onto the copper until it bottoms out on the compression fitting. Next, slide the racking cane down until it is butted up against the copper tubing. Now, take a hose clamp and slide it down the tubing until it overlaps the racking cane and the copper tubing. Tighten to give the joint a little added strength. Now your assembly will look like this:

__________________
Jester4176 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-24-2007, 04:59 AM   #2
Jester4176
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 227
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

The full assembly will look like this:



Now, just put in your weldless fitting and install the eye bolt up top to hold the tubing in place. Once the eye bolt is installed, cut the tubing to length and you’re done unless you’re using a wort wizard. In this case, you’ll need a valve or a rubber grommet at the top of the tubing to prevent loss of suction when the water level drops below the bottom of the sight glass. An update on what to use for this is pending. Haven’t decided to go with a brass valve like the IHS sight tube, or to use a rubber washer.

I'll have full pics of it on the kettle later this weekend when I mount it to my keggle. Still have to drill the hole for the eye bolt and mount it as well.

__________________
Jester4176 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-24-2007, 07:18 AM   #3
FlyGuy
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
FlyGuy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 3,618
Liked 136 Times on 42 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

Very simple, very clever! Nicely done -- off to Home Depot in the morning!

__________________
FlyGuy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-24-2007, 01:30 PM   #4
the_bird
10th-Level Beer Nerd
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
the_bird's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Adams, MA
Posts: 20,593
Liked 392 Times on 325 Posts
Likes Given: 105

Default

The only thing that concerns me is that I've read on ihomebrewsolutions's site, in the description of their sight tube, that:

Quote:
The IHS Sight Tube kit is designed for installation on a separate 1/2" NPT port from the outlet valve if you are using a siphon tube arrangement (such as the Hop Stopper). If the IHS Sight Tube needs to be installed on the same port as the outlet valve/siphon tube, you will need the optional Shut-Off Valve. The shut-off valve provides a means to seal off the Sight Tube from the valve and preserve the siphon created by the siphon tube.
__________________
Come join Yankee Ingenuity!

"I'm kind of toasted. But I looked at my watch and it's only 6:30 so I can't stop drinking yet." - Yooper's Bob
"Brown eye finally recovered after the abuse it endured in Ptown last weekend, but it took almost a full week." - Paulie
"no, he just doesn't speak 'stupid'. i, however, am fluent...." - motobrewer
"... I'll go both ways." - Melana

That'll do, Pigley. That'll do.
the_bird is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-24-2007, 01:42 PM   #5
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: 22,286
Liked 1079 Times on 716 Posts
Likes Given: 28

Default

Just fashion some kind of cap for the top of the glass to stop from sucking air. Maybe the larger cap on a carboy cap?

__________________
BrewHardware.com has a new website. Please check it out and let me know what you think!
New 100% Stainless Steel Heating Elements are IN!
Chugger Pumps, Pump Kits, Camlocks, Sightglasses, Clear USA made Silicone Tubing, RIMS, Electric Install Parts, etc. Did you know we are also now a full service homebrew shop selling malt, hops, yeast (Wyeast), etc?
Bobby_M is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-24-2007, 03:46 PM   #6
Jester4176
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 227
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird
The only thing that concerns me is that I've read on ihomebrewsolutions's site, in the description of their sight tube, that:
Right, and I've been thinking about this. Rather to put a valve on top like the IHS one, or use a rubber stopper. I've been leaning towards a rubber stopper because it can be easily removed so the tube could be cleaned without having to remove it from the keggle. Going to Lowes after breakfast, so I'll take a piece of tube with me and see what I can find/fashion as a stopper. I may end up just whittling down an old rubber washer to fit.
__________________
Jester4176 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-24-2007, 03:49 PM   #7
Jester4176
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 227
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M
Just fashion some kind of cap for the top of the glass to stop from sucking air. Maybe the larger cap on a carboy cap?
Just checked...and the small cap fits perfectly and is airtight. thanks for the suggestion Bobby.
__________________
Jester4176 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-27-2007, 04:36 AM   #8
Jester4176
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 227
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

Here's the finished product:





I modified it a little to work better. Instead of the one clamp covering the copper and the sight glass, I put a separate clamp on each. It held watertight overnight, and worked great when I brought it to a rolling boil.

__________________
Jester4176 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-27-2007, 06:13 PM   #9
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

Looks nice... couple questions though:

How does a racking cane stand up to boiling temperatures?
Does the wort in the sight tube get up to boiling temperatures?
If it doesn't, is that a problem?

-S

__________________
lustreking is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-27-2007, 08:15 PM   #10
Jester4176
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 227
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by lustreking
Looks nice... couple questions though:

How does a racking cane stand up to boiling temperatures?
Does the wort in the sight tube get up to boiling temperatures?
If it doesn't, is that a problem?

-S
Stood up fine from what I can see. I boiled 13gal for ~10 minutes and let the water sit after that. 3 hrs later it was still around 160 degrees when I drained the pot. The movement of water in the kettle should create enough current to slowly rotate all the water through the tube. Can't see why it should cause a problem.

I plan on using it as my water pot, so I'll boil a full kettle of water the night before brewday, then only bring it up to strike/sparge temps on brewday. I'm sure the water in the tube will get up to 160 degrees without a problem. And if the cane breaks, or becomes fuzzy, it's easy and cheap to replace.
__________________
Jester4176 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
Help with sight glass kgar2121 Equipment/Sanitation 12 02-20-2013 10:56 PM
AHS Sight Glass slim chillingsworth Equipment/Sanitation 15 11-01-2008 03:40 PM
DIY Sight Glass Help Mitch529 Kettles, Mash Tuns, & Hot Liquor Tanks 4 10-08-2008 02:36 PM
Instead of a sight glass.... beerme70 Equipment/Sanitation 4 05-27-2008 04:27 AM
Sight Glass Chris_Dog Equipment/Sanitation 2 11-03-2007 02:07 PM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS