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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Kettles, Mash Tuns, & Hot Liquor Tanks > Tangential Inlet
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Old 02-10-2010, 05:57 PM   #1
cascadia
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Default Tangential Inlet

Does anyone use a tangential inlet on their brew kettles? How about keggles?

Seems like it would be effective at whirlpooling. Currently I whirpool by returning the wort through a port at the top that has a tube attached inside that routes the wort along the side of the keggle (basically a long curved dip tube). It works, just wondering if returning the wort lower in the kettle would be more effective.

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Old 09-30-2010, 12:21 AM   #2
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ClaudiusB has one welded at the bottom of his vessel. I'd like one but not sure I trust my welder to do a clean job. I would imagine you would have more velocity coming through the tangential side inlet.

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Old 09-30-2010, 03:33 AM   #3
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Speaking from experience trying different configurations where the return port is positioned is not as important as making sure that the returning wort gets mixed continuously and thoroughly in order to avoid temperature stratification. IOW, if the port is near the bottom, you would want to direct the output towards the surface. IMO, positioning the return near the top is the better way to go, but obviously you will want to avoid splashing, so just below the surface would be best. As for the tangential part, I just have an elbow attached to the port (actually a 90 elbow and a 45 street elbow together. The two elbows back to back allow me to pretty much direct the flow in any direction desired.

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Old 09-30-2010, 04:04 AM   #4
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Well, I have had a few opportunities to try different configurations since I originally posted this.

I am currently recirculating through a port about 5" from the bottom with a 90 elbow inside. I like the idea of adding a 45 to be able to direct flow even more.

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Old 09-30-2010, 04:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cascadia View Post
Well, I have had a few opportunities to try different configurations since I originally posted this.

I am currently recirculating through a port about 5" from the bottom with a 90 elbow inside. I like the idea of adding a 45 to be able to direct flow even more.
Actually, the return port on my converted keg BK is about six inches or so above the bottom weld line. I don't remember the exact measurement, but it's close to that. The port was originally installed for a Bi-metal dial thermometer. I direct the flow upward and towards the wall of the kettle with the elbows. This creates the whirlpool effect and mixes the wort well. The output sort of deflects off of the kettle wall and this creates some turbulence for better mixing.
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Old 09-30-2010, 04:48 AM   #6
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Catt22, my location also serves as the thermometer port, I put a tee on the outside of the kettle with the bi-metal and a valve. I am going to try directing the flow upwards like you do. I have tried a number of configurations all directed downwards. I can get a whirlpool going, but I feel it could be better. It's worth a shot-just have to give the 90 elbow a 1/4 turn!!

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Old 09-30-2010, 05:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cascadia View Post
Catt22, my location also serves as the thermometer port, I put a tee on the outside of the kettle with the bi-metal and a valve. I am going to try directing the flow upwards like you do. I have tried a number of configurations all directed downwards. I can get a whirlpool going, but I feel it could be better. It's worth a shot-just have to give the 90 elbow a 1/4 turn!!
I gave up entirely on the bi-metal thermometers. I have a relatively expensive one and it was all over the place and would not hold calibration. I went digital thermocouple instead. I've found that the trick to getting a good whirlpool going is to use large diameter hoses and fittings throughout. I'm using 5/8" ID hoses and the smallest ID anywhere is 1/2" including the fittings and the chiller ID.

The reason I was emphasizing the temperature stratification issue was because one time I thought that the wort was chilled down to 75F and most of it was, however, the top few inches of wort remained up around 140F. This was on my buddies rig and he had a dial thermometer mounted very low on the kettle. We were doing the final transfer through the chiller into the fermenter. When about 4" of wort remained in the kettle, the thermometer shot up rapidly. I was shocked that there could be that much of a temperature difference since we were doing the whirlpool and continuous circulation thing through a CFC. I figured that the whirlpool action would mix the wort sufficiently. I was very wrong and the problem was that the chilled wort was being returned down low and it never mixed well with the upper layers of much hotter wort. Aiming the return port upward was the cure.
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Old 09-30-2010, 06:29 AM   #8
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I feel like my bi-metals work pretty well, usually within two degrees. I have six at various points in my system. That said, I do try and calibrate them a couple times a year.

I hear you on temp stratification, that was actually part of my reason for the original post. I have since switched to a counterflow chiller and am able to get to 70 in one pass. With my immersion chiller I would see 20-30 degree differences between top and bottom with continuous recirculation.

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Old 09-30-2010, 06:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cascadia View Post
I feel like my bi-metals work pretty well, usually within two degrees. I have six at various points in my system. That said, I do try and calibrate them a couple times a year.

I hear you on temp stratification, that was actually part of my reason for the original post. I have since switched to a counterflow chiller and am able to get to 70 in one pass. With my immersion chiller I would see 20-30 degree differences between top and bottom with continuous recirculation.
Yes, only it was a 70 degree difference for us. My friend and I have similar, but not identical direct fired RIMS setups. We both pump through a CFC and back to the kettle continuously for the whirlpool effect. I just expected the wort to get mixed just by the whirlpool action alone and that's where I went wrong. It can spin fast and still not get mixed well. This was not expected at all.
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Old 09-30-2010, 06:49 PM   #10
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that's a big word to make beer go in a circle,, but did make me think about it..
i return threw a IC Jammies style, but I am installing another coupler to the pot this weekend for return without the IC,,(have two plate chillers now).

so your saying return high and up for best recirc and mixing, but should the return be tangent or pushed back into the wall??

my plan was on a short piece of 5/8 copper curved to push against the side off a 90 elbow, but do you think a straight short tube pointing slightly up will do better??

yes I had to look up tangent, its been 30years since Geometry class, but it came back fast

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