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Old 09-26-2011, 07:22 PM   #1
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Default Why use a sight glass on brew kettle?

Been extract/PM brewing for years and looking at converting to all grain, so need a bigger pot. Looking at a keggle and want to understand the benefit of having a sight glass and thermo option on it.

Thanks

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Old 09-26-2011, 07:24 PM   #2
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You want to know what temperature you're at and you want to know how much liquid you have.

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Old 09-26-2011, 07:31 PM   #3
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I like to know what temp it is at, how close to boil its at, and also the temp while chilling, I use an immersion chiller so I transfer fromthe keggle directly to the carboy after chilling.

The sight glass is helpful so I know the preboil level, as well as post boil, nothing like missing your gravity numbers because you over or under shot your fermentation volume.

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Old 09-26-2011, 07:38 PM   #4
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I have a sight gauge on my Polarware that I got recently. On the previous 150 batches or so, I used a wooden spoon with marks on it.

So I used it a couple weeks ago for the first time, and it's completely useless while it's boiling. Wort just cycles through it and bubbles and I can't see how it's doing during the boil. When the heat is off, I can tell how much is in there. I'm not sure what the point is, and I don't think it's necessary at all.

If I'm heating up sparge or mash water, I measure the amount going into the kettle with a gallon pitcher with markings on it so I know exactly how much is in there. No point in sight gauge for that purpose. I use it when draining wort into the kettle from mt, but it's just as easy to use a marked spoon.

Really no advantage that I can see except that it makes the brew kettle look badass to your friends.

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Old 09-26-2011, 07:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eltorrente View Post
Really no advantage that I can see except that it makes the brew kettle look badass to your friends.
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eltorrente View Post
So I used it a couple weeks ago for the first time, and it's completely useless while it's boiling. Wort just cycles through it and bubbles and I can't see how it's doing during the boil. When the heat is off, I can tell how much is in there. I'm not sure what the point is, and I don't think it's necessary at all.
Your boil sounds too vigorous. You just need a rolling boil, which will not cause volume fluctuation in the sight glass.

I love my sight glass and thermometer. Would not go back.
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eltorrente View Post
So I used it a couple weeks ago for the first time, and it's completely useless while it's boiling. Wort just cycles through it and bubbles and I can't see how it's doing during the boil. When the heat is off, I can tell how much is in there.
Try using some sort of heat shield under your sight glass while boiling. The heat shield prevents the contents of the sight glass from boiling.
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:54 PM   #8
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I don't have a sight glass on my boil kettle, but I want one!

I have my spoon marked for my volumes, so it's not really needed to know my volumes. But where I found it would be so much more valuable is during the sparge. I could see at a glance if my fly sparging (in and out) is the same, since I have a sight glass on my HLT. As it is, I'm peeking into the MLT and trying to estimate if it's the same. Also, I could see half way through the boil if my boil off was the same without playing with my measuring stick/spoon.

It's not necessary at all, as I've never had one. But I can see the usefulness of one.

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Old 09-26-2011, 07:57 PM   #9
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I just use a dedicated tape measure. I went through and took measurements of my kettles at various volumes and made up a chart that hangs in the brewery. I just take a reading and see where my volume is.

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Old 09-26-2011, 08:15 PM   #10
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My buddy added a sightglass to his pot. He and I both deemed it not worth it. It's one more thing to clean. He uses his old pot now. On top of that, we know our boil off rates anyway. I'm rarely off by more than a 1/4 gallon so it's not really needed.

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