Electric Brewing Supply 30A BCS Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > DIY Sight Gauge
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 03-23-2009, 05:43 PM   #1
ghack
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
ghack's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 266
Liked 8 Times on 8 Posts

Default DIY Sight Gauge

Friday I put together and installed a DIY sight gauge for my new keggle. I wanted it to be able to survive bumping and dinging without damage so I went with a full attachment at each end.

Materials were as follows, and ran about $25 total (I had the copper pipe)...And I know the regular black o-rings are not the best to use with boiling liquids.



Each of the keggle attachments is:
1/2” copper street elbow
1/2” to 3/8” reducing pipe to male threaded connection
Two 5/8” I.D 1/8” o-rings
two 5/8” stainless steel washers (note photo only shows one, I added another)
3/8” to 1/2” female threaded to pipe connection

The 1/2” to 3/8” reduction provides more material at the connection to bear on the washer and o-ring. The pipe was sweated to the elbows and those to the threaded connections.

The sight glass portion:
12” 3/8” O.D. Borosilicate glass tube
3 3/8” I.D. ½” O.D. silicone o-rings
1/2” copper pipe with 11” slot cut into it

The o-rings were slipped onto the tube, two at the bottom (security), and one at the top, an inch or more from the end. The tube was slipped into the slotted copper and the o-rings were pushed down into the copper pipe. I had to work at it a little to get the ½” of the glass inside the pipe evenly at each end. I used a short piece of split vinyl tubing to work the o-rings along.

I drilled the holes and installed it next to the weldless faucet fitting from Bargain Fittings.


Saturday I calibrated it with measured amounts and it has a clear three and a half to about twelve gallon range. It needed some tightening…

Sunday I fired the whole up for a maiden voyage with a Scottish 60 Shilling ale. Some drips at the faucet and sight gauge, but as things expanded they stopped. Here is the inside view which includes the 3 cups of trub left behind.

__________________
ghack is offline
JalaPeno Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-23-2009, 05:47 PM   #2
McKBrew
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
McKBrew's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Hayden, Idaho
Posts: 8,291
Liked 31 Times on 27 Posts
Likes Given: 8

Default

Very nicely done, I like the copper look/old fashioned brewery aspect of it. I had visions of putting copper lids on my keggles until I saw the price.

__________________

Make Beer, Not War.

McKBrew is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-23-2009, 05:53 PM   #3
Couevas
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Couevas's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 480
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

Nicely done!

Might I ask where you got your glass tube?
I have been wanting to DIY some sight glasses, but the tubing has always been the roadblock.

__________________
Crooked Horn Brewing Co.
BREWtality 2 Build Thread
"Always remember that I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me."
"No soldier can fight unless he is properly fed on beef and beer."
"Make sure that the beer - four pints a week - goes to the troops under fire before any of the parties in the rear get a drop."
-Winston Churchill----brilliant man
Couevas is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-23-2009, 06:21 PM   #4
Drifter
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 12
Default

I have used polycarbonate tubing from McMaster p/n 9176T28 it is $10.08 for an 8' piece.

I use a 90 deg compression fitting and run the tube(cut to length) to the top. I use a s.s. eye bolt to hold it at the top.

Very simple,durable, and inexpensive. The poly tubing is good to 250 deg F

__________________
Drifter is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-23-2009, 06:24 PM   #5
McKBrew
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
McKBrew's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Hayden, Idaho
Posts: 8,291
Liked 31 Times on 27 Posts
Likes Given: 8

Default

Bobby_M sells a decent weldless sight tube (link in his posts) for $25 + shipping. Far cheaper than anything else on the market.

__________________

Make Beer, Not War.

McKBrew is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-23-2009, 06:36 PM   #6
ghack
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
ghack's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 266
Liked 8 Times on 8 Posts

Default

The glass tube was from McMasters-Carr for less than $5.

I've looked a number of inexpensive ones, but most have the tube fairly exposed. I tend to bang things around so I wanted the tube protected.

__________________
ghack is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-23-2009, 06:39 PM   #7
McKBrew
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
McKBrew's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Hayden, Idaho
Posts: 8,291
Liked 31 Times on 27 Posts
Likes Given: 8

Default

I like the copper look, so I'm going to steal it for my Sight tube protector instead of using the Sanke tube. Hope you don't mind.

__________________

Make Beer, Not War.

McKBrew is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-23-2009, 07:10 PM   #8
mmb
FNG
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
mmb's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mid-Michigan
Posts: 24,503
Liked 3168 Times on 3073 Posts
Likes Given: 173

Default

Agreed. And copper is easier to work with than the stainless sanke dip tube for me.

__________________
White Dog Aleworks and Drafthouse
mmb is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-23-2009, 07:44 PM   #9
drunkatuw
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Rochester, MN
Posts: 645
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

Default

I bought two of these last week and they look like a pretty cheap alternative. I'm still waiting for my step bit to be delivered, so I have not had a chance to connect them to my keggles yet.

Bargain Fittings

__________________
On tap: BCB Porter, $12 Cream ale, Amarillo Pale Ale, Simcoe Pale Ale
Kegged: Amarillo Pale Ale, Simcoe Pale Ale, $12 Cream ale
Primary: Calypso Pale Ale (x2)
Secondary:
On Deck: Lake Walk Pale Ale, BCB IPA
drunkatuw is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-23-2009, 07:58 PM   #10
ghack
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
ghack's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 266
Liked 8 Times on 8 Posts

Default

Just a tip I left out...

Cut the slot in the copper pipe and drill the holes in the keg before you cut the pipe to length. You can then locate the glass portion where you need it and size the pipe on the actual fittings sitting in the holes.

__________________
ghack 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
THE POLs $3 MLT & HLT Sight Gauge!! The Pol DIY Projects 25 08-27-2010 04:46 PM
POLS $10 HLT Sight Gauge! The Pol Equipment/Sanitation 60 04-18-2009 06:49 PM
sight gauge Gumbys_Brew Equipment/Sanitation 6 02-14-2009 11:40 PM
Sight Gauge Length how tall should it be? Sumo Equipment/Sanitation 3 12-02-2008 12:02 AM
Combining outlet and sight gauge? Cpt_Kirks Equipment/Sanitation 3 11-18-2008 11:16 PM