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-   -   My new sightglass/thermometer contraption. (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/my-new-sightglass-thermometer-contraption-111026/)

TerapinChef 03-28-2009 01:54 AM

My new sightglass/thermometer contraption.
 
Well here it is...It's been a bit of time in the planning and actually pulling the trigger. I didn't want my sightglass and thermometer to be in different places on my keggle anymore. See my stand if you want to know why. So I invented this little guy. It replaces those compression fittings you see on the smaller thermo-thingy type products that hold a stem thermometer with open 1/2" NPT threads to fit a thermometer right into. I managed to construct a bit of a protector as well while working on the project.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3589/...dcec6c.jpg?v=0

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3548/...g?v=1238204608

The real thing that I need to figure out is what color am I going to paint the inside of this thing? It'll be on my HLT, so I'll be trying to improve the visiblity of water in Polycarbonate tubing, if that helps.

Also, I thought of picking up some 1/2" ID Orings to fit over the tubing and mark my different water targets throughout the brew day. Thanks to Seebee John for making me think I'm not crazy. He used zip ties for the same thing.

ClaudiusB 03-28-2009 03:01 AM

Great job.

Quote:

The real thing that I need to figure out is what color am I going to paint the inside of this thing?
Any reflective paint, like silver, chrome, etc.

Quote:

Also, I thought of picking up some 1/2" ID Orings to fit over the tubing and mark my different water targets
To give it a more professional look use colored lines indicating the volume.
I did it that way.

Cheers,
ClaudiusB

drunkatuw 03-28-2009 03:35 AM

Looks nice. Almost the same as the one sold at william's brewing, but the DIY method is probably cheaper.

WELD-B-GONE SIGHT TUBE AND ADAPTER @ Williams Brewing

TerapinChef 03-28-2009 03:41 AM

Yeah I've seen those, and similar. I've tried those compression fittings with the stem thermometers and was not happy. So now I can thread my threaded thermometer right in. Should have it tomorrow or Monday so I'll update full finished project then.

TerapinChef 03-29-2009 12:48 AM

So quick problem. I've got my dip tube installed on the ball valve that allows me to drain all but a scant 1/2 pint of liquid from my kettle. However, with this setup, my sight glass does not come into play until 19Q (4 3/4G) in. I'm thinking I'll just remove the dip tube and allow it to drain from the coupling, giving me what seems to be about a 10Q "dead space" in the bottom of my HLT. Which would allow me to start reading my sight glass at about 9Q (1 3/4G) instead of 19. Anybody see any problems with this?

Lil' Sparky 03-29-2009 01:26 AM

I really like the sight glass/thermometer combined fitting. I've got the weld-b-gone fittings on my HLT and MLT. I didn't like how they sealed the thermo probes in the compression fittings, so I made a little modification (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/thermosight-twist-28815/). They never leak a drop with this setup.

I too wish I could measure lower volumes, but I don't think it's worth wasting the extra volume to do what you suggest. Mine are mounted as low as I could on my kegs and the volume shows up in the sight glass at the 3.5 gal mark. In reality, that's fine. Most of the time I brew 10 gal batches, so the volumes I deal with are way more than that. But even for 5 gal batches, it doesn't cause too much problems.

beerthirty 03-29-2009 02:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TerapinChef (Post 1225845)
So quick problem. I've got my dip tube installed on the ball valve that allows me to drain all but a scant 1/2 pint of liquid from my kettle. However, with this setup, my sight glass does not come into play until 19Q (4 3/4G) in. I'm thinking I'll just remove the dip tube and allow it to drain from the coupling, giving me what seems to be about a 10Q "dead space" in the bottom of my HLT. Which would allow me to start reading my sight glass at about 9Q (1 3/4G) instead of 19. Anybody see any problems with this?

I have thought of doing the same but to remove the air pocket that is always trapped in the curved diptube, making pump priming easier. The deadspace in you hlt is of little concern except you will be heating the extra water. Accurate water measurements are more important than a little wasted LP to me.

alpo 03-29-2009 04:03 AM

Ha, I thought about doing that before, but I don't really need a sight glass.

I may do something like that in my HERMS setup so I can measure the water temp right at the sparge arm as it comes out the heat exchanger.

TerapinChef 03-29-2009 02:20 PM

I'm not concerned about wasting the 2G of water in the deadspace of the HLT. I'll use it for cleaning. I think I'm going to do this. Now to mark my protector...

Beerthirty, if you fill your hlt through your dip tube, wouldn't that eliminate the air pocket?

Lil Sparky - In case you didn't build a protector yet, I figured out with that nice Tee that all you have to do to hold it firmly in place is notch the bottom to slide over those "posts" in the Tees.

Alpo, you might want to look into the "Threwmometer" It's a flow through thermometer so you can read the temp as it is moving in line and sanitary.

beerthirty 03-29-2009 02:29 PM

Probably would take care of most of it. As the water is heated and it degasses a little more gets trapped. I usually just open it without the hose hooked up to the pump at first.


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