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Jtvann

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Hey All,

Looking for some suggestions on flow meters for my setup. I don’t have any knowledge in circuit board or arduino devices. I don’t really want to get into it either unless someone can dummy it way down. I don’t know if such a thing exists for what I’m wanting.

I’d like to get some flow meters to plumb in-line with my mash tun and HLT. I’d like to be able to set a consistent and repeatable recirculating flow rate in my mash tun. I’d also like to be able to set an even flow rate during fly sparging. One from the mash to the boil, and one from the HLT to the mash. Hopefully something that will tell me rate in gallons per minute.

Obviously meters would need to be able to handle temps up to 170 degrees.

Any questions, comments or suggestions welcome.
 

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Jtvann

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Been doing some google and forum searching while waiting for responses.

Vale, I saw yours and wanted to ask how you’re liking it. Orientation doesn’t seem to matter and would be easier. Minimum flow rate was a concern for me. 1L per minute is probably lower than what I’ll need for recirculating or fly sparging so it should work. Getting picky, is there a reading for gallons or just liters? How accurate do you think it is for repeatability? Is it holding up we over time? I think I like the looks of the one you listed better, but am concerned about accuracy. I think the rotameter looks more fail safe. Only concern I have on the Dwyer rotameter is how to mount it into my system for vertical use. On top of the Rims would be easy, but that would only help recirculating.
 

Vale71

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It's been accurate enough for me. I work in the 5.0 to 5.5 liters per minute range.

Yes, you can also set it to use 19th Century units if that's more to your liking. :p :p
 
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Jtvann

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It's been accurate enough for me. I work in the 5.0 to 5.5 liters per minute range.

Yes, you can also set it to use 19th Century units if that's more to your liking. :p :p
Hey one more dumb question as it can be assumed, but I ask because you know what they say about assuming.

Is the thread NPT?
 

Vale71

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Nope, BSP. As luck would have it, 1/2 inch BSP and NPT fit each other perfectly. I didn't have any issue mounting it between two TC-to-NPT adapters.
 
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Jtvann

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Got ya. I’d probably never have known then. I think i plan to mount mine directly on the out side of my pump with a female camlock on the out of the sensor.

Would you see any issues with that?
 

Vale71

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Flow sensors should never be mounted right after a centrifugal pump because the turbulent flow could alter the readings. At least hat's the rule for commercial-sized systems, not sure if it could actually be an issue at our scale but to be on the safe side I've mounted mine at the end of the RIMS tube, which is an all-TC construct hence the TC-to-NPT adapters.
 

eric19312

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I used a rotameter for a long time but it created some problems and I got rid of it last batch in favor of a sight glass under my mash tun's false bottom. After struggling with the rotameter I realized I don't actually care to know exactly how fast I am flowing, what I really want is to notice if my flow is starting to slow down.

The sight glass worked really well for that application.
 

Deadalus

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Nope, BSP. As luck would have it, 1/2 inch BSP and NPT fit each other perfectly. I didn't have any issue mounting it between two TC-to-NPT adapters.
I was reading about this earlier today for another topic here. The flow meter you linked says male BSPP which is a parallel/straight pipe thread. BSPT is tapered as is NPT. Putting the male straight fitting into a tapered NPT fitting would "jam" the fitting in. The linked fitting only has about four threads so perhaps not a big deal but it may be damaging to the threads. You probably teflon taped it? BSPT and NPT are pretty close but do have some differences as well.

A BSPT male into a BSPP female is okay as the thread shape is the same but it won't have a lot of threads in tight contact just the last ones.
 

Vale71

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I was reading about this earlier today for another topic here. The flow meter you linked says male BSPP which is a parallel/straight pipe thread. BSPT is tapered as is NPT. Putting the male straight fitting into a tapered NPT fitting would "jam" the fitting in. The linked fitting only has about four threads so perhaps not a big deal but it may be damaging to the threads. You probably teflon taped it? BSPT and NPT are pretty close but do have some differences as well.

A BSPT male into a BSPP female is okay as the thread shape is the same but it won't have a lot of threads in tight contact just the last ones.
I can confirm that with teflon tape you get excellent seal without damaging the threads but only with the 1/2 inch one, I wouldn't even try it with any other size.
 
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Jtvann

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The simplest thing you can use is a rotameter type visual flow gauge. These require no electronics, but must be mounted vertically to work. They are available in multiple ranges. You want either a glass or polycarbonate body, and stainless steel float. Here's one with a 0.5 - 5 gal/min range at a reasonable price (IIRC @augiedoggy has used this one successfully.)

Brew on :mug:

Bumping this as I just bought a similar meter to the one linked here. I got the .2-2 gallon version.

I wanted to ask how the density of wort compared to water might affect the reading? Not sure if the stainless weight being so heavy makes density negligible, or if the reading will be higher on the scale because of it.
 

Vale71

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Not density but viscosity will affect the reading. Luckily, wort viscosity changes continuously during mashing so that you can forget about calibrating the instrument as you'll basically be shooting at an ever moving target. ;)
 
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Jtvann

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Not density but viscosity will affect the reading. Luckily, wort viscosity changes continuously during mashing so that you can forget about calibrating the instrument as you'll basically be shooting at an ever moving target. ;)
Good catch. So setting at say 1.4 gallons per minute won’t actually be accurate for the duration of the mash?
 

Vale71

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Good catch. So setting at say 1.4 gallons per minute won’t actually be accurate for the duration of the mash?
Correct. You should see the reading slowly increase even if the actual flow rate were to remain constant. Turbine flow meters are really much better suited for this kind of scenario as they measure actual flow velocity irrespective of viscosity (within reasonable limits of course).
 
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Jtvann

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Correct. You should see the reading slowly increase even if the actual flow rate were to remain constant. Turbine flow meters are really much better suited for this kind of scenario as they measure actual flow velocity irrespective of viscosity (within reasonable limits of course).
Wondering how much it will actually change over time. No way to know till I try it. I think it’s better for repeatability and ball park estimates than actual precise measurements.
 
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Jtvann

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Well, it works pretty good. Flow rate stayed stable for the whole process and throughout all temp ranges.

image.jpg
 

bracconiere

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This is what I've been using:


kinda, well defintely, off topic, but...could i use something like that to count calories poured out my tap? kinda tedious having to click, and pour each glass exactly the same...i'd love some digital meter that i could just wake up and punch into cron-o-meter.....
 
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