My new sightglass/thermometer contraption.

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

TerapinChef

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2007
Messages
995
Reaction score
9
Location
St. Clair Shores, MI
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.




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

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2007
Messages
1,560
Reaction score
625
Location
El Paso
Great job.

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.

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
 
OP
TerapinChef

TerapinChef

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2007
Messages
995
Reaction score
9
Location
St. Clair Shores, MI
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.
 
OP
TerapinChef

TerapinChef

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2007
Messages
995
Reaction score
9
Location
St. Clair Shores, MI
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

Cowboys EAC
Joined
Feb 6, 2006
Messages
3,952
Reaction score
95
Location
Honolulu, HI
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 (https://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

big beers turn my gears
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
2,584
Reaction score
42
Location
Podunk, VA. Not far from the NC line.
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

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
356
Reaction score
10
Location
Austin, TX
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.
 
OP
TerapinChef

TerapinChef

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2007
Messages
995
Reaction score
9
Location
St. Clair Shores, MI
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.
 

Latest posts

Top