Using a “Tempering Wand” for the best control of your strike water temp

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Stumac

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I’ll try to keep this as short and sweet as possible. For the last ten years of homebrewing I’ve been controlling the temperature of my strike water with a flame under a pot. For the last five years of professional brewing I’ve been controlling the strike water with a tempering water valve which is much easier to control. I decided to build one on the cheap from stuff you can find at Lowe’s. Cost me somewhere around $60.

tempering wand 2.jpg


I have two pumps at my house that have ½" barb fittings and my hosing is ½” inner diameter so that is what I based all my plumbing off of. I used CPVC piping because its rated for about 180F-200F (82C-93C) water which is higher than standard PVC pipe. There is a huge discussion as to whether CPVC and the cement that binds the plumbing are good for your health. After hours of research I decided it was safe. If you don’t think it’s a good idea, these schematics can still be achieved with brass or stainless steel or copper or whatever else you wanna use. It’s just going to be a lot more expensive.


All that aside I’ll go thru the parts with you. All parts are ½" CPVC unless otherwise noted:

About 6 feet of tubing (You won’t need all of it though. It only came in that length and it was 2 bucks)

2x 90-degree elbows

2x tees

1x stop & waste valve

3x adapter ½" female opening to ½" female NPT thread

1x adapter ½" female opening to ½" male NPT thread

2x brass adaptor ½" male NPT thread to ½" hose barb

1x brass adaptor ½" female NPT thread to ¾" female standard garden hose thread

1x water hose coil spring protector (about 7” or so)

1x stainless steel ½" male NPT thread thermometer

1x CPVC primer

1x CPVC cement

Only other thing you’ll need is an $8 hack saw to cut the pipe.


Don’t worry if you’ve never dealt with plumbing before. This was super simple. Just watch like 5 videos on Youtube on how to assemble CPVC or PVC and how to use the primer and cement.

tempering wand 3.jpg

tempering wand 1.jpg


Take a look at the pictures on how to assemble it. I use some extra length of ½" silicone tubing for the outlet into the mash tun. Make sure you put the valve in the correct flow direction. There's an arrow on the side that indicates flow. Now the valve is going to be controlled with oh-the-tiniest bit of precision. You put your ear next to it and just BARELY turn it to hear water flowing to counteract the hot water flowing thru. Get your HLT up to about 200F (93C) so that the temp is hot enough to control. Any lower and just the tiniest burp of cold ground water might shoot it lower than your strike temp.

tempering wand 4.jpg


Hope this helps you in your brewing adventures!

-Stu MacLeod
 

Dr_Jeff

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I have the same brewstand.
Take the sheet metal piece off the end, Put in under the top burner between the two frame pieces, then mount your pump to the bottom of it.
I have metal all the way around all of the angle iron pieces, creating a storage spot in the bottom.
Also did the same thing with a sprayer of the water splitter.
I use camlock connectors on everything and fill thru the drain valve, once you get the camlocks, you will wonder why you didn't have them from the beginning.
 
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