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What kind of Fittings?

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ScubaSteve

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So-

I'm in the middle of building my single-tier HERMS (can also do direct fire recirc). This is how all 3 of my kegs look, with available couplings.



The coupler with the blue ball valve is 1/2", and the other 2 to the right are 1/4".

I plan on using 1/2" brass QD's from McMaster with silicone tubing.

My questions:

Am I going to be able to effectively use the 1/4" couplings? I think it might restrict the flow significantly and even clog with hops/coldbreak if I am trying to do a recirculating whirlpool setup in the BK. I want to use the 1/2" outlet to go to the pump, then put a "whirlpool" return tube on the inside of the BK that is curved. Do you think the march pump will have enough pressure through a 1/4" opening to even create an adequate whirlpool?

For those of you with rigs, what would be the optimal setup for fittings/sight glass/therms? I'd like to have at least a sight glass in the HLT and BK. I think I may use a hand therm to save $$$, so that would still leave an available port. There are so many possible configs, it's crazy. Do you trust your dial therms? I've heard that digital therms can be just as shady.

I think it would be cool to have the HERMS coil in the HLT and use the 1/4" couplers for an in/out with a small ball valve (silver/black valve in pic) for shutoff, then a 1/4"MPT to 1/2"FPT coupler, then a male QD. Then it's just snap on/off when it comes time to recirc.

Any ideas/ words of wisdom? :mug:
 

Lil' Sparky

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Hard to say if the 1/4" will give you the whirlpool you're looking for.

If you're going to install a sight glass on one of those 1/4" fittings, put it on the one at the bottom. The higher one is too high IMHO. If you wanted to use one of them for something else, you could also use a thermosight - thermo + sight glass in one fitting. That's what I did. https://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=28815

I've been really happy with the digital probe thermos I use in the thermosight. They haven't been flaky at all and make it really nice for measuring the mash and sparge water temps.
 
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ScubaSteve

ScubaSteve

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Sparky-

Where'd you get your thermos? Any problems with melting/burning? I'm very wary of that because of the banjo burners I use. Any melting/warping on your sight glass?
 

woosterhoot

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Im not sure about the hops clogging the 1/4", but I know that alot of pumps have larger suctions and smaller discharges. The manufacterer of the pump may have literature has a pump curve or minimum pipe sizes. Let me know how it works i want to build a whirlpool chiller and was going to have 1/4" or 1/2" tubing on the discharge. Still shopping for pumps and so forth.
 

Lil' Sparky

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ScubaSteve said:
Sparky-

Where'd you get your thermos? Any problems with melting/burning? I'm very wary of that because of the banjo burners I use. Any melting/warping on your sight glass?
I got the thermos from Walmart, $15. Nothing's melted yet. I think the silicon coating on the wire probably would, but I keep it up out of the way. The displays have got warm where the LCD looked funny, but were fine again after they cooled. I stick them to my center post up high to keep them away from too much heat (they're stuck to post on the left side in the pic). Obviously, mounting them somewhere away from the burners is your best bet. I'm thinking of building a single tier stand, otherwise I'd probably modify the stand with something stickout out front to attach the thermometer readouts.

I haven't had any problems with the sight glass. It's some kind of plastic tubing similar to a racking cane, but I don't think it's ever been near hot enough to cause problems.

 
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