Which vessel to add sight glass?

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BigJay13

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I’ve been very fortunate to have been gifted the system pictured with a tower of power. I had a two tier keggle system before so this isn’t that far from what I had—just everything is a lot nicer and the tower of power is amazing. So, only thing is it only has a sight glass on the MLT. I had purchased a sight glass last year and want to put it on either the BK or the HLT. I’m leaning towards the BK because I’m never quite sure what my fermenter volume is. When I mash in I measure out my strike water in the HLT, and have the sparge water heating up in the BK. Once I’ve mashed in I transfer the sparge water to the HLT. I could skip that step by having the sight glass on the HLT. What do you guys think?
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Golddiggie

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I have sight glass setups on the boil and HLT keggles. Nothing in my mash tun [keggle]. I don't see the need to put one in the mash tun, since the water volumes going into that are dictated by other things (vessels or measuring items). Plus I don't want to have grain in the sight glass that I'll need to clean out.
 

Golddiggie

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I found my JayBird false bottom was the best thing to prevent stuck mash/sparges. ;) Bought it almost 10 years ago and don't regret it one bit.
 
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BigJay13

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I agree the MLT sight glass is weird, but it also allows me to check the height of the mash so I can watch for overflows or running it too low. It is what it is—already came with that. Another route I could go is marking a pvc pipe to check boil volumes. Probably easier to put the sight glass on the HLT for now and do the pipe trick on the BK.
 

day_trippr

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Imo, a goal is to keep a recirculating mash flow rate at the maximum without sticking the mash, for any given lautering solution.
Without a sight glass on a mlt, how does one know where that max flow is?

I can reliably set a max flow rate based on the mlt sight glass: after an underlet strike plus a few minutes before one good stir I start the recirculation slowly, increasing the rate equally slowly, over a few minutes. If the sight gauge level starts dropping I back off a bit until the level is stable. At that point I can let the system rip for the entire mash, and use the same valve setting for run-out..

Cheers!
 

Gozie Boy

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Wish I had one on my MLT to help with fly sparging without opening the top all the time, but glad I don't have any due to possible breakage and cleaning hassles. BTW, I need to find some friends who gift things like this!
 
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Back to OP's question: if there are internal volume markings on your new BK, then the sight glass isn't very useful there. If not, you can calibrate a dipstick (e.g., notches on a stainless spoon) to measure kettle volume. On the HLT, they help hit desired temperature and volume during mash-in - and it's hard to see any internal HLT markings 'cuz it's high up. I vote for HLT.

Also, HLT sight glass does not require cleaning.
 
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BigJay13

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Wish I had one on my MLT to help with fly sparging without opening the top all the time, but glad I don't have any due to possible breakage and cleaning hassles. BTW, I need to find some friends who gift things like this!
it was from a friend of mine who started a very well known brewery up here in VT. He just wanted to pay things forward so I did the same and gave away my 3 keggle system to someone just starting out. It took me like a decade to acquire everything!

Back to OP's question: if there are internal volume markings on your new BK, then the sight glass isn't very useful there. If not, you can calibrate a dipstick (e.g., notches on a stainless spoon) to measure kettle volume. On the HLT, they help hit desired temperature and volume during mash-in - and it's hard to see any internal HLT markings 'cuz it's high up. I vote for HLT.

Also, HLT sight glass does not require cleaning.
Good points—I’m going to do the HLT.
 

Jagohaus

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I am putting one on my HLT since my MLT and BK have internal etched markings. This will help with both fly and batch sparging. I also think this will help if I try underletting when I mash in.
 

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