Ace/Hopcat/Klarstein Sightglass, Sparge and Wirlpool Mod

Discussion in 'General Home Brew Equipment Discussion' started by CptCaveman, Mar 12, 2018.

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  1. Mar 12, 2018 #1

    CptCaveman

    CptCaveman

    CptCaveman

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    Hi folks,

    Since this nice little unit has a pump, I thought it was a pity that it kept it all to itself. I simply took the pump input and bottom drain connections outside the unit and used camlock fittings so the pump can be used in different ways.

    This effectively combines the sightglass and whirlpool mods with the advantage that you don't have to take the pump outside. You only need to make two holes and connect the fittings. Some pictures and a video show exactly what I did and how you could use it. If anyone is interested, I can provide more info like a parts list etc.



     
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  2. Apr 7, 2018 #2

    CptCaveman

    CptCaveman

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    So I did my first all grain brew using my mods and am very pleased. I also realized that I never uploaded an image of the basic setup. Below you can see the unit configured as stock with a short length of hose connecting the bottom outlet (with the ball valve) and the pump inlet. This is the stock setting. To use the pump to pump sparge water from another pot/tank I just close the bottom outlet valve, disconnect the hose and run a hose from the pump inlet to my sparge tank. It works quite nicely.

    Another advantage is that it makes it very easy to clean things - with everything disconnected I can run clean water through everything without worrying about anything sitting in the pipes.

    IMG_6002.jpg
     
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  3. Apr 12, 2018 #3

    mgkpancake

    mgkpancake

    mgkpancake

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    Pretty cool! Don't forget to take off the housing after every brew to dry (or run caustic, rinse, and sanitize, then dry), it always has stuff lodged in it!
     
  4. Jan 15, 2019 #4

    Meza

    Meza

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    Nice setup. I am waiting on the delivery of the same mash kettle.

    Can I ask how well the whirlpool works when brewing? Can you describe how you then drain the kettle into a fermenter? How do you deal with hop pellet debris in the kettle, is the whirlpool alone good enough? Can you drain the whole kettle or do you need to do anything (tipping?) to get the last few litres?

    thanks!
     
  5. Feb 5, 2019 #5

    CptCaveman

    CptCaveman

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    Hi there and sorry for taking so long to reply. It's funny, I was searching for something else and my own post turned up in the results!!

    I actually don't use the whirlpool to be honest... and in fact, you can do this without my mod - you just need a cam connector on the tap and connect it to the recirculation outlet at the top.

    A major advantage of the setup is that it gives you access to the bottom drain. Essentially the mod routes the bottom drain to pump inlet connection outside the unit giving access to the bottom drain and pump inlet independently. This is invaluable for cleaning the unit, you can just force a hose through the bottom drain and it comes out the side.

    On the last brew, I had happen exactly as you describe.... a little tipping was needed but it was easily cleaned afterwards with no dismantling of anything needed.
     
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  6. Aug 9, 2019 #6

    pottsworth

    pottsworth

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    Just found this via another thread.

    Do you have a list of the bits you used to do the conversion? I currently heat my sparge water on the hob, so being able to pump it out, instead of hoisting 12 litres of 70 degree water to head height would be a bonus!
     
  7. Aug 9, 2019 #7

    Meza

    Meza

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    Come to the dark side... Try full volume mashing and skip the sparge! ;)
     
  8. Aug 9, 2019 #8

    pottsworth

    pottsworth

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    Have thought about trying that, but I aim for 23l into the fermenter, so having accounted for absorption by a moderate grain bill, boil off, and the 1l of break material under the bazooka, I’d always need to do a little bit of a top up
     

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