How To...Make a Stainless Steel Boiler/HLT with Sight Tube

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Titch

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Darcey how much for all the gubbins not including pots
the "bits" and IF i were given the green light could i maybe give your Q-Max cutters another outing for a brew or two ;)
 

Darcey

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I would be happy to send you the Q-max's if u want to pay the postage (I still have the packaging!), I am planning another build so wont be selling them so someone may as well benefit! Dispite the age of the original build I found that the prices V1 quoted were pretty accurate. I will prob have some spare (40cm) polycarb tube left and will prob be ordering some of the John guest fittings again which are really expensive after P&P (I had one company quote £1.86 for both fittings and £15.90 for delivery..) so could reduce postage there if you wanted to jointly order?
 

Titch

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cheers fella

still negotiating stages here :whistle:

im only near the trafford centre so could prob collect IF the green light is given

i think the only thing holding me back now is i HAVE to clear the garage to make more room
 

Darcey

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BUY THE LOCKING NUTS FROM http://www.bearingboys.co.uk/KM8_Bearing_Locking_Nut-960-p#

I have just finished mopping up after one of the element back nuts failed!!! :evil: :evil: :evil: Thankfully it was only on a test run with water to calibrate the sight tube!

I have on OLD late 70's Electrum boiler with an elment and plug very similar so i hurryed to find it.. turns out that its made by the same company.. so I have saved tomorows brewday but having a 30 year old replacement back nut.. you may not be so lucky!!! :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:
 

Vossy1

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I'm not familiar with JB Weld... What are you supposed to do when you've used it and want to get your elements/tap off the boiler for replacement or a thorough cleaning?
The ball valve is only PTFE'd onto the nipple so it will just unscrew. The JB weld only seals the back nut/nipple where it meets the pot wall on the interior of the pot. You could always use a 3 piece ball valve which can be dismantled whilst leaving the 1st section of it attached to the nipple, far easier for cleaning.

I wouldn't recommend JB Weld for any seal that requires breaking on a regular basis.
 

MacKiwi

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When mashing/sparging you may want to trasnfer a fairly precise amount of water from HLT to your mash tun. Visually peering in the top won't give you this kind of accuracy. The sight tube (once calibrated/marked with a scale up the side) lets you do this. It doesn't mean you need a sight tube though, I think other people use dip-sticks to acheive the same.

I find it really easy to connect my HLT to my mash tun via a bit of hose, turn the pump on, watch the level in the sight-tube drop and then turn it off when the correct amount has been transferred.

In the context of the boiler it is perhaps less important. But for my first brew I didn't bother marking the sight-tube and wished I had, as I wasn't sure if I had mis-counted the number of jugs of runnings I had transferred over and so didn't know exactly how much I had in the boiler...
 

Vossy1

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Can I ask why you need a sight tube? I can see it would be handy to know how much is in the boiler, but can't you just look in the top? After all, it will be mostly used with the lid off.
MK's answered a lot of it but to expand, sight tubes and dipsticks are useful
On the HLT
it's useful as you may/will want a specific liquor/grain ratio which can vary depending on the type of beer.
you will know what salt additions need to be made (if any) to that specific volume of water.
if you batch sparge it's important to know how much liquor your adding for both additions
if you fly sparge one thing that really irritates me is having a mash tun full of water at the end of the sparge...only to have to throw it away. If you know your mash retention volume and the amount of runnings you've got out into your boiler/copper you can stop the flow of liquor to the mash early, thus saving water/time and energy.

on the copper
it's important to know your pre and post boil volumes
it's handy when you're not relying on the end gravity of the mash to stop your runnings to the boiler
if your using sugar points as a calculator you need to know the volume of the wort and it's gravity
it helps to zero your system in depending on hop quantities/types used.

There's probably other things I've forgotten too
 

PokeHer

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Thanks for this guide Vossy1. I have completed my boiler :) (well almost, I found the worlds smallest leak from the ball valve during my boil test, I think I just need to tighten the connection). But otherwise, my pot is excellent. Q-Max cutters are awesome and I concur with Darcey above about getting a good drill & bits for your pilot holes. I struggled a bit especially with my 40mm holes as my cutter required an 11mm pilot hole.

I have a quick question about the electricity, I don't know much about electricity but am I right in thinking that these elements both need to be plugged into 2 separate rings? (I used the advised 2.75kw elements from Backer) I am going to brew in my garage and at the moment there is no electrical supply in there, so I was going to run off 2 extension leads until I get electric in the garage. What would I need? 2 rings? or can I have 1 big super-ring of some sort?

Thanks.
 

PokeHer

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Has anyone had any problems with the Backer elements? I have two in my 70ltr pot, attempted to boil 36ltrs of water at the weekend, after about 90 minutes, my water still wasn't boiling. The lid was on and the pot was inside, in the warm.

I then discovered one of my elements wasn't working. After leaving it for a while and trying again, it worked. It seems to cut off after a period of time. I've emailed Backer as I suspect that it's a faulty element. But should 1 element be able to boil 36 litres in 90 minutes?

[Edit] Just had a response from Backer, they have sent me out a new element, no questions asked, great service!
 

Darcey

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PokeHer said:
Has anyone had any problems with the Backer elements? I have two in my 70ltr pot, attempted to boil 36ltrs of water at the weekend, after about 90 minutes, my water still wasn't boiling. The lid was on and the pot was inside, in the warm.

I then discovered one of my elements wasn't working. After leaving it for a while and trying again, it worked. It seems to cut off after a period of time. I've emailed Backer as I suspect that it's a faulty element. But should 1 element be able to boil 36 litres in 90 minutes?

[Edit] Just had a response from Backer, they have sent me out a new element, no questions asked, great service!
I had one with a bad connection to the lead. I had to prop up the lead with something to make sure it had a good fit. My experiences with their customer services was terrible! Pushed from pillar to post department to department. But then again its not exactly a customer facing company.

D
 

PokeHer

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Darcey said:
PokeHer said:
Has anyone had any problems with the Backer elements? I have two in my 70ltr pot, attempted to boil 36ltrs of water at the weekend, after about 90 minutes, my water still wasn't boiling. The lid was on and the pot was inside, in the warm.

I then discovered one of my elements wasn't working. After leaving it for a while and trying again, it worked. It seems to cut off after a period of time. I've emailed Backer as I suspect that it's a faulty element. But should 1 element be able to boil 36 litres in 90 minutes?

[Edit] Just had a response from Backer, they have sent me out a new element, no questions asked, great service!
I had one with a bad connection to the lead. I had to prop up the lead with something to make sure it had a good fit. My experiences with their customer services was terrible! Pushed from pillar to post department to department. But then again its not exactly a customer facing company.

D
Sorry to hear that! They were great for me, even sent my replacement element next day delivery. I haven't tested it yet but hopefully all will be well!
 

andyb123

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would the same process be used for putting a ball valve in a thermopot to create a mashtun?
 

Vossy1

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Up to 70ltr they come with a ball valve fitted so you can just replace it, the 80ltr jobbies don't and you have to fit one yourself which is a bit more tricky due to the double wall. I have done it, my way, see here :thumb:
 

andyb123

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Do the Berglands their opts come with a ball valve fitted????? I was looking at one of their 50lts thermopots
 
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