Sunday, 12 August 2012

The Completed Boiler

After a couple of weeks delay, the boiler has finally been completed. All parts have now been fitted with the only things left to do is make sure that bulkheads are properly sealed and then run the first batch through the new system.

I have added a pick-up tube to the internal side of the ball valve and a plug to fit into the top of the T piece that the thermometer and sight glass are screwed into. While the plug may not be necessary, it has been known that the polycarbonate tubing used in the sightglass can crack or shatter when heating water for cleaning after a brew. For the relatively cheap cost of a plug it's easier than replacing the tube and remarking the litre increments if it does break.

The Fittings

Ball Valve with Pick-Up Tube attached

T- Piece for Thermometer & Sightglass (Stainless Plugs fitted)

Internal Shot - Pick-Up Tube fitted to Ball Valve & Thermometer Fitted to T-Piece

Now that the build has been completed there are a couple of things that I have learnt for future builds.
  • Drilling bulkhead fittings - To drill out the holes for the bulkheads I used a stepped drill bit. If I was to do this again, I would probably opt for a Tungsten Carbide holesaw. While they are a bit dearer, there is a chance of burning out your drill or, as happened to me, snapping the screw that secures the chuck to the drill motor. What I saved on the stepped bit I'll now be spending on a replacement drill. Alternatively, your local homebrew shop, or metalworking business, may be able to drill these out for you at a small fee.
  • Buying Fittings - Always make a list before going shopping for parts. Seems simple enough, but I ended up making two trips out to the other side of town instead of getting everything in one hit. While this wasn't a major inconvenience, getting everything in one trip would have had things done a lot sooner.

Thanks again to the guys from BrewAdelaide for their assistance and tips for the build. Now onto the next mini project for the brewery, the Garden Sprayer Porta-Keg. Further updates to follow as this one progresses.

Happy Brewing!!!

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