Sunday 15 July 2012

Final Hot Liquor Tank Modification

As I alluded to in an earlier post, my final modification to my hot liquor tank is the fitting of a sight tube. Why do I need one? As the HLT is made of stainless steel there's no way of accurately measuring the amount water going into the mash tun, either for doughing in or sparging.

My aversion to drilling holes in my gear meant that I was looking to integrate the sight tube into my existing tap fittings. My aversion to spending any more than I have to meant that I wanted to use existing fittings which meant a combination of compression and speedfit fittings.

I had a 15mm speedfit T piece in my possession so I added a 15-10mm reducer and a bit of 10mm OD beer line and put the whole caboodle in between the tank connector and the tap. 

Having made sure it was finally watertight, it was time to calibrate the sight tube. There were a couple of problems; firstly the beer line, being made from nylon isn't as straight as some clear polycarbonate tubing which I plan to get from here. The other issue was, due to the extra height added by the reducer on top of the T-piece, there are eight litres of water in the HLT before it registers on the sight tube. The second problem isn't really an issue because I hardly ever need to add an amount of water that small. 

This set-up is perfect for brewing a cornie's worth (19L) of beer. For larger brewlengths, I can always store the water in my boiler and transfer one to the other.


  1. Not wanting to poo-poo your work. I'm pretty sure that the sight glass will not read correctly, I'm sure someone on Jims Beer Kit has tried this and the sight glass level won't read right unless the tap is shut.

    1. It's a fair point, Ade, and I suspected that might be the case but found that, if you shut the tap for 10 seconds, it levels out which is fine for my purposes. Actually a bigger problem is the opaqueness of the beer line, it really needs polycarbonate tubing.