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My 40L electric HLT works a treat but I need to add a sight glass to improve it.

What's a good place to source one?

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I've recently ordered this:


2 of them in fact. They shipped 7 days ago so should be here any day now.

Let me know how they are when you get them.  I haven't ordered they yet so I can afford you to try the out first... :-))

That looks like exactly what I need too...been looking separately at thermometers and sight-glasses for my keggle.

Be interested to hear your thoughts when you receive it.

Ow I just received one of those, with the thermometer added. It's awesome.

Just out of interest I priced up some 12.7OD Polycarb tube which, if I'm right, could be threaded to fit a 1/2" - 1/4" reducing bush (or any 1/4" BSP femal fitting). I would estimate the price to be around $15-20 for a 500mm long sight glass & bush if it works. Only issue was having to by a 3m length of tube = 6 sight glass (I would only need 1 - 2max).

Adam could you measure the OD of the tube when you get it from the states (from what I have read from the suppliers posts I should be correct)

If you wanted to make your own then this post by Denimglen shows one way of doing it.  I put one together last year for my HLT and its been going strong since.  This version doesn't have the thermometer but I reckon it woudn't be hard to use a T rather than an elbow.  I got the bits and pieces from HCD Flotech and Mulfords in Onehunga  - they sold polycarb in whatever length you want too.  All up cost me NZ$30 IIRC.

I'm looking at making a sight glass out of 30cm of Borosilicate glass tube and '316 SS fittings' (hex nipple and 90' elbow). I've hit a brick wall trying to work out how best to connect/join the glass tube to the 90' SS elbow.

Any ideas??

With regards to Denimglen's version - I was under the impression brass isn't the best thing to be coming into contact with your brew?

If it's for an HLT then brass is no dramas at all. If it's for a boil kettle you can treat it a' la John Palmer's "metallurgy" section of How to Brew.

I'm not sure whether you can get the same olive/nipple type arrangement as mentioned above but in stainless for the stainless/ glass connection.  Maybe try Anzor as a starting point.

I'm also not sure that using glass in a compression fitting is a good idea - but happy to hear otherwise.  This thread on AHB shows another approach you might be able to adapt.

With regard to brass fittings, if you're worried about gulping lead (which I'm not in the quantities likely to pass into my beer as they're probably less than I would have been exposed to as a kid before petrol became unleaded)  then as Stu says John Palmer's suggestion can help minimise the risk.

I got a few 1/2" 90 degree stainless compression fittings for the coil in my HLT from Anzor that would suit this purpose but they cost the earth. I saw some on craftbrewer too which we're much cheaper but I don't think they were 90 degree though.

I ended up getting some complete units with thermometers from brewing hardware (as above). After seeing how they were put together, I reckon the idea of threading the polycarbonate pipe to suit a female thread on a 90 degree fitting is probably a better way to go, assuming you've got the tools and experience. It would probably need some kind of food safe glue to seal it in the thread as it wouldn't be a taper thread.

Also, re your (much) earlier comment on 1/2"OD polycarbonate tubing from Mulfords - I'm pretty sure I got the last of their stock a few months back as they no longer stocked it and only had a few odds and ends at their CHCH warehouse - may have changed now though with any luck. Be interested to know if anyone has sourced another supplier of the polycarbonate.

Thanks for the replies - I've just sent an email to Anzor as I can't see any compression fittings in their online catalogue.

Re: your comment about polycaronate - Dotmar is who you want to be talking to. I was just talking with them a couple days ago. 09 579 8300 (Auck) or 06 354 4250 (Palmerston Nth - ask for Ben).

Aucklands got a minimum $60 purchase whereas Palmy hasn't got a minimum purchase.

1/4"OD is $11.38+GST/m and 3/8"OD is $12.53+GST/m. I didn't ask for other sizes but I'm sure they'll have plenty of other sizes.

Sorry Mathew, just realised that I've set you wrong. The fittings were from Swagelok, not Anzor.

Look in the catalogue (link below) on page 32 for straight thread compression elbow fittings suitable for a bulkhead application through a kettle or hlt wall. http://www.swagelok.com/downloads/WebCatalogs/EN/MS-01-140.PDF

Make sure you sit down when it comes to ordering them.

The cheaper alternative are these from craftbrewer but you'll have to add your own elbow and bulkhead arrangement.



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