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Irrigation Fittings Onto Fermenter. Is This Ok?

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BrentonSpear

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I will have my fermenter in a square tub that is filled with water and heated. I want to have the tap coming through the side of the tub so I dont have to move the fermenter to take readings.

I got a couple of plastic threaded connections from the irrigation section of Bunnings what will extend the tap far enough to allow it through the wall of the tub.

Is there any problem with using this kind of plastic? I will wash and sterilise it along with all my other gear.
 

Linz

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Brenton,

The only precaution I would take is to try and contact the manufacturers of the fitting and ask if the piece is food grade plastic, or as good as.
 

Jeff

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Interesting question Brendon, I would like to know if it's OK as well , I know someone who has made their mash tun manafold out of this stuff.
Easy I agree , but in constant hot mash does it leach out toxins? I don't know but would like too.
I did put a piece in a mug , filled it with boiling water and left it , did the tase test and it was OK , and still alive at this stage...wait............yep still here !


Batz
:p
 

BrentonSpear

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Thanks Guys. Good comments.

Where would I get food grade connections from?
 

Jeff

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New houses are built with the water pipes a plastis stuff , well we drink from them don't we , and they take hot water as well , try your plumber supply.
And let us know how you went , we all want to know these things
Never to old to learn , even me ! :D
 

Nearly

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BS, I could be misunderstanding but if you just want to take SG readings and then taste the sample after the reading :D , then it doesnt really matter what the plastic is.... its all outside the fermenter and the beer is not in contact with it. It doesnt even need to be sanitised.

Or have I missed something? :blink:
 

Snow

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I got the same impression (and conclusion) as Nearly. However, with regard to using food-grade placstics in the mash tun, I am trying to sort through this problem at the moment with my mini-mash manifold. I am too cheap to buy copper fittings, so I got some 20mm plumbers hot-water poly tube. But the only elbows and t-pieces from the hardware store that fit it is electrical conduit fittings. Aparently these are made from recycled plastic, so there's no telling what's in it - not recommended for high-temp food applications. I'm coming to the realisation that I'm probably going to have to bite the bullet and get copper fittings.

- Snow
 

BrentonSpear

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Nearly said:
BS, I could be misunderstanding but if you just want to take SG readings and then taste the sample after the reading :D , then it doesnt really matter what the plastic is.... its all outside the fermenter and the beer is not in contact with it. It doesnt even need to be sanitised.

Or have I missed something? :blink:
Picture this: ( i might take pics later tonight)

1. Plastic tub filled with water.
2. Plastic fermenter sitting in tub
3. Where the tap goes into the fermenter I have added an extension piece that the tap now connects to. The tap is outside the tub, going through a hole in the side of the tub and then screwing into the extension piece that is inside the tub and connected to the fermenter.

So the plastic extension piece is in contact with the beer at all times. This allows me to take samples without having to remove the fermenter from the tub of water.
 

Trough Lolly

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And...you'll fit an O ring between the extension piece and the tub to
seal the extension tube penetration through the tub wall? ;)

TL
 

Doc

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Great pics.
The only flaw in your plan that I see is that you will have to place your fermenter and bath where it does not need to be moved and where you can bottle/keg from.
There is no easy way that you will be able to move it when the bath and fermenter are full. And once the fermenter is full you can't remove it from the bath tray because you will need to unscrew that tap and then there will be beer everywhere.

The solution would be to use an inline tap on the inside fitting as well. However the more fittings etc you add the more places you have for nasties to get in.

Beers,
Doc
 

Nearly

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BS, Couldnt you achieve the same thing by putting the standard tap into the fermenter with it angled horizontaly instead of vertically. Then attach clear racking hose onto it and have that go out up and over the side of the water tray.

You would be able to get a sample because the head of beer is higher than the tray wall. Upside is no plastic worry, no sanitising, and as Doc pointed out you can easily move the fermenter. Downside is that you loose more beer into the sample because of length of tube.

If you want you could put the racking tube through the tray wall and seal it in with silicone and then you could have a short length and minimal beer loss. Even with the tunbe permanently through the wall you could just remove it from the tap to move the fermenter.

Just a thought.
 

BrentonSpear

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Good points Doc & Nearly.

It may be a better solution to just put the tap horizontally and silicon in a tub through the tub wall. Then I can remove the tub if need be without losing any beer, etc.

I would need to allow enough tube inside the tub so that I could disconnect it without letting any of the water from the tub into it.
 

Nearly

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If the tube is long enough to just lift out of the water then you dont have to worry. If you remove the tube let the water get in if it wants. (Or put something in tray to keep it lifted out when fermenter is out of tray) When ready to reconnect just run some clean water through and let it drain out the outside end then seat the fermenter on something in the tray but above the water. (Possibly just leaning the fermenter will lift it enough) Reconnect the hose while its all above the water then lift fermenter off whatever it was sitting on and lower into water.

Admittedly this sounds like a two person operation. Alternatively dont worry at all, just let a 100mls or so of beer through at sample time to flush out any tray water that got in the hose before sampling. The flow out the tap will flush any infections in the fluid away from the beer. If you want you could work out the inner volume of the tube and see what looses less beer, more tube or 100ml flush. Starting to get a bit silly however...
 

deebee

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I can see some benefit in keeping the fermenter in water - heating and constancy of temp. Is it worth the hassle?

I keep my fermenters wrapped in bubble wrap and then a towel or blanket. Then keep them in a room with the best temp.

I don't heat my beers because the heated part of the house averages about 19-20C and the unheated part averages about 16-17C. Put a 23 litre brew down at 22C in a well- insulated fermenter and in the 16-17C room it slowly drops to about 20C over about five days. Pretty good.

If you need to heat there are some pretty easy options. The milk crate boarded up or wrapped in a blanket with a 25 watt globe looks good and easy.

Or: Keep it in the water but lift it out when you need to.
 

RobW

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I cool my fermenters in a plastic tub, but to take SG samples it's just as easy to loosen the fermenter lid a little so you don't suck back through the bubble trap, & then lift the fermenter out of the water onto a towell.
 

deebee

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Or lift nice and gently so the airlock (not overfilled) bubbles backwards but doesn't empty its guts into your brew.
 

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