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What Size Cam Locks?

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cat007

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Hey all

In the process of designing a new brew rig and just not sure what size cam locks I should go for?

I'll be doing 50L batches with a 70L HLT, 100L mash tun and 70L BK.

What size have you gone for, and why?

Cheers
Hunt
 

Stubbie

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1/2 inch (BSP) is easily the most popular size for homebrewers. A nominal 1/2 inch plumbing system is plenty for a typical HB rig. In particular, the maximum rate at which you can draw wort through the grain bed will be a system limiting feature - well before the flow rate limits of a 1/2 plumbing system come into play. 1/2 inch is compatible with the available and suitable components such as pumps and silicon hose.

Any larger than 1/2 inch camlocks and you're wasting your $.
 

QldKev

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I'm with Stubbie, 1/2" BSP is plenty. I'm running a 82L HLT, 100L mash tun and 140L kettle, all on 1/2" BSP. A lot will come down to your pump size, I'm running a standard March 809. If you want a lot bigger flow (I don't need to) from some humungous pump then 3/4" inlet and 1/2" outlets may be better suited.

QldKev
 

cat007

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I think my pump has 3/4 outlet/inlet. It's a hot water booster pump, so not magnetically driven like march pumps. Has pretty crazy flow of 20Lpm.

There's a local supplier than can do 19mm (3/4") stainless cam locks for pretty cheap - but that's as small as they go. I guess it also depends on how easy I can get my hands on 3/4 solenoid/ball valves too!.
 

QldKev

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I think my pump has 3/4 outlet/inlet. It's a hot water booster pump, so not magnetically driven like march pumps. Has pretty crazy flow of 20Lpm.

There's a local supplier than can do 19mm (3/4") stainless cam locks for pretty cheap - but that's as small as they go. I guess it also depends on how easy I can get my hands on 3/4 solenoid/ball valves too!.

The march is about 27lpm and most are running on 1/2". You can get 304 stainless 3/4" valves on ebay, about $13 for a 2 piece, or $20 for a 3 piece (posted prices)

How much for the 3/4" camlocks?

QldKev
 

cat007

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The march is about 27lpm and most are running on 1/2". You can get 304 stainless 3/4" valves on ebay, about $13 for a 2 piece, or $20 for a 3 piece (posted prices)

How much for the 3/4" camlocks?

QldKev
I've just checked prices compared to Brewers Hardware and they're actually pretty pricey! The NZ supplier wants basically $14 per male or female 3/4" fitting.

Those valves on ebay - they're manual I assume? I'm using an opentroller/brewtroller system - which will mean the valves are needed to be electronic.

Cheers!
Hunt
 

QldKev

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I've just checked prices compared to Brewers Hardware and they're actually pretty pricey! The NZ supplier wants basically $14 per male or female 3/4" fitting.

Those valves on ebay - they're manual I assume? I'm using an opentroller/brewtroller system - which will mean the valves are needed to be electronic.

Cheers!
Hunt

Check on ebay for the electronic ones too, they are under $30 (posted) for either 240VAC or 24VDC

QldKev
 

cat007

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Check on ebay for the electronic ones too, they are under $30 (posted) for either 240VAC or 24VDC

QldKev
Yeah there seems to be a bunch for around the $20USD mark - which is a pretty good price - as long as they can give a good rate for shipping!

They say they take 5 seconds to go from open to closed. Is that not a long time?

I'm now trying to work out how many cam lock connectors I'll need - and how many 2 or 3 way ball valves (automatic and manual).

I have a 4V system, HLT, MLT, BK and Heat exchanger - plus the CFC - and 2 pumps.

From what I can work out, I pretty much need 1 in and 1 out per vessel/pump. So that's 14. Does that sound right?

This is doing my head in trying to design the bloody thing haha

edit: crap I just realised I would need 2 couplers for every electric ball valve too - 3 if I use a 3 way. Dam that's going to be a lot of couplers haha.
 

Thirsty Boy

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A few less than you think.

One male per each end of a hose - but hoses can do double duty, you often wont be using them all at once. Also, some really only need a QD connector on one end - a bog standard hose clamp is fine for things that dont really need to be switched and changed on any given brew day.

eg - the hose that goes from your wort cooler into your fermenter. Might have a connector ex the chiller, but the end dangling in the fermenter doesn't need one. Or the hoses that go to and from your HERMS heat-ex. Do they really need to disconnect from the heat-ex? Why? Does the hose from your HLT have to come off the HLT? Why?

Ask yourself that question for every connection in your brewery and you'll find that there are a fair few that really dont need camlocks or any other sort of QD - a hosetail and a cable tie will do the job.

Especially for you - you're going to run a brew-troller, so I assume you will want all your connections connected all at once so the machine can do the switching. So exactly what is it you are going to need to connect or disconnect "quickly"? One or two things tops. You are going to need to run a CIP cycle to get all those valves and stuff clean... so you dont even need to easily pull anything much apart to clean it, it all gets cleaned where it is. OK sure, every now and again you'll want to strip things down... but if 3 out of 4 connections in your brewery are simple half inch compression fittings, or hoses connected with hose clamps - thats going to cost you what - 15mins of wielding a shifter every few months? versus buying expensive camlocks that you'll only operate a few times a year.

I say have a good hard think - only buy the QDs for connections you are 100% sure you are going to have to operate at least once on every brewday. If you're wrong, you can always buy more QDs, but no one's going to give you your money back for ones you bought and find you never use.

TB
 

QldKev

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The only thing I'll add to TB's comments is plan to buy once. I purchased some brass fittings to save money, basically the Bunnings brass snaplock fitting. A couple of years later I have replaced them with s/s camlocks. The silly thing was the brass snaplocks were about $10 each while buying from T&S valves a male and a female camlock in s/s was about $15 a set.

Carrying my 20kg mashtun outside for cleaning is heavy enough without extra hangy crap from it, so I personally like to strip all hoses out the way. What I have found is where I push the silicone hose onto the camlock hose tails I find I don't need hoseclamps. So a possible cheap way is just use hosetails and push the hose on for every use, but I'm not sure if it would become loose after a few brews doing this.

QldKev
 

JaseH

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I use cable ties instead of hoseclamps on my silicon hose to camlock fittings.
 

Stubbie

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What I have found is where I push the silicone hose onto the camlock hose tails I find I don't need hoseclamps.
Yep, I've been running [silicon] hose on hose barbs without any form of hose clamps for years and never had one even close to slipping.

1/2 BSP males on all my vessels/pump/chiller and hose barb females for the 3 or 4 hoses that get me by. No permament plumbing in my system - instead I reposition and connect the hoses to the appropriate vessels/pump/chiller as required. Six female camlocks and its a cinch to assemble a hose of the required length. It's my standard practice after every brew to remove the female camlocks and hang the bare hoses for drip drying - though probably not necessary, it's only a 30 second chore. Every now and then the female camlocks received a soak in sodium perc to remove any crud (usually hop matter) that may have adhered to the rubber seals.

Stubbie.
 

Thirsty Boy

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correction to my post (prompted by stubbie)

I said 1 male CL per each end of a hose.... I meant 1 female. Better with the males on fixed points and females on hoses. That way when you inevitably drop the end of a hose on the floor, its not going to damage the sealing surface of your male CL.
 

pk.sax

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I've found two sizes of 1/2" hose barbs on the market. One is FAT. The other need a cable tie/hose clamp.

I find cable tying permanently without squeezing at that spot to keep the hose from expanding works a charm on either size, the fat ones don't slip off anyway.
 

Thirsty Boy

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Cable ties for things that will almost never need to be undone like the barbs from camlocks into hoses. Two cable ties is how I do it, perfect. You can see here how I've done it. Nice and neat, and doubled up for leak insurance.


But use regular hose clamps for things that you don't want to disconnect daily, but you might want to undo or do up occasionally. Buy nice ones with a big butterfly thing you can tighten with your fingers. Dont even need a screwdriver or shifter.

Another handy way to firm up the "grip" of a silicon hose on a hosetail, is to either fold an inch of the hose back on itself like turning up the cuff on a shirt, or to cut off an inch of hose and force it over the outside of the main hose. Either option gives you a double layer with the outside layer constricting the inside layer and making it all a bit tighter and less likely to slip, but still flexible enough to just push on or off.


TB
 

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