> I've found a 15gal stainless pot that I plan to convert into a kettle.
> I'm planning to have a professional SS welder install the 1/2"
> fitting(s) for me.
> Where (ie how high up) would you reccomend having a drain fitting
> installed? What fitting would be best (ie *** or coupling)? What
> would be the best style of pickup for the kettle (ie siphon tube
> curved towards the bottom, easy masher, or nothing (just an open
> Anyone know any good SS welders in the Houston area?
> Thanks in advance,
This may run counter so some ideas, but I'd recommend using a 1/2"
sanitary ferrule. Make sure the guy does good quality TIG welding,
with plenty of argon on both sides of the weld. I've seen guys that
can TIG weld ss so good, that you can hardly see the weld from 5 feet
Have him weld it flush with the inside surface of the kettle. The
distance from the bottom depends on what rig you end up with. Lot of
choices there. By the way, the 1/2 inch sanitary fittings are a bit
unusual, and somewhat hard to find. If you have to buy them new, they
cost more than 1" fittings, which is the smallest standard sanitary
size. But they're very nice.
Since your kettle is probably 18-8, and the fittings are either 304 or
316, I'm hoping the welder won't have trouble with them. Better call
and find out, and if they guy doesn't know, or sounds unsure, find
another welder. Your brewing rig deserves the best!
Then you get a sanitary ball valve to go on that ferrule. If you're
not using the valve, you can just clamp a cap on it. Use the silicone
gaskets, as they'll take boatloads of heat.
There's a guy on ebay, goes by the name of sintrol, that sells these
fittings and occasionally, the valves. I've bought a pair of 1/2
sanitary valves from him, the ferrules, and I already had the clamps
from before. Another time, I bought two extremely nice flexible high
temp hoses from him, with the sanitary fittings already on.
Very reasonable, considering the quality you end up with. Personally,
I'd avoid threaded fittings if possible. But if you do go with them,
I'd weld on a ***, because most of the time the valve will have a
female end. You can get them "street" with a male and female, but why
limit your choices. The *** will probably be easier to clean,
though not particularly sanitary.
If you're curious what the fittings I'm talking about look like, let
me know, and I'll post a photo.