In my continuing quest to find a financial shortcut to everything, this week I installed a thermometer on my brew kettle. I searched around and found that there are 2 or 3 companies that make these specifically for brewing and to install onto a brew kettle. Let me start by saying that these thermometers have a distinct advantage over the one that I installed here because they are marked with the proper temps for everything you would do with homebrewing.
However, I found this thermometer on eBay for $16 (with shipping and everything it was $25) so I was sold. It did not come with the “all-in-one” installation, but I am always one for a challenge. So this is what I did:
Brass Fitting $3.95
2 3/4″ brass washers $4
2 1/2″ rubber gaskets (had them from before)
Thread stuff (had it from before)
Total $32.95 compared to the $33 for an all in one kit…who’s the sucker now!
Anyway, I digress, in order to install this I had to use the step drill bit that I used for the ball valve and make a hole big enough that the 1/2″ threaded section of the thermometer would fit in. This was as much of a project as it was the first time and as with before, it was as much of a chore as the whole project combined.
As with the ball valve, I put a washer on this with a rubber gasket on the inside so that it would seal the whole upon tightening. I used the thread stuff (in the background) the make sure that there were not any leaking on the connections.
As you will note from the image on the right, I had to put the thermometer offset to the right of the ball lock because the face of the thermometer was not going to fit flush right above the ball lock. If I had elected not to use the washer, it would have fit, but the washer would have been on the lowest ring and would have not sit flush, so tightening would have been a problem. Initially I was a little distraught, but then I remembered that this was MY brew kettle and as long as I didn’t care, it was perfect.
Finally I tested it for leaks overnight and it was a slam dunk! I even got the dial on straight (after a few tries) so it’s a totally functional brew kettle.
I am going to right a review of the thermometer on the first time I use it because it was reading some wacky temps when it was first installed, but once it got settled, it was fine…we will see.