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Author Topic: The dissappearing NPT kettle  (Read 941 times)

Offline Saccharomyces

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The dissappearing NPT kettle
« on: February 13, 2021, 03:52:17 pm »
While the move to all-in-one (AIO) systems cannot be ignored, it does appear that quality kettles with welded NPT fittings are on their way out.  I purchased two new 10-gallon kettles at the end of last summer, both have tri-clamp fittings.  I sold the custom Spike+ kettle, but kept the SS BrewTech TC kettle.  TC fittings have advantages over NPT fittings, but I wonder how much the move to TC on kettles has to do with being trendy versus building a superior kettle.  After all, a brewing kettle is self sanitizing and NPT fittings are much cheaper than TC fittings, not to mention physically smaller.  Building a custom pickup tube assembly for an NPT kettle is dead simple.  Building a custom pickup tube for a TC kettle is not.  In fact, after working with my kettle, I realize that TC has more downsides than upsides at the sub-1bbl level.  That is one of the reasons I like the Grainfather conical more than the conicals with TC ports.  TC ports on a 7-gallon conical make it look like a caricature.  The dual valve assembly on the Grainfather conical was designed with brewing at the home level in mind.  It is a very elegant, simple design. The KISS principle and DIY have always been part of brewing at the home level.  Have we reached a point where KISS is no longer embraced?  I find that difficult to believe because AIO use is on the rise.  It is like the AIO revolution is backlash against the complexity of building a normal electric brewery.

Offline wesbrew

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Re: The dissappearing NPT kettle
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2021, 04:19:29 pm »
I finally put together an E HLT for my system . Moved my npt valve to it and put a fancy 1.5 tc bulkhead and butterfly valve on the kettle. The kettle looks super cool on the shelf.
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Offline ttash

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Re: The dissappearing NPT kettle
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2021, 04:49:56 pm »
I agree with you Mark. The current trend toward 1-1/2" TC fittings and their associated butterfly valves are pointless on any vessel under 1 bbl volume. Those fittings and valves are typical on professional systems upwards of 50 bbls, I know because I've worked on them. I'm currently brewing on a 15 bbl system and 1-1/2" TC fittings and valves are more than sufficient. Putting those on a  10 or 20 gallon vessel is a manufacturer's way of separating you from your hard-earned cash. 1/2" NPT fittings and valves are more than enough. Manufacturers will continue to do it until their customers refuse to spend money on unnecessary bling.

Online Bob357

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Re: The dissappearing NPT kettle
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2021, 05:49:50 pm »
Demand creates a market. People ask for products and/or design changes, and supply chains respond. This is especially true when it means more profit. Often trendy features make better selling points than practicality or price.
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