Membership questions? Log in issues? Email info@brewersassociation.org

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

Offline Saccharomyces

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1136
  • Deus ex machina
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

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 13
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.
🍺 Pouring cold beer

Offline ttash

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 161
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

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 913
  • Consensus means nothing to me. I am who I am.
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.
Beer is my bucket list,

Bob357
Fallon, NV