In an effort to never let well enough alone, I decided to add a whirlpool port to our brew kettle. I was actually unhappy with the side pickup tube that was installed. The vacuum broke way too early due to the size of the tube. The result was half an inch of wort left in the kettle when transferring to the fermenter. This wasn’t much of an issue since I could place my strainer over the top of the bucket and pour in the remaining wort. However, now that we have moved to our 15 gallon conical fermenter, this was no longer an option. In looking around for options, I decided on this:
Everything was purchased from bargainfittings.com
– KEG weldless bulkhead kit – $24.20
Use these options for the bulkhead kit:
1/2″ STAINLESS Quick Disconnect – Male x 1/2″ NPT male – $6.99
Once the parts came in, I took the side pickup tube and standard bulkhead off the valve in the kettle. I rewrapped the nipple with teflon tape and installed the 90 degree elbow. I then used a length of 1/2″ tubing and measured just shy of resting flat on the bottom of the kettle. I the pushed the tubing on the elbow and fastened it with a hose clamp.
This should leave barely any wort in the kettle when transferring to the fermenter.
I then laid out the parts for the whirlpool port. This is how the whirlpool will be installed on the inside of the kettle.
Using my step bit, I drilled a hole in my kettle at just under the 10 gallon level.
I installed the nipple, washer, o-ring and nut as shown here (minus the standard bulkhead fitting):
Everything looking good, I made sure both valves were closed and moved on to the next step
The leak test! This is the first leak test that did not shed a drop. I guess after doing so many of these, I finally got it right.
Not happy the the whirlpool was directed straight at the side of the kettle I went to Home Depot and “tested” a pipe bender. This was as far as I could bend the tube using their bender.
We’ll see how this works. I may have to bend it some more, but we’ll test it first.
I’ve made sure to angle the arm down for maximum movement of the wort.
Quick Disconnect has been installed.
I noticed that the 3-piece valve is actually shorter than any of the other 3-piece valves I have ordered from Bargain Fittings. Not that it matters much, but I figured I’d point it out.
This is a shot of the Kettle with the installed whirlpool arm and immersion chiller sitting inside. As you can see, there is plenty of room in this mammoth kettle.
I actually had most of these parts left over from other ideas for building out the brewery, but went other directions. I only had to purchase the Quick Disconnect and the 90 elbow for this build, but wanted to show the easiest way of purchasing all the parts as a single assembly.