Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New pot and bag

The pot I have been using is a cheap Chinese aluminium one, which is pretty thin. It's actually good for prototyping. Very easy to drill and work with.

But the downside is that it dents and bends and corrodes. And it's not easy to weld/solder to.

So time to upgrade to the real thing, stainless steel. More stronger and I can braze and silver solder my fittings to it.

I wanted pretty much everything in contact with the wort to be stainless steel. So I got some 316 stainless steel mesh to make the bag with.

The 1" socket for the heating element:

The socket for the temp probe:

This was my first try at silver soldering. It wasn't that hard, but the results aren't perfect. Much better than leaky weld-less fittings however. 

I also spent the money on good brand solder and flux than comes with a MSDS so I knew there were no nasties in the solder or flux.

The 3-piece valve body soldered directly to the kettle: 

The inside with all the fittings in place.

Next on to the bag. First I had a 12" square sheet of thin gauge 316 stainless. Decided to make a 1.5" wide hoop to go around the top edge. So cut and bend.

Next the stainless mesh was cut into a circular bottom piece 10.5" in diameter and some walls 8" high.

 I stitched the bag together with 316 stainless steel wire. Surprisingly easy.

Then I began work on the stirrer.
 Here it is all together.

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