Stainless Steel CAD Designed Dip TubeSunday, January 2nd, 2011
A dip tube allows a kettle to drain to the bottom by itself. No lifting and pouring required. It works because of siphon action. Adding a dip tube to your kettle or HLT is something to consider.
My kettle has female 1/2″ pipe thread on the inside, with a ball valve on the outside. This made it possible to screw in the dip tube with wrenches and a little pipe dope. No welding was required. This dip tube leaves 1.5 quarts of dead space, but it is all trub anyway. I actually get clearer wort in the primary. The other nice thing about this approach is it can be disassembled.
This dip tube is specifically made of stainless steel. Brass can contain trace amounts of lead. Copper is okay, but I don’t trust solder materials (or my soldering skills). A dip tube has to be completely air tight or the siphon won’t work.
This was not cheap at $39.35, however stainless steel fittings are expensive no matter where you go. Having a working dip tube on the first try was really nice. I was picturing several trips to the hardware store, until I realized a stainless steel fitting to go from pipe thread to compression thread is a specialty item. I started calling around and found Swagelok, a company with a local office that stocked what I needed and was ready to help. They actually designed this part just for me, and they saved the design so other people can order it too.
This dip tube was computer designed in an ISO-9000 shop with me looking over the engineer’s shoulder! Swagelok makes valves and fittings for all kinds of percision industrial applications like semi-conductor fabs. The CAD design is overkill, but in a cool way. Bending the stainless steel tube is the hardest part. It requires a special tool. It took them a couple tries to get it just right.
Here is the information on the parts, and how to contact them if you want to order it.
Swagelok Northwest (Portland Valve & Fitting Co.)
Part #: PORTL08-002, 1/2″ DIP TUBE
If you just want the connector, and not the tube, it is part SS-810-1-8.