It’s early in the COVID-19 curve in Oregon, so I spent this whole vacation week at home. While most of what free time I have is spent on other projects these days, I did dismantle my brewing cabinet a few months ago, and this week I continued breaking down much of my brewery in the hope of building version 2 in the future.
First, I revamped the water reservoir for my fermentation temperature controller. Previously, the power cable and tubing went through the lid, but this made it combersome to refill the water. I put it through the sides of the container instead.
Second, I dismantled my RIMS. It had suffered problems with fungal growth despite aggressive flushing with percarbonate solution immediately after the brew, and I wanted to investigate. It was worse than I thought. The seasoning method had washed away, and the based of the heating element had corroded. I tossed the element and will need to use one with a stainless steel base.
Third, I worked on adding a heating element to my brew kettle. I drilled a hole, threaded a punch, and then attempted to solder the tri-clamp fitting using stainless flux. After the pressure test demonstrated a water tight connection I started to declare victory…
…before realizing I’d mixed up leaded electrical flux with my lead-free plumbing flux. The brew kettle was contaminated with lead. I salvanged the thermometer and scrapped it.
So, there you have it. Perhaps I will find my way back to this project one day.