Bulkhead Vs. TIG Welds


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Bulkhead technology has come a long way over the years. Bulkheads are becoming much less expensive to make, and are now a real contender in the kettle conversion process. What used to take hours of specialized welding and passivating procedures, now takes minutes. This equates to BIG savings for homebrewers.

Lets look at the problems with TIG welding fittings to kettles. TIG welding...

  • Must be done in a sanitary manner - which takes significant set up time, as well as added cost through welding consumable usage, argon usage, and electricity. Those costs must be passed on to the homebrewer.

  • Welds that contain starting and stopping points (as is common when welding around small fittings because you need to rotate the part), have a chance of cracking in the future due to high heat. While we have never experienced a crack, it is always a possibility due to heat stress.

  • Repairing a welded-on fitting CORRECTLY can cost a minimum of $100 or more from local welders, who may not be experienced in sanitary welding procedures, and generally know nothing about electropolishing or secondary passivation.

  • Welds must be electropolished to remove the heat affected zone (dissassociated metals in the stainless that make it "less stainless").

  • If welds are not properly electropolished, they will rust. Electropolishing is labor intensive, very time consuming, and involves harsh acid (phosphoric).

  • Welded kettles are fine if prepared properly, but take many hours of intense labor, electricity & consumables to do the job "right"

    We have been selling bulkhead fittings to alot of satisfied homebrewers. All of our systems have utilized bulkhead kettle mounts from day 1 (even the fully welded systems). So why not save brewers money by changing to a process that works just as well, if not better? So we did...we added the Bulkhead BREWTREE's. Here are the advantages of bulkheads:

  • Less production time means lower cost and quicker delivery.

  • The benefits of the bulkheads are that they work just as good as a welded fitting since the keg is sandwiched between 2 high temp fda silicone gaskets. We already use "bulkhead" mounts on our kettles and they are a proven method of providing a leak free seal, so there really is no question as to their effectiveness.

  • Usually, only 1 gasket is needed on the inside of the kettle. We include 2 gaskets to effectively sandwich the kettle between the gaskets. That gives you a 100% extra layer of protection from leaks. BREWTREE goes the extra mile to give our customers the BEST!

  • Another benefit of using bulkheads is that there is simply no chance of rust because the kettle conversion process does not expose the kettle to heat.

  • Kettle conversion using bulkheads is clean so secondary passivation processes can be skipped. This saves time & money, and guarantees you get a shiny spotless kettle every time!

  • Electropolishing is not necessary with bulkhead fittings - which saves time and money - we pass those savings along to you!!!

  • Bulkheads are just as sanitary as welded fittings because they are all located before the boil. The gaskets are FDA approved high temp silicone to withstand rigorous & harsh brewing conditions.

  • The gaskets in the bulkhead fittings should last several years. Once the fittings are tightened, they should remain that way, although you might need to check them once a year. At any rate, gaskets are very cheap to replace, while the painstaking process of fixing a "cracked" sanitary weld and repassivating it would be costly.

  • Bulkheads will replace the majority of currently welded on fittings, helping to keep the BREWTREE affordable. Welded fittings will still be used in places where we deem it necessary to maintain the identical functionality of the BREWTREE systems (i.e. the E-Z Dump option). Bulkheads will generally be put in places like sight glass mounts and thermometer mounts (i.e. non-critical areas that do not receive stress).

  • Bulkheads are the brewer's best answer to affordable homebrewing. We stand behind bulkheads as being effective, efficient, and affordable means of converting kettles for brewing.

  • We use the "keep it simple stupid" principle to save you big bucks, which in turn makes homebrewing more fun & enjoyable.