This is a simple tutorial on replacing the tap on the Speidel Braumeister. I’d like to take you through the reasons why you would want to replace your tap, what parts you require, and the process of assembling the parts.
In case you have not noticed before; I love my Speidel Braumeister! But.. for a device this expensive it does come with a number of frustrating issues. My biggest gripe is the standard tap that comes with the Braumeister 20L and 50L. Here are the two biggest issues I think that it has:
1) It leaks at low temperatures
When I first got my Braumeister I noticed that the tap was dripping. When the water in the Braumeister heats up to over 40 degrees C the dripping stops, most likely due to the metal expanding. After a quick Google search I saw that this is a well know issue and others are experiencing the same problem.
I emailed with my supplier, BrewUK, and they sent me a new tap with no questions asked. The new tap has exactly the same issue and leaks at lower temperatures. I feel this is a design issue and not just bad luck.
Here is an online video that focuses on the leaking issue (This is not my content or my voice)
The creator of the video also mentions rust forming in the tap which is something I did not experience
2) The flow is horrible and it gets stuck all the time
I’ve tried a lot of techniques to keep hops, grains or pellet sludge filtered out before it gets to the tap. Even with the official hop filter (Speidel) using hops or the Springer Filter (BacBrewing) using pellets I was experiencing blockages. It really takes a minimal amount of residue to block the flow of the tap. The result is that the wort drips out at an excruciatingly slow pace, or it clogs up altogether.
I think this issue is caused by the plastic mantle in the tap which causes residue to get stuck. Also the design of the tap spout creates a natural bottleneck. It’s really small for no obvious reason. Even in their third iteration of hardware Speidel have not fixed this issue and I’m really puzzled about this design choice.
What do you need?
So what do you need in order to replace your tap?
- 3/4″ to 1/2″ hex nipple
- 1/2″ two piece tap
- 1/2″ 90 degree tap elbow OR 1/2″ hosebarb male
- PTFE tape (for watertight seal)
The reason I would recommend to go for a 1/2″ tap (and not a 3/4″ tap) is that 1/2″ connectors are the standard for most tubing. This allows you to connect a plate chiller to your Braumeister if you would want to. Also I found 1/2″ taps cheaper than 3/4″ ones.
This particular nipple was ordered from eBay for £3,99 including shipping (link).
The tap I have chosen is a basic two piece stainless tap. It gets the job done and is very inexpensive. This particular tap was ordered from the Malt Miller for £10,00 (link).
The elbow will make sure your wort will flow down into the fermenter. Alternatively you can replace the elbow with a hosebarb (male) which will allow you to attach 1/2″ tubes. I ordered the elbow and hosebarb for £3,50 each from the Malt Miller (link elbow) (link hosebarb)
Finally you need some PTFE tape to get a watertight seal between all the parts. You can buy this tape at most DIY stores or order it from eBay for about £1.00.
The costs for all parts including shipping should set you back around £20 which I feel is pretty reasonable. With the hex nipple you can also connect fancier taps. A good example of such a tap is the Blichmann G2 Flow Valve which is easier to clean, looks better and allows better control over your flow. It comes at a pretty hefty premium and can be ordered at BrewUK (link)
Step-by-step replacing your Braumeister tap
A step-by-step assembly:
- Clean the threaded ends of the hex nipple and elbow with a rag.
- Apply the PTFE tape to the threaded ends. Start wrapping the male threads tightly, but make sure that none of the tape laps over the end. This can cause residue to get stuck on the tape or block the flow of wort. If you have never used PTFE watch this YouTube video.
- Screw the threaded ends into the tap and make sure they are connected well.
- Screw the assembled tap into the Braumeister
The advantages of this “upgrade” are great: no more leaks, no more blockages, and finally get your wort out of the kettle quickly without having to wait ages. The parts are all very cheap and it is very simple to put together. In my opinion this is an upgrade that any Braumeister owner should consider. I hope this helps you decide if you should change your tap.