Along with the high quality welding comes a lifetime leak free design. Simply attach your accessory to the welded fitting on the tank using a tri-clamp gasket and clamp; that’s it. Ditch weld-less fittings that are clumsy to install and have o-rings which will leak and fail at some point. Weld-less designs are a cheaper, inferior connection that you will not find anywhere on the professional scale. Additionally the tri-clamp fittings feature no threads. Tri-clamps are the easiest connection to clean and are the industry standard connection for commercial food and beverage operations.
Stepped Bottom - Boil Kettle
Our stepped bottom design creates an upper and lower shelf. This lower shelf creates a dead zone the hops will collect in. This is especially beneficial when paired with a whirlpool (either manual or using a pump) before draining. The side pickup tube drains from the top shelf area which is above the settled hop material on the lower shelf. This results in crystal clear wort being transferred to your fermentation vessel.
Stepped Bottom - Mash Tun
The stepped bottom also functions as a shelf for the false bottom to seal against. The stainless on stainless seal means there is no need for rubber gaskets in your grain bed (rubber infused beer; no thanks). This ingenious design also seals better as more grain is added. The additional weight creates a better sealing force. This is opposed to other designs that start to flex or crush under heavy grain bills. The bottom perforated ring helps supports the grain weight while also filtering the wort again before it reaches the pickup tube. All this this creates an ultra-low dead space which allows us to boast industry leading efficiencies.
All of the Spike tanks are designed to play multiple roles. You can use them as a Hot Liquor Tank, Mash Tun or Boil Kettle (did someone say BIAB!?). As you develop as a brewer you can re-commission one of your older tanks to a new use. Viola, old small BK is now a HLT! No uni-taskers here! Why design a uni-tasker when you can design something that can be used for multiple uses!?
For the v4 kettle Spike made the decision to invest both a lot of time and capital to have our product and facility NSF listed. The NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) mark is your assurance that their product has been tested by one of the most respected independent certification organizations in the world. NSF conducts periodic unannounced inspections and product testing to verify that our product continues to comply with their high standards. With more and more of Spike's customers using their equipment for commercial use it’s becoming more and more crucial to have the NSF listing as many commercial applications may require NSF listed products.
Why engineer when you can over engineer? Spike kettles are the thickest on the market.
Front to Back Handles
Another small design change that might go unappreciated until explained. One reason to rotate the handles is that it reduces the width needed for a 3-vessel single tier system by nearly 12”. With side mounted handles the kettles need additional spacing, so the handles do not touch. You also need additional room if you plan to hang the lid on the handles when not in use (yes, Spike kettles have a built-in lid holder). With this design the lid hangs off the back and out of the way while saving you 12” of space in your brewery. Another benefit is when carrying the kettle around you won’t be banging your knees against the welded couplers.
Rolled Top Lip
Spike learned a lot working with the NSF team when redesigning their kettle line. One thing they brought up was the completely rolled lip design of most kettles out there. When the lip is completely rolled onto itself it creates a pocket where gunk and liquid can get in but has a hard time getting out. It is also almost impossible to clean. What they recommended was using a partially rolled lip design that does’t trap gunk and can easily be cleaned.
When using with direct fire or induction the tri-clad bottom helps evenly distribute the heat along the entire bottom. Using 400 tons of force, 2 layers of stainless steel are bonded to an aluminum core. Along with the even heating it also prevents scorching like you are more prone to get with a single layer kettle.
Rivet-less Handle Design
Rivets that hold handles on always needed a little more cleaning attention so Spike used the same sanitary techniques used on their conicals to attach the handles to the brew kettles. By sanitary welding the handles on (opposed to riveting them on) not only are they stronger but there is no place for bacteria or gunk to build up.
Craftsmanship Spike's talented craftsmen does all the welding at their facility in Milwaukee.