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I'm currently putting together a new boil kettle, and am planning to use 1/2" NPT threaded fittings attached to a welded coupler. I've seen a lot of designs which have exposed threads and teflon tape inside the kettle, which sounds unsanitary to me.

Are exposed threads an issue? And if so, what can be done about them? Soldering? Or, is it possible to get parts that will make a seal with a coupler without exposing threads?

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As far as I can see it would not matter if the threads were exposed, or if you had teflon tape (as long as it does not give of anything that can damage the beer) when it comes to sanitary issues since you, hopefully, clean your equipment before using it. Since this part will also be inside the brew it will be in a boiling liquid for an hour or two.

If you are using BIAB-method then you might have an issue with the threads tearing your bag, but other than that I cannot see that this would be an issue.

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I'm concerned that the pipe threads (particularly female threads) would be hard to clean. Although perhaps this isn't so important on the steps up to the boil. –  Symmetric Nov 15 '13 at 18:56
    
I personally have a kettle with female threads and have never had any trouble with cleaning them. Using a dish brush it is really easy to clean them right after the brew. –  Sander Nov 18 '13 at 9:36

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