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Old 01-29-2013, 03:42 AM   #1
CRStew88
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Default Advantage of Ball Valve on Brew Pot

Looking for some information, as I am getting my homebrewing started and trying to get some half-decent equipment.

Ive been looking at the different brew pots available, in the 5-10 gallon range, and noticed that one difference that stands between many of the less and more expensive ones is the ball valve on the more expensive ones.

Can someone please let me know the function of the valve, if you think its worth the money, and if there are other accessories I would need to take advantage of this feature...

Much appreciated, thanks

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Old 01-29-2013, 04:00 AM   #2
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the ball valve is to drain it without using an auto-siphon or some equivalent. it'll cost about $20 for parts. can you install it yourself? if so, do it. if not, pay someone else to do it. that's the difference. i'm not very handy, and have a few tools, and i did it myself

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Old 01-29-2013, 04:07 AM   #3
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A ball valve is practically a requirement for the bigger brew pots. My brew partner and I depended on siphoning for our first brew day. The day after our first brew day I ordered a weldless ball valve kit. The siphoning was a freaking nightmare. Never again.

I prefer the weldless ones. They're cheaper and with some experience you'll be able to avoid leaks. I've seen some really ugly welded ones out there. If I were to go with non-weldless fittings, I'd solder the connectors in instead of welding them. Cheaper and it looks as nice as any welder could do.

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Old 01-29-2013, 04:12 AM   #4
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You really don't want to post the same questions on multiple threads. But when I started I used an auto siphon. If somewhere down the road you see the need for a ball valve you can add it to your pot. When I do small batches I just siphon because that pot doesn't have a valve. On my larger batches it is valves and pumps because I have them. I know guys that brew the same larger batches and use siphons because they don't have valves. It's not really a big deal either way.

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Old 01-29-2013, 04:20 AM   #5
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5 gallon batches weren't too bad without a valve but 10 gallons became a chore. A Brewer's Edge Kettle valve kit has held up well for about 25 batches. It sits about 4" from the bottom of the pot placed on a propane burner. A step drill is best but a careful hand and a dremel work.

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Old 01-29-2013, 04:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRStew88 View Post
Looking for some information, as I am getting my homebrewing started and trying to get some half-decent equipment.

Ive been looking at the different brew pots available, in the 5-10 gallon range, and noticed that one difference that stands between many of the less and more expensive ones is the ball valve on the more expensive ones.

Can someone please let me know the function of the valve, if you think its worth the money, and if there are other accessories I would need to take advantage of this feature...

Much appreciated, thanks
To quote your words.

A kettle without a ball valve is half-decent. A kettle with a ball valve is moving toward decent.

I have ball valves on all HLT, Mash Tun, and Boil Kettle. It allows me to drain them of the contents without having to siphon. For all grain brewing, have a valve is indespsible.

I have installed the Brewer's Edge Ball Valves in all of my applications. The HLT and the Mash Tun are Bayou Classic Kettles. It was easy to drill these and install the valves. I also have a smaller kettle that I installed a valve on. Again, this drilled easily. However, I was not able to even drill my Boil Kettle. I took it to a local machine shop and had them drill the hole. Cost me $15.00 to have them drill the hole (15 minutes at $60.00/hour). I thought that this was a rather good price, and consider this a bargain.

So, if you can, get a step drill and drill the holes yourself. If the stainless steel is too hard for you to drill, take it to a machine shop and have them drill the holes where you want them. It is well worth the expense.

Mark
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:32 PM   #7
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If I do this, I am likely to just buy a kettle that has the ball valve preinstalled rather than getting the ball valve separately.

When you drain from the valve, do you attach any vinyl tubing to better direct the flow in the next vessel, or just right out of the valve.

Also, is there any risk that the brew valve gets clogged with any trub or sediment when draining?

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Old 01-29-2013, 02:35 PM   #8
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I went with this 9 gallon pot for 5 gallon all grain batches and love it. Really good price

http://www.homebrewing.org/One-Weld-...ot_p_1683.html

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Old 01-29-2013, 02:48 PM   #9
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Absolutely you want to use silicone tubing (silicone is best for food grade high temp tubing, though there's also a few other options out there) coming off the valve - basically, you're setting up a siphon. Without that tube - specifically without that tube opening lower than the bottom of your pot - you'll never drain the fluid below the ball valve in your kettle.

As to clogging the tube, if you have any particles in there that are large enough, sure, you could clog it up. That's why people typically whirlpool before they drain - it gets most of the trub piled up out of the way of the dip tube, so it can't be sucked into the tube.

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Old 01-29-2013, 03:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stratslinger
Absolutely you want to use silicone tubing (silicone is best for food grade high temp tubing, though there's also a few other options out there) coming off the valve - basically, you're setting up a siphon. Without that tube - specifically without that tube opening lower than the bottom of your pot - you'll never drain the fluid below the ball valve in your kettle.

As to clogging the tube, if you have any particles in there that are large enough, sure, you could clog it up. That's why people typically whirlpool before they drain - it gets most of the trub piled up out of the way of the dip tube, so it can't be sucked into the tube.
Just to add to this response: You will probably want a dip tub on the ball valve inside the kettle. Then the hose on the outside will create a siphon action and you can drain your kettle below the ball valve. You will be able to drain until it starts to suck air.

Mark
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