Originally Posted by OldStyler
Dumb question, but I have a new 10 gallon kettle that I'm going to attempt to do full boils in. It has the 2 half inch valves - a bottom one for the ball valve, and a top one that I will use for a thermometer (because they're nifty). If I use an immersion chiller, after the wort is cooled, can I just open the bottom valve and let the wort flow out into a waiting fermenter (bucket)? I looked through a bunch of posts, but this basic question got convoluted pretty quickly with other types of chillers, etc. Thanks guys!
Sure you can! But a couple of things that are nice to know- one is that leaf hops can clog up a ball valve pretty quickly. so a bazooka screen is nice to have on the inside to strain those out. Also, if you do that, you can also screen out the hot and cold break that way by the leaf hops forming the "filter". But........a bazooka screen will usually clog quickly if you use pellet hops. I use a hops spider for my leap hops, as I have a pump that clogs easily, but the pellet hops go right into the boil kettle. The ballvalve never clogs with pellet hops!
The other thing to think about is how a siphon works. When up open the valve, the wort will flow until it reaches the level of the ballvalve. Then, you can tip it. But I really like to use a diptube at the end of the ballvalve, just up off the bottom, as well as a piece of tubing to drain the wort. Here's why- the tubing and diptube will maintain a siphon long after the wort dips below the ball valve, as long as the end of the tubing is lower. So, you can fill the fermenter, and suck out as much wort as you want. I stop when I pull all pellet sludge, which settles at the bottom of the boil kettle. It is pretty slick!