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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > More Precise Valve?
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:58 PM   #1
Cpt_Kirks
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Default More Precise Valve?

I use a standard ball valve on the output of my wort chugger pump. This allows me to control the flow from the BK to my plate chiller. By reducing/increasing the flow, I can alter the temperature of the cooled wort going into the fermenter.

Problem is, the ball valve control is too coarse. It is VERY hard to fine tune the temperature, a slight movement of the handle results in a large swing in the output temperature.

Are there reasonably priced valves that have more precise flow control?



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Old 11-12-2012, 04:02 PM   #2
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There are valve but they are not cheap, go to Mcmaster Carr's website and look up needle valves you will want stainless or brass and the right NPT.

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Old 11-12-2012, 04:06 PM   #3
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You can also control the output temp by varying the flow rate of the input cooling water.

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Old 11-13-2012, 12:40 AM   #4
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For my pumps, I use brass Gate valves from Home Depot. They're not stainless but you get precise control.
(I tried to post a link, but it wouldn't work.)

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Old 11-13-2012, 12:55 AM   #5
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I've had no issue with the stainless 3 piece (full bore) 1/2" ball valves like those found at Bargain Fittings, Brew Hardware, Brewer's Hardware, and other sites. It's smooth enough that you can control it from closed to wide open and anywhere in between. They do have 'stops' at half open, but you just pull the release piece (on the handle) and you can adjust it as you wish. I do that, typically, when I'm draining my mash tun so that the sparge water flow-in rate is matched by the mash wort flow-out rate.

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Old 11-13-2012, 02:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadKing View Post
For my pumps, I use brass Gate valves from Home Depot. They're not stainless but you get precise control.
(I tried to post a link, but it wouldn't work.)
Do they look like the valves in the picture above? Those came from Lowe's, but are probably the same thing.
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie View Post
I've had no issue with the stainless 3 piece (full bore) 1/2" ball valves like those found at Bargain Fittings, Brew Hardware, Brewer's Hardware, and other sites. It's smooth enough that you can control it from closed to wide open and anywhere in between. They do have 'stops' at half open, but you just pull the release piece (on the handle) and you can adjust it as you wish. I do that, typically, when I'm draining my mash tun so that the sparge water flow-in rate is matched by the mash wort flow-out rate.
So, the three piece SS valves are more precise than the brass valves? I wondered about that.

Another option I dreamed up was two separate valves, one on the pump outlet, and one on the plate chiller inlet. I wonder if the combination of two valves would give better flow control?
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:04 PM   #8
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I still can't get link to work! You can see them on my rig if you click my profile.
Gate valves are way more precise because a ball valve takes 1/4 turn from closed to open, where a gate valve will take several turns.
On the Home Depot site they are the.... Mueller Global 1/2 in. Brass FPT Gate Valve and are $6.77.

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Old 11-13-2012, 03:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I still can't get link to work! You can see them on my rig if you click my profile.
Gate valves are way more precise because a ball valve takes 1/4 turn from closed to open, where a gate valve will take several turns.
On the Home Depot site they are the.... Mueller Global 1/2 in. Brass FPT Gate Valve and are $6.77.
No, I'm using the Mueller ball valves. Are gate valves sanitary?

That might be an option.

FYI, I used to work for Mueller. I've probably been in the plant those valves were made in.
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
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So, the three piece SS valves are more precise than the brass valves? I wondered about that.

Another option I dreamed up was two separate valves, one on the pump outlet, and one on the plate chiller inlet. I wonder if the combination of two valves would give better flow control?
I have no issue controlling the flow with my ball valves. It doesn't take long to get a feeling for how you should have them in order to get the flow you want.

I wouldn't put the other valve on the chiller inlet, but rather on the outlet. I have a valve assembly on my plate chiller outlet. It has a camlock QD (female) fitting, 90 degree elbow, a pair of 'T' fittings, two ball valves and a 1/2" NPT to 1/4" compression fitting. The two 'T' fittings each go to ball valves (next to each other) so that I can connect one to my recirculation fitting and the other to the fermenting vessel (hose through the opening). The NPT to compression fitting is where I have my thermometer sensor/probe, to get a solid reading once the wort has gone through the chiller. I also have a ball valve on the pump output side, to reduce the flow while the flame is still going. Once the fire is turned off, I can open it up all the way pretty quickly.

I'll take a picture of the chiller attachment setup and post it later.
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