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Old 03-09-2011, 11:50 PM   #1
MashTun-Kutcher
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Default Spigot or no spigot?

Im looking at various brew kettles on the internet that are big enough for 10 gallon boils and the prices from one with a spigot and without are nuts. It would be no doubt convenient to have a spigot but im use an autosyphon currently and it works fine. Is the spigot really worth the extra money?

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Old 03-09-2011, 11:59 PM   #2
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Depends on how you chill, really. If you're using some kind of recirculating chiller or any other system that needs a pump, the spigot is essential. Otherwise, you could probably get away without it.

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Old 03-10-2011, 12:00 AM   #3
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If you have a drill you can get a step bit, weldless valve from www.bargainfittings.com, and install one yourself for a fraction of the price... You can always decide to do this later as well

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Old 03-10-2011, 12:11 AM   #4
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Id imagine an ordinary house drill wont drill through stainless steel. Or does it?

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Old 03-10-2011, 12:18 AM   #5
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The key is finding the right bit. I don't think drilling stainless would be that difficult, if you're handy with tools. Even if you don't have a "step bit" (which are kind of expensive) you can start with a regular, small bit and keep stepping up to the next size. Home Depot has bit kits for 10 bucks that would do the trick, as long as you don't go crazy.

As far as "spigot or no spigot", I think it's easier to have the spigot. My BK, MLT, and all fermenters have spigots. When I started out though, that's the only way I knew, so some people that have used siphons will probably say to use the siphon. It's another one of those preference things where you'll get answers from both sides and still be scratching your head in a week

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Old 03-10-2011, 12:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MashTun-Kutcher View Post
Id imagine an ordinary house drill wont drill through stainless steel. Or does it?
As long as the drill is either a 3/8" or 1/2" chuck it should do fine... I used my DeWalt 18v cordless to go through two 4mm thick aluminum pots to convert them into kettles. A corded drill should have plenty of power to go through SS, provided you get the right bit for the job...

It really is critical to get the right bit, or hole saw, to cut through the metal. You might get one (or two) pots done with a bi-metal hole saw, but you'll get many, many more with a good grade step bit (titanium coated, or cobalt).

Look at it this way, for the cost difference... If you already have a decent drill, that's great. But, you'll need a good bit for going through the SS pot.. That can be ~$10 for a bi-matal hole saw, or up to almost $50 for the step bit. Then you'll need to spend about $30-$40 for the valve assembly (depending on where you get it, maybe more, maybe less, but think about shipping costs too)... So, you could be spending $50-$100 to install that first ball valve. Granted, if you get the good bit, you can space that cost over how many times you use it... You'll also want to get some cutting oil to keep the bit lubricated while using it, so you don't burn it out. I've not priced that out lately...

If you know someone that has the tools to make the hole, then that helps. Otherwise, it might be cheaper (and give you more peace of mind) to get it with the valve already installed.

Something else to think about... You'll want some decent files, and/or emery cloth to smooth the edges of the hole you make. Otherwise, you'll cut the o-rings that come with the valve assembly... I did that on both pots I converted. Luckily the LHBS has replacement o-rings (thicker too, so they actually seal better)...

I will say that once you have the ball valve in a kettle, you can't imagine not having one. It makes pouring into the fermenter so much easier. I'm using an IC to cool my wort, but with the ball valve I have the option of other chillers later. If/when I get a SS kettle, it will be fitted with a valve either from where I get it, or before I use it the first time (most likely, from where I get it)...

BTW, you need a 7/8" hole for the 1/2" ball valves... In order to step up to that, you'll need a drill with a 1/2" chuck. Unless you use a step-bit...
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:15 AM   #7
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I have always used an auto syphon and i dont expect to be building RIMS anytime soon. I think im going to get a normal ss pot and if for whatever reason i want a spigot, ill make it a weekend project and put one on.

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