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Old 02-29-2012, 02:34 AM   #1
summerofgeorge
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Default How many ball valves for e-HERMS

I've looked at a lot of setups but can't figure out how many ball valves I need for my HERMS build. It seems like everyone does something slightly different. I'm going with 3 keggles and 2 pumps. I figure that's 5 valves right there. Some people have valves on both the input and output of the HERMS coil and I've seen an additional valve at the top of each of the kettles in various builds. That leaves me with 5-10 valves total.

Having ALL 5 of the extra valves seems excessive. If you have these extra valves, do you really use them? I want to build this the right way but don't want to waste money on unnecessary things.

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Old 02-29-2012, 08:09 PM   #2
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I have 3 valves for the dip tubes on the 3 kegs, the hlt has one on the herms coil, the pumps each have one and the boil kettle has a second one for recirulation during cooling.
So 7 total.

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Old 02-29-2012, 08:14 PM   #3
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1 valve on pump output for flow control
1 valve for drain on each kettle
1 valve (optional) for the HERMS output (i dont have one, but i can see how it could be useful in some situations. definately dont need one on each side of it though)

since you have 3 kettles and 2 pumps, you should only really need 5 or 6 ball valves...

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Old 02-29-2012, 08:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audger View Post
1 valve on pump output for flow control
1 valve for drain on each kettle
1 valve (optional) for the HERMS output (i dont have one, but i can see how it could be useful in some situations. definately dont need one on each side of it though)

since you have 3 kettles and 2 pumps, you should only really need 5 or 6 ball valves...
Right there is your answer & it's right on the money.!

Oh: And another thought for those interested in saving a buck. What's wrong with brass ball valves? 1/4 the price and work Very Well. (insert John Palmer book appendix on how to treat brass fittings.)
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:20 PM   #5
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3 valves for draining all the vessels. 2 on each pump output. 1 on the bottom HERMS port (why? Because if you disconnect the QD going to it, you drain the coil onto your foot).

If you install your recirculation/sparge port too low on your mash tun, you may need a valve there for the same reason. Don't install it too low and no probs.

1/4 price for brass is a bit of an exaggeration no? My local Lowes gets $7 for brass. I sell the same in stainless for $14. I'm not going to argue about the real or imagined benefits of stainless but we'll just say they are about twice the price.

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Old 02-29-2012, 10:02 PM   #6
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Agree with Bobby - I have them at:
Output of all 3 vessels
Output of pump
Input (bottom) of the HERMS

I get a tiny bit of leakage from the top port after I disconnect, but I just keep a towel nearby as it's only an ounce, but the whole coil holds quite a bit more than that, so shutting it down with the ball valve is a necessity unless I kept a hose on it at all times.

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Old 02-29-2012, 11:45 PM   #7
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Thanks for the responses! One question on the height of recirculation/sparge ports. Any problem installing these high enough on keggles to not need the valves for 10 gallon batches?

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Old 03-01-2012, 02:50 AM   #8
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BobbyM's got it summed up nicely. However, I do have a second valve on my BK because I plan on whirlpooling. I will probably also add a valve for my HERMS, but as Bobby stated you could always place this port higher on the kettle.

As for 10 gallon batches - YES, but you might run into problems in your MT if you're doing a huge barley wine or the like. Bobby also has a discussion of vessel volume vs OG, etc. as I recall - I think it's a sticky.

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Old 03-02-2012, 05:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
1 on the bottom HERMS port (why? Because if you disconnect the QD going to it, you drain the coil onto your foot).
it could be due to variations in design, but ive never had a situation where i needed to disconnect that. i have it so the pump output goes directly into the bottom of the HERMS, circles up thru the coil, and exits the top where the temp probe is. the pump>herms line is never disconnected while im brewing. if you ever have to switch lines, its always the pump input or the HERMS output being changed. if you are going for cheap like the OP seems to be, you can leave this valve off your list as long as your brewing procedure allows for it.
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Old 03-02-2012, 05:41 PM   #10
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and if you want to save some money you can get 316SS 2 piece valves on Ebay for $10.00 each (shipped). The seller is in China so it took 3 weeks to get them but at that price who cares!!! I bought seven.

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