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Old 07-07-2009, 11:04 PM   #1
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Default Ball Valve - Do I Need One?

Of course I mean for the brew pot.

To date I have been an extract brewer. I am eager to migrate to AG. I built the cooler MLT. My next step is to buy a pot big enough (currently have 6 gal.) What is the advantage of having a ball valve attached to the brew kettle? Is it worth the extra money (I was going to buy a pre-drilled pot from AHS and a ball valve from bargain fittings to minimize the cost)?

I searched some of the postings but could not find the pro's of buying one. Thanks

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Old 07-07-2009, 11:21 PM   #2
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What many folks use them for is to run to a counter-flow chiller. You can't really do that with a siphon. The ball valve lets you hook up the chiller and gravity feed through the chiller into your fermenter or another container.

You can also put in a false bottom that will strain out hops and break material from the boil and then the ball valve lets you drain from underneath that.

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Old 07-07-2009, 11:43 PM   #3
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I just got a polar ware pot with valve. I figured this was a one time purchase and you never know when you may need it later. I also recommend that if you buy a nice pot - get at least a 10 gallon. 15 gallon if you plan on doing 10 gallon batches.

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Old 07-08-2009, 12:07 AM   #4
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The valve is handy but not a necessity. When I stovetop brew in the winter, I use a turkey fryer pot with no valve. The big disadvantage is that it becomes difficult to use a counter-flow or plate chiller to cool your wort. But I just use an immersion chiller, then siphon out the cool wort. You could do the same thing with an ice bath.

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Old 07-08-2009, 01:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChshreCat View Post
to run to a counter-flow chiller. You can't really do that with a siphon. .
sure you can.


a ball valve and drain would make it easier though.
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Old 07-08-2009, 01:05 AM   #6
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I have it on most of my pots. With my BIAB method, however, I just pour it into the fermenter. You can also siphon.

It's certainly easier to clean a pot with no holes than to take apart your ball valve to get the gunk out, but the ball valve gives you more options (or rather, makes these options easier), such as:

recirculation
counter-flow chilller
direct flow after whirlpool
pumping
sampling

etc.

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Old 07-09-2009, 03:15 AM   #7
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Rather than syphon out of my 15 gal. pot a few batches ago, I merely sanitized a two quart pitcher and just scooped/bailed the wort out of the pot to the fermenter. Yea, I know, sounds so ghetto, but it took all of a about a minute and I aerated the wort in the process.

I employ the KISS principle as often as possible.

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Old 07-09-2009, 01:17 PM   #8
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I would go ahead and put a ball valve in your pots. I have a ball valve in both my HLT and Boil Kettle. It really makes things easier.

If you are ordering a standard, flat-bottomed pot there is a cool trick you can do with a SS 90 degree fitting from Bargain Fittings. If you install that fitting close to the bottom of the pot, turned down you can pull a great majority of your wort out without tipping and getting all the gunk in your fermenter.

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Old 07-09-2009, 06:37 PM   #9
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I have a Morebeer heavy duty kettle with valve and I love it a billion times more than trying to pour 5 gallons into a funnel.

When my wort chiller is done doing it's work I just put the hose on the barb fitting and put the end in the fermenter and open the valve.

So much faster and less likely to get screwed by my sweat dripping into the kettle as I try to handle a heavy 5 gallons of wort.

I had one batch of Heather Ale get some nasties... the funnel got clogged and me trying to squeeze it out, empty the hop bags that was a strainer... the heat etc... i must have dripped sweat into the mix because it was hella sour and nasty when it was done fermenting.

I'll get them on every kettle i get from now on.

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Old 07-09-2009, 06:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BADS197 View Post
billion times more than trying to pour 5 gallons into a funnel.
Because of this. You could use an autosiphon, but that's one more piece of equipment to sanitize. It just makes everything easier.
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