Originally Posted by retgpd
Just bought their 12.5 gal unit with thermowell. No complaints and had it in 6 days. It's advertised under Stout kettles from the northwest. Got the easy clean valves and it was hundreds cheaper the the Blichman fermenater.
Cleaning the valves is easy and necessary. Just be sure to keep the seals in the same slots as they came from as teflon will cold flow and fit exactly to the ball. If you change seal position you are asking for a leak. This is true of all teflon ball valves and you should have years of service if you do not move the position of the seals. I did not clean mine for a few fermentations when I first got it as well as I should have. I simply opened the valve and cleaned and did not take them apart. I finally did it after a while and I was amazed what was there. If you cannot easily take apart a ball valve and clean it, I would not have it near any cool wort. Stout Valves can be taken apart and put back in seconds. I also got some buna gaskets from Brewers Hardware and in quanity are cheap enough to toss after one use for fermentation.