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Old 07-24-2007, 01:19 PM   #1
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Default Adding a Ball Valve to my Brew Kettle

Hey everyone,

I just ordered a new 44 quart stainless brew kettle and a friend in the local home brew club offered to help me drill it out for a spigot. My question would be, what all do I need in addition to the ball valve to make the spigot work? Would it be a very similar setup to the design used in Flyguy's Mash Tun conversion, or would I need other pieces?

Another question: The guys in my local club both have pickups designed into their spigots. Do I need these as well, or can I just attack the spigot to the pot with no filtering system and be ok?

As always, thanks in advance for your help!

Cheers!

Jek



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Old 07-27-2007, 02:49 PM   #2
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Very similar to FlyGuy's setup, I think. There's a parts list here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=22595&highlight=bulkhead

And you can look at these commercial examples for help:
http://www.zymico.com/weld-b-gone/

A pickup tube helps you get more of the wort out of your kettle. Whether/how you install it depends a lot on what kind of hops you use (whole or pellet) and how you plan to filter them. I think some folks go without a filter for pellets; I can't see how you could do that with whole hops, though.



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Old 07-27-2007, 03:07 PM   #3
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From our very own wiki:

Hop Strainer
If you drain your wort into an external chiller such as a counterflow or especially a plate chiller, your boiled hops must be kept from entering your syphon tube to prevent clogging. In general, if you use whole hops, the straining material can be courser with low surface area because they are of larger particles. When using hop pellets, they tend to break down to finer particles requiring a tighter straining material (smaller holes) with a much larger overall surface area. It is claimed by some that a mix of whole hops and pellets helps keep fine stainers from clogging. As with many brewing items, there is a wide variety of do it yourself and commercially manufactured options to choose from:




Hop Stopper - A commercially available option that combines a syphon tube with a large dish shaped fine stainless screen. The finer mesh stops both whole and pellet hops and works best, as claimed by the manufacturer, when a combination of the two is used. Cost is approximately $60 USD.
Bazooka Tube - A commercially available tube of stainless wiremesh screen that is closed on one end and attached to a pipe fitting on the other. The medium course mesh will likely stop all whole hops but likely lets pellet hop particles though. Does not seem to work in conjunction with a syphon tube, which would leave quite a bit of liquid in a converted keg. Cost is approximately $20 USD.
Pan Scrubber - A homebrewer derived method of keeping coarse particles out of the syphon tube. A stainless steel pan scrubber is a mass of long shavings wadded into a ball. It is forced under the opening of the syphon tube. The main benefit of this method is low cost (approximately $3 USD).
Drilled Copper tube - Another do-it-yourself option whereby a longer dip tube is drilled with several small holes to create a coarse strainer. The diptube itself is sometimes made of softer copper tubing which can be bent in a circle at the bottom of the keg to provide more surface area/holes. The smaller overall area of this method requires larger holes and will unlikely stop pellet hops (probably the only option using parts you already had).

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Old 11-04-2009, 11:02 PM   #4
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I don't really see the need to try and keep 100% of the hops out of the fermeter, I've done 10 batches or so and just syphon the beer off the trub/yeast/hops when racking to the keg.

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Old 11-08-2009, 05:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zanemoseley View Post
I don't really see the need to try and keep 100% of the hops out of the fermeter, I've done 10 batches or so and just syphon the beer off the trub/yeast/hops when racking to the keg.
If you are using an immersion chiller- that's fine. If you're using a counterflow or plate chiller... hops and break material can get you into trouble quick.
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Old 10-31-2010, 06:16 PM   #6
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Hey folks,

I'm getting a new 53-qt SS pot and I have a welder friend who's agreed to weld on a ball valve for me. What's the best approach to this? I have a 1/2" NPT coupling I was going to ask him to put on there and then find a SS ball valve to add to it, but as a non-welder (non handyman, really) I don't know what parts I should be looking for, or if I need anything else. Any advice?

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Old 11-01-2010, 03:45 PM   #7
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Alright, so I've got a 1/2" NPT coupling and a 3-piece SS 1/2" ball valve. Can I just connect them with 1/2" NPT nipple? Then I thought I 'd add some fittings for a pick-up tube to the coupling on the inside of the kettle. Is this the right move?

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Old 11-02-2010, 12:19 AM   #8
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Bump?

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Old 11-02-2010, 03:10 PM   #9
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You've got to think like a water molecule. The fittings interior to the vessel need a flat surface to push against your Oring or rubber washer. One way of doing this is to silver solder a washer to either the 1/2" NPT nipple or to whatever fitting that nipple threads into (a coupling, a copper female adapter, etc). Without soldering, an NPT locknut threaded onto the nipple with a crapton of teflon tape will work too.

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Old 11-02-2010, 03:51 PM   #10
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Thanks for the reply BobbyM--I'm actually asking a different question than the OP. I'm getting a friend to weld the kettle. Do I still need an o-ring for a welded setup?



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