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Old 03-01-2009, 01:54 PM   #1
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Default Ball valve in a keggle?

I have a chance to have my keggle drilled today for free, since my friend is here with his hole saw. (See kegerator pictures). He's finishing up my ghetto sparge arm (pictures later) and I thought- "Hey, while he's here with the saw, what else can he drill?" and of course- the keggle came to mind!

I have a couple of questions though. I'd have to go with weldless fittings, and then what do you use for a hopstopper? Stainless braid? Would that clog up too quickly? I don't have a false bottom for this keggle.

Any ideas? Pictures woud be especially appreciated!

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Old 03-01-2009, 02:03 PM   #2
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Braid doesn't work, it clogs instantly. I tried rigging up a hopstoppper, but that was kind of a PITA (probablt worthwhile to just buy one). But, I ended up just using hop bags, and it's really been the best solution for me. Just got a bunch of those paint-strainer bags from Depot for each addition when I'm using pellets, and some bigger bags when using leaf hops. I built one of those contraptions with a piece of PVC pipe to hold a big bag into the wort, but I don't even use that anymore, just toss individual bags in for each addition.

Might I be losing 10% hop utilization? Perhaps, but not something I lose sleep over.

Just wash them out and let them dry for next time.

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Old 03-01-2009, 02:04 PM   #3
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You don't have a problem with the ball valve clogging up from the break and hop debris that still gets out?

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Old 03-01-2009, 02:06 PM   #4
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Let me back up. I DO have a stainless steel braid attached to my dip tube, but I don't use it to filter the hops. The break material has never clogged it, that stuff is really fine. I don't worry about that stuff, but you can't just throw the hops in there loose with *just* the braid to filter.

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Old 03-01-2009, 02:06 PM   #5
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I use SS scrubby pads, put it over the end of the dip tube and it works AWESOME!

Cheap, reliable... like me

For pellet hops, they wont clog your output... and your dip tube will be rotating right, just set it up above the bottom of the keggle an inch or two...

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Old 03-01-2009, 02:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post
You don't have a problem with the ball valve clogging up from the break and hop debris that still gets out?
If you whirlpool and let it settle, most of the break material and hop debris will settle to the middle. Also, you might be able to rig up a pick-up tube to draw the wort from right along the wall of the keg, that will keep must of the break/hop material out. (This won't work as well with whole hops loose in the boil, use the scrubby or the bag for whole hops.)
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Old 03-01-2009, 02:12 PM   #7
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I use a bazooka filter and unless I'm doing a an IPA with pellets, it's not a problem. Even with pellets, just scraping the hops off the bazooka with my spoon is all it takes to get the flow going again.

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Old 03-01-2009, 02:37 PM   #8
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Bobby_M posted a video about a homemade hopstopper that has 144 sq in of surface area and is designed not to collapse under hop weight and vacuum. I just finished building one but have not had a chance to try it. I have high hopes that I will never have to bag my hops again.

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Old 03-01-2009, 03:13 PM   #9
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i also use the bazooka screen and have no problem with cloging. definatley worth the extra twenty bucks. also i drilled my hole about an inch above the curve of the bottom of the keggle.by the time i have finished with the immursion chiller all the hops tend to settle and there is no problem with the flow. one thing i am going to do to mine is get a 5/8 inch nipple and hose because i think it is taking to long to drain with 1/2 inch stuff. to much contact with air

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Old 03-01-2009, 03:19 PM   #10
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I don't bother with whirlpooling, and I don't have anything over my dip tube. I use the paint strainer bags, and after I pull out my immersion chiller, I just let the keggle sit with a cover on it for a half hour. Then I drain the first bit of wort into a pitcher, just like the vorlauf when batch sparging, except you don't recirculate. Once it runs clear (you only lose about a pint), then you run it into the fermenter. Then you watch it until the end, when it runs cloudy again- then it's time to shut it off. It kinda sounds like a PITA, but it's not-it's easier than messing with a hopstopper or a braid or whatever IMHO.

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