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Old 07-15-2009, 05:31 PM   #1
json2001
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Default Drilling/Placing Ball Valve on Kettle

I've read the threads I could find on this subject, but still came out with a couple questions.

I have a 15 gallon SS pot that I got from AHS: Austin Homebrew Supply I bought it in preparation for going all grain, but have been doing partials in it so far. So, I've been able to lift and pour it thus far. However, I plan on going AG soon, and with a full boil this will be damn near impossible.

I'm kind of kicking myself now not having them drill some holes for me when I ordered it...or maybe this hole drilling thing isn't as risky as it all sounds.

I will be using one of the weld-b-gone conversions. What is the process, get a step drill bit, lube it up, and go slow?

Also and perhaps more importantly, how do I go about choosing a position for the ball valve? Do I need to leave room below for a filter or false bottom if I decide to add that in the future?

Thanks, I'm pretty nervous about ruining my not-so-cheap pot. I have called a machine shop just to see if I have a professional option and they say they could do something like that, but to get a price I would have to bring it in...would this be overkill?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 07-15-2009, 05:54 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by json2001 View Post
1.) ...or maybe this hole drilling thing isn't as risky as it all sounds.

2.) I will be using one of the weld-b-gone conversions. What is the process, get a step drill bit, lube it up, and go slow?

3.) Also and perhaps more importantly, how do I go about choosing a position for the ball valve?

4.) Do I need to leave room below for a filter or false bottom if I decide to add that in the future?

5.) ...would this be overkill?



1.) Not risky at all if you know how to use a drill on metal.

2.) Yes. When the metal gets hot, stop, squirt with oil, and wit for it to cool. when SS gets hot it becomes like, I dunno, tittanium or something. really hard to drill.

3.) Drill it not low enough so it won't be too high but, high enough that it won't be too low. Usually an Inch to 2 Inches (center) from inside bottom.

4.) Always good to plan ahead.

5.) Yes. But no so much you'll kill over. At leat not until you man up to try it yourself.

Best wishes. You'll do fine no matter what. I will say this if you do go the "pro" option seriously consider ditching the weldless and go welded. It's worth it to not have to eff with gaskets.
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Old 07-15-2009, 05:58 PM   #3
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First things first.

Send it back and get your money back.
Check this out:Exact Same POT!!!!!!!

Then drill a 7/8" hole as close to the bend in the bottom as you can. Allow for the washer inside. I centered mine between the handles.

Tie a string on one handle. stretch it to the other handle. mark it, bend it back to the original handle. strech it again mark the pot at the mid way point. Use a square and draw a line down to the and center punch the steel.....

good luck.

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Old 07-15-2009, 06:12 PM   #4
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I drilled my keggle the other day for a thermometer. Used some pilot drills w/ a tiny bit of wd-40, then put the step drill on it. (the step drill was borrowed and at smallest was 1/2") Using that step drill was the best thing I ever did. It cut through that stainless like butter. Just remember ... LOW SPEED.

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Old 07-15-2009, 07:26 PM   #5
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Closer to the bottom means less liquid inside you can't drain but it also means you drain off more cold break. Drill your hole far enough up from the bottom that your hole is at least 1/8 or 1/4" from the radius at the bottom of the pot. It will make it easier to get O rings and gaskets to seal and provide room to turn a nut.

When drilling your hole use gentle to moderate pressure. The side walls of some pots are thin and you do not want to push a dent into the side of the pot or distort the metal.

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