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Ball Valve on Boil Kettle

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masaba

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I'm going to buy a new larger boil kettle, and I am debating whether or not I should get one with a ball valve on it. My real question is the effectiveness of a ball valve on a boil kettle. Won't the hops in your boil just block a ball valve if you try to run your wort through it?

I'm definitely not interested in spending a bunch of money on a false bottom or something like that to try straining the hops before they get to the ball valve. Is a ball valve on the boil kettle still useful without a bunch of fancy straining attachments?
 

Hoppity

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A necessity if you are using a counterflow chiller. Use a hop bag if you are afraid of clogs. I rarely have clogs in my 90 degree dip tube and only use hop bags for whole leaf hops. My plate chiller will choke on trub, though.
 

fj605

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They've worked well for me. If you whirlpool before transferring to your fermenter, you shouldn't really get any hops going into the valve. If you don't whirlpool, you'd still need a ton of pellet hops before plugging the valve.

The only strainer I use is a kitchen strainer that sits on top of my fermenting bucket to catch any hops that made it to the valve.
 

coneal

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I have a ball valve on my 8 gal boil pot without any filters or false bottoms. It works fine. I've tried a couple different things - pouring through a cheese cloth, pouring and then siphoning, etc... - but now I don't even bother. I just open the valve and dump straight into the fermenter. Maybe my beers could be better if... But I like my beers plenty!
 

ndinh

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I've never heard of anyone ever have their hops clog up a ball valve. Hops will clog up a plate chiller or even a CFC. I use to use a bazooka tube inside which works very well. Now I just whirlpool. When you start using gravity or a pump, you'll need a ball valve. I don't understand how anyone can siphon out 5+ gallons of wort everytime.
 
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masaba

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I've never heard of anyone ever have their hops clog up a ball valve. Hops will clog up a plate chiller or even a CFC. I use to use a bazooka tube inside which works very well. Now I just whirlpool. When you start using gravity or a pump, you'll need a ball valve. I don't understand how anyone can siphon out 5+ gallons of wort everytime.
Right now I have a 7.5 gallon boil kettle with no valve. I don't siphon the cooled wort; I just lift the thing and dump through a strainer. It's pretty heavy, though, so I think a valve would be nice if it won't clog. A bigger kettle is also necessary as I have precious little head space in the current kettle.
 

Onkel_Udo

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I've never heard of anyone ever have their hops clog up a ball valve. Hops will clog up a plate chiller or even a CFC. I use to use a bazooka tube inside which works very well. Now I just whirlpool. When you start using gravity or a pump, you'll need a ball valve. I don't understand how anyone can siphon out 5+ gallons of wort everytime.
I use a 1/4" ID copper tube to get from my ball valve to the bottom of my Keggle. It did have clogs using pellet hops but that is mostly my fault. Not a full port valve, 1/4" in and out and dip tube is dead in the middle of the concave bottom.

Two things solved it for me. SS scrubber pad over the end of the dip tube ad using at least two oz of leaf hops per 10 gallon batch.
 

kh54s10

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Ball valve and a hop bag or some sort of blocker. Pellet hops would probably not plug the valve.

IMO its a must unless you want to lift 5 or more gallons of wort to pour into the fermenter. Otherwise you have to siphon and that is more likely to plug up that the valve.
 

tnsen

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cone hops have plugged my ball valve plenty of times..my solution, after the chill i put a nitrile glove on and screw in a kettle screen on the inside of my pot thru the wert...this way I dont have to lift 5 gallons of beer in a heavy enough 10 gallon pot, saves the ol mans back a bit..just my 2 cents worth
 

Zepth

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I have a ball valve on mine and never came close to clogging it with pellets. Even in a 1/2 lb of hops imperial. Recently got a bazooka screen that was on sale and only have one batch done while using it so can't really make a good argument for or against it at this point. For $12 it is worth a shot anyways.

But I was doing just fine without it as I said. No clogs, no slow downs, no problems at all.
 

wardens355

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Right now I have a 7.5 gallon boil kettle with no valve. I don't siphon the cooled wort; I just lift the thing and dump through a strainer. It's pretty heavy, though, so I think a valve would be nice if it won't clog. A bigger kettle is also necessary as I have precious little head space in the current kettle.
A valve will definitely be much easier on you compared to picking up a full kettle and dumping it in the fermenter. I use pellet hops thrown in loose and recirculate the wort in the kettle for 30-45 minutes at a time with no clogging.
 

HB_in_Subic

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I have one of these http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007TV9LSU...20&ascsubtag=4a251a2ef9bbf4ccc35f97aba2c9cbda It works great and rarely clogs. Also the ball valve is easy to remove for cleaning. I clean it religiously (every brew). You will find little bits of stuff inside even if the water is running clear thru it. I use PBW to clean it and rarely have to scrub anything. Also, I use teflon tape on the threads for a better water tight seal. If you go this route, get a spare set of gaskets too. Another thing that you will need is a 1/2" NPT barb (spout on your ball valve).

This setup is great for aerating your wort. I put the brew kettle on my balistrade (about 2.5 ft above the ground) and pour directly into my fermenting bucket on the ground. I usually end up with about 2-3" of froth on top of the wort.
 

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