Ball valve sizes

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BeirKaiser

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Hello and thank you always for the help

I did not see this come up on old post so I’m making this new thread.

My last brew was my first time using a new set up. My sparge gave me the numbers I wanted and it worked out in the end but I felt like I could have done better. I was using a rotating head to fly sparge powered by a water pump. I know everyone says it’s hard to dial the valves in but I’m blaming my ball valve. I feel that the 1/2 inch is way too small of a hole to allow proper flow.

Seems like the most common size is 1/2”, found one site that is sold out of 1” but has 3/4”. Any recommendations or should see it I can get someone to weld on a ferrule or threaded nipple (probably being mixing metals.

TLDR: 1/2” ball valve flow rate too small, looking for recommendations
 

day_trippr

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Color me curious: what is your batch size that you think your sparge liquor flow rate during a fly sparge is so constricted you need a larger than 1/2" ball valve??

fwiw, I do 10 gallon batches (typical volumes are 13.5 gallon pre-boil, 11 gallon post-boil) and when I do a fly sparge (all 1/2" plumbing with a pair of pumps running) the sparge liquor flow rate is 1 quart per minute! I could use a teeny tiny ball valve and still flow that much!

Cheers!
 

Bobby_M

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On 5 or 10 gallon batches I think the valves would be TOO BIG. With typical pump pressures, you could get away with a 1/4" valve and still have to throttle it back. The sparge rate should be about a quart per minute.
 

Deadalus

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Same here about size. Maybe you were pumping too fast out of the mash tun and couldn't keep up?

I use an old Phil's sparge arm. It broke recently but I got something similar from China which is the arm on a block of cutting board material. It leaked at slow speeds but miraculously I found a new Phil's. Phil's uses a 3/8" ID tube. Out of my pump I have a 1/2" ball valve. Also, the HLT has a 1/2" ball valve. so between the 2 valves and the 3/8" tubing I can fine tune real slow to just keep the arm moving. Similar on the BK there is an incoming valve (whirlpool) and a valve out on the MT (both 1/2" ball valves). I can slow down the sparge on that side. I typically adjust the valves on the pumps on the out side first and fine tune on the incoming valves slightly if necessary.
 

2hennepin6

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My experience with 1/2 inch valves and plumbing throughout is I really throttle down using the ball valve at the pump outlet to fly sparge. And then I usually think I sparged too quickly anyway and wonder if I should have just batch sparged.
 

Golddiggie

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Unless you change all the pipe, tubing, fittings, etc. along that entire run, you'll only get the performance from the smallest fitting (in this case, 1/2"). I'm using 1.5" TC fittings, which have a 1.375" ID at the kettles. The butterfly valves are the same. BUT, I use 1/2" ID tubing (using QD's with 5/8" barbs, so full 1/2" ID there). Even there, I have to crank down on my valves during the mash recirculation in order to get a good flow rate. That's using March/Chugger 815 pumps. I've also brewed 12 gallon batches with this setup and not had any 'need' for larger size valves, tubing, etc.

I know plenty of people here fly sparge with 1/2" fittings, tubing, etc. without issue.

IMO, the OP should try adjusting the pump outlet valve to make sure the MT doesn't drain faster than the fly sparge can add it back in.
 

day_trippr

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Imo, there are subtle hydraulic effects in fly-sparging that can't be rushed and still achieve the potential efficiency gain (and please, for the folks that are going to say "just add another pound of base malt", point taken in advance, so don't bother).

It took me a few tries to realize the benefit of fly sparging - I was always chomping at the flow-rate bit. When I finally just went with the simple "quart per minute" run-off rate, kicked back with my tablet to read HBT posts, etc, and stopped twiddling with things and just allowed my autosparge to balance the liquor in-flow, the resulting chill brew day and extract efficiency reached brewing nirvana...

Cheers! :D
 
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