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Draining the Keggle

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Turkeyfoot Jr.

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My first AG session is coming up this weekend and this past weekend I put all my new gear through a dry run of sorts just to see how things are going to work. From that little test I discovered something that I wanted to ask you guys about.

The keggle I have which was a freebie from a friend has a hole drilled that fits a 3/8” ball valve. One thing I discovered this weekend in my testing is that it takes a LONG time to drain 3-5 gallons of water from my keggle through that valve, around 10 minutes. Seeing as this is my first run I’m not sure if this is the norm or if I should be changing something. My concern is that with the colder temps outside hitting my strike and sparge temps will be difficult with such a long wait for the water to drain. Do you guys have any tips and tricks in that regard? At this point I’m planning on heating my strike to well above where I need it that way, worst case scenario, I have to let my MLT sit for a while and cool off. For my sparge I’m not sure what I’m going to do. I'll probably play around with keeping my burner running while I'm sparging to try and hold my temps as best I can.
 

Lil' Sparky

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One thing you can try is placing the keggle up higher with a longer hose down to the fermenter. This should give more suction on the siphon and help drain a little faster, although you may just be limited with the smaller ball valve.
 
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Turkeyfoot Jr.

Turkeyfoot Jr.

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It's weldless. I actually replaced the ball valve when I got it because the one that was in there was nasty looking, the keggle had been sitting idle for some time. Unfortunately I don't have the tools or the know how to make the hole any bigger. I have a cordless drill but I imagine that's underpowered for this task and I'm not sure what a step bit is.

I'll have to try the hose idea. I do have the keggle positioned well above the fermenter but in my two tests I had a barbed end I drained the keggle through and then I took off the barb and just had the ball valve. As expected the ball valve alone was slightly faster but not much. Would the addition of a hose create suction that would speed up the whole process?
 

Bobby_M

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First, make sure you have a "full port" ball valve and not a reduction style. You should be able to see a majority of the "ball" when you look through the end.

Second, without a hose on the output, it's going to be slow going. You need at least a 20" length of hose hanging off of the valve to pull a hard siphon (that's what she said).
 
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Turkeyfoot Jr.

Turkeyfoot Jr.

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It's full port then, I can see the entire ball more or less when I look through the end.

I'll try another run with a hose and see what kind of speed I get. Thanks for the info!
 
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