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Slim M

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When brewing 5 gallon batches I always used to just grab the kettle after I chilled and dumped it into my fermenter bucket by hand. I never had a valve on my 32 quart kettle but I’m thinking about adding one because I’ve had some spinal issues.

My concern is does a valve & barb get hot enough during the boil to sanitize sufficiently to run chilled wort through? Years ago I brewed nothing but big batches and chilled with a plate chiller so I had 200+ degrees wort running through the kettle valve but now I’m using an immersion chiller since I stepped down to 5 gallon batches and would be running 60 degree wort through the valve and hose barb.
 

pvtpublic

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Do you boil on a flame? If so, it's already sanitized. I would imagine it would be hot enough any other way too
 

IslandLizard

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Sorry to hear about your back, that really sucks!
Prevent lifting (heavier) objects, it's the only way to prevent additional injury.
9 years ago I sprung a small abdominal hernia lifting a full 15 gallon kettle up 4" at knee height... I was fortunate it healed itself over the years, mostly.

You'd still need to periodically clean that exit valve, even if you're on a gas burner, and rinse it out after use. Pediococcus can hide and build up within the small spaces in the ball lock mechanism. A black slimy or "tar-like substance in those crevices would be your tell-tale, as well as diacetyl in your beer.

Using 3-part valves that gets fully disassembled every 4-10 brews, are the easiest to clean.

Aside from that, after every brew day, mine get thoroughly rinsing/cleaned/brushed, from both ends if possible. Then left open in a 45° position to dry between brew sessions.

Barbed connections can harbor wort too, so a periodic disassembly and cleaning is a good habit for those too.
I use high-flow camlocks with a single end barb, and a band clamp on it. With silicone hoses, there's no way wort can get behind those barbs. I rarely disassemble those.
 
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Jim R

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I clean and sanitize the valve on my boiling kettle but I don't even use the valve anymore because it doesn't work well. The valve is usually not at the level where I want to pull off the clearest wort into my fermenter. It also occasionally get plugged up with trub. I would much rather use a high quality, sanitized auto siphon where I can start siphoning off wort from the top of the kettle and then slowly lower it to get clear wort. That kettle valve was a waste of money for me and just makes the kettle harder to clean.

Instead I now use a high quality stainless auto-siphon that works perfect and is easy to clean and sanitize. This is the one I use now although the cheaper plastic ones worked well too.

 

balrog

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When brewing 5 gallon batches I always used to just grab the kettle after I chilled and dumped it into my fermenter bucket by hand. I never had a valve on my 32 quart kettle but I’m thinking about adding one because I’ve had some spinal issues.

My concern is does a valve & barb get hot enough during the boil to sanitize sufficiently to run chilled wort through? Years ago I brewed nothing but big batches and chilled with a plate chiller so I had 200+ degrees wort running through the kettle valve but now I’m using an immersion chiller since I stepped down to 5 gallon batches and would be running 60 degree wort through the valve and hose barb.
I totally hear you. I BIAB w a 40qt, 5g batches, lifting to burner, to floor to mash in, to burner, to table to chill, and pour to fermenter -- and it's that last step that causes the most issue. I hate to siphon and I would have to install a valve as I don't have one, but the time is coming. It's like the fact that the ground gets further away from you when you get older.
 
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Slim M

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It would be my estimation that the valve body on a kettle being boiled over an open flame would get hot enough but the hose barb being further away is what I’m not sure about. I guess a quick few squirts of starsan in and on the barb prior to opening the valve after chilling would be cheap insurance.
 

wsmith1625

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My concern is does a valve & barb get hot enough during the boil to sanitize sufficiently to run chilled wort through?
Yes, the heat from the boil will sanitize the valve but it does not replace cleaning. Clean the valve regularly to clear gunk. I started with a 2 piece ball valve that was a pain to break down. Then I got a 3 piece ball valve and was amazed at how quickly I could break it down for cleaning. Highly recommended.

When brewing 5 gallon batches I always used to just grab the kettle after I chilled and dumped it into my fermenter bucket by hand. I never had a valve on my 32 quart kettle but I’m thinking about adding one because I’ve had some spinal issues.
These could help with moving the fermenter around.
 
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Broken Crow

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Owing to injury I had to incorporate spine-saving measures at every step possible. Constant recirculation is a must for me to avoid stirring, to whirlpool and to drain without lifting. Just because you're doing smaller batches is no reason not to use your plate chiller (if you still have it). A small cheap pump, camlocks or QD's, silicone hose and a recirculation port (wether an installed bulkhead or cane-type slung over the edge of the pot) really helps eliminate shoulder and spine usage.
 
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Slim M

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Owing to injury I had to incorporate spine-saving measures at every step possible. Constant recirculation is a must for me to avoid stirring, to whirlpool and to drain without lifting. Just because you're doing smaller batches is no reason not to use your plate chiller (if you still have it). A small cheap pump, camlocks or QD's, silicone hose and a recirculation port (wether an installed bulkhead or cane-type slung over the edge of the pot) really helps eliminate shoulder and spine usage.

Yeah I still have the old chiller but it’s been sitting in a dusty old shop for about 11 years since it was last cleaned or used. I had kids, moved, and life got busy. I was hardcore brewing 10 gallon batches on a 3 vessel fly sparge system in the 2000s life happened and I stepped away. Kept my 8 gallon kettle, plate chiller, immersion chiller, 15 gallon keggle, propane burner + 3 tanks, & 3 corny kegs. Oh yeah and my chest freezer with the Johnson temp controller. I’m m doing biab 5 gallon now and love it. Hopefully will step up to 10 gallons again soon after sorting things out.

I guess I could bake the chiller and then run some cleaning solution through it and sanitize it, I just don’t know if it’s trust worthy though I’m afraid crud or bugs or something may have made its way in. I’m not sure what to think about the old chiller what would you do?
 

IslandLizard

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I guess I could bake the chiller and then run some cleaning solution through it and sanitize it, I just don’t know if it’s trust worthy though I’m afraid crud or bugs or something may have made its way in. I’m not sure what to think about the old chiller what would you do?
I'd start soaking that plate chiller with (homemade) PBW* first for a day (or longer), then recirculate hot PBW for an hour or so. See how much crud comes out, then decide from there how long to keep recirculating. Recirculate in both directions, to dislodge anything potentially stuck.

After soaking/recirculating, I've also put high pressure water on it, in both directions. It took a while, but got rid of all the grapefruit pith/zest and hop pulp that had gotten in there. Bagging everything since.

* adding a little bit of NaOH (Lye) to the hot PBW makes it work even better. Just use adequate eye, face and skin protection when using the Lye option.
 

Bramling Cross

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Sounds like we're both Gen-Xers, going through Gen-Xer things.

Get a port in your kettle and buy a pump. Both were revelations to me! Suddenly, brewing was so much easier and enjoyable.

It doesn't have to be a Blichman, or a Chugger. These days, pumps aren't expensive things that only rich people can have. There's a cheap, (mostly) reliable standard pump that comes out of, you guessed it, China, that is often on sale for $40. It's normally priced around $59. Shop Amazon, Beer, Beer, and More Beer, etc. It's all the same pump. Get the stainless head. Chinese threads are garbage, so get the stainless head and use plastic fittings with Teflon tape to get a tight seal. Provided you place your pump below the outlet port on your kettle, everything gets much easier.

Do you need to lift 6gal of sparge water up above your MLT? The pump will do that for you. Do you need to lift your runoff onto your burner? Let the pump handle it. It really is a cheap game-changer.

It also lets you chill faster if you install a whirlpool port on your kettle and do whirlpool additions (highly overrated).

Pumps are cheap, ports require a fun weekend project. Both will save your back.
 

seatazzz

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+1 to the above; I have that very pump from Amazon. It's been great, never an issue. And adding a port to a kettle is also very easy, even to drilling the hole in SS or aluminum. Get a titanium step drill bit, go slow and you'll be amazed how easy it is. I've drilled in both aluminum and SS with mine, easy peasy. Another back-saver is a furniture dolly, for moving heavy fermenters/kettles. Right now the heaviest thing I lift on brewdays is my grain bucket.
 
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Slim M

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Sounds like we're both Gen-Xers, going through Gen-Xer things.

Get a port in your kettle and buy a pump. Both were revelations to me! Suddenly, brewing was so much easier and enjoyable.

It doesn't have to be a Blichman, or a Chugger. These days, pumps aren't expensive things that only rich people can have. There's a cheap, (mostly) reliable standard pump that comes out of, you guessed it, China, that is often on sale for $40. It's normally priced around $59. Shop Amazon, Beer, Beer, and More Beer, etc. It's all the same pump. Get the stainless head. Chinese threads are garbage, so get the stainless head and use plastic fittings with Teflon tape to get a tight seal. Provided you place your pump below the outlet port on your kettle, everything gets much easier.

Do you need to lift 6gal of sparge water up above your MLT? The pump will do that for you. Do you need to lift your runoff onto your burner? Let the pump handle it. It really is a cheap game-changer.

It also lets you chill faster if you install a whirlpool port on your kettle and do whirlpool additions (highly overrated).

Pumps are cheap, ports require a fun weekend project. Both will save your back.
Yeah back in the day a mag pump was out of my price range I just relied on gravity and moving things around. Biab has simplified things a bit. I’m on my fourth batch now and still assessing the direction I want to go.


I’m working my way back to 10 gallons in my mind. I’m a hobby welder and metal fab guy so I think I’m going to build a brew tree with a winch and adjustable burner / kettle platform. Maybe a pump in the mix also.
 
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