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Kayos

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1. What do I need to add a valve for draining? Can I just use the Watts peices at HD? Trying to figure out why I would spend $40-60 on a valve when the one at HD is $5. Do I really need an ss valve? What do I use to cut the hole?

2. If I am going to add a thermometer as well, why would I spend $34 on one from a homebrew store as opposed to one that is $3. What size drill bit is it for a standard 3" face 6" long thermometer?

I am really no all that cheap, but I am trying out figure out what I neeeed vs. where they just get you because it says cool stuff on it.
 

menschmaschine

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Are you welding or going weldless? You can use brass, but to be safe, I would "pickle" it per John Palmer. Here's where I got the weldless fittings I use... cheap and never had a problem: www.greatbargain.net.

Hole drilling is where it can be costly. I bought a step drill bit that went up to like 7/8" at Lowes. It was around $35 + cutting oil. But it worked great and it can't hurt to have a good step drill bit around the house.

For the thermometer, I use a bi-metallic analog probe thermometer that cost $8 ea. I keep them calibrated and think they work fine. Most of those types have probes that are 1/8" thick, but you'll need some sort of Thermothingy (www.zymico.com) to install it in the pot making the hole size bigger than 1/8". The step drill bit would cover both of those holes (valve and thermometer).
 
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