Author Topic: Kettle and weldless valve  (Read 2373 times)

Offline euge

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Kettle and weldless valve
« on: June 24, 2010, 07:36:47 PM »
I'm close to drilling on my 80qt for the weldless valve. How far up should the hole be placed? I was thinking about 2.5 or 3 inches from the bottom of the kettle.

Ideas? Experiences?
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline beerocd

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Re: Kettle and weldless valve
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2010, 08:42:19 PM »
Doesn't matter if you're gonna have a pick-up tube. I am assuming BK.
If it's MLT you'd have to have it high enough that you can still wedge the false bottom in and attach the pickup tube.
My MLT has the valve under the false bottom and the false bottom has feet holding it up. (too much dead space IMO)
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Offline dak0415

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Re: Kettle and weldless valve
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2010, 05:55:28 AM »
For my keggle mash tun, I just drilled a hole in the center of the bottom, plugged the hole in one of those 12" domed SS false bottoms, dropped it in the bottom, and ran a 90 deg fitting w/pipe out to the edge.  It's sort of up on blocks to leave room for the pipe and ball valve but - no dead space.
Dave Koenig
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Offline beerocd

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Re: Kettle and weldless valve
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2010, 06:28:00 AM »
For my keggle mash tun, I just drilled a hole in the center of the bottom, plugged the hole in one of those 12" domed SS false bottoms, dropped it in the bottom, and ran a 90 deg fitting w/pipe out to the edge.  It's sort of up on blocks to leave room for the pipe and ball valve but - no dead space.

I just need to put in a pickup tube, otherwise I have to tilt the kettle some and the wort will start running thick and dark again.
The moral majority, is neither.

Offline richardt

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Re: Kettle and weldless valve
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2010, 07:18:09 AM »
Opinions abound regarding whether a BK false bottom is needed or not in the BK--but I won't get into that;  I don't see the logic in using one in the BK, so I don't use one. JMO.
I use a sanitized SS Bullion China Cap strainer (or fine mesh nylon paint strainer bag) and large funnel with fine mesh screen to strain out any hop particles that make it out of the kettle.  Never have had a clogged valve using this approach, but some of my brew buddies have cursed themselves for having a FB or Bazooka Screen on the inside of the kettle and having it get clogged during transfer.  YMMV.

Measure from the inside of the kettle, not the outside of the kettle--the thickness of the triclad base on SS kettles may vary from brand to brand, and Aluminum kettles won't have one.  So, to be consistent regardless of kettle type/material, measure from the inside of the kettle.

The weldless bulkhead portion of the spigot has a large washer and coupler that goes on after the O-ring on the inside of the kettle.  Look at the image to see what I'm talking about--IMO, the washer determines your height.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Weldless-Stainless-Steel-Valve-and-Spigot-Free-Shipping-/380122770975?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5881152e1f  This was the one I used.
That will determine how high up you should go from the bottom of the inside of the kettle.  It is about an inch and a quarter, or so, IIRC.
At a minimum, it should be at least half the diameter (i.e., the radius) of the washer high up from the bottom of the inside of the kettle starting from where it stops curving/sloping towards the bottom of the kettle.  If you don't, then you'll have to trim/truncate one edge of the washer--that's unnecessary work.  You can always make or buy a dip tube attachment later if you want to suck up every last drop of wort.  Having it up just 1/4 inch higher higher than the minimum makes it easier to assemble and disassemble, IMO.  If you do go with a FB, then build around that.

From the outside of the kettle, it looks more like 1.75 inches up from the bottom (as I have a SS kettle with a triclad base), IIRC.

Offline euge

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Re: Kettle and weldless valve
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2010, 11:03:36 AM »
Thanks guys.

This is what got bought off AHBS:



http://www.austinhomebrew.com/product_info.php?cPath=178_33_82_89&products_id=12186&osCsid=4712346caeed0a6c7fea783c316fcfcb

I plan to use a pick-up tube but from the side without a false-bottom. At this point I don't plan to mash in the kettle but Who knows what the future will bring. Just want to do this thing right the first time as I haven't taken that path in previous endeavors... :P
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline euge

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Re: Kettle and weldless valve
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2010, 01:08:34 AM »
Just drilled my 7/8" hole... Had a fortifying drink and measured 17" down the inside and then 14" down the outside. This is where I drilled the hole. The hideously expensive step-bit went through the aluminum like butter. Really clean hole with no real burrs to speak of though I did hit it with a little sand-paper to smooth it all out.

Did a little soldering and it's all done.

Wow. So easy. It was time...




The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline weithman5

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Re: Kettle and weldless valve
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2010, 05:19:53 AM »
dak - i like the idea of putting the valve on the bottom of the bk but have you had any problems with heat damaging the valve?  I suppose i could actually make a fitting that connects to the bottom and runs out away from the direct heat a bit.
Don AHA member

Offline euge

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Re: Kettle and weldless valve
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2010, 11:23:11 AM »
dak - i like the idea of putting the valve on the bottom of the bk but have you had any problems with heat damaging the valve?  I suppose i could actually make a fitting that connects to the bottom and runs out away from the direct heat a bit.

Envisioning what he has done, my only worry would be wort scorching inside the tubing that is in direct contact with the flame. Dak- what are your experiences with your setup as you've described it?
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline richardt

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Re: Kettle and weldless valve
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2010, 01:19:25 PM »
Interesting.  DAK's setup might work rather well for an electric brewsystem, esp if HERMS or RIMS.  But, a direct fired system?

I agree with weithman and euge that you'd probably not want to direct fire the base of that kettle--but, if you're already doing so, please post pics and tell us how you do it.  My curiosity is piqued.

Offhand, my biggest reasons for not putting the valve on the bottom of the kettle are:
1.)  to avoid direct fire from the banjo burner heating my valve/burning my valve and any attachments (hoses or QD's)
2.)  to leave trub material behind during transfer (I use an IC)
3.)  the bottom of the kettle remains flat and free of any fixtures so I can move it about and set it down on any flat surface.

Offline richardt

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Re: Kettle and weldless valve
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2010, 01:23:56 PM »
Euge,
Good job on the weldless valve installation.  I like the pick up tube!  I need to do that, too. 

I remember looking at step drill bits at the local hardware store and seeing the price around $40-50!  No way, man!
I found it online for around $12.  Cuts like (cold) butter through metal.

Offline dak0415

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Re: Kettle and weldless valve
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2010, 05:08:29 PM »
dak - i like the idea of putting the valve on the bottom of the bk but have you had any problems with heat damaging the valve?  I suppose i could actually make a fitting that connects to the bottom and runs out away from the direct heat a bit.

Envisioning what he has done, my only worry would be wort scorching inside the tubing that is in direct contact with the flame. Dak- what are your experiences with your setup as you've described it?
My kettles are conventional, the mash tun has the hole drilled in the bottom, and I use a RIMS setup with an Auber programmable PID controller.  I fill with strike water, fire it up and two hours later the system has stabilized at strike temp and I mash in, hit the run button on the controller and it keeps my mash temp within .2 degrees (that's not a typo - 2/10 deg) for as long as tell it to.

Dave
Dave Koenig
Anything worth doing - is worth overdoing!

Offline richardt

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Re: Kettle and weldless valve
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2010, 06:41:06 PM »
Sounds cool.  Got any pics?

Offline euge

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Re: Kettle and weldless valve
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2010, 10:50:32 AM »
Euge,
Good job on the weldless valve installation.  I like the pick up tube!  I need to do that, too. 

I remember looking at step drill bits at the local hardware store and seeing the price around $40-50!  No way, man!
I found it online for around $12.  Cuts like (cold) butter through metal.

Richard,

I did my first 12 gallon batch with it after a few test runs with water. Flow was great and really fast. Transferring hot water to the tun was awesomely easy.

However, doing a whirlpool with whole-hops didn't works so well. I figured the hops would set up a filter of sorts around the inlet of the pick-up tube. WRONG. Damn thing clogged immediately. Tried slowing it down etc, but no satisfaction. It was extremely frustrating but the session ended with the wort in the fermenters without major mishap.

Keeping the setup as it is will require the use of hop-bags. I'm tentatively leaning towards this but just don't like using them. Or, I could adapt some SS hose-braid much like my tun. So this setup has it's severe limitations but I learned a good deal about using the pump.




Any bright ideas guys? Anyone?

euge
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline richardt

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Re: Kettle and weldless valve
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2010, 12:47:48 PM »
Euge,
I'm brewing today so I'll keep it short n sweet.

I only use hop pellets.