Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

Questions about ball valve draining into fermenter

I’m planning on upgrading to a brew kettle with a ball valve and had a few questions on best practices.

  • What size tube should I get. Looks like 1/2" and 3/8" barbs are common. Is any one preferred over the other? (is that inner diameter or outer?)

  • Should I use hose clamps or are the barbs usually enough?

  • How do i prevent clogs and is there an easy way to strain hops? Now I just pour over a strainer placed over a funnel. I can’t think of an easy way to do that with a hose dropped into a carboy.

  • anything else i should consider purchasing to make life easier?

I use 1/2 inch silicone hose with hose clamps. It works fine. Use a 1/4 inch nut driver to tighten/loosen the clamps and don’t try to get them super tight. With the nut driver the clamps are very quick to put on and remove.

Put a stainless steel scrubbing pad over the inside of the valve. Even with pellet hops the flow will clear very quickly. You can catch the first few ounces of cloudy wort in a pitcher and gently return it to the BK to keep virtually all the crud out of the fermenter, although it probably doesn’t really affect the final beer clarity. The trick is keeping the scrubbing pad jammed against the outlet; I use a tee-shaped piece of copper tubing that wedges it in place. I went with the scrubbing pad because I got tired of constantly cleaning the funnel filter and still didn’t get really clear wort into the fermenter.

My 10 gal. kettle has a 1/2" barb & i use a hose with no clamps. It hasn’t failed yet after 9 batches using that setup. I also have a mash/boil screen (bazooka screen) inside kettle, threaded onto valve. It keeps the majority of gunk out of the fermenter. You can get one from NB’s site or Amazon for cheap.

I whirlpool my boil kettle which does a “good enough” job of moving pellet hops and trub to the middle, away from the pickup.

I also have false bottom, but even with 100% leaf hops, it still clogs from time to time… so I stopped using it.

I prefer the 1/2" thermoplastic tubing that our host sells because it does not kink and flows fast when you want it to. You can throttle down the ball valve if you need slower flow.

We use a mesh bag that hangs about halfway into the boiling wort from a contraption on the top. All the hops go in there.

Just lift it out when done.

I have my concerns about if this method affects hop utilization, but I haven’t seen any info on it either.

Also use a 1/2 inch ball valve.

In my earlier comments I forgot to mention letting the chilled wort sit for an hour to let the hops settle before draining into the fermenter.

Either is probably fine, but you can always throttle down the flow of a half inch with the valve, whereas you can’t throttle up the 3/8. So I say go with 1/2 inch. (How much higher your kettle is than your fermentor will have a big impact in your flow as well.) The diameter of the outside of the barb fits the inner diameter of the hose. So a 1/2 barb fits 1/2 ID hose and a 3/8 barb fits 3/8 ID hose.

[quote]- Should I use hose clamps or are the barbs usually enough?
[/quote]
I have never used hose clamps, and have to pull pretty hard to get the hose off.

Whirlpool and let the pellet hops settle for a few minutes after the wort is still. Not only do you not get clogging doing this, but you don’t have to strain. The idea is to NOT strain the hops, but instead to concentrate them with centrifical force and settle to the bottom. The valve is raised off the bottom of the kettle. With whole hops, I use a mesh bag.

My funnel has a strainer that fits inside of it, so I use it even with the valve/barb to hose in order to catch the pellet hops that come through at first and at the end. (I am greedy about getting the last bit of wort, so I tip the kettle. Otherwise, there is not much of a need to strain.) You don’t have to drop the hose into the fermentor. You can hold it over a funnel/strainer.

If you don’t have one, a nice stirrer to get a good whirlpool going. Also, the cost of a brew pot with a valve is not much higher for a larger pot. I’d make sure to get a large enough one for all your needs.

I think you will like this much better than pouring and straining.

This would require the bottom of the kettle to be higher than a carboy with a funnel on the top. I’m currently looking at the blichmann burner with leg extensions. Does anyone who has any experience with this burner think this will sufficiently raised to do this?

This would require the bottom of the kettle to be higher than a carboy with a funnel on the top. I’m currently looking at the blichmann burner with leg extensions. Does anyone who has any experience with this burner think this will sufficiently raised to do this?[/quote]

Depends a little on the kettle being used; some have the ball valve higher and siphon down onto the bottom, others pick up on the side (favoring whirlpooling), mine is mounted fairly low and I use a false bottom with middle pick up tube, then screen on the fermenter side (bucket typically). Some have a low mounted valve and the false bottom sits above the valve entirely.

I am guessing that the leg extensions will be high enough to siphon into a carboy (Blichmann engineers for the homebrewing applications).

As to the original question 1/2 inch is the way to go and the silicone tubing is perfect without need to clamp it. YMMV

:cheers:

I use the Blichmann with extensions & have no problem transfering into a bucket or carboy. I’ve never tried it with a funnel because i have a kettle screen inside. The valve is also pretty low on my kettle. A very little hop matter gets through to fermenter, but settles out with other solids so no worries. :cheers:

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com