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T.D.

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I can get a 15mm brass ball valve from an irrigation supplier for $5. Grain and Grape are selling stainless steel ball valves for $95! Is there any reason why I shouldn't use brass? This would be for my mash tun by the way...
 

MAH

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Hi TD

Brass is fine.

However the $95 stainless valve from Grain and Grape is a weldless kit, for installing a ball valve into a pot or keg. It has the ball valve, hose barb, threaded nipple, socket and high temp o-rings. For a one stop purchase it's not a bad price.

Cheers
MAH
 

barfridge

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Dont tell the nazis, but I use brass, and have never had a problem. There's a train of though that says brass has very small quantities of lead in it, and this can slowly leech out into the wort, especially while heated.

Personally I think since lead is such a heavy metal, it can only help add to the gravity of the brew :ph34r: :party:
 

devo

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You can also just buy the bulkhead weldless kits without having to fork out on a stainless steel ball valve as well. These work just fine with the brass valves.
 

T.D.

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Thanks guys. I don't like the sound of lead ending up in my wort, but I'm sure its only very small amounts if any at all.

So it seems I underestimated the complexity of a weldless kit. I just thought it meant that you just screw it on with a nut instead of welding it. Is it more complicated than this? I just thought I would buy a valve and a few fittings so I can bolt it on to my mash tun, in a similar way to my plastic tap (ie threaded tap with rubber o-rings and a nut that tightens it onto the mash tun from the inside).

I think I need to look into this a bit more carefully...
 

MAH

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T.D. said:
So it seems I underestimated the complexity of a weldless kit. I just thought it meant that you just screw it on with a nut instead of welding it. Is it more complicated than this? I just thought I would buy a valve and a few fittings so I can bolt it on to my mash tun, in a similar way to my plastic tap (ie threaded tap with rubber o-rings and a nut that tightens it onto the mash tun from the inside).

Nope it can be as simple as you described. The reason for using a socket on the inside instead of a lock nut, is that you can then attach things like compression fittings for a pick up tube.

Cheers
MAH
 

Ducatiboy stu

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I bought a 1/2" stainless ball valve form Reece Plumbing supplies for $19..

Brass shopuld be fine, it is no worse than copper...
 

Jazman

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tradelink in sa at albert part sell stainless ball valvues but in my tun and hlt i use brass no probs
 

T.D.

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Thanks guys. I'll try and source a couple of valves hopefully before this weekend's brewing session.
 

vlbaby

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Most brass ball valves are nickel plated anyway, so the brass and therefore the lead will never make contact with your beer anyway. Not that brass and beer are a bad combination as far as i'm concerned.
BTW mitre 10 sell 1/2" nickel plated ball valves for $6.40.


vlbaby.
 

Ducatiboy stu

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But as a matter of interest, I priced some 3 peice full stainless ball valves at 1" and they where over $100. They are the ones designed to be pulled apart on a regular basis for cleaning....

Damn they where nice looking units too... B)
 

Fingerlickin_B

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vlbaby said:
BTW mitre 10 sell 1/2" nickel plated ball valves for $6.40.
[post="82011"][/post]​
Yeah, I just grabbed a 15mm one for $8 from Bunnings (Mitre 10)...couldn't be happier :D

PZ.
 
B

bindi

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I bought all the parts from a local plumbing supply store, so no running around and it all fits and they have given me some good ideas on how to do it [my plan] better, one Guys father-in-law being a brewer having helped make his gear.
The ball valves were $7.72 inc gst.BTW
 

sosman

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Ducatiboy stu said:
Brass shopuld be fine, it is no worse than copper...
[post="81956"][/post]​
I'm not sure I agree with that one but I am no metallurgist. As far as I know, lead is added to brass (the amount depends on the grade of brass) for machinability. I don't believe lead is added to copper. If Mr Palmer drops by maybe he can straighten us out.

I have brass parts in my brewery but I am gradually replacing stuff with SS. The only brass bit left in my mashtun is the compression nut:

If you go to the wiki page you will see that I started with all brass.

My brewpot still has a fair bit of brass in it. FWIW I used the pickling method described at howtobrew.com.
 

MAH

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Hi All

On the weekend after a brew I removed the ball valve from my kettle. It's a 3 piece SS 1/2" ball valve and I broke it down to have a look inside. Oh my god! You should have seen all the crud that had accumulated on the inside. It makes me quite afraid of what might be on the inside of my CFC.

I would suggest that if the budget can stretch, buy a ball valve that allows for routine thorough cleaning.

Cheers
MAH
 

Justin

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I've done the same MAH and I was disgusted with the slimy crud that was hiding in not only the internal part of the ball valve but what was hiding down the sides (around the ball). Hard to explain.

Mine isn't a three piece either but I've been thinking long and hard about buying one. Having said that I haven't had an infection from it so I guess that proves it's not as bad as it looks.

I think the kettle is the only valve that would warrant a three piece as it tends to cook wort on to it, your other valves (unless your all gas fired I guess-HLT excluded) don't have the same treatment.

Pity 3 piece are so dear.

Cheers, Justin
 

Wortgames

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I don't think there's really much point paying the extra for stainless unless you get the fully dismantleable ones (and ideally threadless). I'd be more worried about the hiding crud than the miniscule amount of lead. Most of the stainless ball valves you see are designed for water, not thick, sweet wort. Better to buy an $8 valve and replace it every couple of brews.

If you are really paranoid about lead you can 'pickle' raw brass in a mixture of 2 parts vinegar, one part hyrogen peroxide for 10-15 mins until it turns a dull yellow. This will allow any lead in the surfaces to be dissolved more easily and washed off. Nickel plated fittings are fine to use as they are.

If anyone needs sanitary valves and fittings, PM me before you buy. I am hoping to have these available soon, I've got access to some good gear at hopefully good prices.
 

Shunty

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Not sure if you guys have blackwood paykel engineering over there, but they sell three-piece 1/2" stainless valves for $25 inc gst. I use em for every valve that gas wort running through it, the HLT valve is a one piece.
 

Justin

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That's a good price. Might chase it up.

We have blackwoods, don't know if thats the same place, however I don't think they tend to be that cheap. Can only ask though, a phone call will answer all questions.

Cheers, Justin
 

TidalPete

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MAH said:
Hi All

On the weekend after a brew I removed the ball valve from my kettle. It's a 3 piece SS 1/2" ball valve and I broke it down to have a look inside. Oh my god! You should have seen all the crud that had accumulated on the inside. It makes me quite afraid of what might be on the inside of my CFC.

I would suggest that if the budget can stretch, buy a ball valve that allows for routine thorough cleaning.

Cheers
MAH
[post="87421"][/post]​
A Turnflo 1\2" BSP 2-piece SS ball valve cost around $25 in Brisbane in August this year. Well worth the investment.

:beer:
 

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