Best stainless steel ball valves for homebrew kettles

Best stainless steel ball valves beer

Best stainless steel ball valves for homebrew kettles


When you've decided to upgrade from using beer kits with plastic or glass fermenters and you want to use a bit of steel kit in your beer making, you're probably going to want to use a brewing kettle.

Every kettle needs a valve of some sort to release the beer wort and it's crucial that that exit point will work correctly every time and that it doesn't leak. You can even use them with your mash tun.

A quality steel ball valve will do the job. Once properly attached and sealed to the kettle, it's a simple matter of connecting the hose, and your wort's away!

What to look for when buying a valve for you're brewing kettle


Most brewers tend to use valves manufactured out of steel but there are some parts made of brass. Some brewers suggest brass parts corrode too easily and need to be cleaned as a result. We'd recommend you focus your search on buying a steel valve.

A valve made of 304 Stainless Steel will provide for maximum corrosion resistance.

Size is important - most brew kettles have a pre-made hole that is 7/8" inches in diameter - accordingly, you should be sourcing a 1/2" ball valve.  The seal on the valve should take care of the difference!

You'll also want to ensure the nozzle or hose bard is the right size for your needs. A 1/4" nozzle may result in a beer flow to slow for an impatient brewers, so you may want to consider the commonly used half inch nozzle hose barb

What are the best valves to use?


We never recommend cheap products as in the long term they can cost you more trouble than they are worth but mid range is a fine place to start with this bulkhead:


Features
  • 1/2"x10mm Stainless Steel Hose Barb
  • Stainless Steel Full Port Ball Valve
  • Sanitary Ball Valve
  • It features a 1/2" Full Port ball valve and a 1/2" barb, which means you'll get a decent wort flow
Check out the price on Amazon.

CONCORD 304 Stainless Steel Weldless Bulkhead Ball Valve



Concord Cookware have produced a no-nonsense valve and boast the following specifications:

  • Weldless Bulkhead Set Includes 1/2" Barbed Hose, Ball Valve, Hex Nipple, Washer, Red O-Ring x2, Grooved Lock Nut
  • 304 Cast Stainless Steel for highest corrosion resistance
  • High Temp silicon O-Ring for heat resistance
  • Grooved Lock Nut for leak free installation
  • Standard 1/2" NPT fittings made to fit your 7/8" kettle hole
Heh, they said nipple! It's no joke though to check the price out on Amazon.

The "L" Shaped Ball Valve


If you want your hose barb to point more downwards, this model from Tizze will suit your needs.

l shaped ball valve for a kettle

Tizze's specifications:
  • 1/2" weldless bulkhead fitting fits 7/8" kettle hole
  • Made from 304 stainless steel
  • Full port ball valve
  • Heat resistant O ring and it will hold a really good seal on the coupler
Here's a review that an actual brewer left on Amazon:

"Nice valve for transferring wort from the brew kettle to the fermenter. Takes 3/8" tubing doesn't leak and works great!"

So, what are you waiting for? Check out the price on Amazon.

How to attach a ball valve to a drilled kettle


This great instructional video shows you how to easily install the valve. A key take-away is that you can use teflon tape to further prevent leakage.


Another good idea relayed in the video is to test that your valve is correctly installed and your o-rings have made a good seal. Instead of using beer, test it with water!

How do I clean the valve?


Most valves can be taken apart for easy cleaning. A spanner or wrench is quite handy but then, you don't need to tighten these units to death.

Cleaning with a strong brush, hot water and soap will do the trick.

Why is brass made valves a controversial topic?


Both brass and steel are alloys. The metals they are made with each have different properties when they mix with alkalines and acids.

Brass is more likely to corrode, so brewers prefer to use quality stainless steel products to avoid the issue of metal leakage into beer. For example, brass can leach zinc and that's not really a key ingredient of beer is it?

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