I’ve been brewing all grain since June of 2013. I have to say that I’m sick and tired of draining my kettle (keggle) with a racking cane. It would sure be nice to just open a valve and have the wort drain directly into my sanitized carboy.
Why you should add one to your keggle:
- They save you time. Just drain the wort directly into your carboy instead of the hassle of sanitizing your racking cane and all the vinyl tubing that goes with it.
- It’s fast! 5 gallons of wort drains in less than a minute.
- They prevent trub. Normally, ball valves are mounted above the bottom of the kettle, leaving the majority of the trub behind.
- Less surface area contacting your wort. Did I mention I’m not a fan of draining with a racking cane?
How to do it:
It’s quite a scary thing to do. You’re drilling a one-inch hole at the bottom of your beloved brew kettle. Yeah… I know, so take your time. The best thing to do is to remove the nut from the ball-valve assembly and test-fit it on the inside of your keg. Find a location where the nut is lying as flat as possible. You are working with a curved vessel here, so I don’t know if you’ll ever get it to sit perfectly flush. Just get it as flat as possible at the lowest point you can. Trace it with a pencil and drill a pilot hole (I used a 1/8″ bit) from the inside out. Once your pilot hole is there, you can drill the 1″ hole with a step drill. I actually had to order one from Amazon because the one I already owned had a maximum diameter of 3/4″. I highly recommend this one though – great price from an awesome seller. Once you have your hole drilled to the right size, insert the ball-valve assembly through it and attach the following in order on the inside: the high-temp silicone washer; the stainless steel washer; then the nut (thanks Johnny Mo). Tighten it down with a couple adjustable wrenches.
The same steps can be repeated with the temperature probe. I really was unsure if my ball-valve’s handle would have cleared the face of the thermometer, so I offset them from each other and it worked out great. I was concerned about the keg’s first rib getting in the way.
So there you have it – two tools that makes brew day even more enjoyable.