Category Archives: Top Posts

Stainless Steel Fittings, Disconnects and Ball Valves – Part Numbers and Sources

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Here is a rundown of sources and part numbers for some of the parts and pieces you may need to put together your system, including fittings, ball valves, tri-clamps, camlocks, bulkheads and more.  Generally speaking, as homebrewers, we use 1/2″ fittings to connect things together.  Most of these fittings and sources feature 1/2″ although other sizes may be available.

Amazon:

ProFlow Dynamics:

MoreBeer:

Brew Hardware:

eBay – can be a good source although availability and prices vary

Recent Great Deals [more]:

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Tip: Commercial Grade Heat Resistant Glove [Minding Yeast Starters & Brew Day]

G & F 1689L Heat Resistant Glove Commercial Grade, Large

I use a similar type of glove when I’m making yeast starters in an Erlenmeyer Flask.  It’s really handy (pun intended) to swirl around the flask or to quickly remove to keep the flask from boiling over.  These are also handy on brew day for handling hot (but not wet) ball valves and such.

These are not waterproof. Along those lines, I wouldn’t suggest that you stick your hand in hot wort with one of these on. Or, without one of these on for that matter. I guess the take away here is… don’t stick your hand in hot wort. 🙂

G & F 1689L Heat Resistant Glove Commercial Grade, Large

Also: Yeast Starters and Fermentation Resources

Recent Amazon Finds [view more]:

stirstarter stir plateGreat Deal: StirStarter Stir Plate

Tip: Using a Pedal Foot Switch for Easy Pump Operation

MLCS 9089 Billy Pedal Foot Switch, 2 Step ON/OFF(Continuous Running)

I use this on/off foot pedal foot switch for easy, hands free control of my March Pump while brewing.  I’ve used the same one since of March of 2011 and it works great.  I keep it at the base of my Blichmann TopTier, relatively close to where my pump sits.  One foot press turns the pump on or off.

MLCS 9089 Billy Pedal Foot Switch, 2 Step ON-OFF Continuous Running

I use my March pump for: recirculating my mash, transferring from mash tun to brew kettle, chilling using a recirculating immersion chiller and transferring to my fermenter.

Always be cautious when using your pump with hot liquids and read and follow manufacturers directions.

RelatedAll Grain Tips & Gear

Recent Amazon Finds [view more]:

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Stainless Steel Spray Balls for Sparging and CIP Cleaning

8c3c93a1-b53a-4be0-b96b-30f2ecf67a80Thanks to HBF Reader Sam for this photo!  [8 Ways to Connect with HBF]

CIP (Clean in Place) Spray Balls are generally used for vessels that are too large to move.  Since they’re too large to move you… clean them in place.  If you have a larger setup, you could incorporate these into your system or routine to help clean your vessels more easily.

Seller QM Stainless on Amazon offers a variety of spray balls including stationary and rotary.

A couple of specific models to consider:

Seller QM Stainless on Amazon offers a variety of spray balls including stationary and rotary.

HBF Reader Sam is using – 0.5″ SUS304 Female 360 Degree Fix Spray Ball Stainless Tank Cleaning Ball – for sparging.  See photo above.

Sam Says…

“Funny timing – I recently purchased a fixed spray ball from QM Stainless on eBay – my original intent was to use it for a keg / carboy cleaner but have been playing with it in my mash re-circulation set-up. I screwed a spare male quick disconnect into the spray ball and held it in position over the tun. It worked so well that I am considering drilling a hole in the lid of my cooler and using it there permanently. Here’s a picture of it in action last Saturday.”

Update: from HBF Reader Chris…

By the way, I bought the rotating version of this spray ball with the idea of mounting it on my Mark II keg cleaner [HBF Review]. It works great! It can’t fit inside my glass carboys, but it fits inside my plastic carboys, buckets, kegs, etc, and it rotates around while spraying. I feel like this is a good upgrade for the Mark II keg cleaner because otherwise it just sprays up and sometimes doesn’t get all the nooks and crannies as efficiently as it could.

Recent Amazon Finds [view more]:

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Gluten Free and Gluten Reduced Homebrewing Resources

15103Pictured: Clarity Ferm via MoreBeer

A notable percentage of people have some motivation to reduce or completely eliminate gluten intake.  Reasons vary from dietary choice to gluten sensitivity to auto-immune diseases like Celiac.  Gluten sensitive people may still want to enjoy a fermented beverage and possibly a homebrewed one.  This post aims to pull together some of the gluten free and gluten reduced homebrewing resources that are available.

If you’re gluten sensitive, but not a homebrewer, consider starting.  Your local choices may be limited or non-existent.  Homebrewing gives you the ability and freedom to make what you want.

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Tip: Use a Wallpaper Prep Tray for cleaning, sanitizing and storage

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I use a wallpaper try to clean and sanitize longer items like racking canes, auto-siphons, spoons, tubing and beverage out dip tubes.  It works great.

These also work well for storing longer items.  If you’re going to store things in these, I would recommend stacking a couple together to give them some extra strength.

Zinsser 98030 30-Inch Wallpaper Prep Tray

Note: You can often find these for a good price at your local hardware or home improvement center.

Recent Amazon Finds [view more]:

Four Easy Upgrades for Brew Day

Looking for some simple upgrades to make brew day go more smoothly?  Consider these three gear purchases.

#1 –  24″ Stainless Steel Whisk.  This whisk is great for: 1.  Stirring in extract.  It easily breaks up clumps, 2.  Stirring the mash 3.  Starting a whirlpool and 4. Helping chill more quickly (place in the middle of your wort chiller to agitate wort).  If you’re a homebrewer, I think you should consider owning one of these babies.  Hands on Review

Update International FW-24 Stainless Steel French Whip, 24-Inch

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