How To Choose A Brewing Ball Valve For Home Brewing

Posted by , on Sep, 2016

Upgrading equipment for home brewing feels great! You’re progressing in your craft, making better beer, and enjoying your just rewards. Taking it to the next level doesn’t have to be expensive, but you do want to invest in good quality equipment, and for a lot of us, that means picking up some better quality materials in a 316 stainless steel. Why 316? Let’s take a look at why this should be your pick for upgrading your brewing ball valves, fittings, and kettles.

304 vs. 316



Classic 18/8 stainless used in goods such as cookware.

This is called “marine grade” stainless steel. Used in cookware and food processing.

Subject to pitting and corrosion in marine environments, or from chlorides used in manufacturing or in cleaning processes especially when in a warm environment.

More resistant to chloride corrosion in marine environments and from chlorides used in cleaning or manufacturing. It is not corrosion proof and should not be exposed to chloride cleaners for long periods.

Subject to stress cracking at temperatures above 60C/140F.

Handles higher temperatures better, but in certain conditions will crack.

While you can have ball valves welded in place, some prefer to remove the valves for cleaning. Just because a valve or fitting is exposed to boiling wart does not mean that it’s clean. Ideally, you should have a threaded or quick-release valve that can be taken apart, soaked, scrubbed, and sterilized as needed. You don’t need anything fancy, just tools, hot water, cleaner, and a brush is all it should take to get it perfectly clean and shiny again. There are some specialty cleaners available that are marketed to brewers, such as Alkaline Brewery Wash, Star San, B-Brite, Oxiclean, and Dawn dish detergent. However you chose to clean, just make sure that the valve is perfectly clean and dry before you put it back in use.

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Posted by , on Sep, 2016

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