Recently picked up a weldless kit spigot for my brew kettle… I decided that grabbing boiling water with a 1 quart pyrex cup burnt my hand one too many times… and while that made me enjoy my beers even more I decided it was time to get a valve so I can just pump hot water instead… I didn’t think drilling a 7/8″ hole into my stainless steel pot would be such a hassle… I thought I was going to just step my way up one drill bit at a time, but if it only were that easy… and it could be if you take some of the tips I learned in the process…

I’m no metal experts and I consider myself dangerous when holding a drill, but I was able to take on this task and if I did it, I’m sure you can too!

You can get the valve I used for this at: Brewer’s Edge Kettle valve

The first thing I learned was that Stainless Steel is tough to cut, not so much because of its density as much as it is because it can get hot with the drill and harden up making itself harder to drill through… to avoid that, I used Marvel mystery oil… the oil keeps the stainless steel from getting hot allowing you to keep drilling…

The second thing I learned was that the step up drill bit tends to catch on to the kettle if you don’t keep a constant speed or put too much pressure on it… it took me a while to catch on to drilling at a constant speed and applying only enough pressure to help the drill bit penetrate the stainless steel…

Now I did a ton of reading and researching and found many people were just trying to drill using the step up drill bit only… but those tend to be a little to big to start with… what made my drilling easier was to start with an even smaller drill… I started with the smallest one I had and went up one size at a time…

It took me longer to remove and replace the drill bits than it did to actually drill until I got to my stepped drill bit… if you can keep a constant speed and keep spraying Marvel mystery oil then you will have a much easier time drilling through stainless steel…

The wider the hole gets the more the drill bit wants to catch on to the brew pot…

After you are done drilling, you should wipe it clean with PBW or whatever detergent you use… let it air dry and install your weldless kit…Your weldless kits are not supposed to be too tight… they are only supposed to form a good seal with the gasket and the wall of the brew pot… hand tight is more than enough…

I tested my system with cold water and was prepared in case the valve didn’t seal right and leaked…

I didn’t think I’d be installing a valve so soon, and now that I did I’m surprised at how much trouble I went through to find good information on drilling this hole… had I not asked questions I would have drilled without oil… so I hope this helps if not now, maybe in the future…

Cheers!


    2 replies to "How To Install A Valve On A Brew Kettle"

    • Dean

      RE: How To Install A Valve On A Brew Kettle video

      You really did it the very very long and hard way, all you needed was a metal hole saw 7/8″ I bought a whole kit from 1/4′ to 3″ for less than $30.00. No oil required or someone to hold the pot, I just laid my pot on it’s side and drilled 1 7/8 hole directly and it took less than 2 seconds, with no chance of unround hole which a step drill can do.

      Dean

      • Jorge

        Where were you when I was doing research for this? lol… I really appreciate you sharing this… if I’m not afraid to post something and make a mistake is because someone will correct me and I can then (as my Chief in the Navy used to say) unf%@k myself…

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