Sanitation is the key to success when it comes to brewing, and one area of cleaning often over looked is the Ball Valve commonly used on most kettles. Depending on how much you brew, you will only have to do this maybe once a year, and it's really a lot easier then it sounds to do.
Step 1: Gather Required Tools
First your going to have to gather the required tools.
- 3" Crescent Wrench
- 3/16" Deep Socket w/ ratchet
- 1/2" Socket w/ratchet
- 1/2" Wrench
- Small Bucket
Step 2: Dissembling the Valve
This Ball Valve is incredibly filthy due to a situation beyond normal conditions so this is a great example for cleaning. First i removed the hose barb and then loosened each of the 4 bolts holding the 3 body pieces of the valve together and lined them up accordingly just for safe keeping. All of the pieces just pop out with minimal effort and the ball in the center will also pop out when you push it.
Step 3: Time to Shine
I filled a bucket partly with hot soapy water and submerged all the parts and let them soak for about 15 minutes and then gave them a once over with a cloth just to make sure i got in the nooks and cranny's.
Because this will be sealed up again when it's put back together, you should make sure to dry all the parts very well, I leave them on a towel for a little while and air dry to make sure.
Step 4: Put It Back Together
Now you can put all the pieces back together, The ball will have a channel on the top to line up with the lever and then the two sides will seal it up. I tighten the bolts in a cross pattern out of habit, and make sure they are tight but not over tight or you may strip the threads.