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Intro and Automation Questions


New Forum Member
Feb 14, 2018
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Hi, first time poster.  Marty, from Maryland.  Just kegged 10 gal Leffe Blonde (Innocent), perhaps my favorite.  Electrical engineer by education and most of my career.

Learned (again, really) that hot water management is my most major point of failure; not that I'm not hitting the right temps but that it's taking so much of my attention and time that I'm missing too much (and taking way too long).  So obviously I need a HLT for 10 gal batches instead of my too small stock pot on the stove.  What I would love is a tankless HLT.  Homemade (excuse me, home brewed) of course.  I'm surprised that for as much fun as people have automating their brew setup this doesn't seem to be a well explored item.

Anyway, I'd like to talk automation and especially, parts.  Which forum would be most appropriate? 

If this is the place, then two questions--First, Clothes washers have a double valve (hot and cold); does anyone know whether the maximum temperature of those isn't boiling?  It'd be an unpleasant surprise to find out suddenly.  I guess I could just drop it into a boiling pot and see if it softens. 

Second, recommendations for parts.  There wouldn't be an ongoing thread here or elsewhere on brewing automation components?  Along with boiling rated valves, a suitable pump (hot liquids, and cleanable) is high on my list.  A peristaltic pump, maybe. 

Thanks in advance. _____________Marty
  Welcome to the forum. I am not sure that this is the best place for your questions. Homebrew Talk has a forum that even has an automated brewing section (https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/). That forum has a pretty low signal-to-noise ratio in general, so I have given up on it, but you might find something useful there. I have built my own Arduino-based equipment for automated BIAB brewing and fermentation temperature control, but it is pretty simple and doesn't require any valves, just temperature control. I bought a Blichmann Boil Coil and added it to my kettle. I would not expect washing machine valves to have a high enough temperature rating for brewing, and they might not be considered food-safe. Be very careful with the parts you choose. Here are links to a few places that sell parts for brewing:

There are many more, I am sure. Pick up a magazine in your local hombrew shop, if they have any, and look through the ads.

Thank you GF. 

Yah, I'd seen HomeBrewTalk automation forum but in addition to the SNR I couldn't figure out how to register; all I saw was the GiveUsMoney banner.  I'm fairly penurious, given that I angsted over BeerSmith (mistake; everyone should own BeerSmith already, just saying) forking over as much as they were asking/demanding wasn't an option.  But I did figure out the regular registration upon your prompting so will ask some questions there.

I hope I won't be a food-unsafe or otherwise unsafe kind of guy to the annoyance of anyone; I'll try to keep any such remarks well-edited for public consumption. 

On that note, I am not confident of this hypotheses but it's worth it to me to try (given that I have one lying around):  My thinking is that if I were a clothes washer manufacturer I'm not sure I would build my hot water valves out of something that couldn't take 210 F water.  I guess a necessary 2nd step would be to see what it does to the taste of the water and research what chemicals are known to leach. 

I will check out those parts places, thank you for the suggestions.  __Marty
Here is another source for parts. I'm not sure what you want this valve to do, but they sell valves for "potable water":


The temperature rating is for liquids up to 295 F, but the valve itself can only take 125 F. In other words, you can't flow boiling liquid through it for very long unless you have a way to cool the valve body and solenoid. The good news is that the smaller ones (1/4") are only $73.