Securing sanitary clamps against accidental loosening
A customer from Iowa (Paul T) recently informed us that some friends (who were new to brewing) had loosened one of the sanitary clamps on the 'wrong' (that is, nearest to the fermenter) side of the valve. Instead of removing a hose fitting, they removed the entire valve and suddenly had beer spilling out of the fermenter. It is bad enough if this occurs at the end of fermentation and some beer is wasted, but it can be very dangerous if this occurs during the boil.
If you think people who might not be familiar with the system may be brewing with with your system, or if like me, are concerned that your own forgetfulness might result in a potentially dangerous mishap, a very simple step can be taken to help prevent the wrong clamp from being removed.
The simplest way to ensure an important clamp is not removed, is by replacing the wing nut (which is easy to remove quickly by hand) with a standard 5/16" hex nut (which needs a tool). If all the clamps that should not be loosened until brewing is completed have a hex nut, and only the clamps that can be safely loosened without consequence have a wing nut, the risk of loosening the wrong clamp is greatly decreased.