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Old 12-18-2008, 04:21 AM   #1
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Default Cleaning burned sanke kegs - any advice?

So, I came across a really good deal on 18 half barrel sanke kegs that I plan on converting to a few brewing kettles to myself and then likely converting the others and maybe giving to friends or selling them.

Anyhow, the "how" I came by them is that they were all in a large brushfire here in San Diego, and apparently had wine in them at the time. The dip tubes have blown off the tops of them from the heat, but the kegs themselves seem structurally sound. There is a lot of carbon buildup and some surface rust, I'm sure to do with the heat they were exposed to.

I'm looking for a way to get these cleaned up to where they're presentable and usable as brewing vessels. I haven't really put a lot of elbow grease into it yet (just picked them up tonight), but I did try some barkeeper's friend on it as a test. The carbon seems to come off, but the rust obviously does not with just a towel and BKF.

Before I go at these with a wire brush on the drill or something drastic like the, I figured I'd ask here to see if anyone had similar experience. I've heard that using non-stainless things on stainless steel can damage the stainless. I don't know though.

I'm sure someone on here is an expert in this and has some advice.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!

Josh

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Old 12-18-2008, 05:31 AM   #2
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check the thread of keg polishing.

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Old 12-18-2008, 06:56 AM   #3
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+1 on that. Here's the thread pen25 is talking about. I'm sure it will help out getting those cleaned up. And nice job on the score!

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Old 12-18-2008, 12:56 PM   #4
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18 kegs! you're gonna need a bit more than an attachment for a hand grinder. Find someone that does industrial blast cleaning who has an interest in some of the kegs. They will look pretty.

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Old 12-18-2008, 02:32 PM   #5
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Default Industrial blast cleaning...

as in media/sand blasting? Is that ok to do on the kegs? I would assume that would work harden them a bit, no? I guess perhaps it doesn't matter if all that's being done is burning the tops off with a plasma torch and welding in some couplings. If media blasting is ok, I'll probably take 'em to a local place I use. Otherwise, how about the chemical stripping they do to clean engine blocks on cars? I've had that done before and the results are fantastic, but I know nothing about stainless, so I'm leery of wrecking them.

Thanks for the advice, folks!

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Old 12-18-2008, 02:46 PM   #6
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Also, check the bottom rim for weep holes. If they do not have them, make them. It will at least give some peace of mind that you may avert a call about an exploding keg and hospitals.

Of course, given the heat they have been exposed to they'd have most likely blown but, then again they may have just not had the right conditions.

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Old 12-18-2008, 03:15 PM   #7
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"Birra Kucing Gila - Minum dan jangan muntah"... I just noticed your sig...

Anda bisa bicara bahasa Indonesia? Aku juga, tetapi sedikit saja. Anda dari Indonesia?

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Old 12-18-2008, 03:31 PM   #8
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I'm worried that the extreme heat will have caused damage to the composition of the stainless (Like when you weld it without backgassing). It may be very difficult to get all that rust off and re-passivate

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Old 12-18-2008, 03:37 PM   #9
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To get the rust off you could go to the hardware store and buy a couple of gallons of muriatic acid (high strength hydrochloric acid). That will eat the rust off them very quickly. Just be VERY careful with that stuff it is VERY acidic and will eat through everything (your hands, your clothes, your car apolstry, anything it touches).

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Old 12-18-2008, 03:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsurf View Post
"Birra Kucing Gila - Minum dan jangan muntah"... I just noticed your sig...

Anda bisa bicara bahasa Indonesia? Aku juga, tetapi sedikit saja. Anda dari Indonesia?
Saya beristeri orang Melayu. Simpan sebelas tahu. Tetapi, saya sahaja buku balajar bahasa dan sikit saja. Isteri tak kesar ajar saya bahasa tapi saya nak chakap bila diduk Melaka. Fahamke?

Ini sangat main-main tapi bukan senonoh letak. Boleh chakap lagi dalam PM. Okay, lah?

Jumpa lagi.
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