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Old 01-08-2009, 12:51 PM   #1
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Default Did you drill a hole in the bottom of your keg?

Seems like a silly question but I have encountered more than one person who seems to have mounted their bulkhead straight through the bottom of a keg. I mean the concave, "this is the part that I sit on" bottom of their keg, not the lower part of the side of the keg.

I feel like there's a big secret thing going on and I don't know about it. So if you have a drainage system set up through the bottom of your keg, please discuss why and preferably post a picture or two. I'm curious how the are used in various setups and the like.

Also if anyone that has done this has attempted to make a washtub bass out of a keg, please send audio samples.



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Old 01-08-2009, 12:58 PM   #2
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Hey TerapingChef, which keg would you be referring to? HLT, MLT, or BK? I haven't seen that done yet, but I can make a couple of guesses why not:

1) If you use a false bottom or filter then you will have to create some sort of 'U' shaped connector because a false bottom requires a connection from the top.

2) You need to design your brew sculpture such that you have enough clearance underneath.

3) If you put a valve on the output of your coupling then you have more difficulty reaching it under the keg.

Just my initial thoughts.



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Old 01-08-2009, 01:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jared311 View Post
Hey TerapingChef, which keg would you be referring to? HLT, MLT, or BK? I haven't seen that done yet, but I can make a couple of guesses why not:

1) If you use a false bottom or filter then you will have to create some sort of 'U' shaped connector because a false bottom requires a connection from the top.

2) You need to design your brew sculpture such that you have enough clearance underneath.

3) If you put a valve on the output of your coupling then you have more difficulty reaching it under the keg.

Just my initial thoughts.
While it's not the "standard" way, it can be done.

#1 is not true at all. The way you'd hold the FB down in a bottom mount bulkhead is to run a nipple up through a hole in the FB, put the FB over the nipple and hold it down with a pipe cap. The wort would enter the nipple by drilling a bunch of holes around the circumference right at the bottom near the bulkhead. Another way would be to tackweld a couple stainless bolts to the bottom, place the FB down over them, and put some acorn nuts on top.

#2. You can run a horizontal tube and relieve the keg skirt with a notch. This requires that the bulkhead is slightly offset from the center so that it doesn't hang down too far.

#3. You'd put the valve on after enough horizontal pipe so that it was still out towards the front of your keg. No reaching under.


This idea will work very well on an HLT but it can be tricky on a direct fired MLT or BK because of potential scortching of the wort in the horizontal pipe. The main benefit to the bottom drain is it doesn't require a siphon tube and it will drain completely no matter what level you start draining at. In traditional designs, you couldn't start draining at 3 gallons because it's below the bulkhead and the siphon won't start.
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Old 01-08-2009, 01:43 PM   #4
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I can't argue with Bobby_M, he actually knows what he is talking about.

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Old 01-08-2009, 01:45 PM   #5
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It seems to me that there would be an issue with wort scorching in the tube below the keg not to mention the cleaning. I was thinking of converting a keg for a fermenter and putting a valve at the bottom.

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Old 01-08-2009, 01:58 PM   #6
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We never discussed if this mashtun was going to be direct fired or not. If it is, you need a heat sheild over the tube and have run it as a RIMS to keep the wort moving. I think it would work better has a HERMs tun. I think the best use of a bottom drain in any case is for an HLT.

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Old 01-08-2009, 02:15 PM   #7
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Well, I was going to add something to this thread, but that dang Bobby sucked the wind right out of my sails!
So, "What he said" is the best I can do.

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Old 01-08-2009, 02:36 PM   #8
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I've seen a few people do this....for the life of me I can't find their builds. This method seems to work better with electric setups. You could also do as Bobby described if using direct fire.

There's more than one way to skin a cat....that's why I love the engineering side of this hobby. Seeing how other people design things is really interesting.

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Old 01-08-2009, 03:00 PM   #9
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I have often thought about a slightly concave bottomed vessel for mashing or boiling - usually when I see how much dead space there is! What I envision is a very shallow conical bottom, with burner jets mounted in a wide ring, away from the center drain pipe. The horizontal part of the drain would actually be routed under the burner, so scorching shouldn't be a problem.

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Old 01-08-2009, 03:07 PM   #10
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I have my keg sitting on two parallel bars over a burner. I simply sit the mash tun down and turn it so the nipple and valve swing out the side. I did think about the wort scorching in the tube so I just ditch the first quart or so and start to vorlauf after that. The nipple and valve sit about 2" below the keg skirt. Works well for me.



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