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Old 02-12-2008, 06:32 PM   #1
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Default keg couplings

I now have cut the top off of my kegs and am deciding what route to take with the plumbing. I can't decide to use weldless fittings or just have a coupling welded in. If I go the welded route for a 1/2" coupling is the hole size the same as for a weldless one? Also, if I have it welded should it be flush on the inside or stick out a little bit? Any advice would be welcomed. Thanks,

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Old 02-12-2008, 06:55 PM   #2
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I opted for couplings welded in, half way... that is neither flush to the inside or outside. The hole size will depend on the coupling you end up with. One style I had required a 7/8" hole while another was closer to 15/16".

A rare few will actually weld a 1/2" nipple instead of a coupling (talk to Orfy).

I've done a few kegs now and would recommend getting three 1/2" couplings put in for flexibility. It will cost you about $50 in welding, but you'll be able to reconfigure as you wish; Drain, thermo, sight glass, etc.

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Old 02-12-2008, 07:42 PM   #3
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thanks for the info Bobby_M. I like the way you have set up your kegs and will talk to my welder friend about doing this. I found a little shop here that said they would be more than happy to work with me on doing whatever, from the keg set up to building a structure for me at a very reasonable price so we'll see. Thanks again, this helps.

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Old 02-13-2008, 02:40 PM   #4
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I'd say how many couplers you need really depends on what you are going to be using the keggle for.

A boil keggle really only needs one for the spigot. While a second is nice for a sight glass you really don't need one. It's pretty easy to tell how much liquid is in a keggle. 5 gallons at the lower bulge, 7.5 gal. at the mid point wield, 10 gal. at the high bulge.

And IMHO a thermometer on a boil keggle is in the way. Plus its usefullness is questionable .

Now if you are using it as a HLT then the sight gauge is nice to have and you need a thermometer of some type.

Also if you are going to use it as a MLT then a thermometer is a must. And if you plan on converting to a RIMS or HERMS then a built in thermometer is really needed. But remember that the probe is going to be sticking out so you'll have to be careful if you get a stuck sparge and need to stir it. And here I think a sight glass is not needed.

You'll also probably want a calibration or lab thermometer to adjust a dial type thermometer or just to make sure it's accurate.

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Old 02-13-2008, 04:45 PM   #5
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thanks for the opinions abracadabra. They are very helpful. I am weighing all options b/c once I make holes I gotta put something in and you can't go back! I don't think I'm going to put a thermometer on the boil kettle and am certainly going to have both a thermometer and site gauge on the HLT. Still debating whether to use a 10gal cooler I have for the MLT or get another ket to use. Thanks again!

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Old 02-13-2008, 04:59 PM   #6
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I put weldless fittings on 3 kegs from Bargain Fittings (greatbargain.net) and am happy with them. I just bought a quality step drill bit to drill the holes. They work great and have never leaked.

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Old 02-13-2008, 05:09 PM   #7
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IMHO, the extra work and money in putting three bulkheads in a keg is worth it no matter what the usage is. If you have to plug two of them initially, it's not a big deal. What if you want to sell it later and the buyer wants it for a mash tun or HLT?

Even so, I love the fact that I have a thermo and sight in my boil kettle. I got the triplet of thermos at a discount so it wasn't a big cost increase. I know when I'm "about" to boil. The sight easily shows me what my first runnings, total preboil, and postboil volume is. I'd never go back to guessing based on the keg ridges.

A sight on the MLT? What if you heat your strike water in there? I had already decided on the triple bulkheads on the HLT and HLT, why not make them all the same?

Just my opinion of course, you'll get a bunch of different ones here and that's awesome. I'd find out the cost difference from your welder. If it's a few bucks more to put multiple couplings in, go for it.

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Old 02-13-2008, 05:26 PM   #8
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Sounds reasonable. I will check with the guy I found to do some welding and see what his cost would be. You're right in the fact that if I seel them I would certainly make that money back and in the meantime could always plug the hole with some sort of fitting I'm sure. I would assume there are fittings that would work.

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Old 02-13-2008, 05:51 PM   #9
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Yes a 1/2" plug will stop up any extra couplers.

Be sure and always use teflon tape on any stainless steel connector!

Nothing wrong with Bobby's suggestion he makes a valid point just wanted to offer a different point of view. Those SS couplers and plugs aren't cheap. Depending on your budget.

And it's not like they can not be added at a later date.

Plus you don't know how good a job the wielder is going to do until after the job.

I'm constantly fighting rust around my wields and it pisses me off.

Still I'd rather have wields than a wieldless connector. The wield should last several life times the rubber gasket on a wieldless coupler won't. And I may or may not ever use it as a turkey fryer but I don't want a rubber gasket in there with 350* F oil.

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Old 02-13-2008, 06:06 PM   #10
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I appreciate the info you've provided as well abracadabra. I know what you're saying about the welder. The weld shop I choose has a very good reputation but they've never delved into the world of brewing and I'm interested to see their work. They are very excited to try it and are looking forward to some good beer afterwards. I'll see how things start out and maybe go from there.

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