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Old 04-15-2006, 07:43 PM   #1
runhard
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Default welding a keg, advice

Afternoon All,
Driving by a garage sale and saw an old beat up keg; gave them $10 for it. I'd like to have it retro-fitted with all the Cornelius Keg attachments. I would like to know if any of you have had anything like this done and if SABCO is my best bet. I can only MIG-weld and do that as a dirt dauber builds a nest so I'm clearly out of my league even if I rented a TIG welder. Around Austin, TX I have yet to fine anyone capable of welding stainless properly. I rolled into one place and the guy said sure I could cut that and weld this here and that there, etc.; however, when I inspected his equipment he just had an arc-welder and I got very hesitant. Any advice would greatly appreciated. If you've successfully had this done or know of anyone to do this in my area I'd like to hear from you. If all else I can turn it into a kettle I guess. Thanks, Jeffrey

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Old 05-03-2006, 10:56 PM   #2
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If you like, I can show you how to convert it yourself without any welding at all.

I have done both of my pots like this and it works well.

Basically, it uses a special gasket material usually used in commercial Food Manufacturing.

Total cost of conversion?

About 15 bucks.

Time, about 1 hour including polishing time for the keg to make it look pretty.

Contact me here or by email; knewshound@yahoo.com

It looks just like any other conversion BTW.



Cheers,

knewshound

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Old 05-04-2006, 12:28 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knewshound
If you like, I can show you how to convert it yourself without any welding at all.

I have done both of my pots like this and it works well.

Basically, it uses a special gasket material usually used in commercial Food Manufacturing.

Total cost of conversion?

About 15 bucks.

Time, about 1 hour including polishing time for the keg to make it look pretty.

Contact me here or by email; knewshound@yahoo.com

It looks just like any other conversion BTW.



Cheers,

knewshound
I would also be interested in the conversion process as well as polishing the keg. Please post your reply here. THanks.
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Old 05-04-2006, 12:32 AM   #4
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Austin has to have some good welders. Call the guys at Live Oak and see who they use.

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Old 05-04-2006, 02:13 AM   #5
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Knewshound:


Hey there! Welcome to the forum. If I'm not mistaken, runhard wants to turn his Sanke keg into a Cornelius keg. You know, with all the ball (or pin) lock fittings, etc.


Nice outfit you have there! You might as well now just post about turning a keg into a keggle like you have....

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Old 05-04-2006, 04:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lounge Lizard
Knewshound:


Hey there! Welcome to the forum. If I'm not mistaken, runhard wants to turn his Sanke keg into a Cornelius keg. You know, with all the ball (or pin) lock fittings, etc.


Nice outfit you have there! You might as well now just post about turning a keg into a keggle like you have....
Thanks, I appreciate the welcome.

I am still trying to figure out the lingo here, Sanke, Cornelius, keggle, etc.

I have brewed more or less in a vacuum for the last 20 years and havent had a lot of contact with other amature brewers but did have the good fortune to frequently brew with an actual brewer and am only now branching out into other methods and seeing what other brewers do.

I have been reading on here for a bit after being directed by *someone* ....

I wonder who?

Anyway, I got one keg as a "gift" that hung out in the garage for a few years and it wasnt until recently when I purchased another that I decided to do it.

I took a piece of string and made a loop, adjusting the length to match a predetermined width that matched a couple of lids I had for other pots.

I took a Sharpie and using the string as a giude drew a circle around the edge.

Quick safety tip, drill a hole in the scrap part first like I did, the escaping gas was impressive, and STINKY.

Also, when using the grinder, be sure to wear ear protection, it was amazingly loud. Neighbors came out for 4 houses to see what I was doing.

I bowed tword Mecca just to screw with them.

I then took my 4 inch angle grinder and using the Sharpie line as a guide, ground down through the top, being generous on the inside. Remember, you can always grind more but you can never add back. Using the lids as a guide I soon had a perfect fit. I used the grinder to smooth it all out then turned the keg on its side.

I changed the head on the grinder to a corse cone wire wheel and sprayed it down with WD40 to help get the gunk off and went to work.

In about 20 minutes it looked like this



I then went to Home Depot and got a standard brass ball valve.




I drilled a hole in the keg, measuring up just above the bottom weld by 1/2 inch, that matched the diameter of the male end of the valve. There was a flattened portion on the keg that was convienantly at the same site of the hole so it was a no brainer although I did take care to ensure that there would not be a drain hole in the keg rim that would exit hot propane gasses on the valve.

Here is the tricky part.

I got a piece of this stuff that was about a foot long.



I scraped around in the hardware section and found two washers that were sturdy and with the desired hole size



I formed it up around the washer as described in the literature, taking care to overlap well and using a brass nut I got while at The Depot, I cinched it down tight, about 90 ft/lbs or more.

It perfectly conformed to the gentle curve of the keg and with baited breath I filled the keg with water and started a boil.

It weeped about 1 tablespoon before it slowed and then stopped.

I have been using it ever since, and have eventually added a pickup tube to help drainage.

I will try to get some pics but honestly there isnt much to look at.

Its all in the gasket.

If anyone has additional questions, feel free to ask.

Cheers,

knewshound

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Old 05-04-2006, 04:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knewshound
Thanks, I appreciate the welcome.

I am still trying to figure out the lingo here, Sanke, Cornelius, keggle, etc.

I have brewed more or less in a vacuum for the last 20 years and havent had a lot of contact with other amature brewers but did have the good fortune to frequently brew with an actual brewer and am only now branching out into other methods and seeing what other brewers do.


Homebrewing 101

Gosh, great blog page! Sanke kegs are just your typical 15.5 gallon beer kegs like you made your boil kettle out of. Keg + kettle = keggle. Cornelius (or Cornie) kegs are soda kegs that people keg up their beer in. You are filling a couple of them 3/4s of the way down on your brew page. The lingo does take a little getting used to. I may know most of the lingo, but I bet you make better beer than I do. I'm still pretty much a noob. I do have three Sanke kegs that I'm using to build a three tier all grain system with. It probably won't be ready 'til late summer.

The GORE-TEX sealant looks interesting. I cut the tops out of my three kegs with a Dremel tool. It was slow work but it worked. My mash/lauter tun keg, has the hole cut in the top to where a plastic lid from an Igloo Maxcold cooler fits snugly in it. That along with an insulation blanket should help keep the heat in.

I'd be a bit afraid of using a wire wheel on a Stainless keg. I have heard that the particles from the wheel can get into the stainless and cause rust. Maybe it's not an issue with all of that WD40. Why didn't I use a Shparie and a piece of string... slapping myself.... lol
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Old 05-04-2006, 02:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lounge Lizard
I'd be a bit afraid of using a wire wheel on a Stainless keg. I have heard that the particles from the wheel can get into the stainless and cause rust. Maybe it's not an issue with all of that WD40. Why didn't I use a Shparie and a piece of string... slapping myself.... lol


If you want a job done the easy way, give it to a lazy man....

And oh am I lazy.

I have brewed numerous times and have yet to see any rust at all. Other than the discoloration at the bottom from heat, they look as good as the day I did it.

I have a background in Metal working due to my other hobby (fast cars) so I admit some prior experiance that I used on this project as well.

I am giving serious thought to using a heater core, basically a small radiator, as a chiller.

Thoughts?????

BTW, Thanks for the explaination of some of the terms, I was at a loss trying to get it all straight.

Cheers,

knewshound

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Old 05-04-2006, 03:02 PM   #9
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I wouldn't use a heater core. The solder used to connect it together is probably not food safe, and would leach out into the hot wort. Just coil some soft drawn copper around a paint can, or something similar in size. I've got about 7 coils of 3/8 tube in mine. It works great.

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Old 05-04-2006, 03:17 PM   #10
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I hadnt thought about the solder, good call.

Although there are plastic ones.....

Hmmmm.

Again, food safe will be an issue though.

Just looking for a cheap alternative!

Cheers,

knewshound

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