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Old 07-01-2013, 03:28 PM   #1
xumbi
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Default Help building my electic HLT?

Greetings!

I have had this plastic (rubber?) covered keg in my possession for a few years:



A while back I removed the spear and used it to ferment 10 gallon batches, which worked fine, but I realized I'd rather use it as an electric HLT if possible.

Has anyone worked with a keg like this? How should I go about removing the plastic for the areas that will need cutting/drilling? Also, I don't have the equipment to do any cutting or drilling myself, how would I find someone locally who can?

Any suggestions on where I should order the parts from? This will be my first electric brewing endeavor... What heating element(s) should I buy since this won't be used for a full boil?

Thanks!

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Old 07-01-2013, 04:49 PM   #2
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If you don't have the tools to cut it, do you have someone in your group of friends who does? I'm not sure where you'd take it to find someone to pay to do the work for you... or if they even would do it. I would use the same tool you use to cut the metal to cut the rubber, and just let it ride. If you turn it into a BK, you're going to need to cut holes for heating elements and dip tubes, which is going to be complicated with the rubber. For one, you couldn't use a punch with the rubber as it would likely clog it up. The second, and possibly larger issue - most of the weldless fittings are designed to clamp against a fairly thin slice of metal - the keg wall. Throw in a slice of rubber and who knows if you'll have enough thread-purchase to get everything snugged down nice and tight. If it were me, I'd try to trade for a different standard keg. If that's not an option, you'll just have to cut the rubber away from where you want your holes so you can tighten everything down. I have no idea how the rubber is attached, so it may be harder than you think to get it off in certian areas.

On the plus side, it should help keep the kettle insulated, which means a more efficient system for you!

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2014:
5gal Scottish Wee Heavy
5gal Saison
15gal American Pale Ale
20gal Belgian Wit
10gal Oktoberfest
10gal Southern Pecan Ale

Keg 1: Apfelwein
Keg 2: Belgian Wit
Keg 3: American Pale Ale
Fermenting: Oktoberfest, Southern Pecan
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:03 PM   #3
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I think I'll ask my LHBS, I bet they will know who could help with the cutting.

I guess my first order of business will be to remove the rubber/plastic on the top, since all of that will need to be removed for the top. Then I should have a good idea of how to cut the other areas.

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Old 07-01-2013, 11:56 PM   #4
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Get as much rubber off as you can with a razor and chisel and clean up with a stainless wire wheel.

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Old 07-02-2013, 10:39 AM   #5
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I wouldn't bother taking it off the top unless you plan to use a plasma cutter. If you use a grinder with a cut-off disk, it'll make short work of the rubber and leave you with a clean enough opening.

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2014:
5gal Scottish Wee Heavy
5gal Saison
15gal American Pale Ale
20gal Belgian Wit
10gal Oktoberfest
10gal Southern Pecan Ale

Keg 1: Apfelwein
Keg 2: Belgian Wit
Keg 3: American Pale Ale
Fermenting: Oktoberfest, Southern Pecan
On Deck: Winter Spice Ale
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:52 AM   #6
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Search the DIY forum. I know I've seen a setup using these kegs and it's described quite well.

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Old 07-02-2013, 03:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stlbeer View Post
Search the DIY forum. I know I've seen a setup using these kegs and it's described quite well.
You're right! I searched a bit before and didn't find anything, but after some advanced google-fu I did find a couple examples:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/rubb...ml#post5092450
http://www.buttcrackbrewery.com/2012...d-kegmash-tun/

This is very encouraging, I'm looking forward to this project.
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:46 PM   #8
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This is an outlet in my kitchen about 10 feet from my porch where I'll be brewing. My panel shows it is 20A:

forumrunner_20130706_093916.jpg

Is this a GFCI outlet? Is this outlet safe as is?

What heating element would be compatible? Since I'll only be using electric for my HLT and not full boils, I'm hoping I can get away without additional wiring or trying to access my 220v line somehow.

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Old 07-06-2013, 03:52 PM   #9
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Yes, that's a GFCI outlet. You could use up to a 2000W 120V heating element, assuming there's nothing else using (i.e., drawing current from) that circuit at the time.

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Old 07-08-2013, 04:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Yes, that's a GFCI outlet. You could use up to a 2000W 120V heating element, assuming there's nothing else using (i.e., drawing current from) that circuit at the time.
Thanks for the reply, much appreciated. I'm going to start with a 2000W 120V element as you suggested, and if that doesn't do the job fast enough, add another. I have another GFCI outlet on a different circuit just as close if needed.
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