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Old 07-30-2011, 03:59 PM   #1
kevink
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Default Keg to ekeggle conversion pics

SWMBO and I are in the process of building an ekeggle, so I thought I'd post some pics of the process. I have read through tons of threads in this forum over the past few months while developing the plan. The idea is to begin all grain brewing by batch sparging in a cooler and boiling in the ekeggle. I can see this turning into a RIMS or HERMS system in the future, but for now it will be kept simple while we learn how to brew all grain.

Here are some pics taken while cutting the top off the keg. It went pretty well until the very end when the cutter started breaking through in places. At that point, the cutter was getting snagged where it transitioned from an area that had broken through to an area that had not broken through. I broke out the reciprocating saw to get through those areas and off came the top.









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Old 07-30-2011, 04:16 PM   #2
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Looking good man. Where'd you get that cutter? It's pretty slick. Good luck with the rest of the build.



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Old 07-30-2011, 04:28 PM   #3
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Pretty cool! I used a reciprocating saw on my last keggle. It was a lot easier than using a grinder. Can't wait to see the rest of your build.

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Old 07-30-2011, 04:35 PM   #4
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Thank you! I made the cutting tool just for this purpose. It's all steel except for the aluminum bushing which you can barely make out in the keg hole (or whatever it's called). The bushing is retained by the original locking ring and the steel part is bolted to the bushing. The cutting bit itself is a high speed steel or carbide lathe bit... can't remember which.

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Old 07-30-2011, 04:57 PM   #5
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Adamcanfly,

If I ever do this again, I may just mount an air powered cut off tool with an abrasive disc to the cutter instead. As the disc wears, the whole assembly can be lowered by turning the nuts that are sandwiching the cutter. It was a LOT of work for SWMBO to hold the keg still and a LOT of work to turn that cutter. I have a newfound respect for 304 stainless steel now... lol. I was sweating like crazy by the end. The screeching noise was unbearable. The cutting oil I used was actually smoking from the heat. It was not as elegant of an operation as the pics might suggest, but I did end up with a perfectly round hole in the keg!

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Old 08-01-2011, 02:57 AM   #6
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Here's how I mounted the 5500w Camco element. I knew a few things going into this:

- I wanted to use a silicone o-ring and the 1" NPS lock nut that most people use because I like the groove in the lock nut that retains the o-ring. O-rings that are not retained in some kind of groove make me nervous because they can squeeze out.

- I wanted zero chance of water getting anywhere near the element connections. It must be 100% waterproof.

- The element does not have to be extremely easy to remove, but easy enough in case of failure (I plan on cleaning in place with PBW between brews).

- Everything must be TIG welded.

I began by removing the hex on a portion of the lock nut and beveling the edge. I then made a big hole in a 3" tri clamp end cap, re-contoured the inside surface a little bit, and beveled that edge, too.



This is how they will fit together:



Mid weld:



Back purge:



Fresh after fusing the end cap to the lock nut. The tri clamp ferrule was put in place and locked down to minimize warping of the end cap. A piece of aluminum welding rod was bent into a circle and put where the silicone gasket would normally go to take up the slack. You can see it peeking out at 12 o'clock. The silicone would have fried and probably wouldn't have prevented warpage because it's not rigid:



Here's what it looks like with the element in there. You can see two ferrules in this pic. They will eventually be welded together. Another end cap will go on this end with a liquid tight strain relief for the element power cable.

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Old 08-01-2011, 03:03 AM   #7
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Looks like the start of a great build.

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Old 08-01-2011, 03:09 AM   #8
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I'm jealous of your TIG welding! One day I will have the time and money to buy one and learn...

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Old 08-01-2011, 03:52 AM   #9
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was this on the space shuttle or a keg? Very nice!
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Old 08-02-2011, 03:48 PM   #10
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Thanks for the compliments!
Nice brew system, Poolshark. I love the inverted keg. What pid are you using? I have the same spa panel, but there is no way that I could mount my Auber in it as it's 4" deep. Do you have any pics of the inside?



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