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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Kettles, Mash Tuns, & Hot Liquor Tanks > My Rubber keg MLT
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:39 PM   #1
99blackgt
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Default My Rubber keg MLT

Ok, so we have a few kegs left over from partying back in the day. Figured we'd get some good use out of them. I had a rubber one that i thought would be completely worthless. But i found a use for it.

Cut the normal hole in the top, put a spigot in it, and went to town.

This is her in all her beauty



From there, i used a compression fitting, to connect my initial run of 3/8ths copper tubing. Soldered the fitting because i didn't trust it, and i didn't want to have to crank on the fitting every time. The point of using a compression fitting here, was so that i could put this nut on hand tight, and the element could rotate freely from the nut untill you get it pretty tight, so i didn't have to spin it around while trying to fasten the nut. This makes removal and cleanup 100x easier.



Next i took the rest of the copper, and decided to make a double ring element. I thought about doing the same as above with compression fittings, but at $7 a fitting, there was no chance. Instead I found 1/8th" copper FIP fittings (at a much better $1.25 a piece). These are solid, but meant for very small threaded tubes. Advantage of this was, the ID of these fittings was almost identical to the OD of my tubing. Because this copper has much thinner walls than the tube designed to go with these fittings. Obiviously though, i can't just thread standard tubing into these fittings; so i decided to solder them.


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Old 02-16-2009, 06:39 PM   #2
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After getting the element put together, i realized the solder wasn't really strong enough. I didn't feel safe that this thing would last more than a few brews. Plus doing the fittings was such a pain in the ass because as i would finish one side and switch to the other, the reheating of the elbows would melt all the solder, and the part would fall apart. So i decided to get out the brazing rods. That solved the problem for me. Here are some pics after the element was brazed together, and cleaned up a little.




Then it was as simple as throwing the element in, and bending the intake pipe, right? Well not so much. I thought i would just put a straight peice on there for measurement, and bend it to fit my needs. This didn't work out so well. I ended up with a mangled tube, that wouldn't really work for what i wanted. So i took that off, used it for a guide, and properly bent a real peice of pipe. Then i unsoldered the compression sleeve and put it on the new one.



Fixed the problem. So i braized that part back onto the rest of the eliment. Then i took my dremel, cut slots all along the bottom / sides of the tubes, and gave it a test fit. After the test fit picture i did a decent ammount of sanding for cleanup / deburring of the element, and it looked really nice.



note that i didn't get pictures of it after i sanded it down.

Then i made a nice light lager, and it worked out well. My very thin crush that i had been using in bags for previous AG brews stuck this one up a little bit. So next time i might have to crush my grains a little coarser than before. But it ended up doing good. Held temperatures fairly well, although with a malfunctioning thermometer it's hard to tell.

I used a barbed fittin on the spigot to put some vinyl tubing on the end while draining the wort.

Thanks for lookin!

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secondary - Handbanana Russian imperial - 312 clone
KEGGED - adjunct / mexican ipa (agave nectar?)
Bottled - Big stout - Black Stout - Cherry Mead - 100min IPA - Apple cinnamon mead

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Old 02-16-2009, 07:09 PM   #3
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is the inside stainless or 100% rubber?

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Old 02-16-2009, 07:10 PM   #4
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stainless, There is about 1/4" of rubber, and then 1/8th of stainless

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Mlt done - finishing keggel - tier system next

primary -
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KEGGED - adjunct / mexican ipa (agave nectar?)
Bottled - Big stout - Black Stout - Cherry Mead - 100min IPA - Apple cinnamon mead
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Old 02-16-2009, 07:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99blackgt View Post
stainless, There is about 1/4" of rubber, and then 1/8th of stainless

Any thoughts yet how well of a insulator the rubber is? I typically heat my strike water in my converted sanke mash tun which obviously couldn't happen here but I have access to some of these and it may be worth it if the insulating qualities are high.
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Old 02-17-2009, 04:17 AM   #6
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i've got a pony that i'm going to use for my sparage / hot water tank. Burn the pony and dump it into the MLT for a batch sparage (but with how slow the thing was going last time, i could fly sparage with it too)

It seemed to hold heat pretty good. But like i said, my thermometers were weird so i can't say for sure. I know that with 170*+ water in it, it was just barely warm on the outside. So it can't be doin that bad.

I did pre heat the tun with boiling water before starting to try and negate any heat losses from absorption

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Mlt done - finishing keggel - tier system next

primary -
secondary - Handbanana Russian imperial - 312 clone
KEGGED - adjunct / mexican ipa (agave nectar?)
Bottled - Big stout - Black Stout - Cherry Mead - 100min IPA - Apple cinnamon mead
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Old 03-07-2011, 02:31 PM   #7
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I too have a rubber sided keg which I'm converting to a mash tun. I cut the handles off and added a 12" glass lid. I will be using a heat transfer pipe for the recirculation. I'm waiting on a huge parts order for the false bottom conversion, 3pc ball valves, Loc-Line system for the sparge and the list goes on.. I have done a lot of research about rubber insulated 1/2 bbl kegs and have not found what material is used as the rubber in the injection mold process. I have several "material bible" books being a mechanical designer. I would like to learn everything I can about the material (stress, melting points, density). I'm getting mad that I can't find out what kind of rubber is used.

Does anyone know what material the rubber is? If not does anyone know what company manufactures the rubber sided kegs for Miller Brewing so I can contact them? I've called Miller (surprisingly no help there) and searched other HBT threads.

Thanks for any responses.. Cheers!

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Old 03-07-2011, 02:35 PM   #8
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I was confused as heck most of the wya through the post. I thought, "Is this guy really making his own heating element?" Then I saw what you were calling an "eliment" was just a dip tube. Nice work.

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