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-   -   Starting Keg Conversions for a 3 Vessel E-Herms System (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f257/starting-keg-conversions-3-vessel-e-herms-system-268528/)

Hoppopotomus 09-13-2011 10:21 PM

Starting Keg Conversions for a 3 Vessel E-Herms System
 
4 Attachment(s)

I have had three 15.5 gallon kegs sitting in my basement for the past 10 months, so it's about time to start converting these things. A patient of mine found these kegs for me, as his nephew works for a local distribution company and was able to get his hands on a few "retired kegs". Got all 3 for $90, which I thought was reasonable. They are Labatt Blue kegs and are a in great shape, no dents or deep scratches. As you can see, I started stripping the paint and polishing one of them when I got them, but I put it on hold to devote spare time to my basment finishing project and my keezer build. I'm adding a 4th tap to my keezer this coming weekend and that project is done! I'm also near completion on my basement, so just need to finish up odds and ends, then have carpeting put down.

I plan on devoting some time this fall/winter on getting my basement brewery going on the unfinished side of my basement. I live in Michigan, so brewing outside sucks in the winter. I have decided to go all electric and am leaning towards a 3 vessel electric HERMS system, based on the electricbrewery. I will start seperate threads for the e-system build and my basement brewery build in the future, but this thread will be devoted to the keggle conversions. Here are a few pics of the kegs and the jig that I made to cut the tops off with my angle grinder. A big thanks to Passedpawn for the jig idea....it worked like a charm!


Hoppopotomus 09-13-2011 10:21 PM

Starting Keg Conversions for a 3 Vessel E-Herms System
 
4 Attachment(s)

I have had three 15.5 gallon kegs sitting in my basement for the past 10 months, so it's about time to start converting these things. A patient of mine found these kegs for me, as his nephew works for a local distribution company and was able to get his hands on a few "retired kegs". Got all 3 for $90, which I thought was reasonable. They are Labatt Blue kegs and are a in great shape, no dents or deep scratches. As you can see, I started stripping the paint and polishing one of them when I got them, but I put it on hold to devote spare time to my basment finishing project and my keezer build. I'm adding a 4th tap to my keezer this coming weekend and that project is done! I'm also near completion on my basement, so just need to finish up odds and ends, then have carpeting put down.

I plan on devoting some time this fall/winter on getting my basement brewery going on the unfinished side of my basement. I live in Michigan, so brewing outside sucks in the winter. I have decided to go all electric and am leaning towards a 3 vessel electric HERMS system, based on the electricbrewery. I will start seperate threads for the e-system build and my basement brewery build in the future, but this thread will be devoted to the keggle conversions. Here are a few pics of the kegs and the jig that I made to cut the tops off with my angle grinder. A big thanks to Passedpawn for the jig idea....it worked like a charm!


Hoppopotomus 09-13-2011 10:21 PM

Starting Keg Conversions for a 3 Vessel E-Herms System
 
4 Attachment(s)

I have had three 15.5 gallon kegs sitting in my basement for the past 10 months, so it's about time to start converting these things. A patient of mine found these kegs for me, as his nephew works for a local distribution company and was able to get his hands on a few "retired kegs". Got all 3 for $90, which I thought was reasonable. They are Labatt Blue kegs and are a in great shape, no dents or deep scratches. As you can see, I started stripping the paint and polishing one of them when I got them, but I put it on hold to devote spare time to my basment finishing project and my keezer build. I'm adding a 4th tap to my keezer this coming weekend and that project is done! I'm also near completion on my basement, so just need to finish up odds and ends, then have carpeting put down.

I plan on devoting some time this fall/winter on getting my basement brewery going on the unfinished side of my basement. I live in Michigan, so brewing outside sucks in the winter. I have decided to go all electric and am leaning towards a 3 vessel electric HERMS system, based on the electricbrewery. I will start seperate threads for the e-system build and my basement brewery build in the future, but this thread will be devoted to the keggle conversions. Here are a few pics of the kegs and the jig that I made to cut the tops off with my angle grinder. A big thanks to Passedpawn for the jig idea....it worked like a charm!


Hoppopotomus 09-13-2011 10:21 PM

Starting Keg Conversions for a 3 Vessel E-Herms System
 
4 Attachment(s)

I have had three 15.5 gallon kegs sitting in my basement for the past 10 months, so it's about time to start converting these things. A patient of mine found these kegs for me, as his nephew works for a local distribution company and was able to get his hands on a few "retired kegs". Got all 3 for $90, which I thought was reasonable. They are Labatt Blue kegs and are a in great shape, no dents or deep scratches. As you can see, I started stripping the paint and polishing one of them when I got them, but I put it on hold to devote spare time to my basment finishing project and my keezer build. I'm adding a 4th tap to my keezer this coming weekend and that project is done! I'm also near completion on my basement, so just need to finish up odds and ends, then have carpeting put down.

I plan on devoting some time this fall/winter on getting my basement brewery going on the unfinished side of my basement. I live in Michigan, so brewing outside sucks in the winter. I have decided to go all electric and am leaning towards a 3 vessel electric HERMS system, based on the electricbrewery. I will start seperate threads for the e-system build and my basement brewery build in the future, but this thread will be devoted to the keggle conversions. Here are a few pics of the kegs and the jig that I made to cut the tops off with my angle grinder. A big thanks to Passedpawn for the jig idea....it worked like a charm!


Hoppopotomus 09-13-2011 10:34 PM

4 Attachment(s)

Here are a few pics of the jig in place and the tops after being cut out. The first thing I did was use a screw driver to depress the ball valve and release the pressure. I then used the screw driver and a hammer to tap the steel o-ring that secures the dip tubes in place to it's unlocked position. Pretty easy process. The stale remaining beer inside was horrible smelling, so I took them out to my driveway and used my pressure washer to clean them up before cutting.

The jig just drops down into the ball valve opening and when all was said and done, it cut a near perfect opening that is 12" in diameter on all three. It took 1 steel cutting disk for each keg, but it only took about 5 min. for each top. Just make sure that you don't force the blade and just keep working the grinder around in a circle until it gradually cuts through. I forgot to add water during the first cut, so it left some slag in the bottom that needs to be scrubbed out. I put about 1 gallon of water in the other two and there was no issues, they stayed clean as can be.

I then used an 80 grit flap disk on the grinder and cleaned the edges of the opening and the cut out lids to knock off all of the sharp burrs and smooth the edges. I then used some 150 grit sandpaper and continued to soften the edges, so there is absolutely no risk of cut arms. I am considering making homemade false bottoms out of the top, but I don't have a drill press, so drilling all of the holes would be a PITA! Here are a few more pics after the first 2.....the 3rd one turned out equally as well..... More to come.....now onto polishing and fittings.


Hoppopotomus 09-13-2011 10:34 PM

4 Attachment(s)

Here are a few pics of the jig in place and the tops after being cut out. The first thing I did was use a screw driver to depress the ball valve and release the pressure. I then used the screw driver and a hammer to tap the steel o-ring that secures the dip tubes in place to it's unlocked position. Pretty easy process. The stale remaining beer inside was horrible smelling, so I took them out to my driveway and used my pressure washer to clean them up before cutting.

The jig just drops down into the ball valve opening and when all was said and done, it cut a near perfect opening that is 12" in diameter on all three. It took 1 steel cutting disk for each keg, but it only took about 5 min. for each top. Just make sure that you don't force the blade and just keep working the grinder around in a circle until it gradually cuts through. I forgot to add water during the first cut, so it left some slag in the bottom that needs to be scrubbed out. I put about 1 gallon of water in the other two and there was no issues, they stayed clean as can be.

I then used an 80 grit flap disk on the grinder and cleaned the edges of the opening and the cut out lids to knock off all of the sharp burrs and smooth the edges. I then used some 150 grit sandpaper and continued to soften the edges, so there is absolutely no risk of cut arms. I am considering making homemade false bottoms out of the top, but I don't have a drill press, so drilling all of the holes would be a PITA! Here are a few more pics after the first 2.....the 3rd one turned out equally as well..... More to come.....now onto polishing and fittings.


Hoppopotomus 09-13-2011 10:34 PM

4 Attachment(s)

Here are a few pics of the jig in place and the tops after being cut out. The first thing I did was use a screw driver to depress the ball valve and release the pressure. I then used the screw driver and a hammer to tap the steel o-ring that secures the dip tubes in place to it's unlocked position. Pretty easy process. The stale remaining beer inside was horrible smelling, so I took them out to my driveway and used my pressure washer to clean them up before cutting.

The jig just drops down into the ball valve opening and when all was said and done, it cut a near perfect opening that is 12" in diameter on all three. It took 1 steel cutting disk for each keg, but it only took about 5 min. for each top. Just make sure that you don't force the blade and just keep working the grinder around in a circle until it gradually cuts through. I forgot to add water during the first cut, so it left some slag in the bottom that needs to be scrubbed out. I put about 1 gallon of water in the other two and there was no issues, they stayed clean as can be.

I then used an 80 grit flap disk on the grinder and cleaned the edges of the opening and the cut out lids to knock off all of the sharp burrs and smooth the edges. I then used some 150 grit sandpaper and continued to soften the edges, so there is absolutely no risk of cut arms. I am considering making homemade false bottoms out of the top, but I don't have a drill press, so drilling all of the holes would be a PITA! Here are a few more pics after the first 2.....the 3rd one turned out equally as well..... More to come.....now onto polishing and fittings.


Hoppopotomus 09-13-2011 10:34 PM

4 Attachment(s)

Here are a few pics of the jig in place and the tops after being cut out. The first thing I did was use a screw driver to depress the ball valve and release the pressure. I then used the screw driver and a hammer to tap the steel o-ring that secures the dip tubes in place to it's unlocked position. Pretty easy process. The stale remaining beer inside was horrible smelling, so I took them out to my driveway and used my pressure washer to clean them up before cutting.

The jig just drops down into the ball valve opening and when all was said and done, it cut a near perfect opening that is 12" in diameter on all three. It took 1 steel cutting disk for each keg, but it only took about 5 min. for each top. Just make sure that you don't force the blade and just keep working the grinder around in a circle until it gradually cuts through. I forgot to add water during the first cut, so it left some slag in the bottom that needs to be scrubbed out. I put about 1 gallon of water in the other two and there was no issues, they stayed clean as can be.

I then used an 80 grit flap disk on the grinder and cleaned the edges of the opening and the cut out lids to knock off all of the sharp burrs and smooth the edges. I then used some 150 grit sandpaper and continued to soften the edges, so there is absolutely no risk of cut arms. I am considering making homemade false bottoms out of the top, but I don't have a drill press, so drilling all of the holes would be a PITA! Here are a few more pics after the first 2.....the 3rd one turned out equally as well..... More to come.....now onto polishing and fittings.


Hoppopotomus 09-15-2011 09:31 PM

3 Attachment(s)

Great idea....and should save a ton of $$$ for venting!

I did some cleaning up of the kegs for an hour or so today to get the majority of the factory paint off of the kegs, all of the adhesive from the stickers, and a rough start to the polishing process. Does anyone know what I could use to get the paint out of the middle seam of the kegs where Labatts paints their blue stripes on. I got most of it off, but there is a fine seam that I can't get it out of. Any suggestions would be great! Here are a few pics. If you look close you can see the blue seams on them.


Hoppopotomus 09-15-2011 09:31 PM

3 Attachment(s)

Great idea....and should save a ton of $$$ for venting!

I did some cleaning up of the kegs for an hour or so today to get the majority of the factory paint off of the kegs, all of the adhesive from the stickers, and a rough start to the polishing process. Does anyone know what I could use to get the paint out of the middle seam of the kegs where Labatts paints their blue stripes on. I got most of it off, but there is a fine seam that I can't get it out of. Any suggestions would be great! Here are a few pics. If you look close you can see the blue seams on them.



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