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Old 11-08-2009, 12:51 AM   #1
nbspindel
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: las vegas
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Default sankey threaded spear removal

thought i should post this info regarding sankey spear removal. Wortmonger has got a great thread on using sankey kegs for primary/secondary fermentation that I've adopted and I believe to be gaining in popularity. However, if acquiring kegs, you need to get the spear (the tap/coupler) out. The typical spear removal has been covered well, but threaded spears, because they are a rarity, have hardly been addressed. The following link has a great write up on the 'typical' threaded spear:
http://www.realbeer.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=12457

however, as murphy's law would predict, there are other forms of threaded spears, one of which I have come across and wanted to amend the above removal link.

using the techniques discussed in the link above: if neither of the 2 turning lugs on the spear are marked, then (in my case) the SCRL (safety catch release lever) is not, in fact, aligned with either of the turning lugs, but is located halfway between the two on the arc of the circle. Which side in particular I don't think can be determined by anything; you'll have to just give it a go. But, this means that the fabricated tool from the link will most likely not work properly. What i did, and granted not as functional as the tool, is to use the handle side of some channel locks to depress the ball and spring to one side, away from the area you're attempting to access with the screwdriver. This requires a bit of force, so using the teeth/mouth of the channel locks to grip and press on works well and is rather stable. Insert your flathead screwdriver. You should be able to see the SCRL if you just insert the screwdriver, leaving the ball and spring pushed to the side, put a light to it, and it will be the only metal protruding into the dip tube. It actually takes a bit of force to pull the SCRL prongs into the spear and releasing the safety feature, so just shove the screwdriver in there, tap it with a hammer, wiggle it, pull it towards the center of the spear, then try to remove the spear. I highly suggest looking into the tube area, it's not hard to see in there and it's better than guessing/hoping you're in the right hole (no pun intended).

Once you've freed the spear, you may not want to re-insert it with that darn SCRL still attached. Removing it, though is not all that simple either. i've made a tool to disassemble the spear/ball/spring. If you fabricate something like this, you'll be able to easily have the SCRL drop out once disassembled.

(I think i'm still under the minimum posts to attach pics, once i hit that level, i'll attach them to this thread. If you come upon this before that time, PM me and i'll send them to you.)

Good luck, this was a test of patience, especially after brewing, cleaning, and of course consuming a few.



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