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Old 07-07-2008, 05:56 PM   #1
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Default Keggle Conversion

I'd like to use the 1/2" Blichmann Valve for my new Keggle. What else do I need to make this happen?

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Old 07-07-2008, 06:51 PM   #2
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I am assuming you have a keggle with the top cut off and no other work done. You can either have a 1/2 inch stainless Female pipe fitting welded in (aka. a full connection) if you know a local shop, or you can purchase weld-less fittings from your brew store of choice.

if you are going to have the fitting welded in then you should let the welding shop do all of the drilling. If you are going to use weld-less fittings I would buy a "step up bit" to make the hole for the weld less system. A step up bit is a bit that will progressively enlarge the hole until you reach the desired diameter. You can purchase a good one a Home depot for about $35 or buy an "ok" set of 2 from harbor freight for about $20.. I have both and they are both still working well, if you dont do much DIY buy the cheap one from HF.

Personally I recommend getting the fitting welded in if possible, the weld-less have a tendency to leak if you aren't careful.

you can get any stainless fittings you need at:
http://www.mcmaster.com/

you can get the weld-less fittings at:
More Beer

or you can assemble the weld less assembly out of parts from McMaster Carr

Hope this helps, if you need anything else let me know..

-Dig

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Old 07-10-2008, 01:50 AM   #3
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Dig: I really appreciate the time you took to answer my question. Thanks!

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Old 09-14-2010, 12:59 AM   #4
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I am embarking on a similar project. I have looked all over this forum, as well as watched countless video demonstrations on YouTube. I have a decent working knowledge of what is involved. What I have not been able to find anywhere is a part list of recommended materials needed, as well as a discussion of best practices for the location of the various parts to the keggle. This would be helpful to someone like myself that has access to a TIG welder and plasma cutter (through a friend), but no schematics or diagrams on where spigots should be placed, etc., and which parts are recommended.

Does anyone know of a resource for this? Ideally broken down by HLT, MT, BK instructions. For example, how high from the bottom should the spigot hole be drilled on the MT? What size siphon tube should be used with which false bottom? How high off the bottom should the hole be drilled for the thermometer to obtain an accurate reading?

I'm sorry if this has been answered a million times, but I can't find anything like this. I have found countless videos on how to cut the top of the keg off, so I'm good there.

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Old 09-14-2010, 02:53 PM   #5
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Many kegs are different sizes and even american sanke 15.5g kegs can differ in respect to weld locations and diameter. Your best bet is to configure your fittings specific to your brewhouse design (electric, RIMS, HERMS, etc) and the design of your kegs.


Quote:
For example, how high from the bottom should the spigot hole be drilled on the MT?
I did mine about 1" from the bottom weld in the keg. This where the skirt is welded to the barrel. The goal here is to place it as low as possible on the keg to use gravity to aid the siphon tube and also to place it on the bottom portion of the keg where it is FLAT to get a squared mount for your ball valve.

Quote:
What size siphon tube should be used with which false bottom?
Some people use 3/8", some people use 1/2". My whole system uses 1/2" valves and plumbing so I stuck with a 1/2" siphon tube to drain the kettle faster. Some brewers even use 3/4", it all depends on how fast you want to drain the kettle.

Quote:
How high off the bottom should the hole be drilled for the thermometer to obtain an accurate reading?
Again, this is determined on your brewhouse design. Are you brewing 5 gallon or 10 gallon batches? Or both? Many brewers like to place their thermometer near the ball valve to accommodate 5 gallon batches if they'd like. Bobby_M here on the forums sells a sightglass/thermometer combo that mounts almost laterally from the ball valve.
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Old 09-14-2010, 07:15 PM   #6
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It's possible that this should be in a different thread. If so, I apologize for hijacking this one.

Quote:
Many kegs are different sizes and even american sanke 15.5g kegs can differ in respect to weld locations and diameter. Your best bet is to configure your fittings specific to your brewhouse design (electric, RIMS, HERMS, etc) and the design of your kegs.
What I'm looking for are existing brewhouse designs. Is there a repository or wiki here on homebrewtalk that has a database of various HERMS, RIMS, and electric designs? Maybe a specific template dedicated towards submitting designs for public domain and development (think open source software). Rather than reinventing the wheel or searching through dozens and dozens of pages of posts, one could look through various design ideas that were created by members of the community, and critiqued by senior members of the community.

It seems the closest thing to this is the "sticky" notes of certain threads in the DIY section, which is a far cry from what I am describing above. If not, is there a reason why this would be a bad idea?


Quote:
I did mine about 1" from the bottom weld in the keg. This where the skirt is welded to the barrel. The goal here is to place it as low as possible on the keg to use gravity to aid the siphon tube and also to place it on the bottom portion of the keg where it is FLAT to get a squared mount for your ball valve.
It seems that most commercially produced siphon tubes are bent specifically so as to be mounted at a certain height, so as to maintain a level position from the spigot and rest as closely to the bottom of the keg as possible. I guess what you are saying is that this would be different heights on different kegs. I was under the impression that most standard Sankey 15.5 Gal kegs were a standard size, with only minor differences between them (star shaped design at the bottom, etc.). Thank you for clarifying.

Quote:
Some people use 3/8", some people use 1/2". My whole system uses 1/2" valves and plumbing so I stuck with a 1/2" siphon tube to drain the kettle faster. Some brewers even use 3/4", it all depends on how fast you want to drain the kettle.
I realize there are variations, but is 1/2" the generally accepted standard that will connect to most other commercially produced pumps, wort chilllers, etc?

Quote:
Again, this is determined on your brewhouse design. Are you brewing 5 gallon or 10 gallon batches? Or both? Many brewers like to place their thermometer near the ball valve to accommodate 5 gallon batches if they'd like.
I would be doing primarily 5 gal batches, as I like to experiment.

Quote:
Bobby_M here on the forums sells a sightglass/thermometer combo that mounts almost laterally from the ball valve.
I looked at the thread regarding Bobby_M's design. Those do look sweet, and I might be ordering that one. I thought I recall Bobby_M saying that this configuration was not ideal -- that there is a trade off when combining the two -- as the site tube should be as low as possible on the keg, while the thermometer should be placed a little higher to get a more accurate reading.


I really appreciate you taking the time to write out such a thorough response. If anyone can point me to a repository of various design builds and schematics, I would greatly appreciate it. It looks like at this point I am leaning towards a natural gas HERMS system with (3) 15.5 gal kegs. I could do RIMS, but I would need to stay away from 220V for now, as I only have access to 110V. I would like to start non-automated, then eventually move to a PID controller when more funds become available, and I learn a little more about my needs. The more I can prep my system now for that eventual upgrade, the better.
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Old 09-14-2010, 07:45 PM   #7
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Show us your sculpture or brew rig


That can give you a starting point to see where people have placed different fittings based on what system they are going after. I was in the same place you were and was going crazy searching for hours through threads to see where I "needed" to place my fittings. I finally said **** it and put my kegs on my stand and marked where the fittings would be most accessible and operational.

Regarding your thermometer, you are right that it shouldn't necessarily be as close to the bottom as your valve or sightglass, but Bobby's combo lets you add both without adding another hole to your vessel. I would suggest installing your ball valve, then filling the keg up with 5-6 gallons of water to see where to install your thermo to get an accurate reading.

RDWHAHB!!
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