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Old 04-22-2011, 01:38 AM   #1
I-Hop
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Default keggle weld questions

OK, so I'm in the process of building a weldless single tier brewstand. I also sent my 3 kegs off to the welder to have 1/2 couplings welded to them. The welds look great (outside), and I got a great price, but on the inside of each vessel, the weld is not so smooth. Is this something I can just hit with a grinding wheel, or have they not sanitary welded these fittings? I know next to nothing about welding, so I'm not sure.

Also, they welded 3 of the couplings in backwards. The threads only go about 98% of the way through the fitting. This means on these 3 fittings, I cannot thread anything in from the outside. Can I send a pipe thread tap through these couplings and thread them all the way or is s.s. too hard for that?

Thanks for any advice you guys may have.

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Old 04-22-2011, 02:03 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by I-Hop View Post
OK, so I'm in the process of building a weldless single tier brewstand. I also sent my 3 kegs off to the welder to have 1/2 couplings welded to them. The welds look great (outside), and I got a great price, but on the inside of each vessel, the weld is not so smooth. Is this something I can just hit with a grinding wheel, or have they not sanitary welded these fittings? I know next to nothing about welding, so I'm not sure.

Also, they welded 3 of the couplings in backwards. The threads only go about 98% of the way through the fitting. This means on these 3 fittings, I cannot thread anything in from the outside. Can I send a pipe thread tap through these couplings and thread them all the way or is s.s. too hard for that?

Thanks for any advice you guys may have.

Ouch!! Pipe threads are tapered. You can't run them the rest of the way through. You can either cut them off and redo them or....you can use a compression fitting on the inside and run tubing through the coupler. The later idea will mean that you have to use a smaller tubing then the coupler.

As for the welds.....I would say they didn't purge (back gas) the fittings. In short, yes you can get in there and grind out the areas and make them smooth. How??? That depends on what you have going on exactly. A picture is worth a thousand words in this case. It sounds like though, you'll be able to run a flapper wheel across the affected area pretty easily and hit it with some bar keepers friend and be just fine.

Good Luck

Edit:
Oh, and no. The welds weren't done in the sanitary manner. That doesn't really matter too much though since you welded on threaded couplings to begin with. Threads aren't sanitary.
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Old 04-22-2011, 02:07 AM   #3
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Couplers have no side, did you use half couplers?

Edit: duh you said halfs, that sucks!

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Old 04-22-2011, 03:26 AM   #4
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If I were you I would take it back to the welders and have them fix it for you. It doesnt matter how good of a price you got if it doesnt work right.

And make sure you use the right kind of grinding wheels (Type 27) so you dont impregnate the stainless with unwanted steel and have it rust on ya.

And yes the thread tap idea may work if the welders give you the runaround

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Old 04-22-2011, 10:26 AM   #5
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If I were you I would take it back to the welders and have them fix it for you. It doesnt matter how good of a price you got if it doesnt work right.
It would probably futile going back to the original shop. If they knew what they were doing they would have done it right in the first place.

You'd be surprised by the number of shops in business that will tell you they can weld anything to get your money thinking you don't know s**t about welding.

Back gassing is done to protect the opposite side of the weld area from oxidation during welding. This is done 100% of the time with stainless, Titanium, Inconel, etc. when these materials are used for vessels, piping, tanks, anything aerospace, etc. Your best bet is to make sure the person doing the welding has experience in pipe welding or aerospace welding, or the shop does a lot of work with stainless or your taking a gamble.

Your local job shops will be hit and miss as to whether you get a keg welded correctly.
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Old 04-22-2011, 11:42 AM   #6
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I agree that I would not have the same shop that welded the fitting incorrectly attempt to fix them. I would imagine you explained to them your plans to put the valves and thermometers on the outside of the keggles. If this is the case I would expect them to refund the money you payed for the services rendered "incorrectly"

I did a quick search around your listed location and found this shop they look like they can complete the job to your expectations.

I would not expect their price it to be as "great" as the other guy, but as we all have experienced one time or another "you get what you pay for". Hope you get this worked out.

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Old 04-22-2011, 07:46 PM   #7
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I got a good deal on a weld too. They put the half coupler in the correct direction and the weld looks nice BUT they got slag in the threads. Had to bite the bullet and buy a $20 tap to fix it.

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Old 04-22-2011, 10:40 PM   #8
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Maybe a wire brush on a drill would clean up the welds some? Don't use it on anything other than stainless prior to cleaning your stainless. Any bits of carbon will want to rust if they get in your weld.

The welds you describe are quite common. No they are not 'sanitary' but with a cooker, no big deal, you will be sanitizing everything every time you bring it past a boil.

It's hard to find a good welder to do sanitary welds, i ended up purchasing the equipment to do the work myself, out of frustration.

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Old 04-28-2011, 03:30 PM   #9
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Thanks for the advice guys.
Looks like just some slag inside the vessels. Welds look good after a closer look, just some little balls of metal around the weld that I should be able to grind right off. As for the backward fittings, I am gonna purchase 3 more half couplings and bring them back to the same welder who should repair his screw up. I don't mind buying another 3 half couplings, but I'm not gonna pay someone else to cut off his mistake and redo it the right way.

On another note, I had planned on using a pickup tube inside to drain off all the wort from inside the MT & BK. With these half couplings, I cannot thread anything into them from the inside. Should I bite the bullet and have these cut off and have a full coupling welded in place or is there another alternative? I have a ball valve & nipple threaded into the half coupling on the outside. I appreciate any additional advice you guys may have. I wouldn't have gotten this far without this site.

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Old 04-28-2011, 04:24 PM   #10
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What were the half couplings for in the first place? Most vessel penetrations require threads on both side except for a thermometer port or sight glass port.

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