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Old 01-31-2013, 04:22 PM   #1
wombatfarms
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Default Quarter (Pony) Keggle

I got a free quarter (pony) keg that i want to use as a keggle. I know I can cut the top off and use it as a brew kettle, but has anyone put a ball valve into one? If you have can please post some information up about it. I'm still really new to homebrewing and don't have any big plans to brew more than 5 gallon batches. So I was wanting to keep the keggle small instead of using the half keg. Thanks for the help in advance.

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Old 01-31-2013, 04:31 PM   #2
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Check the sticky "Project Locator", you're find a bunch of info about welding a valve or what to get for a weldless kit. And always check out bargainfittings.com, they have great prices on weldless kits.

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Old 01-31-2013, 05:31 PM   #3
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full boil 5 gallon batches are going to start with 6 or more gallons of wort once you account for losses to trub, boiloff, etc. if you have ANY interest at all of going to 10 gallon batches (same amount of work, twice the amount of beer) i would suggest using a half barrel keg. it'll do 5 gal batches just fine but allows expansion. as for how to get holes in it, bargain fittings or brewhardware.com (bobby_m here on the site) are both great places to get gear. weldless kits use gaskets and only require you drill a hole. welded kits require a SKILLED tig welder to do correctly/pretty. there is a halfway option called "SS Soldering" where you use silver solder and a dimple tool to make a mechanical bond that is water tight. i SS Soldered all my fixtures in my latest setup and love it. slightly more work than weldless but a lot more sturdy. there's a link in the DIY section that can give you the info.

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Old 01-31-2013, 06:42 PM   #4
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The problem I have found is this:

1. On a half keg you measure up normally 3.75 inches and cut your hole. On a quarter keg when you measure up 3.75 inches one of the support ribs are in the way. Just below that is a 1 inch opening but I'm not sure if thats enough room to put a ball valve in it (weld less or weld). I didn't know if I measured up higher would I be able to put in a ball valve and it still work. I think it would set about 4.5 inches from the bottom. I can try to post a picture of it tomorrow after work.

2. With the quarter keg i know it's 7.75 gallons. I figured that would be enough room to make 5 gallons of brew no problem. Most recipes I found tell you to brew about half the amount and then add the rest once you are done brewing.

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Old 01-31-2013, 07:56 PM   #5
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so between the weld at the bottom for the skirt and the first rib is about 1"? that should just about fit a 1/2" weldless kit. you'll need a dip tube of some kind on the inside to get all the liquid out of the kettle.

bulkhead + interior dip tube:
http://www.brewhardware.com/valves/146-wldip58

ball valve for the outside of the bulkhead:
http://www.brewhardware.com/valves/69-ball-valve

hose barb for the end of the ball valve:
http://www.brewhardware.com/fittings/74-hose-barbs

put a couple feet of silicone 1/2" ID tube in there and you're home free.

as for the volumes, where are you getting these recipes? from a kit? every credible source of information you'll find says you want to boil the full volume in the kettle, not top up with water afterwards. you'll get better utilization of hops and ensure you've got "clean" water since it's all boiled. depending on your burner and environment, you'll boil off about a gallon in an hour boil. accounting for hop/trub losses you're already near like 6.5 gallons. the kettle won't really hold a full 7.75 once you cut the top off it near the outside handle (easier to work with and clean). that puts you at like 7.5 gallons with 6 - 6.5 gallons in the vessel. I'm not saying it can't be done, but you'll have to watch the boil REALLY carefully for boil overs, especially at the start of the boil.

for the same amount of effort on a full 1/2bbl keg, you can up your production and head space. but if you're ok with the 1/4bbl then your plan is solid

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Old 01-31-2013, 09:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slakwhere
so between the weld at the bottom for the skirt and the first rib is about 1"? that should just about fit a 1/2" weldless kit. you'll need a dip tube of some kind on the inside to get all the liquid out of the kettle.

bulkhead + interior dip tube:
http://www.brewhardware.com/valves/146-wldip58

ball valve for the outside of the bulkhead:
http://www.brewhardware.com/valves/69-ball-valve

hose barb for the end of the ball valve:
http://www.brewhardware.com/fittings/74-hose-barbs

put a couple feet of silicone 1/2" ID tube in there and you're home free.

as for the volumes, where are you getting these recipes? from a kit? every credible source of information you'll find says you want to boil the full volume in the kettle, not top up with water afterwards. you'll get better utilization of hops and ensure you've got "clean" water since it's all boiled. depending on your burner and environment, you'll boil off about a gallon in an hour boil. accounting for hop/trub losses you're already near like 6.5 gallons. the kettle won't really hold a full 7.75 once you cut the top off it near the outside handle (easier to work with and clean). that puts you at like 7.5 gallons with 6 - 6.5 gallons in the vessel. I'm not saying it can't be done, but you'll have to watch the boil REALLY carefully for boil overs, especially at the start of the boil.

for the same amount of effort on a full 1/2bbl keg, you can up your production and head space. but if you're ok with the 1/4bbl then your plan is solid
Thanks for the help. The last time I brewed a 5 gallon kit was October of 2011. My friend helped me brew it. I believe it was an American Light kit. The recipe had us boil half the amount of water and then top off. For what it's worth I'll get a half keg and do the work to it. Thanks again.
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:10 PM   #7
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i think 1/2bbl is really the best option. then add a sight glass and a ball valve / dip tube to it and you're ready to party!!

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