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-   -   River Float 5L Mini Keg System (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/river-float-5l-mini-keg-system-350947/)

colliejo 08-30-2012 02:44 AM

River Float 5L Mini Keg System
For those of us down here in Texas we have the awesome opportunity to float spring fed rivers like the Comal, Guadalupe and Frio. Its a great beer drinking opportunity but some have taken advantage of it. The county in which the Comal river is located has enacted a ban of disposable containers on the river to minimize trash waste. This means no cans on the river. When a few coworkers of mine planned a float trip for the Comal I decided this was a good opportunity to make a river float mini keg system.

I should probably tell you that the Comal also has a restriction on cooler size. 16 quarts that is. Other rivers have less restrictions but arent nearly as deep or clear in my opinion. Ok enough of the chit chat. Here is the build

After some research I settled on a 5L mini keg because: they fit in the cooler, could be considered reusable, and were available locally.

First step was to build a manifold to get C02 in and beer out
NOTE: Per the below discussion and further research copper is not suitable for use in fermented service. The copper design will be used for prototyping only. A stainless design will follow.

Start with some 1/4" OD copper line and bend it like so...

Then slide this through a 1/2" NPT tee like so...

Then slide on all the fittings and secure... Note: the compression fitting was thru bored with a 9/32" drill bit to allow the 1/4"OD line to pass through

That's all for tonight, more to come tomorrow...

colliejo 08-30-2012 05:25 PM

Here is a picture of the diptube/manifold assembled

I recently picked up some reusable grommets for these 5L mini kegs from Midwest . Some of the mini kegs come with a vent at the top which I had to remove in order to install these. Others come with the grommet.

Test fit of the dip tube in the mini keg

Next step was to seal the 1/4" line to the manifold to prevent gas leaking thru. The simple way would be to use a ferrule and nut as shown. I opted to solder instead as I nicked the seat when I thru drilled it.

I use Stay Clean flux by Harris and highly recommended. It has yet to let me down and also works great for stainless-stainless soldering...that's all for now

OMJ 08-30-2012 07:02 PM

I could be wrong on this but I thought copper was not safe to use after or during fermentation.

Gregscsu 08-30-2012 07:09 PM

I use a similar design for my 10 5L mini kegs.

BTW, detailed instructions are here

Revvy 08-30-2012 07:17 PM


Originally Posted by OMJ (Post 4374394)
I could be wrong on this but I thought copper was not safe to use after or during fermentation.

Yes...We just had a similar discussion in another thread, but it's applicable here.


Originally Posted by passedpawn (Post 4298969)
The brewing illuminati say NO to copper in fermentor, yes in the boil pot.

Apparently, copper sulfate, a poison, can result if copper is present post-fermentation. While I doubt it's a serious problem, I wouldn't tempt the hand of fate.


I wouldn't be doing it and serving it to people. That's why you don't see any copper in kegging and other setups.

Good theory, wrong execution. Replace it all with SS or even plastic then we might be talking.

Gregscsu's design appears to be much less risky.

colliejo 08-30-2012 11:28 PM

apparently I didn't do my research. I'll keep the prototype going for test purposes and replace the fitting's with stainless before use.

Monster Mash 08-31-2012 04:23 PM


Originally Posted by colliejo (Post 4375109)
apparently I didn't do my research. I'll keep the prototype going for test purposes and replace the fitting's with stainless before use.

Everything is fine except the dip tube and barb fitting, replace those with stainless and you are good to go.

You could also go with a long plastic tube that goes to your cobra tap so you have no connections from the cobra to the bottom of the keg. You just need to figure out a good way of sealing it.

scaryeyes 08-31-2012 06:38 PM

I used the same configuration for more than a year now. It works fine. But i took the easy way out and used vinyl tubing to go into the keg. Just strapped it on to the copper tubing. Havent discovered any taste difference to the same beers thats on the cory kegs. Cheap and easy

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