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Old 11-08-2009, 01:51 AM   #1
Aug 2009
las vegas
Posts: 211
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

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:

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.
*Bayou Brewhouse, established 2009*

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Old 08-28-2014, 03:26 AM   #2
Aug 2014
Posts: 1

I'm gonna raise a zombie, since this post is the only one I've been able to find on the net that even references the type of kegs I found: Sanke screw type valves where "neither of the 2 turning lugs on the spear are marked [with an "S"], 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"

I tried for several hours fishing down the side of the rubber gasket with a screwdriver trying to disengage the catch, to no avail. I finally grabbed a 3/16" bit and drove straight down through the valve directly above where the safety catch was (outside the rubber gasket), in an attempt to get a better angle for prying at the thing. I'm not sure exactly what happened, but I drilled through some portion of the mechanism and it immediately disengaged and I could remove the valve with no prying whatsoever.

I didn't have to go all the way though the whole thing, but I did pass completely though the top surface of the valve and through the top surface of the safety mechanism that you can glimpse through the crack if you depress the rubber portion.

Obviously this method destroys the valve, but if you know where to drill it only takes a minute to get the damned thing off.

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Old 08-28-2014, 03:33 AM   #3
Nov 2013
, Wisconsin
Posts: 883
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Possibly an idea after the fact, but I remember reading somewhere that if you hook up a Sanke tap to the spear after it's been screwed out (or prior to screwing it out, can't recall which it was) - and depress the ball fully - it will in effect open the safety catches and let you pull the spear out. You may need to put a coin/something under the tap so that the ball valve depresses fully.

If memory serves this trick works with Miller kegs, and is very quick with no damage to the valve/spear.
Primaries: Honey wheat lager, English Cream Ale
Kegged and serving: MADRE, PATER, HAGIS
On Deck: All Brews Subject to Change With No Reason - loving small batch brewing, session beers, AND Kegging!

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Old 10-23-2014, 07:04 PM   #4
AlfA01 ain't sold in heaven...
AlfA01's Avatar
Jun 2014
Athens, Greece
Posts: 169
Liked 17 Times on 14 Posts

I had this thought as I was study my kegs that I purchased recently. Mine were a bonus though, as they were already disassembled.

Mine didn't have the safety tabs though. The style I have are designed without the safety tabs. They are 30 Liter insulated kegs from Allgauer Brauhaus.

The only challenge I have is finding the proper size o-rings to fit the spear.

Glad someone revived this 'zombie' as I was searching quite a bit earlier for information on a different lot of kegs I found, but the info is quite limited and a lot of the links seem to be dead within the posts here and on other sites.

"Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything." Xenophon

"We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds." Aristotle Onassis

Keg 1: Krispy Kolsch and a Biscuit
Keg 2: Hoppy Dark Mexican Lager
Keg 3: Dogfish 90 Clone
On Deck: Vienna Lager and Imperial Stout

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Old 10-30-2014, 07:49 PM   #5
Oct 2014
Posts: 1

Trying to learn more about Drop-In style versus Threaded "D" systems. This post makes it sound like the threaded systems are more of a hassle than an advantage? Is that right?

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Old 04-27-2016, 03:26 AM   #6
Aug 2015
Posts: 2

Old post bump... The S-type threaded valves are not too bad to take out. A little practice makes it easier.

Hopefully these will help anyone looking for a how to on removing these. Good luck .

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