Ss Brewtech’s Biggest Baddest Holiday Giveaway Ever!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Soldering Stainless steel
Thread Tools
Old 08-10-2011, 05:34 PM   #591
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Atwater, OH
Posts: 4,252
Liked 50 Times on 47 Posts
Likes Given: 83


Originally Posted by gmartin View Post
Bobby M. early in the thread said he was using a 150 watt soldering iron. People scoffed at this, and I think the overall sense was he was "kidding." And he never really fully responded.

I'm having trouble controlling the heat from my torch, and tried a 100 watt iron I inherited from my Grandfathe - it's probably eighty years old, with a Montgomery Wards tag for $1.79 still attached. Anyway, I find it works really well for tinning both keg and the hardware, much more manageable than the torch. Also was able to solder a locknut to a keg. The pyramid shaped tip can simultaneously heat the surfaces of the keg and the fitting, and flows solder onto both surfaces. While this looks watertight, I don't think the keg and nut get hot enough for solder to actually flow much between the flat surface of the nut and the keg, so maybe not the best joint possible. I think a bigger iron would be better; also, may try torching to reflow the solder.
I believe that was Swagman...

Originally Posted by Swagman View Post
If you don't mind like to stick my two cents in.

I have used silver solder for several years, some for fittings on stainless steel gas tanks, and a few custom fittings for brewers. There are several good brands myself I like sta-brite solder and acid.

For a tool I have found that a large very large Iron the one I have a present is 150 watt. I found better control and less of change of overheating like with a torch.

Just my two cents


Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
And I'd like to see my 1.080 beers ready from grain to glass in a week, and served to me by red-headed twin penthouse pets wearing garter belts and fishnet stockings, with Irish accents, calling me "master luv gun," but we can't always get what we want can we? :)
wyzazz is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2011, 07:28 PM   #592
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 29

wyzazz, Obviously you're right.

Torched the locknut to reflow the solder, and the nut settled down on the keg; a little more solder, and a better joint. But I at least don't have the technique down to do it with the torch alone.

BTW, I also have a 200/300 watt soldering gun ( for soldering coax connectors ) that seems easier to use than the torch for tinning and tacking.

Also, may have a useful tip: I know you guys are much better at this and never make a hole or dimple a little too large for your fitting..... I gave my keg tool a few turns too many and oversized the hole for a 1/4" coupling. At the bottom of the keg, so I had to support it from inside while soldering on the outside. To make a long story short, I used a telescoping magnetic pickup tool to support the coupling from inside. I took a short bolt and a washer and put these at the inside of the coupler, ran it through the hole from the inside, and used the pickup tool to support them: magnet sticks to bolt, tool telescopes to support from side of keg, and rubberhandle holds it in place by friction.

gmartin is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2011, 12:39 PM   #593
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: West Chester PA
Posts: 115

Just wanted to update and say thanks to PJ and lschiavo for the responses!! You guys were right flux was the key. Last night I sanded down the area cleaned it and applied harris stay-clean. After I finished I could tell it was adhearing better than before. This morning I picked it up from the soldered location and man that thing was holding tight. Still it isn't really that pretty but it holds
Carboy 1:Russian Imperial Stout
Carboy 2:Russian Imperial Stout
Carboy 3:Double Choc Milk Stout
Carboy 4:empty :(
Keg 1: English Brown Ale
Keg 2: Barleywine
Keg 3: Cider
Keg 4: Backup Cider :D
blackdragon82 is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2011, 05:47 PM   #594
Vendor and Brewer
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 4 reviews
Bobby_M's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Whitehouse Station, NJ
Posts: 22,612
Liked 1393 Times on 914 Posts
Likes Given: 35


If you make the hole too big, you should be able to bend the flare back towards center the smallest bit with pliers or by tapping with a hammer. Just enough to grip the coupling.
Welcome to I love you.
New 100% Stainless Steel Heating Elements are IN! ULWD 5500w Ripple, 2000w, 1500w, etc
Chugger Pumps, Pump Kits, Camlocks, Sightglasses, Clear USA made Silicone Tubing, RIMS, Electric Install Parts, etc.
Bobby_M is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2011, 02:40 AM   #595
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,039
Liked 10 Times on 10 Posts
Likes Given: 1


Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
If you make the hole too big, you should be able to bend the flare back towards center the smallest bit with pliers or by tapping with a hammer. Just enough to grip the coupling.

Bobby is right here. I have made the hole a bit to large before and a quick tap on the opening in the opposite direction, makes the hole small and you can re-pull the fitting or the tool. However you are doing the work.

Having said that.....I'm sure there is a point where you might just want to go a size larger on your fitting.LOL. It depends on how many home brews you've had.
GreenMonti is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2011, 02:20 AM   #596
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 762
Liked 20 Times on 19 Posts
Likes Given: 9


ok i finally got around to getting this larger half coupling installed. i used a 3" spacer on the outside instead of the smaller white pvc i was using, and it was a piece of cake!

1" half coupling pulled through keg lid

frontside of test fit

installed in HLT (just water leak testing, no electrical hookups so no cover or ground)

hope this can inspire you to put an electric heating element on your vessel! thanks to all the posters in this thread for your inspiration to try this for my gear!
slakwhere is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2011, 05:43 PM   #597
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Port Murray, NJ
Posts: 2,388
Liked 72 Times on 49 Posts
Likes Given: 9


I soldered a 1" NPT nut onto the side of my brew kettle this week. I had some trouble and re-learned a few things I had forgotten.

First, solder makes a difference. I was using 1/8" 4% silver-bearing plumbing solder from Home Depot. It leaked every time - I completely re-did the joint 3 separate times and tried re-fluxing and flowing the joint countless times. I don't know if the 1/8" wire required me to add too much heat (see next point) or if it was just crap solder, but I sucked it up and bought a pound of 1/16" Harris Stay-Brite 8 solder, and make a perfect watertight joint on the first try.

Second, if you think you're applying too much heat, you've already applied too much heat. Gently heat until the solder flows, then walk away. More heat than that will just burn the flux and ruin the joint. Don't touch the fitting until it has air-cooled.

Third, fittings of this size take longer than you think to cool to the point that the solder is hard. Be patient and don't touch it. DAMHIKT.

Fourth, CA applicators like these make fabulous precision liquid flux applicators.

I'm opening a brewery! Man Skirt Brewing

Progress is always up on my Facebook page
nostalgia is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2011, 12:47 AM   #598
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 33
Default Food safe?

Has it been verified that this is food safe?
I saw that it is lead free on the Harris website.
daufdi is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2011, 01:43 AM   #599
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Orange, Ca
Posts: 2,087
Liked 38 Times on 35 Posts
Likes Given: 37


Originally Posted by daufdi
Has it been verified that this is food safe?
I saw that it is lead free on the Harris website.
it's silver solder Not leaded solder. Once the flux Has been washed off there is nothing to worry about.

-= Jason =-
Flomaster is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2011, 06:12 AM   #600
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Gold Coast City, Qld
Posts: 37
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts


Very interesting:
1) The "second attempt" is very impressive.
2) When I was associated many years ago now with the commercial soldering of T304 stainless (about the most common type), the flux used was Hydrochloric acid ("spirits of salts") plumbers solder was used & a thorough wash was required afterwards. I can't recall the dilution rate used on the acid flux. Gas heated large solid copper irons were used.
3) I was unaware that "silver solder" (it's pretty expensive) could be applied to stainless successfully, I thought higher temperatures were needed such as available by propane torch.
4) Without doubt silver solder is superior but the execution need only match the application so if it works..............
5) Surprised to read how tough the soldered joint actually is.
Well done for posting a clear factual & very useful "how to".

peterlonz is offline
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Stainless steel question baer19d Kettles, Mash Tuns, & Hot Liquor Tanks 22 06-16-2011 05:05 AM
is there any way to tell if something is Stainless Steel Grinder12000 Equipment/Sanitation 25 05-12-2010 01:44 PM
Stainless Steel v. Aluminum DirtyJersey Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 18 03-23-2009 08:37 PM
Stainless Steel Disconnects shif7y Bottling/Kegging 0 05-26-2007 07:05 PM
hardened steel instead of stainless? photogscott Equipment/Sanitation 5 05-09-2007 07:03 AM

Forum Jump

Newest Threads