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Old 12-05-2011, 06:41 PM   #661
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Are you using Stay Brite #8? The more silver content, the bigger gaps it will bridge. If you still have trouble, You can fill in some of that space by wrapping some stainless wire so it lays in the threads on the nipple.


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Old 12-06-2011, 03:10 AM   #662
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Anyone have their coupling fail with direct heat???? Thinking of having my bottom couplers tig welded in my kegs and soldering the rest. Comments??

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Old 12-06-2011, 03:15 AM   #663
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Anyone have their coupling fail with direct heat???? Thinking of having my bottom couplers tig welded in my kegs and soldering the rest. Comments??

Awesome thread!!
That cannot happen (solder failure) as long as there is fluid (water) above the level of the soldered connection.
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Old 12-06-2011, 12:56 PM   #664
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^^What he said^^ Have you ever tried to solder a waterline with just a few drops of water left in it? I suppose if you were too worried you could snag some of Bobby M's Heat Shields when he gets them finished up, that would certainly reduce the amount of heat on the couplings.
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:08 PM   #665
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I wonder about that, though. Is the heat transfer from the outside of the keg (where the fire is) to the inside (where the water is) fast and efficient enough to prevent this from ever being an issue? I'm just thinking of when I cool off my wort; sometimes I'll run the waste water from the chiller over the bottom part of the keggle, and that mo'fo will steam and sizzle like nobody's business - a lot more than I would expect if the outside of the keg was only 212. It'll keep steaming for ten or fifteen seconds; if the keg's exterior was only a little over 212, you wouldn't expect it to steam up so aggressively and for so long.

If the temperature of the keg's exterior was being fully kept in check by the liquid inside, I wouldn't expect that huge "WHOOSH" of steam when I run the waste water over it.

With that said, I've never heard of a soldered joint FAILING. I'm just not convinced that the heat transfer within the keggle is efficient enough to keep the whole keg at essentially the wort's boiling point.
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:23 PM   #666
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Stay-Brite solder has a melting point of 430F (MSDS) so you can extrapolate from there. Does the outside of your kettle get to 400 degrees under normal operation? I suppose anything is possible but I seriously doubt it gets that hot unless you have concentrated flame directly on the fitting.

I'd imagine that my polycarbonate sight glass would melt before a soldered fitting would become liquid again, the polycarbonate I use has an operating temp max of 250F.
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Old 12-06-2011, 04:40 PM   #667
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I think the very bottom roll of a converted keg boil kettle will get to around 400-500F because it takes some time for the heat to travel up the 4" or so to get to the liquid inside. The bulkheads are a lot closer to the liquid and might see 240-250F. No way you're desoldering those things without a ton of misuse like a full flame run-dry.
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Old 12-06-2011, 04:52 PM   #668
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I think you're probably right, but it'd be really interesting (and easy) for someone with an infrared thermometer to test out.
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Old 12-06-2011, 05:34 PM   #669
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wardenwheat View Post
Anyone have their coupling fail with direct heat???? Thinking of having my bottom couplers tig welded in my kegs and soldering the rest. Comments??

Awesome thread!!
I've had my silver solder joints fail from mechanical torsion more than heat. The BK with it's valve and T sticking out failed first since it was getting torqued while cleaning as well as the MT valve for the same reason. MY HLT seemed to survive the best. I was tired of cleaning and reflowing the cracked silver solder joints and finally just cleaned them all up and had them TIGd. Just my experience YMMV.
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Old 12-08-2011, 10:37 PM   #670
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Why do we have to make the dimple? Couldn't I just solder a coupling on a tight hole?


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