Sanke fermenter upgrades... Corny lid/Thermowell - Home Brew Forums
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:35 PM   #1
moxie
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Feb 2010
Halifax, N.S.
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Hello folks, beeb fermenting in my Sanke fermenter lately, and it is working beautifully. I was a bit apprehensive about filling it "blind," as in, not being able to visually inspect the inside of the keg before dumping my wort in. I haven't had an issue with this, it was more of a mental barrier than anything.

Anyway, here is where I am at. I am currently using a large rubber stopper fitted with an airlock squeezed into the regular sanke hole with the spear removed. I like this method, but I think I would like the flexibility of a corny lid instead. Can someone give me some advice on cutting the top of this keg for a regular corny lid? The current method is fine, but I would like to add a thermowell/thermometer which, as far as I can tell, is impossible with the current keg opening. I have seen some guides for building keggles, I just wasn't sure if the old angle grinder method would suffice for creating a smooth enough seal for a corny lid. The kegs I ferment in are also the 1/4 "slim" kegs, so the top is a bit more concave. Will this be a problem?

Cheers.



 
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:50 PM   #2
CoolHandLuke
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Feb 2010
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Have you seen this?: http://www.brewershardware.com/Ameri...hermowell.html

Derrin is a homebrewtalk member and is a pleasure to purchase from him!

Good luck!



 
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:50 PM   #3
XXguy
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Dec 2008
Southeastern PA
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Not exactly the direct answer to your question about cutting it out for a corny lid, but here's what many people have used when they want something with a thermowell...

http://www.brewershardware.com/Sanke-Fermenter-Kits

 
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Old 01-22-2011, 02:45 AM   #4
Egbert
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Dec 2010
Roanoke, VA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolHandLuke View Post
Have you seen this?: http://www.brewershardware.com/Ameri...hermowell.html

Derrin is a homebrewtalk member and is a pleasure to purchase from him!

Good luck!

I did a heck of alot of research and just bought one tonight.

 
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Old 01-22-2011, 04:32 AM   #5
P-J
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Mar 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moxie View Post
--- I just wasn't sure if the old angle grinder method would suffice for creating a smooth enough seal for a corny lid. The kegs I ferment in are also the 1/4 "slim" kegs, so the top is a bit more concave. Will this be a problem?
I've done this. I carefully cut an opening in the top of a 15.5 gallon American Sanke keg for a corny lid. The opening needs to be cut so that the lid is a close fit in the opening. You only get one chance so mark it carefully. Once that is done, use tools to reform the lip of the opening so that the mating surface of the keg is very close to the lids surface without the gasket in place. You will be leveling out any contour in the top of the keg. This is fairly easy to accomplish.

Once finished, I have a 15.5 gallon corny keg that I use for a fermenter. It works very well BTW. Not sure how it would work out in a 1/4 keg.

 
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Old 01-22-2011, 05:27 AM   #6
Jester
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P-J View Post
I've done this. I carefully cut an opening in the top of a 15.5 gallon American Sanke keg for a corny lid. The opening needs to be cut so that the lid is a close fit in the opening. You only get one chance so mark it carefully. Once that is done, use tools to reform the lip of the opening so that the mating surface of the keg is very close to the lids surface without the gasket in place. You will be leveling out any contour in the top of the keg. This is fairly easy to accomplish.

Once finished, I have a 15.5 gallon corny keg that I use for a fermenter. It works very well BTW. Not sure how it would work out in a 1/4 keg.
Do you have any pictures.?? I feel like I have seen this on a forum somewhere...

 
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Old 01-22-2011, 11:32 AM   #7
P-J
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jester View Post
Do you have any pictures.?? I feel like I have seen this on a forum somewhere...
Unfortunately, no and I loaned my camera out several weeks ago. Maybe I can retrieve it and get pix this weekend. (Yea, I need to get my camera back.)

 
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Old 01-22-2011, 12:10 PM   #8
boo boo
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Jun 2005
Hearts's Delight, Newfoundland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P-J View Post
I've done this. I carefully cut an opening in the top of a 15.5 gallon American Sanke keg for a corny lid. The opening needs to be cut so that the lid is a close fit in the opening. You only get one chance so mark it carefully. Once that is done, use tools to reform the lip of the opening so that the mating surface of the keg is very close to the lids surface without the gasket in place. You will be leveling out any contour in the top of the keg. This is fairly easy to accomplish.

Once finished, I have a 15.5 gallon corny keg that I use for a fermenter. It works very well BTW. Not sure how it would work out in a 1/4 keg.


One of the guys I brew with has done this, leaving the initial opening there to fit the bung in for an airlock. Measure twice and cut once
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Old 01-22-2011, 01:49 PM   #9
Ohio-Ed
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I cut this message out of another thread if you want more detail, it's located here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/sank...estion-182696/

Here are some photos of me cutting the top out of a keg to try this idea for better access to the inside of a fermenter.

Basically I cut a small hole in the fermentor and used the "cutout" from a converted keggle as a lid.

There have been threads re the simplest keg cutting jig... mine is more complicated. It's adjustable horizontally and vertically. It rides on the rim of the keg, so it doesn't drop when the cut is complete.
Had to make some adjustments (2x4 clamped behind the angle grinder) because I wanted to make this hole pretty small (about 9" in diameter). The cuts shown are before any cleanup took place.

The pressure cooker "seal" I found didn't work so great so I bought a very large silicone o-ring from McMaster. I cut some plywood rings to get even pressure all the way around the "lid". I tested it with c-clamps, but ended up finding some other clamp that I was able to modify to work much better.

Before filling the fermentor, I clean it and sanitize it with steam by boiling a gallon or so of water out of it on a turkey fryer.









The pressure cooker "seal" I found. Then just cut some plywood rings to get even pressure all the way around the "lid". I tested iw c-clamps, but need to find a better way to clamp the top down. Similar to GreenMonti, J-bolts may be the answer.












 
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