Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Pin-Lock Keg, clogged dip tube. Cannot remove posts without special tool, what now?
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Old 02-15-2012, 04:26 AM   #1
reverendnathan
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Default Pin-Lock Keg, clogged dip tube. Cannot remove posts without special tool, what now?

Well this is frustrating. Clearly I suck at leaving behind hop dust when transferring. It was a small problem with my first kegged beer, but now my second kegged creation is at a stand-still. CO2 is fine, nothing is freezing... the diagnosis is the dip tube is clogged.

Enter the frustration. According to the Internet, I'm gonna need a special socket to remove the post to get to the tube. That was all fine and good five years ago when these articles were written and the thing cost five bucks, but I'm seeing it go for 17-20$, on top of websites 7.99 shipping... yeah, it'd be cheaper to just throw the keg away and buy a new one than deal with that hassle.

My LHBS, for better or for worse, doesn't carry pin lock stuff. Only conversion kits. So no luck just asking the local shop for a free hand. I was also really looking forward to having some of this beer on the weekend... and paying 30-something for this tiny socket and waiting a week and a half just to get it... this whole thing is leaving me bitter.

So I tried a monkey wrench. It didn't work. I tried shaking out the jam. Nope. Well, what the hell can I do at this stage?! The only option I can think of is calling up Coca-Cola (across town) and asking if they have any advice or tools to do the job, but that seems just not possible. I'm between a rock and a hard place. Help?


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Old 02-15-2012, 04:38 AM   #2
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No personal experience since I use ball locks, but maybe this will be helpful:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/pin-...itutes-229421/


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Old 02-15-2012, 11:01 AM   #3
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You can buy a socket made for the job or make one with a dremel tool.

Sometimes if they get stuck you may need a breaker bar along with the socket.
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:40 AM   #4
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Your about an hour and a half away from MoreBeer in Riverside... road trip! $16.95 for the socket (ridiculous I know) but you could also get several kits or supplies

Might be cheaper though to just make one...
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Old 02-15-2012, 02:19 PM   #5
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I'm not a pin-lock guy, but can you put the gas QD on the beer out and try to blow the blockage out of the beer out tube? That may fix this particular problem.

Big picture though, you need to get a way to remove the posts. You will never be able to adequately clean your keg if you don't remove the posts and tubes for cleaning. No matter what you do, you should figure out a way to remove the post, whether it be to make your own socket or to pony up the $ to buy one... My $0.02
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Old 02-15-2012, 02:24 PM   #6
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If you have a Dremel just make your own socket. If you don't have one I be someone that you know does. It'll take about 5 minutes.
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Old 02-15-2012, 02:58 PM   #7
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I had the right sized socket in my tool kit that happened to be one for spark plugs ( I think it's 13/16ths). A few slots with the grinder cut off wheel and I'm in business. You can also get an open ended wrench on the flats if you angle it correctly.

Frankly, you NEED to be able to disassemble the posts on your kegs whether you like it or not. The crap that gets caught up in the poppet springs alone, nevermind on the inside of the siphon tube, demands a scrub down and visual inspection between uses.

Buy a new keg? What about after you use it a few times? Suck it up, it's part of the cost of ownership.
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Old 02-15-2012, 04:40 PM   #8
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Had this happen to me (clogged dip tube) I did this on a ball lock but should work on a pin lock. I attached the gas line (I use all 1/4" fittings for ease of use) to the liquid connector and connected it to the keg with the top open. Turned on the gas to 30ish psi and blew it right out the bottom.
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Old 02-15-2012, 05:22 PM   #9
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Reverendnathan, I used to use Pin-Locks and changed over to Ball-locks a few years ago and still have some assorted QD's, o-rings, poppets and a post removal socket that I don't need. I'm in the Northern Nevada and can send them to you if you still need. Send me a PM with your USPS mailing info.
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:55 PM   #10
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Well, so I drilled two 13/16" spark plug sockets. The first one ended up being too short. Bought a second one, a nice long one, drilled it... also too short. Has some sort of odd rubber washer in it that doesn't want to come out... it's really in there, and cutting it with a knife didn't seem to help. Any thoughts?


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