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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Stainless steel keg used as a brew pot
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Old 11-18-2012, 04:49 PM   #1
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Default Stainless steel keg used as a brew pot

I was thinking of cutting off the top of an empty keg to start using it as a brew pot. Has anyone done this before or what are your ideas about using this technique?


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Old 11-18-2012, 04:55 PM   #2
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A lot of brewers -- including me -- use empty kegs as kettles, hot liquor tanks, etc. It's an ideal vessel.


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Old 11-18-2012, 05:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hercher
A lot of brewers -- including me -- use empty kegs as kettles, hot liquor tanks, etc. It's an ideal vessel.
How big do you usually use?
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:04 PM   #4
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For the boil it's called a keggle... LOTS of us have them...




You can easily set the keg up as a kettle/keggle, MLT and HLT... Just get a good step bit, some drilling lubricant, and take your time drilling it right. For cutting the top, you'll want a good right angle grinder and virgin cutting wheels/disks as well as others to round over the cut edge (so you don't slice yourself open reaching into the keggle).

1/2 barrel kegs are typically the base for this. Allows you to make 5-10 gallon batches (I've managed to fit up to about 14 gallons into the boil keggle so far). As a mash tun, depending on the false bottom setup, and mash thickness, you should be able to get about 30# of grain in there (give or take)... I've already done 30# of grain (plus some rice hulls) in mine. I can get a bit more in there, so I might do 32-33# at some point.
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie
For the boil it's called a keggle... LOTS of us have them...

You can easily set the keg up as a kettle/keggle, MLT and HLT... Just get a good step bit, some drilling lubricant, and take your time drilling it right. For cutting the top, you'll want a good right angle grinder and virgin cutting wheels/disks as well as others to round over the cut edge (so you don't slice yourself open reaching into the keggle).

1/2 barrel kegs are typically the base for this. Allows you to make 5-10 gallon batches (I've managed to fit up to about 14 gallons into the boil keggle so far). As a mash tun, depending on the false bottom setup, and mash thickness, you should be able to get about 30# of grain in there (give or take)... I've already done 30# of grain (plus some rice hulls) in mine. I can get a bit more in there, so I might do 32-33# at some point.
What does it cost to make?
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:28 PM   #6
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It really depends on what you're looking to do and how much you're willing to spend. If you just want to boil in it, you can get away with cutting a hole in the top and then putting in a simple ball valve to drain it out. You do have to get out of the kitchen and put the keg on an outdoor cooker.

I have a keg conversion guide here: http://brewhardware.com/kegtokettle
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plowder2 View Post
What does it cost to make?
That depends... If you're just making a boil keggle, all you need is the ball valve and dip tube inside. Which can be made from one of these dip tubes, and 1/2" ball valves (I prefer the 3 piece for several reasons). Get a few washers,and silicone gaskets or o-rings too. So, in the $45-$50 range for parts for the ball valve assembly. You can add other things as you wish, like a sight tube. I wouldn't bother with a thermometer installed into one, since you can use a fast read, digital, thermometer easily (and use it in more things).

I have my boil keggle equipped with a ball valve assembly (different hardware setup) with TC (TriClove) fittings, a recirculation fitting (above the ball valve setup) for running the boiling wort back into the keggle while sending it through my plate chiller to sanitize, then during the chill phase to do a better job. I also have the sight tube/glass assembly (my own design/make) on mine.

You can go the welded route if you want. I would only do that if you're good with welding (TIG or silver solder) or have a friend that will do it for you. Welders typically charge a good amount for their service.
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:24 PM   #8
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You don't have to put on a valve or anything else. Once you cut off the top, that's as far as you have to go. Simply use an auto siphon to drain. That's what I do to make 11-12 gallon batches.
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pm5k00 View Post
You don't have to put on a valve or anything else. Once you cut off the top, that's as far as you have to go. Simply use an auto siphon to drain. That's what I do to make 11-12 gallon batches.
Issue I see with that is it seriously limits what you can do/use. You're locked into using an IC (at most) to chill the wort. Plus, transferring to fermenter(s) is going to take much longer.

With at least a ball valve installed, you now can use any of the wort chiller types out there. You'll also transfer to fermenter(s) faster/easier.

IME, having a kettle/keggle is a huge help on brew day. I wouldn't brew with anything that doesn't at least have a ball valve installed.
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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
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Aging:mead
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:20 PM   #10
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Hey Golddiggie where did you get that red thing you use to stack your kegs and what did it cost?


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