How to Remove a Miller Threaded Keg Valve (not retained by a spiral ring) - Home Brew Forums
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Old 08-14-2008, 10:03 PM   #1
Aug 2008
Posts: 2
Liked 2 Times on 1 Posts

The internet has many articles about how to remove the Sankey valve retained by a spiral ring on a 15.5 gallon beer keg, but I found nothing that told how to remove the similar valve threaded into the keg as used by the Miller Brewing Company. To make a fermentation vessel I cut open the keg and reverse engineered a simple tool for removing the valve.

The first step is to depress the center ball to release any pressure inside the keg. Turn the keg sideways to avoid a beer shower if a little beer is left. The valve is loosened by placing a piece of steel 1 3/4" wide x 1/4" thick x 2" long between the turning lugs of the valve and turning counterclockwise using an adjustable or pipe wrench. I used a "Wonderbar" type prybar that just happened to fit.

After the valve is loose it is still retained by a safety catch to prevent pressure in the keg from blowing the valve out like a rocket. One of the two lugs on the valve is marked "S". About 2" directly below that lug is the safety catch release lever (SCRL) that must be pried inward to release the valve. To get to the SCRL make a simple steel tool 3/4" wide x 3/16" thick x 1 3/4" long. Grind or file a 7/8" radius on each end of the tool to just fit inside the top of the valve. 3/8" from one end of the tool drill a 1/4" hole. 7/16" from the other end of the tool drill a #7 (0.201) hole tapped for a 1/4"-20 screw. Put a 1" long screw in the tapped hole to depress the rubber seal in the top of the valve. Protect the seal with a 1" diameter washer between the seal and the screw. The screw is not centered over the seal and bears on the solid portion of the washer. Place the tool in the top of the valve under the lugs. Position the untapped hole radially next to the "S" lug. Tighten the screw 5 turns after play is removed. It takes 60 pounds of force to depress the seal 1/4". The seal will back away from the "S" lug as the seal is depressed providing access to the SCRL, visible with a well-focused light. Insert a 1/8" diameter screwdriver shaft through the hole in the tool down toward the inside wall of the valve keeping the blade flat against the wall. At 1 1/2" depth you should start to engage the SCRL but probably won't feel it. Tap the end of the screwdriver lightly if necessary until you reach about 2" depth where the screwdriver should bottom out solidly. Be sure no threads of the valve have reengaged, and lift the valve out of the keg. If the valve will not come out, pry the safety lever inward by pushing outward on the screwdriver handle or rotating the screwdriver 90 degrees while lifting. If the valve will still not come out pull the screwdriver out and try again because you missed the SCRL, it is only 1/4" wide. Once the valve is out of the keg, all parts can be disassembled for cleaning. You can easily remove the safety catch before reinstalling the valve so next time you won't need the tool.

1. Safety Catch Extended

2. Safety Catch Retracted, Tool in Place

3. Top View of Tool, Spear Removed

4. Sketch of Tool

Reason: Add images and captions

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Old 09-07-2008, 06:41 AM   #2
rabidgerbil's Avatar
Oct 2007
Seattle, Washington
Posts: 1,023
Liked 39 Times on 39 Posts

I have been going crazy, trying to find info on how to get this keg of mine apart...
Originally Posted by bigjohnmilford
+1 don't argue with a rabid gerbil

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Old 10-25-2008, 01:06 AM   #3
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gwood's Avatar
Oct 2007
Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 573
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Man...I've got to find somebody to fab this tool for me
The troubles of our proud and angry dust
Are from eternity, and shall not fail.
Bear them we can, and if we can we must.
Shoulder the sky, my lad, and drink your ale.
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Old 03-30-2009, 02:38 PM   #4
TerapinChef's Avatar
Nov 2007
St. Clair Shores, MI, Michigan
Posts: 1,021
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts

Or someone to just show up and do it for me...I'm not making this damn thing! I wish I could though...I guess it's just right to the dremel for me...

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Old 06-06-2009, 01:47 AM   #5
Jun 2009
Santa Barbara
Posts: 1

I was able to remove the valve without the described tool. I inserted a 3/16" flat blade craftsman screwdriver at the edge of the ball valve opposite the S lug. By pressing down I was able to move the valve far enough down to get a 1/16" flat blade screwdriver along the edge next to the S lug and thus depressing the safety catch release lever. I didn't care if I damaged the valve since I'm going to store wine in the keg sealed with a bung.


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Old 06-06-2009, 02:00 AM   #6
conpewter's Avatar
Nov 2007
East Dundee, Illinois
Posts: 5,109
Liked 54 Times on 49 Posts

Wow good tutorial, I screwed up the keg I had, I was cutting the lid off anyway but would have been nice to get the valve out so I could have used my jig.
"People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people." - V

Primary: Nothin
Secondary: Shady Lord RIS, Water to Barleywine, Pumpkin wine, burnt mead
Kegged: Crappy infected mild
Bottles: Apfelwein, 999 Barleywine, Oatmeal Stout, Robust Porter, Robust smoked porter, Simcoe Smash

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Old 08-05-2009, 12:59 AM   #7
Jul 2007
Posts: 5

Man, that Tutorial rocked! I didn't use the tool, but armed with the nifty info, I used a blunt instrument to depress the valve as described and gain access to the crafty catch that was bringing me down. DWHAHB!

Thanks for the info! I searched and searched the internet and this is the ONLY place I was able to find the info. We seriously need to spread the word!

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Old 08-14-2009, 07:11 PM   #8
Nov 2007
Valcourt, Québec, Canada
Posts: 94
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

LOL! I knew there was a catch!... not just exactly this one!

I was also able to reach the catch release with just a big flat head screw driver to pry the valve assembly.

Thanks for the help (with pictures)!
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Old 08-23-2009, 05:49 PM   #9
Jul 2009
Posts: 2

Here is some more information and photos for a similar style of keg. The ones in Europe are similar. The information here was very helpful, surprisingly hard to find though!
How to remove a threaded European sanke keg valve


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Old 10-02-2009, 12:34 AM   #10
May 2009
Camp Hill, PA
Posts: 580
Liked 19 Times on 13 Posts

wow was a huge pain in the butt and I completely ruined the valve. I did get myself a new fermenter though.

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