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10-gallon corny kegs for under $100

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I got a PM from a fellow member who had seen another thread where we were discussing using converted Portable Eye Wash Stations for brewing. I can't find the thread, but I figured I'd post some pictures of my project.

I've been skulking around e-bay for a few months now. My goal has been acquiring cheap, heavily used, government surplus 10-gallon portable eye wash stations. The cool thing about them is that part of the unit is a 10-gallon Firestone keg.

I've managed to buy 4 of them so far. They sell for between $25-$400. I've never paid more than $80. I look for old looking units with broken or missing parts. Most of the sellers are salvage yards, and have no idea what they're selling.

Here are some pictures:

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ruger988

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So just take off the extra parts and pieces and you have a 10gal corny? Nice!!
 
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The kegs are Firestone Challenger VI kegs. Once I stripped off the hardware, I was left with a basic keg minus the ball-lock posts.
I used a razor blade to clean off all the stickers. They were a pain to remove. I also used barkeepers friend and a PBW soak to clean inside and out. They were pretty disgusting when I got them. They'd probably been sitting around for 20 years.

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OleBrewing

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I've heard of those, I would definately pick them up if the price is right. Looks like the footprint would be smaller than a sanke keg.
 
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These things still need a few parts. I had to buy ball lock posts to fit Firestone kegs. They have different sized posts on the gas and liquid sides, so you need to be careful what you're buying. Additionally, these things had cheap plastic gas in dip tubes. In all cases they were unusable. They are hard to find. I found 1 place that still sells them. Regular gas dip tubes will not work on these kegs without drilling out part of the keg.

Here is what I bought and where I bought them from.

KegOutlet.com:
KP318 Ball Lock Post Set - Firestone Keg 1 $23.95
KP204 This is a replacement o-ring for Cornelius keg dip tubes. It will fit both the gas and liquid side dip-tubes.
KP203 This is a replacement o-ring for Cornelius keg posts. It will fit both the gas and liquid side posts on ball lock and pin lock corny kegs.

chicompany.net
http://www.chicompany.net/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=376_1_3_79&products_id=1070

I also picked up a few extra corny lids with release valves. I'm going to drill out the old lids and add a hole for an airlock and a thermowell. I'm planning on doing some fermenting in these as well as using them as a keg.

2015-01-19 14.38.23.jpg
 
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Finished project:

I had one leaker, but a $20 TIG weld took care of the leak. Another has a missing post. I found a replacement at chicompany.net and will make another trip back to the welder for a repair. I only paid $35 for that one.

These things are well built and will last forever. The metal seems much thicker than a 5-gallon corny. They are very heavy though. I needed help moving them when they were full.

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ruger988

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Pretty cool. Doesn't look like much on eBay at the moment for a decent price. Did see a 37 gallon version, that would be cool to find cheap (nice fermenter!)
 
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I was looking at that one. A little too much $ for me. I thought that would make a great water storage tank for someone with an RO system.

Most of the ones I bought were selling for $150+. I just started offering $75. A few guys took it, a few countered, and a few told me to get lost. Just keep looking. I'd hate to see these just go to scrap.

They clean up real nice.
 

OleBrewing

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The good ol military surplus. Its to bad they are not open here anymore. You could get all sorts of good stuff.
 

Spellman

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Looks like the hand sprayers would work nicely like a pre-rinse sprayer!
 

augiedoggy

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These things still need a few parts. I had to buy ball lock posts to fit Firestone kegs. They have different sized posts on the gas and liquid sides, so you need to be careful what you're buying. Additionally, these things had cheap plastic gas in dip tubes. In all cases they were unusable. They are hard to find. I found 1 place that still sells them. Regular gas dip tubes will not work on these kegs without drilling out part of the keg.

Here is what I bought and where I bought them from.

KegOutlet.com:
KP318 Ball Lock Post Set - Firestone Keg 1 $23.95
KP204 This is a replacement o-ring for Cornelius keg dip tubes. It will fit both the gas and liquid side dip-tubes.
KP203 This is a replacement o-ring for Cornelius keg posts. It will fit both the gas and liquid side posts on ball lock and pin lock corny kegs.

chicompany.net
http://www.chicompany.net/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=376_1_3_79&products_id=1070

I also picked up a few extra corny lids with release valves. I'm going to drill out the old lids and add a hole for an airlock and a thermowell. I'm planning on doing some fermenting in these as well as using them as a keg.
Did you buy these at the local surplus on exchange street? (I dont plan on buying them up)

I bought 5 10 gallon firestone kegs (older racetrack top ones ) for $20 a piece locally on Craigslist... I Too had to source the mostly missing posts,diptubes and plastic gas tubes and found it all between the chi company and Niagara traditions...
 
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New - they are crazy expensive. They cost $1000+. I'm not sure why. There's not that much to them.

I worked in a lab years ago and we had these everywhere.

The ones I'm buying are way past their prime. Most of the hoses are rotted or broken, so they can't be used as eye wash stations anymore.
 

augiedoggy

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Ive seen newer eyewash stations that actually use 15 gallon sanke kegs... The markup for "certified" safety equipment is likely pretty crazy...
 

Reaver

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OK. So that was pretty expensive $$$$. Ah well, at least I know what we're up against when it comes to thier original cost vs "scrap"
 
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I search for 'portable eye wash' and 'eye wash tank'. There's one out there now for $150. It looks brand new. If you try and buy 10-gallon cornies online, you're looking at > $200.
 

Holybarfly

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Just snagged one of these and there's a hairline crack along the liquid male post where it connects to the keg. Is that where your leak came from? I know nothing about welds - if I get it repaired will it be sanitary?
 

augiedoggy

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@Holybarfly - Were you able to get the keg repaired?
If your looking yourself. My uncle does specialty welding for a living and does some work out of his garage. He lives in Tonawanda I can pm you his number if you would like?
 

Jif

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Holy cow. It went for $17.

Just know that you've inspired me, and I just had my "best offer" accepted on an eye wash. I'm intending on building a "bright tank" to dry hop my IPAs in. Ferment in a sankey, pressure transfer to a 10 gallon cornelius with a filter setup like this:

http://www.bear-flavored.com/2014/09/how-i-dry-hop-my-ipas-with-no-oxygen.html

And then pressure transfer to kegs. Looking forward to the results!
 

Yesfan

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That's awesome. I think they are already catching on down here in the South. I've seen a few, but they are way north of $300. I saw the same style of 37 gallon barrel go for around $415.



On another note, what about stainless steel drums? I've seen a few used as boil kettles/tuns. Could one use them as a fermenter, bright tanks, RO vessel, etc? I like how you could unclasp the lid so you get completely inside for cleaning. They are about the same price of some of the bright tanks I'm seeing, but some are double the capacity.
 

DavidD

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Finally got my first 10 gallon keg from eBay. With shipping, it was $101. It took having other offers declined a bunch of times from different sellers. For anyone else looking to buy one, just try enough and you'll get one eventually. Thanks again for all the tips, b-boy.
 

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I think the posts are the same for 5 or 10 gallon kegs. I don't think these will work. the firestone VI has different sized posts.

There is a link off of your url. The Firestones have different threads for gas/liquid. http://www.cornykeg.com/resources/corny-keg-tips/identify-keg/

Firestone V Challenger, Firestone VI Challenger, Firestone Super Challenger:
Gas 9/16” – 18 Liquid 5/8” – 18
 

DavidD

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Makes sense. Thanks for the response.
 
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