Electric Brewing Sanke keg / no cutting top off, or welds possibility??

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junktape75

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Can someone play devils advocate and tell me why I should not place a 2' TC 64OD electric heating element into the mouth of Sanke keg, (spare removed) and invert it to make a boil kettle. Obviously, the question begs why, especially if you're going to need to vent it and create a hole on top to drop in hops etc. Well, besides the cost, having an unused 1/2 barrel keg begging to be utilized i thought it would be pretty cool given that their is so many cheap TC elements on the market now with a SS304 enclosures. You'd obviously not need to do any silver sodering, tig welding or even take the entire top off with someone jig'd up saw.. A simple hole, using a step bit and you would have a great low budget BK. Hell, you could actually put a TC Tee and have a dump port... Safety would be my biggest concern but i cant think why it would be any different from having it on the side; and you accounted for boilovers... Just spitballing but thought i would float it by you guys
 
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Biggest concern:
  • Debris (hops) will settle around the base of the element and burn
Minor concerns:
  • Can't set the kettle flat on ground / table
  • Liquid level will need to be higher than usual before you can turn on the element
  • Less convection currents in boil kettle, or at least different than normal (boil happens at surface of element
 

Brettomomyces

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the biggest advantage to using an inverted sanke is to allow the 2" opening to become your drain. this eliminates the need for a pickup tube and saves a fair amount of liquid. TC -> elbow -> shank -> ball valve
 

postalbunny

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The main issue here is the element would be vertical.. so the minimum height you need for liquid would be the element height. Maybe you could bend one "sideways" and it'll work.

Like Brett said.... the best part about inverting a keg is using that 2" opening as a bottom drain. I keep thinking about welding one to my spike kettles because my stand has an open bottom. Would be great to have zero deadspace.
 

processhead

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Some one help me out. l can't figure out how you would install a no-weld mechanical TC fitting on a keg with no openings? What am I missing.

With a more or less closed vessel, I am picturing a system malfunction that results in boiling hot liquid under pressure spraying all over the place.
 
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Some one help me out. l can't figure out how you would install a no-weld mechanical TC fitting on a keg with no openings? What am I missing.

With a more or less closed vessel, I am picturing a system malfunction that results in boiling hot liquid under pressure spraying all over the place.
2" TC will clamp onto neck the sanke keg (need to remove spear first). He mentions drilling a hole in the other end with a step bit for steam exit and adding hops etc.

upload_2019-7-25_8-44-49.png
 

processhead

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Ok, I got that part of it. I just wasn't seeing how you could install an element in the typical horizontal plane of the keg without adding another TC fitting in the side.
 
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junktape75

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All great posts and appreciate the feedback....

I agree the biggest concern would be scorching, and also heat transfer near the top of the liquid. Not sure how it would effect the boil, in fact might actually reduce scorching because you're losing more of the heat transfer near the top. I guess its all theoretical until tested. The height of the element, 9' not a major concern given 1/2 keg is 23' in, so it would be within acceptable range for a pre-boil volume 7 gallons.

Using TC Tee would provide way to dump the trub, and transfer wort by just lowering the element down in the connection. Probably, just use it as a fermenter, sanitary fitting are completely unnecessary but given i could make a boil kettle with no welding, relatively little fuss for less than $50 seems interesting.
 
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junktape75

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Ok, I got that part of it. I just wasn't seeing how you could install an element in the typical horizontal plane of the keg without adding another TC fitting in the side.
That's the point it wouldnt be in the horizontal position, but a vertical position...
 

processhead

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Seems like a vertical heating element might be more susceptible to exposure to air during the boiling process, with increased risk of localized dry-firing. Yes, this is possible with a low mounted horizontal element too, but I think the inherent risk is less. Also, I could see sediment collection around the lowest point of the kettle/element base as being prone to scorching as well.

I also see the challenges to internal cleaning as being pretty daunting. Almost like cleaning a carboy, you are left to what you can remove with a long brush or CIP methods, but unlike a glass carboy, you really can't tell how effective a job you have actually done.

Sorry, I would like to think this idea has merit, but just not seeing it at the moment. Maybe someone will prove me wrong.
 
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kevink

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If the only motivation is cost and there is no benefit to a vertical element... why? I don't get it at all.

I also don't understand what you are trying to saying about making a hole in the keg. How are you going to make a large enough hole with a step bit?
 
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golfindia

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If you are drilling a hole, might as well just do it in the side. Soldering a TC fitting on takes 15 minutes. Makes a great fermenter too.
 

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junktape75

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If the only motivation is cost and there is no benefit to a vertical element... why? I don't get it at all.


I also don't understand what you are trying to saying about making a hole in it. How are you going to make a large enough hole with a step bit?
That is pretty cool golfindia. How did you attach those fittings without taking the entire top off the keg, or did you take the bottom off.
If you are drilling a hole, might as well just do it in the side. Soldering a TC fitting on takes 15 minutes. Makes a great fermenter too.
If you are drilling a hole, might as well just do it in the side. Soldering a TC fitting on takes 15 minutes. Makes a great fermenter too.[
 

golfindia

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