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How to tighten a Corny keg lid - with a pinch of salt!

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day_trippr

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All 16 of my ball lock kegs are ancient. I have no doubt some of them are a full 50 years old or more.
With a bit of rehab work when I received them they've performed very well over the years - at least under chart pressure.

But tonight I discovered one of them has a lid leak at uber low pressure - I'm talking 4 inches of water, which is like 1/7th psi.
That's the submerged depth of the bubbler end of my keg purge line.

The feet on this keg lid are clearly worn flat, and no doubt there's some relaxing in the bail bends, to combine to the less than high-tension fit.
At chart pressure the gas takes over from the bail, of course, and I've never had leaks in actual service with this keg (ironically, #16, the last one I bought from AHB).
But at this low pressure it's pretty much up to the bail tension to hold gas.

So, what to do....I was going to revert to the dimes-under-the-feet trick, but that can be a pita to get right.
Then I thought, how about removing the feet and sticking something inside - a "lift".

Ok, but what to use that'd be easy and non-destructive/non-permanent. Not glue or epoxy, and I didn't have any granular metallic substance handy...

Except table salt!

I literally popped the bail feet off, carefully poked about an 1/8" pile of salt inside each foot, assuming it would compress down by some amount (guessed half), and stuck the feet fully back on the bail legs.
Put the lid in place and latched it...
Et voila! Tight lid, no leaks!

Seems stupid AF but there it is. Something to keep in ones bag of kegging tricks I think.

I'll probably pick up some of the Williams over-size rings just the same, and some new bail feet, but this will take care of the batch in the mean time...

Cheers!
 

Jayjay1976

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Great tip, I'm sure I'd never have thought of that!

IMO, the white silicone oversize rings are a must on all used kegs. Unless I ever get one that is practically new, and even in that case I'd have to deliberate. I just like them better. Squishy, white, add a thin layer of keg lube and they'll solve practically all your problems.
 

CaptMogul

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Great tip, I'm sure I'd never have thought of that!

IMO, the white silicone oversize rings are a must on all used kegs. Unless I ever get one that is practically new, and even in that case I'd have to deliberate. I just like them better. Squishy, white, add a thin layer of keg lube and they'll solve practically all your problems.
I just started using the Orange silicone rings ( 50 drm ). So far working OK
 
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day_trippr

day_trippr

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Those would be more like stilts than lifts. Pretty, though :)

Cheers!
 
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day_trippr

day_trippr

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Yes, indeed, and as I acquired kegs over the years I had successfully bent the legs on a couple of lids that were particularly sloppy.
I know I used my bench vise and a pair of channel locks, but that was years ago, and tbh I could not for the life of me figure out how I did it when this low pressure issue arose :confused:

So...had to come up with an alternative solution, pronto, and as it turns out it was surprisingly easy and effective. Probably won't stand up to even a short Star San dunk for the next cycle, but by then I'll have new feet and have figured out how I "reformed" (IBM term for "bent" ;)) the bail legs before.

btw, I did order up a few sets of feet and a few oversize lid O-rings from Williams and was pleased to see the O-rings are buna-n and not silicone. Two reasons: silicone is way more O2 permeable, and using silicone grease (aka "keg lube") on silicone rubber will slowly dissolve the latter...

Cheers!
 
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day_trippr

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Since early November I have been using CO2 from fermentation to purge the kegs that beer will end up in.

The system pressure is dictated by how deeply the end of the line is submerged in water, so ~4" of depth will provide around 1/7th psi of back-pressure on the kegs. That's waaay too low to presume a pressurized seal, so it's up to the tension provided by the lid bail...

stout7_30jun2020_3sm.jpg


Cheers!
 

PereJoe

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Excellent tips, for both the purging with fermentation off-gas CO2 and salt trick to add to the bail legs. Clever.
I guess a bit of sand could work too, and withstand sanitiser rinses too. Thanks!
 
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day_trippr

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Sand would be a good choice. Our sand is under a few inches of snow right now :)

Cheers!
 

Vale71

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Squishy, white, add a thin layer of keg lube and they'll solve practically all your problems.
And even introduce new ones like massive oxygen ingress...

[ducks and runs for the door]

:D
 
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day_trippr

day_trippr

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Hahahaha! But, "massive"? I doubt it. "Size matters" and lid O-rings are quite thick.

While I avoid silicone in cold-side applications out of GPs and am pleased the Williams rings aren't silicone, I doubt anyone's going to oxidize a keg because of a silicone lid O-ring...

Cheers!
 

Vale71

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That depends on how pre-oxidized your beer already is. After doing a closed transfer from a Unitank using EVAbarrier tubing the amount of O2 that will enter through a silicone O-ring of that size is definitely unacceptable. :cool:
 
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