keggle conv. my experience

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the teacher

Jun 13, 2007
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Following is the simplest way I've found to convert a keg.
A while back someone gave me an empty keg and half (someone had literally cut one of them in half). At the time I was fortunate enough to know someone with a full weld shop in his garage. He plasma cut the top off the one, and welded a SS coupling for the ball valve on both. I've always used the half keg as a hot liqour tank and the other I use for both mash tun and kettle.
Recently I decided it was time to upgrade a little. Like all homebrewers, I wanted to do everything myself and do it cheap. Here's what I did:
I searched craigslist everyday for empty kegs even posted ads for people getting rid of them. Went to the metal recycler who wanted $75. Finally I asked the manager at a restaurant I spend time at. He sold one to me for the $12 deposit he pays. I know, I know, unethical, but I've got a million justifications for my sin.
I cut the top off with a metal cutting wheel (it took 2 or 3 at about $1.50 each). They sell an adaptor to use them with a regular drill for a couple bucks so I didn't have to shell out for an angle grinder.
I cut holes in the side with a 3/4 in. bimetal hole saw. It has to be the one rated to cut metal. One saw cut several holes so far with no signs of dulling. Slow and steady is the key and lubricate (I used Pam cooking spray, worked fine). The holes were too small for the 1/2 in pipe nipple so I used a grinding stone with my drill to enlarge it a little. I ended up putting sight tubes and brewmometers (christmas gift) but the basic setup is very simple. No need to buy a weldless fitting online.
* from the inside out *
- 1/2 in brass pipe coupling or lock nut
- 1/2 in ID brass washer
- rubber O-ring (no problem yet with regular O-rings and heat)
- 1/2 in Brass close nipple make sure the outside is all threads, no space between them.
- rubber O-ring
- 1/2 in In brass washer
- 1/2 in brass coupling
I have no idea how or where to post pictures or I would so everyone could get a visual. Any ideas let me know.