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jacksonbrown

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Whoo hoo! The day is here and I am ready for an upgrade (all be a small one, but important one none the less). Time to get me a 15 gallon brew pot. Time to make some big beers, some 10 gal batches. I won't lie, I am very enamored with Blichmann's Boilermaker. I was contemplating the Eurotank pot, but I think not having those two extra gallons of space will limit me. And if I'm gonna do it, might as well do it right! Whoot!
I have been looking long an hard for a keggle set up, and cage, but have not had much sucess (any suggestions). But this is where I stand right now. With Blichmann in my sights.
 
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jacksonbrown

jacksonbrown

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See, that's my problem right now. I can't find a keg to save my life (or money in this case). Also, one of my big things is volume. I never really know what I end up with into the boil. I've tried a few systems that I just haven't felt worked too well. Not that it's effected my brews, but I'm kinda anal that way.
Any suggestions on where to find a keg?
 
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See, that's my problem right now. I can't find a keg to save my life (or money in this case). Also, one of my big things is volume. I never really know what I end up with into the boil. I've tried a few systems that I just haven't felt worked too well. Not that it's effected my brews, but I'm kinda anal that way.
Any suggestions on where to find a keg?
I'll preface my statement by saying that I'm not interrested in getting into an ethics discussion, and I'll hope that Mods will delete any posts that try and turn this into one.

I live in a small community, and usually can talk bar owners into a keg for the cost of the deposit (that is why they charge a depost).
Also, keep your ears open for weddings that may be attended by a "Friend of a Friend" sort of deal. Again, you'll want to pay the deposit on them.
 

McKBrew

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If you are looking for a guaranteed legal keg, check here. The price is decent. (Currenly out of stock straight sided Sanke Kegs, but they usually get new stock every week or so.)
 

kickflip_mj

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i just thought of a way to get a really nice keg but technickly its stealing.. just go into the liquor store and tell them the keg is for a wedding and youd like it to be in great condition, go pick it out with them and just dont return it.lol but this is comming form the guy who bought his from a brewery.
 
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Drive to local College. Find Frat house with most popped collars. Steal keg. It's not stealing if it's from a bunch of frat deusches. It's community service

*note, I do not diminish all fraternities and fraternity brothers. Just the stereotypical, collar popping, pink shirt wearing, date raping, type.
 

Gordie

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Finding sankes without larceny is a pain right now. A ton of them have been stolen and sold for scrap so the large breweries and keg service companies have been getting vigilant. I'm trying to track down a few to turn into fermenters. So I've done a bunch of legwork on legally obtaining some (I'm an executive at a wine company and a former prosecutor so I can't really go out pilfering beverage equipment and sleep at night).

You can buy new ones for about $160 to $215 or used ones for $80 to $100 if you can find them. The bear is the shipping cost. For shipping, they tend to calculate out to weigh 32-33lbs each.

Keep checking CHI Company ball lock kegs for sale, Home brewing and vending, beer kegs, Pepsi vending machines, flavor strips and vending labels (best price on-line) and also check the classifieds on ProBrewer.com: An Online Resource Serving The Beer Industry. If you can find someone on Probrewer who is close enough for you to drive to pick-up, that's probably your best deal.

For new kegs, the best price I found was from Schaefer. They're $157.50 plus shipping out of Buffalo NY.

SCHÄFER Container Systems - SUDEX KEG - classical stainless steel KEG

Gordie
 
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jacksonbrown

jacksonbrown

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So at $100-$150 for the sanke, and let say $35 for shipping, then I need a stand and new burner... How much can I really be saving? I guess that's still around $200. Then there's any labor on welding... Hmm... But I'm so lazy! What to do, what to do.
 

ShortSnoutBrewing

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What to do? Go weldless! Also, check with any local breweries and see if they've retired any kegs and would be willing to sell them. That was the route I took and it took maybe 1 hour of leg work on my part to find a brewery that does this all the time and actually has a waiting list for them (I didn't have to get on the list and picked up the kegs the same day).
 

FSR402

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So at $100-$150 for the sanke, and let say $35 for shipping, then I need a stand and new burner... How much can I really be saving? I guess that's still around $200. Then there's any labor on welding... Hmm... But I'm so lazy! What to do, what to do.
Then go with a weldless valve.

You really can't count the burnner and stand because you are going to need those no matter what way you go.
 
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jacksonbrown

jacksonbrown

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I have my one burner right now. But I was think if I'm going up, I would get a second one for keggles. But yeah, I might have to get a new burner for a keggle or the Blichmann.
As far as weldless... how else would I get the top off? And I really, really want a reliable way to measure my volumes.
I really appreciate all the input everyone's been giving here.
 

McKBrew

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There is a DIY thread somewhere that details the entire process of lid removal. I think Bobby M even has a video and designs for a jig to help do it. As far as boil volumes, you could easily mark 1G increments on a wooden rod or install a sight glass on a keg.

Note: I am not trying to talk you out of getting a Boilermaker. Honestly, if you have the money for it then do it!
 
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jacksonbrown

jacksonbrown

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I do have the dough, but if I can save that for other things, that's always good too. As I said, I'm a lazy man. The biggesy DIY I've done was my keggerator. I think if I can find a keg and get it all set up by Wed, then that'll be my route. But I want my next brew (next weekend) to be with the new setup.
 

Isley

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If you have an 4 or 4.5" angle grinder cutting the top out is a peice of cake. If you don't have an angle grinder you can pick up a cheap one at Harbor Freight that SHOULD (they are pretty cheap) last long enough to do the job.

Put a cutting wheel on it. Draw a 12" dia circle (find something to use as a guide of some sort to get a nice circle) with a sharpy marker. Follow your newly drawn line with the grinder. Use a flapper disk to clean the edge up.

Adding water to the keg beforehand really cuts down on the noise and makes cleaning up afterwards a snap.
 

Kulprit

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It is really very very simple to cut the top off a keg.

I was a bit intimidated myself - as I tend to over-plan when I do anything. After watching a few videos on it (watch Bobby M's video - it's great) we just did it and laughed at how easy it was.

Just get an angle grinder and a few cutting wheels and you will have it done in no time at all.

It's so cheap and easy I can't really see how anyone could justify spending all the money to get something else when these work just as well. Save the money for other upgrades!!
 

ShortSnoutBrewing

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And I really, really want a reliable way to measure my volumes.
Weldless sight glass is a reliable way to measure volumes. And as others have said cutting open the top of the kegs is ubber easy. I own close to no tools and have limited experience with the basics. I went out and got a $30 angle grinder and 20mins later had the top off.

Not only will you save some money, but you'll be proud using something you've made yourself!

:mug:
 

damrass

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You might also call up some welding shops and see if they will plasma cut the top off. Smooth cut, cheap, and quick.
 

rabidgerbil

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As to getting kegs, try watching craigslist...
I have picked up 7 in the last few weeks...

as to getting one converted, try checking with your LHBS,
I know mine does the work right there, but even if yours does not,
I bet they know someone who does...
 

ThreeDogsNE

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"You can buy new ones for about $160 to $215 or used ones for $80 to $100 if you can find them. The bear is the shipping cost. For shipping, they tend to calculate out to weigh 32-33lbs each."

The kegs have a following, but their cost advantage seems minimal unless you are lucky or stealing, and can keep the labor costs to a minimum. I don't have a plasma cutter, but do have a drill, so I got kettles. You might want to consider these:

Update International 100 Qt. Stainless Steel Pot with Sandwich Bottom - UPI-SPS-100 - SPS-100 at Wares Direct

Northern Brewer and Midwest sell them as Mega Pots with various pre-drilling options, Their false bottoms fit perfectly in mine, purchased from the above site for $166 that day.
 

BrewBeemer

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So at $100-$150 for the sanke, and let say $35 for shipping, then I need a stand and new burner... How much can I really be saving? I guess that's still around $200. Then there's any labor on welding... Hmm... But I'm so lazy! What to do, what to do.
Check your larger local bars to find which days the big 5th wheel keg bier drivers deliver and meet them. Even ask the bartenders what days their bier drivers arrive. No harm asking the drivers if they have any damaged, hope not you want straight kegs and ask if they have any odd brand kegs. A same time next week meeting thing. They might work with you on an exchange for a couple of 6 packs of their choice or brand of bier. I've found a couple cool drivers in my area that have given me straight clean undented kegs in exchange for mixed 8 packs. They didn't have to do this so I go out of my way to add a special variety 6 pack in their cabs every so often as a extra thanks. I've been given three other kegs the last 6 months free. This without any money exchanged not wanting drivers getting into company trouble.
Call it respect for how they've helped my hobby needs. Off brand and stray kegs they've collected at times on their daily route can become available. If you get a no try other brand drivers, most are great people if you tell 'em what your intended use plus state your in no hurry you can wait when "extra or odd brand kegs come along". I see the average price of used kegs has gone up beyond what my wallet can afford not counting adding shipping another deal killer to your bier budget. Use the saved money for other needed brewing items. Best of luck.
 
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jacksonbrown

jacksonbrown

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If you have the money then Boilermakers are hard to beat. Before I would consider the 10 or 15 gallon I would consider the 20 gallon for the small increase in price.
Why's that? Just for larger 10 gal brews (ie for safety's sake)?
 

rabidgerbil

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Why's that? Just for larger 10 gal brews (ie for safety's sake)?
I think his point is that, for a fairly small increase in price, you would have increased capacity. Having extra head space in a kettle is no problem. If
you want to do a five gallon batch in a 20 gallon kettle, you can, but if you
have a big party or something coming up, and want to do 15 gallons in a 20
gallon cooler, YOU CAN.
 

WBC

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Why's that? Just for larger 10 gal brews (ie for safety's sake)?
Both, if I'm spending $310 then $90 more gives me space to not have boilovers and bigger brews if I need the space. It's the last boiler you would ever have to buy.
 
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jacksonbrown

jacksonbrown

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Yeah, I see what you're saying. It is only a $30 difference. I see your new toy is the 27 gallon fermentor. Sweet. I love new toys.
 
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jacksonbrown

jacksonbrown

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Here's another one. Somewhere earlier in the thread someone suggested the 50L Eurotank, but I dismissed it. What about the 100L? Still cheaper than the Boilermaker, and it does seem to have a volume measure on the side. Is that correct? Anyone know if those are good measures?
 
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