Adding Tap To Kettle

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Can anyone give me a few hints and tips for adding the tap to a kettle (converted keg). Are there any tricks I should be aware of ? I don't want to stuff the whole project by doing something dumb.

Also what type of tap should I use?
One thing which you should do is have a length of tube on the inside of the kettle also which you can fit a screen of some type onto for when you use whole or plug hops. Without a filter for them the tap will be useless.
But without the screen pellets are fine. Also if you don't have a screen you can syphon from the top when using whole flowers to avoiding blocking up everything.
This is what i do for whole hops.

Here's a pic of two types of taps i have.
Sorry not a very good pic though

Hi Wax,
I might be able to help you if you are using a bulkhead fitting and not welding.

What I found after a lot of stuffing around that if you drill (or have drilled) a hole that is very close to the size of the bulkhead thread fitting and use a stainless steel washer each side of the kettle under each nut and apply some food grade silastic to the surfaces of the keg and then tighten the two nuts REALLY TIGHT it works a lot better than mucking around with rubber washers that get hot and go soft and allow the whole lot to turn if you are not careful.

Now dont panic about "food grade" sealer just use the silastic that is recommended for fish aquariums and it works fine.

You will need to use a couple of big spanners on the nuts and tighten the bejeesus out of 'em after assembling the lot with the washers and the silastic.

I originally had rubber washers on my boiler and had trouble with the lot turning and leaking. I now use that vessel as my HLT cause it doesn't get as hot and have used the above method on my boil kettle with excellent results.

When fitting the bulkhead threaded tube just ensure that it is protruding at least 6" or 150mm from the kettle and the lower edge of the kettle (keg) is not cut away or the fitting is near any holes around the bottom edge of the keg.
The reason for this is so that flames from your gas burner dont "lick" out of the holes and heat up the ball valve.

I used stainless steel bulkhead tube and nuts and stainless ball valves but I notice some use brass, I guess the choice is yours!
I hope this has been of some help,
This is how I did it Wax,
I used 1/2' stainless tube with 25mm or so of thread each end , you can buy threaded brass tube , maybe easier for you.
I made up rubber washers , you can see by the pic that after a few brews they were getting hot and smoking a bit , I made a little gaurd , works well.
I bought the stainless washers
Looks like most has been said already while I was mucking about with this post

Here's the inside , I have a stainless braid screen I put on for plugs , pellets are OK without it , and they tend to block the braid a bit

As Jayse said keep the ball value away for the heat it has nylon seats inside

I know hop stains in the kettle , will get scrubbed before the next boil
Thanks chaps that's a great help.

I'll post some pics when it's complete.
Just found this thread in my search for the best way to convert my keg. One last question - what have people found is the best way to drill a 1/2 inch hole for a stainless bulkhead, metal hole-saw, drill-bit or something else?

use a drill bit on a very slow setting.
Start the hole small and build up to the 12mm...

can use some water to help cool the drill bit down.
You want the bit to cut - not heat up and burn...

Hope this helps
Hey Batz!!

Who wrote the book on dirty kettles.

You'll never walk alone ;)

Warren -
(Where's that scourer) :lol: :lol:
Not having a hole saw, and not knowing what I was doing, I found it easiest to punch a small depression, drill through with about a 5 mm pilot hole followed by about a 10 or 12 mm drill bit, dribbling motor oil on the bit to cool it. The 12 mm bit grabbed as it broke through and nearly ripped my arm off, leaving a jagged nasty mess (on the keg). Then I cleaned and enlarged the hole with a round and half round ******* file. As an unskilled metal worker I found filing easier and quicker than drilling as long as I wore hearing protection.

Hmm, actually maybe this is more of a "how not to do it" post.
I used a hole saw , but mine is a good quality one , not a cheapy from Bunnings etc

I have used it to drill 6 holes now , very slow speed and plenty of cutting oil

That's a bit hoppy in there as well Warren
Is it just me or am I the only one not to have a 12mm hole. I am using half inch BSP thread and I reckon the hole is more like 20mm.

There are some closeup's at: brewpot

That is an aluminium stock pot but I pretty much went the same route with the SS keg I recently converted. I don't have pictures handy but well, there are only so many ways you can put a hole in a keg.
That's it sosman
me too
Now the first thing you need is an Aluminium kettle and a tapered reamer.

question without notice from the tool challenged - tapered reamer?
Fish said:
Just found this thread in my search for the best way to convert my keg. One last question - what have people found is the best way to drill a 1/2 inch hole for a stainless bulkhead, metal hole-saw, drill-bit or something else?


I used a Dremmel, actually a supa-cheap-auto one (about $40 with heaps of fittings)
Used the little cutting discs to cut the hole, then grinding stone to make the hole nice and round, then the sanding disc/belt to polish/smooth the edges.
All done in around 10-20min.


You must have had better luck than me. I got one of those Dremmel wannabes. Mine was an Ozito from Bunnings. I've had nothing but trouble with the ******* since I bought it. The variable speed switch never seems to work properbly and it doesn't always come on when it's supposed to. :angry:

Was your's an Ozito?

Warren -

mine's not an Ozito, can't remember the name off hand but it was from Supa Cheap Auto, came in a plastic box with holder, flexible extension and heaps of fittings for about $40.
Mine has been well worth it's cost as I've done a bit of grinding and polishing of Stainless Steel welds, cut and ground the hole in my kettle and several other bits and pieces. It is by no means a heavy duty bit of kit though. I take it easy and only use light pressure when cutting and grinding as you can hear the motor loading down.

I did my second boiler with a dremel tool.
For the tap I placed some masking tape where I was going to put the hole for the tap and drew around the tap to get the size of the hole I needed.
I then used my power drill to drill a pilot hole then increase the size of the hole until I got to my biggest drill bit size.
Then I used the dremel tools grinder wheel to expand the hole to the markings on the tape for the size needed for the tape.
Total time about 15 mins.

I lashed out the other day and bought a 22mm (7/8ths actually) Morse USA hole saw with built in arbor and pilot drill - $30 so its not cheap but will cut a nice hole for my 1/2 inch SS ball valve and spigot that GMK is sending me.
What's the go with the cutting oil - can you get this stuff from Bunnings?

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