Converting A Commercial Beer Keg For Biab?

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einnebcj

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Hi all
Can possibly get hold of a couple of cheap commercial beer kegs. Am I right in thinking you can just chop the top off one of these and then use it as a kettle to boil for BIAB? If so, anything I should be aware of/look out for etc etc.
Had a quick look around for info for this but most threads seem to be about converting such kegs for other forms of AG brewing.....
CheersChris
 

Arghonaut

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Nope, no good for BIAB, you need a special type of metal for BIAB so the bag doesnt explode. Just put them in a box and post them to me and i will take care of them for you. :ph34r:

Doesnt matter what style of brewing you are doing, the fact you are boiling wort in some way doesnt change :)
 

Lord Raja Goomba I

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...anything I should be aware of/look out for etc etc.

If they're legal.

You could either do it for BIAB, or if you've got an esky big enough and can afford 2 food grade buckets and a tap from Bunnings, you can mash in the esky, lauter and sparge in the lauter tun you make from the food grade buckets and tap, and use the keggle for boiling water (for mashin and sparge/mashout, then wort). Linky to pics of thread.

Either way, it will suit the purpose - just make sure it's legal.

Goomba
 

bignath

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Hi all
Can possibly get hold of a couple of cheap commercial beer kegs. Am I right in thinking you can just chop the top off one of these and then use it as a kettle to boil for BIAB? If so, anything I should be aware of/look out for etc etc.
Had a quick look around for info for this but most threads seem to be about converting such kegs for other forms of AG brewing.....
CheersChris

As per Goomba's advice....make sure they're legal.

Kegs make awesome brewing vessels for a number of reasons.
they are strong, have handles already, easy to convert with taps and elements and all that stuff (or just throw them on top of a gas burner), and the concave shape of the bottom makes it impossible to screw up your whirlpool.

Seriously thinking about converting one i have used for other purposes before into another single vessel rig at the moment.

Cheers mate,

Nath
 

einnebcj

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Deal done - 2 kegs for $20.....all above board! Now....who can tell me how to cut the lid off? Time to do some research on cutting the top and putting a tap in......
 

QldKev

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As the rest said, they make excellent vessels. The shorter ones are a bit wider and I think are better for brewing in. I completely cut the top of mine, removing handles etc to make it as small as possible. Here's a of one of my systems, basically a BIAB with RIMS.

Remove the spear, plenty of videos out there.

I just followed the weld around the top where the upper section joins the body to remove all the upper section. This means no edges to get in the way when lifting the bag out. A lot of people just run the grinder from the top facing downwards using the edge as a guide. This leaves the handles etc intact. Which way you prefer is up to you.

Then just cut the top where you want to using a grinder and a 1.0mm stainless cutoff wheel. You may need a couple of disks for the job, but Bunnies sell a pack of 10 for a bit over $10.

QldKev
 
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jaypes

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Deal done - 2 kegs for $20.....all above board! Now....who can tell me how to cut the lid off? Time to do some research on cutting the top and putting a tap in......

I seen a pic on a us home brew site that used an angle grinder, he mounted a bung on the handle and pushed it into the keg hole at he top. He then used the angle grinder as a compass and cut out the top
Nifty work

I am sure it was the northern brewer
 
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Deal done - 2 kegs for $20.....all above board! Now....who can tell me how to cut the lid off? Time to do some research on cutting the top and putting a tap in......

Hi I have a PLASMA cutter that will slice through the top of your keg like butter with a hot knife. I'm at Reynella / Morphet Vale. Give me a call . 0429811773 Old Fart's Brauhaus.
 

bruce86

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Set a pot lid on top trace around it with a texta then using the lip of keg handles as a guide use a grinder with a cutting disc on it. Don't force the cutting disc do in a few runs.
 

Robbo2234

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I cut the whole lot off! I didn't want the bag catching on anything.

IMAG0202.jpg


but I made my own lid too!
IMAG0201.jpg
 

einnebcj

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Hi I have a PLASMA cutter that will slice through the top of your keg like butter with a hot knife. I'm at Reynella / Morphet Vale. Give me a call . 0429811773 Old Fart's Brauhaus.

Awesome! As luck would have it, the kegs are at Osullivan beach! I am heading down there Sunday to pick them up so Ill give a call (can't at the moment) tomorrow and see what we can arrange - if that works for you.
 

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spog

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Awesome! As luck would have it, the kegs are at Osullivan beach! I am heading down there Sunday to pick them up so Ill give a call (can't at the moment) tomorrow and see what we can arrange - if that works for you.

if you are considering useing a lid,go to kmart look in the kitchen area for a large glass pot lid (they sell them seperately) and use the li
d o as a template for the cutout.
but first place a screw driver over the ball valve then a towell over that and push down slowly to relieve the pressure in the keg. remember you are thinking about cutting into a pressure vessel
cheers...spog.....
 

einnebcj

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I cut the whole lot off! I didn't want the bag catching on anything.



but I made my own lid too!

Nice Robbo. How'd you make the lid? Is it just a circle of 'tin'? Does it sit on top of the keg ie - slightly bigger than the circumference? I'm guessing a lid would be basically useful to bring the temp up quicker?
Also, last question, can someone point me in the right direction for a tap and the process for installing?
Thanks for all the help guys!
 

manticle

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but first place a screw driver over the ball valve then a towell over that and push down slowly to relieve the pressure in the keg. remember you are thinking about cutting into a pressure vessel
..

Glad someone said it.

DON'T just cut straight in with plasma cutter or angle grinder. Release the remaining pressure first.

Personally I kept the existing handles and used an angle grinder - more than neat enough but I do suffer from the occasional bit of botulism.

An example of keg spear removal is here and includes suggestions on removing pressure: http://www.aussiehomebrewer.com/forum/inde...;showarticle=34
 

katzke

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I did the standard cut a circle in the top and can say it works great for BIAB as long as you cut as large of a circle as you can get a lid to fit. Mine worked out to about a 3 cm lip and used an enameled lid from a canner. Not sure where you can find a donor lid. Some use the part that was cut out and either with scrap or other source of stainless weld tabs on to keep it from falling in. The lid does not need to be tight like a cook pot. Only there to help keep the heat in when raising temp and keep out what ever you cover the kettle with when you mash.

A plasma cutter is best if the operator knows how to use it for clean cuts. Next choice would be the grinding disk. Last choice would be a saw. If the plasma operator is good you should not need to do anything to clean up the cut. Any other way you will need to file and sand the edge so you do not cut the bag. I have used the last 2 methods so far. Have talked to lots of brewers who have had them plasma cut.

Last note on plasma cutters. Put some water in the bottom. I have heard that not doing so will make clean up a chore.
 
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