Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Brewery Equipment: Brew Keg

The final piece of the puzzle fell into my lap after I met a guy from my church who works for one of the large distributors in the county and told him about my brewery project. He said he has an extra keg I could have for free, so I hustled over and picked it up.

I learned a couple lessons from the first keg:
  1. Cut the hole in the top 12" in diameter so you can use a standard pot cover.
  2. Don't drill holes in a vessel if you don't truly need them, they are likely to leak.
  3. It takes forever to cut into a keg with a dremel tool.
With those lessons in mind, I used a clear pot cover from our kitchen to trace a circle just a bit smaller than the cover onto the top of the keg. I started the cut with a dremel tool just to get a grove going in the top, then switched to a 4 1/2" DeWalt grinder and finished it in about 5 minutes.

I also decided not to drill a valve into the kettle both so I wouldn't have to worry about leaks, and because I would feel safer cranking the heat up since I wouldn't worry about damaging the o-rings or valve.

The brew kettle is awesome, it heats up very quickly, the cover fits almost perfectly and it can handle up to 12 gallons of wort if I ever start doing 10 gallon batches.

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