Posts tagged ‘boil kettle’
So I got my keg yesterday and was so excited that I went straight to Lowes (after my free samples at New Belgium and a stop at Hops and Berries, of course) to get some supplies. I picked up three metal cutting blades for my angle grinder, two skinny cutting types and one fat for smoothing it all out, and also a 7/8 drill bit for my spigot. I was worried this would be a tough job, hence the three blades. I wasn’t even sure my drill bit would get through (it was the only 7/8 bit I could find, it was a Lenox bi-metal metal/wood cutting hole saw). But I worried for nothing. It was a piece of cake.
I looked up how other people had went about this task, and I got some good information from a couple places. Eric’s Brewing has good information on the process, as does Ronblog. There is even a set of YouTube videos by Yuri_Rage of homebrewtalk.com: part 1, part 2, and part 3 that are of some value although they move pretty slow. I also just found a cool jig Bobby M made in this video. Now, on to the process.
First, I put the cutting blade on the angle grinder and fired it up to see how it worked. I made a test cut on the inside of the top and to my suprise, it cut like butter. After I found that out, I just cut a series of straight cuts around the outside of the keg (guided by a circle I drew so that it would come out somewhat straight). After that, I switched to the thicker grinding blade and went to work rounding everything out and getting rid of any sharp points. It’s a little harder than I expected as far as this part goes, and I think that I will go get some fine sandpaper to finish off the job. Just 20 minutes after I started, I had a keg with a nice big opening in the top for some future brewing sessions
The next thing to do was to clean all the metal shards out of the keg. This turned out to be more laborious than expected. I don’t have access to a hose, so it was me, the kitchen sink, and a huge keg on the counter. I ended up mostly wiping it out with paper towels to get the metal shards out. I think maybe the bathtub would have been a better option.
Lastly, I needed to drill a hole for the weldless spigot I bought at Hops and Berries. By the way, this thing cost me $36, more than twice what I paid for the keg itself. 😦 So I marked out the midpiont between the two handles on top, and marked up about an inch from the bottom. I then traced the spigot and marked its center point. Then I sat on the keg to give it stability, and started drilling into it. I used a little water/dishsoap mixture to try to keep the operation cool. It was really no problem betting through. I still need to sand the edges around that, and then I will just screw on the assembly, and I’ll have a finished brew kettle.
The biggest problem is that my budget is quickly running out, and I don’t have a propane burner. So for the time being, I have an awesome keg, but no way to use it. Hopefully some funds will come my way soon.