Posted: October 26, 2011 in Equipment

I got this key from ebay for $80 incl shipping.  I cut the top open with an angle grinder.  After I did this, I found a suggestion online to fill it with water to absorb the sound.  Man I wish I found that a day or two earlier.  It was crazy loud while cutting.  My brain was itchy when I was done.  The sight glass is from and the weldless valve was from NorthernBrewer.

I had to make a little heat shield for the sight glass due to the heat of the propane burner.  I just took a piece of thin sheet metal and bent it into a shallow box, then screwed it into the skirt at the bottom of the keg. It makes a huge difference.  With my handheld temp probe I measured ~400F next to the shield during boil and under the stainless elbow for the sight glass measured ~250F.  Pretty significant.  However, this is essentially at the limit of the polycarbonate sight glass.  Too much exposure and this thing will start warping big time.  I have brewed a few times with it and so far no warping.  I am in the process of converting to electric which will eliminate this risk.  I used the leftover sheet metal to make a splash shield for the pump (you can see it in my brewstand pic).

Installed the electric heating element and RTD temp probe.  Also made the probe cable using the wire and connectors from Auber instruments.

Leak tested overnight with not even one drop.  I have been putting this off because the thought of punching a 1-1/4″ hole in the side of my keg terrified me.  It was easier than I thought it would be.  I am very happy now.  Once the control panel is finished I can finally light this up and start brewing again!

  1. Kurt says:

    The Panel looks great! How much is Abita paying you for the shameless product placement?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s