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Keg boiler bottom drain?

Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby jake_leg » Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:02 am

I am converting a keg to an electric boiler. Anybody put a drain in the bottom rather than the side? Pros/cons? Apart from having to prop it up somehow.
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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby FullySilenced » Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:07 am

Like these Feet and Drain?
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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby Prairiepiss » Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:11 am

I did on my brew kettles. I welded 3 coupler nuts like you use for all thread. To the bottom. And I'm using carriage bolts for feet. I'm wanting to do the same on my still boiler.
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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby crozdog » Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:35 am

I flipped my keg over cause the rim at the top was larger than the one one the bottom. that gave more room for the bottom outlet. pics in this thread

viewtopic.php?f=43&t=482
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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby nwvapors » Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:22 am

I flipped my keg also, used the sanke flange for the outlet. I also did the same as PP and welded 1/2" stainless coupling nuts to the bottom on the outside with carriage bolts as adjustable feet. The bottom drain works well, nothing left in boiler afterwards. It allowed me to also weld whatever size flange (6") I wanted to the new top. The drain exits through the skirt with a 3/4" ball valve on the end.
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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby jake_leg » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:18 am

Thanks guys. Lots of good ideas, I like the carriage bolt feet especially. I am about to put drill to metal. I'll be soldering in spuds & will hit up Airgas tomorrow for flux.

Myles is holding out on me, I know he has a bottom draining keg but I can't find the pictures. :grin:
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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby FullySilenced » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:23 am

I added 3" swivel wheels to my metal feet since the photo.... FYI

FS
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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby Maheel » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:43 am

down side is you loose some height if your restricted by a ceiling in the shed etc
VM / Boka / ?
Shotgun Pot head
50L electric Kegs
and associated shed filling stuff......
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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby FullySilenced » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:46 am

20 foot of overhead clearance here ... not an issue for me...
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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby jake_leg » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:50 am

The extra height from the legs might actually be an advantage for me. I could use it as a HLT in a 2 tier brewing system, while still having all the vessels on the same surface. My garage roof is 6m up at the ridge so no worries on that score.

This method of doing legs looks pretty straightforward - just a couple of bolts each. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/sanity-check-206253/
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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby nwvapors » Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:09 pm

Here is a pic of mine.
I drilled the skirt with a 1" hole saw and then into the side of the sanke flange leaving the flange lip intact.
I inserted a 1" ss tube through skirt and int theflange and welded the tube into place from inside the sanke flange.
Then welded a 2" tri-clamp cap onto the lip of the flange sealing it off. A little extreme but I was dead set on having the
tube exit the skirt and not underneath of it. Pure aesthetics. :roll:
Much easier you could buy a tri-clamp cap pre-drilled for 3/4" or 1" pipe and use stainless plumbing from there.
Then a simple gasket and tri-clamp would do the trick or have the cap welded to the flange and be done with it. :smile:
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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby hard times » Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:27 pm

No bottom drains because I wanted to be able to run electric
or gas.
I do have 2 element holes in the side of the bigger keg.
I tip and flush.
I use a small electric pressure washer to do my bigger cleanups.
I can use either keg as a boiler.
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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby FullySilenced » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:26 pm

What nice legs.. and fence post cap tops?
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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby nwvapors » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:05 pm

punkin wrote:You can still do it with gas, it just needs to be either welded or screwed. Triclamps won't work as the clamp heats up...


gasboiler4.jpg


I know it's a bigger boiler, but it's still a 2" ferrule.


That is why I welded mine, had to notch the ring on my burner to accept the drain line though.
I still fire electrically most of the time but it is nice to have options.
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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby jake_leg » Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:54 pm

Some very elegant solutions. Those through-hull drains must cost a packet. I was just solder in a weld spud and go street elbow - long nipple - valve all in 1/2". I don't see much point in going fatter because the waste has got to go through 50' of garden hose out to the drain.
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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby jake_leg » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:42 am

Dont get me wrong, I think it is extremely cool. I have seen similar tank connectors sold as stainless urinal waste. Actually I wouldn't mind knowing how you managed to screw it in, you must have a wide port on the top?
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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby myles » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:48 am

jake_leg wrote:Thanks guys. Lots of good ideas, I like the carriage bolt feet especially. I am about to put drill to metal. I'll be soldering in spuds & will hit up Airgas tomorrow for flux.

Myles is holding out on me, I know he has a bottom draining keg but I can't find the pictures. :grin:


:smile: Not deliberately, just been busy. Yes I did do this and with compression fittings for a no weld option, just like my element bosses. I did not need to use the special "Essex flanges" for the drain because I could get my hand inside the keg through the big hole before I fitted the element bosses.

I just used a standard "through hull" or as we call it in the UK a TANK CONNECTOR. :grin: The only difference was that I threw away the 2 synthetic washers and replaced them with a pair of hand cut copper washers. 1 washer on each side of the stainless and lots of pressure leads to a leak free joint. I admit that I did use silicone sealant on the OUTSIDE of the keg just to seal the threads on the backing nut.

OK pictures.
100 litre keg.jpg


and the keg taking a leak!!!

Keg Drain.png


No fancy legs on mine though just some bits of timber nailed together to make a solid wood base. OH and I did turn the drain 180 degrees so I could have the elements available for replacement more easily.
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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby jake_leg » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:55 am

myles wrote:I just used a standard "through hull" or as we call it in the UK a TANK CONNECTOR. :grin:


OOf, kick me in the gut why don't you. :teasing-tease:
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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby myles » Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:17 am

I like these sort of connectors. I have one of these in the 2" size at the top of my VM column. I fitted it into a 3" end cap, soldered it to the cap and then soldered the cap to the column.
Image

The Essex Flanges are a very clever alternative because the rear flange is in 2 parts and is split so it can be inserted from the outside of the tank. The rear flange is a separate piece to the body of the fitting.
essex1.jpg


You make a hole just big enough to get the body through by rotating it so the lugs go in 1 at a time (retaining it on that wire loop thing) then drop it into the keg so you can get the rear flange and washer onto the body, before pulling it back through the hole to fit the front washer and backing ring. Some of them have a compression fitting built in so you can connect a tube directly to the fitting.

Others like my element bosses have an internal thread.
Image

and assembled
Image

There are different gasket options available. I am using the SX version which is good to 120 deg C and suitable for solvents, glycol, bio-diesel etc. In the boiler I have no concerns, but it is easy to replace these with soft copper washers if you like.

Best bit is these threaded versions are available with an internal thread up to 3" BSP. How's that for a no weld option? If you can get the bits welded that is probably a better option, but for the paranoid DIY'er these are an option.

Going back to the drain though, if you are using gas you probably have to weld, and you can take the drain through the centre of the burner and then come out sideways under it.
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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby Mr Four Square » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:58 pm

http://www.trademe.co.nz/home-living/party-festive-supplies/other/auction-559518610.htm

image.jpg



Found this simple design for a keg burner stand but it would work for a drain stand too
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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby Tracker » Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:04 pm

Good easy stand to produce but with the ones I have made/used it burns cleaner if you can have air entering the circle at multiple places, rather that just where the burner passes through the rim. Reduces a lot of soot deposits (insufficient air flow) is what I have found.


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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby jake_leg » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:02 am

So I ended up getting a 3 piece 1" NPT ball valve. The least-parts way to connect it would be to solder the back part directly to the keg bottom but it would be a bit awkward to reach. :think:

1" locknut or spud would also be easy to solder. Another option would be brazing a 1" triclamp ferrule with 56% Ag. I've way overheated stainless in the past trying to get that done so maybe I'd need to practice a bit first.
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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby FullySilenced » Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:10 am

Jeez Coop you just got home last week.... :crying-yellow:
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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby FullySilenced » Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:22 am

Well Heck.... love on em while you can..... 8-)
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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby jake_leg » Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:36 am

Looks good Coops! That way of attaching legs through the rims is great.
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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby hard times » Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:33 am

Very nice Coop!
I bet we'll be seeing legs on a lot of keg boilers soon.
I put mine on after seeing olddogs rig, his is built with
legs and has a tabletop and wheels.
It also a has different style drain you'll recognize.
I'll see if I can find a picture of it, It was nice.
Somewhere I saw a highly polished electric keg with
oak legs, I looked cool also.


Best I could do was on this thread on AD.

http://www.artisan-distiller.net/phpBB3 ... 833#p75833
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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby Squint » Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:13 am

started like this
bottom of boiler.jpg

Finished like this
Boiler 001.jpg
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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby Stainless dude » Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:30 am

Nice work on your boiler coop.. Looks very clean and tidy, I like it :handgestures-thumbupright:
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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby jake_leg » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:10 am

I went with a 1" triclamp ferrule. This is how I soldered it in.

I had the idea to swage a stub of 3/4" pipe to a make a horizontal flange on one end. I fit this flanged copper nipple into the keg with the flange inside the bottom and the stub poking out. Then I fit the 1" ferrule on the copper stub, and soft soldered.

My copper smithing is nothing special, but with repeated annealing and bashing with a hammer I got something that looked like this. It needed a lot of filing and sanding to fit inside the ferrule.

swaged.jpg


Sanded and cleaned the ferrule and around the hole in the bottom of the keg, inside and out. Threaded a string from the keg opening down to the hole in the bottom, and used it to sling the copper stub down through the hole. Slapped a bit of flux around. Put the ferrule over the stub and pushed it down. Stuck a bit of pipe down through the keg opening behind the stub to push the ferrule all the way down. Applied a propane torch to the inside of the copper stub and completed the joint with 4% silver solder. Neatened up afterwards by brushing round some extra flux.

Here's what it looked like immediately afterwards. The burnt flux is a JL signature. Not genuine unless present.

shite.jpg


I'm pretty happy with the joint because it looks stronger than a butt solder joint and I avoided inflicting my bad hard soldering technique on the keg. Here it is cleaned up.

niceynice.jpg


I need to put in one more hole for a thermowell, then it's time for the legs. Can't do the Cooperville thing very easily because it's a Coors keg with bulgy sides.
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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby hard times » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:28 am

Could something like a barrel dolly be used in your aplication Jake?

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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby jake_leg » Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:49 pm

I'm going with the PP coupling nut / carriage bolt combo. It's an opportunity to try out stick welding but I'll probably chicken out and solder it :lol:

I'd love one of those dollies for moving my fermenters around.

The boiler is just about finished. It's got 2x 1/2" locknuts for the temperature probe and sacrificial anode, 1x 1" locknut for the element, and 1x 1" triclamp ferrule on the bottom for a drain. Pretty chuffed, it's taken me ages farting around trying one thing, trying the next thing after a 2 week ordering delay etc. The soldered locknuts look fine but if I did it again I'd probably go with spuds. They cost a little more but the soldering looks quicker and neater. At least when Bobby does it.


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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby jake_leg » Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:25 am

So I got some jumbo coach bolts and coupling nuts. Trouble is they are zinc plated. Any idea how I attach them to the keg? Should I burn the zinc off first?
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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby acfixer69 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:37 am

jake_leg wrote:So I got some jumbo coach bolts and coupling nuts. Trouble is they are zinc plated. Any idea how I attach them to the keg? Should I burn the zinc off first?


Grind it off and then keep your face out of the fumes.

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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby jake_leg » Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:32 pm

Thanks AC. :handgestures-thumbupright:
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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby Zymurgy Bob » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:33 am

Or drop it in hydrochloric (muriatic) acid. Outside. And stand back!
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Re: Keg boiler bottom drain?

Postby jake_leg » Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:18 am

And then use the killed acid as flux to solder it! Genius. :)

Actually I've decided to grind the plating off then weld with 308L sticks. The ones I have are I think 3/32. This will get ugly but I have to start somewhere. I'll practice on some scrap first. Suggestions are very welcome.
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