May 2 2009

Keggle Update 5-3-09: The Welding is Done

Well, the welding is done on the keg.  I decided to stop homebrewing momentarily until I had done the basics to the keggle.  


The top has been removed with a plasma cutter (although some more sanding needs to happen):



The welding of the two couplings was been done for the spigot and thermometer, and I put them on with a little teflon tape:



I filled it with a few gallons of water and it did not leak.  I’ll need to put some ice water in it eventually to insure that the thermometer is properly calibrated.


The keggle will still require some cosmetic work, some sanding and minor fabrication for a way to better pull the cooled wort off the bottom.  Despite that, I am jonesing to use this new toy, and I will likely brew with it tomorrow morning.  


I think I will christen it with a big, hoppy, west coast IPA.  


Is the whirlpool chiller far behind?


Apr 21 2009

I’m Done Homebrewing

…until the f’ing keggle is done.

I bought an old keg from Starr Hill last year, and I still haven’t gotten the top cut off and the nipples welded on in order to turn it into a brewing pot (or keggle). I’ve ordered the parts and hopefully I will get this done next week.

I currently brew with a 7 gallon aluminum pot, which has been OK for many years, but it doesn’t give me a lot room for error when brewing a 5.5 gallon batch, and it doesn’t have a spigot so I’m always having to lift the pot up or siphon to get the wort out of it. The conversion of the keggle will give me a 15 gallon pot, the ability to simply pour the wort out, I can weld a thermometer permanently into the side of the keggle, and I’ll have just about everything except for the March pump to make a whirlpool chiller later in the year.

We’ll see what difference the keggle will make to my batches. Changing an element in your brewing set-up can cause some profound changes in the final beer. I expect that the evaporation rate will be higher from the boil, and I will have to sparge longer than usual in order to have the volume to lose. But that might bump up my efficiency, too.

We will see, but I had to drawn a line in the sand. And if I *can’t* brew until the keggle is done, then it will get done. Soon.