Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Phase 4: Buff Your Keg

You can "buff your keg" and you can buff your keg.

Please "buff your keg" on your own time.

I've already written about polishing your keg, but this phase was also the time to figuratively bedazzle the kegs as well. Doing this involved a few neat little accessories...

Sight Glasses - Thanks Bobby_M! Who wants to get up on their tippy toes whenever they're curious how much water left they've got in their HLT? Or maybe the sparge has stuck. Sight glasses let you tell how full your keg is from afar. Bobby_M has got these great little glasses pre made and ready to go. Drill a whole, affix the glass, and calibrate your measurements.

Thermocouples and Compression Ports - You have to get a few special O-rings for this one, but they're cheap. You could even let me know, and I'll send you a few if you need. I've got some extra (23 to be exact). Again, drill, affix, jab in your thermocouple, and tighten 'er down. Link up with a Auber PID Controller and you're ready to rock and roll.

Valves - Gotta have valves. You've got that pump, now use it! I made sure to put a valve in between my disconnects and my kettles where it connects below the liquid line. If I need to change a hose, I don't want boiling water shooting out everywhere. That would be bad.

This stage is probably the easiest. Polishing is easy, but time consuming. Valves, ports, and glasses are all easy to install, but there's a lot of drilling involved. If you value your bits, use a few to get up to your hole size. Don't just start drilling a 1/2" hole with a 1/2" bit. I started with a 1/32" and worked my way up from there... (1/32 to an 1/8 to a 1/4 and so on). Also, watch out for your belly-button. Make sure you use a lot of oil as well. You need lubricant. Not for "buffing your keg" (well maybe, but that's not my point), but for keeping your bits sharp while drilling your holes.

It's been a long road! Don't slack on small things just because you've been working on it so long. You're almost done!

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