DIY Keg kit - will this work for me?

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misterl
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DIY Keg kit - will this work for me?

Post by misterl » Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:22 am

Hi everyone!

I've got a 15 gal keg that I'd like to turn into a still. My plan is to buy this particular DIY kit and thought I'd check and see if anyone had any thoughts before I placed my order.

Here it is:

https://www.olympicdistillers.com/shop- ... ll-diy-kit

Thanks!

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Re: DIY Keg kit - will this work for me?

Post by Bushman » Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:42 am

It looks like a complete set for a pot still but there is nothing there that you can’t buy at a Home Depot or Lowes for a lot less except maybe the tri clamp. Especially since you still have to do all the soldering.

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Re: DIY Keg kit - will this work for me?

Post by Jack C » Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:08 am

I really think I would read up on some of the builds here on this site and buy the parts needed. You will save some bucks, learn a lot and have fun.

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Re: DIY Keg kit - will this work for me?

Post by Windy City » Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:30 am

Bushman wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:42 am
It looks like a complete set for a pot still but there is nothing there that you can’t buy at a Home Depot or Lowes for a lot less except maybe the tri clamp. Especially since you still have to do all the soldering.
Totally agree with Bushman and you can get the ferrule here

https://stilldragon.com/2-copper-ez-flange.html
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Re: DIY Keg kit - will this work for me?

Post by StillerBoy » Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:33 am

misterl wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:22 am
My plan is to buy this particular DIY kit and thought I'd check and see if anyone had any thoughts before I placed my order.
Go ahead and place the order, but you will still have to solder it.. so.. if you take the time to rethink the idea base on what has been recommended, the purchase will still have an inferior column setup at double the cost of purchasing the required parts yourself..

It has been recommended that you research first, and that is a wise recommendation..

Further recommendation is to research how to operate the unit once built, what are the option for power, what are the required other tools to operate the unit, etc..

Mars
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Re: DIY Keg kit - will this work for me?

Post by Twisted Brick » Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:52 am

StillerBoy wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:33 am

It has been recommended that you research first, and that is a wise recommendation..

Mars
+1

Kudos for starting out with the keg for a boiler and skipping a smaller boiler that may need upsizing before long.

One of the things you will learn is speed limitations of a liebig 30" short. Take a look at the liebig length most use on kegs here.

Also note that +90% of builders don't install a copper ferrule at 4-5x the cost of a stainless steel ferrule. I find it curious that Olympic Distillers polished up the riser in the kit photo to make the stainless ferrule look like it might be copper. Hmmm.

Just a thought, but you could get the 2" pipe from a scrap yard along with a 2" elbow. (Both of these are common sizes and plentiful at my scrap yard). The benefit of doing this is the ease of upgrading the liebig down the road to a faster condenser. All of the liebig fittings should be available at the scrap yard for cents on the dollar. Not counting the cost of solder/flux/torch, one could put this kit still together for less than half of the price quoted.

https://www.glaciertanks.com/tri-clamp- ... -g200.html

https://www.glaciertanks.com/tri-clamp- ... m-200.html

https://www.plumbingsupply.com/copper.h ... ngcoupling
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Re: DIY Keg kit - will this work for me?

Post by Truckinbutch » Mon Aug 03, 2020 7:41 pm

Good advice all way round . If you got to DIY then DIY from start to finish .
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Re: DIY Keg kit - will this work for me?

Post by misterl » Tue Aug 04, 2020 7:42 am

Thanks for all the helpful replies.

My apologies for not mentioning this already, but because of my current situation, I'm limited to only being able to order supplies online (I can't leave the house, go to stores, etc.).

I had originally thought about doing a complete DIY build when I still had access to the local stores, etc., but without being able to shop for supplies in person, I've found I'm pretty limited in what I can source online. That's why I figured the DIY kit might be a better option.

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Re: DIY Keg kit - will this work for me?

Post by misterl » Tue Aug 04, 2020 7:43 am

In terms of power, I was planning on going with a 4500w 240v heating element and controller. I was considering getting this one (again, an online purchase out of necessity):

https://moonshinedistiller.com/distilla ... oller-kit/

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Re: DIY Keg kit - will this work for me?

Post by seabass » Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:07 am

I'd get the element housing and controller kit from still dragon. If you do that, you can just get a standard camco 5500w element for cheap. Getting a housing kit or element that comes with a wiring enclosure makes things much easier. Also look at the dernord elements on Amazon. Many have the screw on enclosure.

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Re: DIY Keg kit - will this work for me?

Post by misterl » Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:27 am

Hi Seabass - thanks for the reply. I'll check out that controller option instead. If I can manage to find a column that makes sense to order online, that is!

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Re: DIY Keg kit - will this work for me?

Post by seabass » Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:33 am

You could also go the sanitary spool route. No soldering required for the column, only for the condenser. A 12in spool with 2 90deg spools connected to a liebig condenser will give you all you need.

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Re: DIY Keg kit - will this work for me?

Post by misterl » Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:53 am

Interesting... I haven't come across anything about sanitary spools in my research. Would you happen to know a good place online to get something like that?

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Re: DIY Keg kit - will this work for me?

Post by Tummydoc » Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:55 am

The element enclosures are nice, but a bit of a hassle and if you're moving your keg to empty, the electrical cord is a pain. If i could start over, i would have gone with the Dernord elements with 3 prong L30-6P lock connection and put the female end on my line out from the controller. Look at Dernord part#DNCA150123

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Re: DIY Keg kit - will this work for me?

Post by StillerBoy » Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:11 am

Tummydoc wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:55 am
The element enclosures are nice, but a bit of a hassle and if you're moving your keg to empty, the electrical cord is a pain. If i could start over, i would have gone with the Dernord elements with 3 prong L30-6P lock connection and put the female end on my line out from the controller.
Having worked with both, each have their own inconvenience..

The element enclosure is the better of the two, cause it only a few second to remove the element out and install a cap to close the opening, if one needs to clean the boiler..

As the Demord element, one has to be very careful not to hit or bend any of the prongs, as they are easy to damaged..

Mars
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Re: DIY Keg kit - will this work for me?

Post by seabass » Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:35 am

StillerBoy wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:11 am
Tummydoc wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:55 am
The element enclosures are nice, but a bit of a hassle and if you're moving your keg to empty, the electrical cord is a pain. If i could start over, i would have gone with the Dernord elements with 3 prong L30-6P lock connection and put the female end on my line out from the controller.
Having worked with both, each have their own inconvenience..

The element enclosure is the better of the two, cause it only a few second to remove the element out and install a cap to close the opening, if one needs to clean the boiler..

As the Demord element, one has to be very careful not to hit or bend any of the prongs, as they are easy to damaged..

Mars
There are a few different models. The one I'm referring to doesn't have the male 3 prong attached. It has a screw on wiring cover with a wire gland. My current setup is one of those with a male locking plug attached. Best of both worlds. It connects to the keg with a triclamp, has the wires covered, and has less than a foot of cord sticking out.

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Re: DIY Keg kit - will this work for me?

Post by seabass » Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:37 am

misterl wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:53 am
Interesting... I haven't come across anything about sanitary spools in my research. Would you happen to know a good place online to get something like that?
Check out glacier tanks site. They have a lot of different sizes. A spool is just a pipe with triclamp ferrules already attached to both ends.

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Re: DIY Keg kit - will this work for me?

Post by misterl » Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:42 am

seabass wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:37 am
Check out glacier tanks site. They have a lot of different sizes. A spool is just a pipe with triclamp ferrules already attached to both ends.
Looks like a good resource! Thanks!

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Re: DIY Keg kit - will this work for me?

Post by misterl » Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:45 am

So, it sounds like, while perhaps not ideal due to the short column height, I could make the DIY kit posted above work?

I'd definitely be open to other options that might be a better fit, but kind of seems like I'm pretty limited with DIY options only ordering online.

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Re: DIY Keg kit - will this work for me?

Post by Tummydoc » Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:16 am

Yes it will work and get you going.

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Re: DIY Keg kit - will this work for me?

Post by misterl » Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:03 am

Tummydoc wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:16 am
Yes it will work and get you going.
Thank you.

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Re: DIY Keg kit - will this work for me?

Post by NineInchNails » Wed Aug 12, 2020 8:20 am

I have a good amount of experience soldering stainless ferrules to 2" copper pipe (building a shotgun condenser) and had persistent issues with leaks. I highly recommend getting copper ferrules instead of using stainless ferrules. Once I thought I had the leaks fixed, I would blow steam through it to clean it and it would 'ping' and start leaking again. I spent more in solder than copper ferrules trying to fix it. Once I swapped out stainless with copper ferrules, it soldered up 100% on the first go and no leaks ever since. I have had no issues soldering stainless to stainless. I built a stainless dephlegmator with copper pipes, had slight leak issues, but puddling the solder over the joints solved that quick.

I use this Dernord element with guard. It's the best bang for your buck. I haven't found anything better for the price.
Last edited by NineInchNails on Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: DIY Keg kit - will this work for me?

Post by Expat » Wed Aug 12, 2020 9:33 am

NineInchNails wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 8:20 am
Once I thought I had the leaks fixed, I would blow steam through it to clean it and it would 'ping' and start leaking again. I spent more in solder than copper ferrules trying to fix it.
I believe your issue is with technique. I've done dozens of stainless copper connections without a single leak. You need to ensure that the stainless connection surface is wetted with solder before even looking at the copper. Once you've done that, the connection is to the solder surface and no different to doing any copper connection.
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Re: DIY Keg kit - will this work for me?

Post by NineInchNails » Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:01 pm

Expat wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 9:33 am
NineInchNails wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 8:20 am
Once I thought I had the leaks fixed, I would blow steam through it to clean it and it would 'ping' and start leaking again. I spent more in solder than copper ferrules trying to fix it.
I believe your issue is with technique. I've done dozens of stainless copper connections without a single leak. You need to ensure that the stainless connection surface is wetted with solder before even looking at the copper. Once you've done that, the connection is to the solder surface and no different to doing any copper connection.
Interesting. I never heard that before. I always thought it just had to be sanded, clean and had to be fluxed well for solder to flow. So tin it first. That makes perfect sense, thanks! I'll remember that next time.

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Re: DIY Keg kit - will this work for me?

Post by seabass » Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:14 pm

Interesting. I've never tinned it. Also haven't had much trouble with leaks. It always leaks the first time, then I reflux and slowly reflow it heating mostly the stainless without overheating it and it holds.

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Re: DIY Keg kit - will this work for me?

Post by Twisted Brick » Wed Aug 12, 2020 1:50 pm

Expat wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 9:33 am
NineInchNails wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 8:20 am
Once I thought I had the leaks fixed, I would blow steam through it to clean it and it would 'ping' and start leaking again. I spent more in solder than copper ferrules trying to fix it.
I believe your issue is with technique. I've done dozens of stainless copper connections without a single leak. You need to ensure that the stainless connection surface is wetted with solder before even looking at the copper. Once you've done that, the connection is to the solder surface and no different to doing any copper connection.
Same here. I've soldered dozens of stainless ferrules to copper pipe without a leak. Yes, I am anal about my process: I sand both mating surfaces deeply and clean with alcohol before applying flux. The critical part (IMO) is heating the whole joint gradually, and when the flux gets hot enough to burn and turn black, apply more flux. I use Harris Stay-Brite 4% silver solder and Sta-Clean liquid flux and haven't had to pre-tin any surfaces.
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