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SS fittings on Aluminum Kettle?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by jbakajust1, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. jbakajust1

    jbakajust1 Moderator (545) Oregon Aug 25, 2009 Staff Member

    Is it possible to use SS fittings with an Aluminum kettle? I have a chance to get 2 15 gallon Al kettles, but need to install ball valaves and thermometers, as well as sight glasses on them.
     
  2. bgjohnston

    bgjohnston Savant (360) Connecticut Jan 14, 2009

    If you are not planning on welding them on, it should work out fine.
     
  3. Doesn't SS and aluminum seize together?
     
  4. milliCAN

    milliCAN Aficionado (190) Indiana Feb 23, 2013

    S.S. and aluminum will eventually seize together. You can get away with a liquid tight seal that's not under under too much pressure. I would seriously avoid using s.s and aluminum together especially if there is any chance of monetary loss if it fails.
     
  5. jbakajust1

    jbakajust1 Moderator (545) Oregon Aug 25, 2009 Staff Member

    What about brass? If I were to use weldless fittings, could I use brass fittings in conjunction with aluminum pots, or will I have the same issues?
     
  6. WickedSluggy

    WickedSluggy Savant (435) Texas Nov 21, 2008

    Save your allowance for stainless steel. Sankes arent that expensive. Maybe try that route.
     
    milliCAN likes this.
  7. milliCAN

    milliCAN Aficionado (190) Indiana Feb 23, 2013

    The only recommended material you should technically use in junction with aluminum is aluminum. The only real loophole is to use a PVC bushing in between the aluminum and ball valve or thermometer. The problems with PVC is the obvious like not being able to get it too hot, it's brittle, very easily gulled threads, etc.

    That's bummer with all of these aluminum kegs laying around. Hell, I have a few laying around here that are just hanging out. You can get aluminum pipe nipples on amazon but you would be restricted with what valves you use. Aluminum ball valves are insanely expensive.

    One solution is to find some large bore stainless steel pipe and have a bottom welded on the bottom and build off of that.
     
  8. jbakajust1

    jbakajust1 Moderator (545) Oregon Aug 25, 2009 Staff Member

    How do I get my hands on a Sanke legally? ie, without paying a deposit on a keg and never returning it or "buying" a keg from someone who has done that.
     
  9. Talk to a local brewery and see if they have any decommisioned kegs. They always have some with damage that will not be used again. Will probably sell for scrap value or slightly more. Take some homebrew along when you negotiate, or pick up, or both.
     
  10. barfdiggs

    barfdiggs Savant (420) California Mar 22, 2011

    If you dont get one from a brewery, Stout Kettles and Tanks has new Sanke Kegs for Sale:

    http://conical-fermenter.com/products/kegs/
     
  11. jbakajust1

    jbakajust1 Moderator (545) Oregon Aug 25, 2009 Staff Member

    Thanks, looks like I will be contacting Ninkasi about those. I also sent an email to AB since I have family in California Bay Area.
     
  12. Mine were bought from pico and Sabco. You can see where one had a hole welded and ground down. No problem for a converted keg. You might need to take it to a welder if the keg has a hole, but it is the correct thing to do it this way.
     
  13. Not to resurrect the thread from hell but, either way, you would be in possession of a stolen keg. I got mine from Stout Tanks.
     
  14. jbakajust1

    jbakajust1 Moderator (545) Oregon Aug 25, 2009 Staff Member

    That was my point, how do I get a Sanke w/o stealing one or buying a stolen one.
     
  15. Buy it from a the brewery or from a reputable source - Stout Tanks, for example. In my case, I researched the brewery whose name was embossed on the keg. They had closed up shop years ago.
     
  16. Used kegs in good condition are on thing that a start up will be after if another brewery goes under. Know a guy who bought at auction close to 300 kegs from a place that got padlocked and auctioned off. His new brewery owns those, even if those are embossed with the old name. I am sure he will have paint or stickers for his new place on the kegs.

    Just saying that kegs can live on after the original brewery goes under.
     
    pweis909 likes this.
  17. Naugled

    Naugled Savant (490) New York Sep 25, 2007

    I have one Al kettle with SS weldless fittings. Works fine.
     
    bgjohnston likes this.
  18. pweis909

    pweis909 Advocate (715) Wisconsin Aug 13, 2005

    Was wondering about the same thing - other breweries taking charge of kegs from out-of-business breweries.
     
  19. WickedSluggy

    WickedSluggy Savant (435) Texas Nov 21, 2008

    You can buy them all over new or used. The required due dilligence to ensure that you are not receiving stolen property is really up to you. The prevailing attitudes may have changed, but the brewing community used to expect that you should attain a high level of certainty that a keg was legitimately obtained when the keg came from a craft brewery. And if the keg is stamped Anheuser Busch, you should comfortable buying it from a guy in an alley who gets your attention with, "pssst hey buddy". I'm not a cop or an angel sitting on your shoulder. You have to live with your own actions.

    One of mine is a used AB keg that I purchased from a local welding shop. They finished it out per my specifications, and I paid cash for it. I did not grill them on how they obtained it, but I "assumed" it was obtained legitimately. I paid $150 for it. That's pretty cheap, but I'm not losing sleep over the possibility that it was a non-returned keg purchased at a garage sale. I used to be kind of lazy, myself on returns. I had two of the cheap barrell style kegs sitting in my garage for 10 years. I don't even remewmber where they came from. My wife sold them at a garage sale. I don't think either of us thought a thing about it at the time. I don't think I'm going to hell over that particualar infraction either.
     

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