Saturday, June 14, 2008

Burner Modifications for Keggle Brewing

I've been brewing now for 2.5 years, and it only took one brew in the house for my wife to ask me to take it outside! So, I went and purchased a propane, 75,000 BTU turkey fryer with stainless steel pot. So far, that has worked perfectly to brew 5-6 gallon batches, and it has seen quite a few brew days. Several months ago I purchased a few kegs that had been damaged, and plan on turning them into a lauter tun and brew kettle (Keggle). I ran into a problem burner has a high center of gravity, only 3 legs, and oh yeah, the keg diameter is larger than the top of the burner! No problem, we'll just do a few mods and be right back in business.

First I needed to lower the center of gravity to make the stand more stable, so hopefully a keggle with 12 gallons of wort won't topple over. After looking the burner over (left) and taking some measurements, I determined 12 inches tall would be a good adjustment. I flipped the burner upside down and began measuring each leg, and marking it with a sharpie at exactly 12 inches. Then for the fun part, I pulled out the plasma cutter and got to work, cutting each of the 6 support rods to the proper, shorter length. This left me with 6 support rods, 12 inches long, and 3 'toes' that had been cut off (right). I decided to take advantage of the toes, and weld them back on to create feet for the structure, hoping to add stability too. To do that, I took each of the toes, and used a bench grinder to make a 45 degree angle where I wanted to weld them back on. The same was done to the rods still attached to the burner, so that when put together, the angles met. The burner was then flipped upright, toes put in place at the bottom of the support rods, the burner was checked to make sure it was still level and the toes were welded in place.

The last thing to do was increase the size of the burner top, so the keggle would sit on it securely. I took 3/8 inch rod stock and used the plasma cutter to cut 6 pieces 2 inches long, and rounded of any resulting sharp edges with the bench grinder. The burner was flipped back upside down, and the 2 inch pieces of rod were placed evenly around the outer ring of the burner and welded in place. The picture to the left is of the finished product. Still not as sturdy as it would be with 4 legs, but better than I stared with and a keggle will now sit on top!

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