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Cutting a Keg

Hi All, for those of you who have taken a keg/half keg and turned it into a brew pot, what did you use to cut the hole in the top? I don’t want to make it harder than it has to be, but I have access to a plasma cutter and a knowledgeable person to do the cutting.

Angle grinder with a cutting disk worked fine for me. I put water in the keg so hot debris wouldn’t stick to the bottom. Finished the sharp edge with a grinding disk. Best to have a few cutting disks handy.

I used a Dremel with metal-cutting wheels - cheap and easy, but really noisy.

Do you think a sawzall with an 18tpi blade would work providing there’s a steady hand?

Can’t see how you would start the cut with a sawzall, but if you got it going with a cutting wheel first, then the sawzall will work.

[quote=“Steppedonapoptop”]Do you think a sawzall with an 18tpi blade would work providing there’s a steady hand?[/quote]That is what I used. First I made a slot with a die grinder. Then I cut aroun with the sawzall. It took only a couple minutes but it was loud as all get out and I really had to man handle it to keep from getting hurt. Then I cleaned up the edge with a right angle grinder and a flap wheel.

I used an air powered die grinder

Personnaly I wouldn’t use a sawzall. I think it would take a lotof clean up with the angle grinder to get a nice round hole.

Anything that you have already will work. But the plasma cutter is “supposed to be” the best.

i used a plasma cutter but make sure you put water in the keg first, otherwise the slag will stick to the inside of the keg.

my vote is plasma. sawzall sounds like pure hell

Plasma cutter is the way to go. Drill a hole in the top first so the air has a place to escape. Then use a grinder to clean up the cut. Will take about 5 mins to do the entire job.

I built a simple jig to hold my angle grinder. Just slide it into the neck of the keg and spin it in a circle while the grinder cuts. Makes a nice clean circle.

I used a sawsall with a metal blade. Then I used a dremel with a sanding stone to take off the sharp edges, Worked like a charm.

I posted the same question last year and had all the same great responses. I ended up having a neighbor that had a plasma cutter at his shop. He cut them free hand and touched up the edges with a grinder. Turned out perfect! I don’t think he put any water in the bottom and I didn’t have any problems with clean up. Get some PBW once your done and let it soak…cleans it right up.

Plasma cutters are great, if you have access to one. I used a grinder with a reinforced cutting disc (0.45). I would recommend a faceshield if you go with any abrasive. SS can throw off some nasty burrs.

Be sure to release the pressure and remove the top of the keg before starting. Use a rag and a big screwdriver to push down on the ball (Senke type kegs) to blow out the CO2. The rag is to keep you from getting a face full of beer if any is left in it. Then remove the snap ring to take out the rest. Use caution when doing any of this.

I also used a Sawzall. Drilled a hole inside the circle I marked on the top then with a few blades, some cutting oil and a lot of noise cut the hole. Used a file and a grinder to smooth it out. A plasma cutter would have been nice but I went with what I had on hand and it didn’t turn out too bad. Find a top first and make a template so your opening will work with it.

The deposit on a keg does not give you the right to use it for a brew pot so let your conscience be your guide. Kegs can be legally obtained in scrapyards and dealers but I would guess most of them “disappeared” from a beer company.

I used the same method Baratone Brewer mentioned on wed. There is a you tube vid out there, You make a very simple jig, and i believe it is a 2" hole saw cutter that fits perfectly in the keg. Then attach your grinder to the jig, I had the lid off in under 10 Minutes. Also wear EAR PLUGS.

[quote=“drexelbrew”]Also wear EAR PLUGS.[/quote]Yes, definitely. The keg reverbrates the sound waves and makes a very harsh noise that is tough on the ears.

Gents, great input! Plasma seems to be the way I go. A big 10-4 on water in the keg.

Now, for the ball valve fitting.

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