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Thread: Beer keg steamer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    McLean, VA, USA
    Posts
    39

    Default Beer keg steamer

    I'm gearing up to start bending frames for my Washington County peapod. For the steam source I'm going with a 5 gallon beer keg and removed the ball valve apparatus. The flange has an outer diameter of 2.5 " and the inner diameter of the opening is 1.5". My question is in regard to the plumbing. Radiator hose doesn't come in sizes to fit over the flange. Is the answer to simply shove a hose with a 1.5" outer diameter? Do I drill a separate hole for the steam outlet, put a hose in and use something as a loose plug for the central opening? Thanks for suggestions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Bainbridge Island WA
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    5,182

    Default Re: Beer keg steamer

    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Hafner View Post
    Do I drill a separate hole for the steam outlet, put a hose in and use something as a loose plug for the central opening? Thanks for suggestions.
    That will work. It also lets you monitor the water level in the keg (use a dipstick) and add more as needed without disturbing the steam outlet. I like to keep the steam-generator end of the apparatus pretty tight to maximize the amount of steam moving through the box.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Wongawallan Oz
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    17,028

    Default Re: Beer keg steamer

    You may be overthinking it Gordon, it doesn’t need to be pressurised or anything, just get the steam into the box by any means without a long run and if need be wrap any leaks with rag. I use a bit of extractor fan conduit just sitting over a hole in the top of an old gas bottle and poked up through the base of the steam box



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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Walney, near Cumbria UK
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    59,349

    Default Re: Beer keg steamer

    I would drill for the steam outlet and drive a wood plug into the original hole. Then drill the bung for a pipe down to near the bottom of the keg, with a tundish on top for refilling it as the water boils off.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Riverside, RI, USA
    Posts
    154

    Default Re: Beer keg steamer

    I made a similar setup with a keg, but wound up grinding the entire valve off so there was just a gaping hole in the top of the keg. Then I snagged a flange from a big box store that would cover the hole and fit my radiator hose, and just screwed it into the top of the keg. I put a rubber seal between the keg and the bottom of the flange, some cheap thing I found in the plumbing section.

    There's a picture in this post here (might need to zoom in): http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...94#post6017794

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Seattle, W.A., U.S.A
    Posts
    306

    Default Re: Beer keg steamer

    Rather than go through the process to convert an beer keg it may be easier to just find a metal gas can. They work very well as a steamer an I have used them for a number of planks in commercial work. We usually have used a scrap length of exhaust hose for the steam to box connection. I have also had great success steaming in bags and many may find that to be the better option.

    Nicholas

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    N.E. Connecticut.
    Posts
    7,322

    Default Re: Beer keg steamer

    I use an old 35 lb propane tank. I will say that when I filled it with water to gas free it and start working on it the whole area smelled like rotten eggs.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Benfleet Essex UK
    Posts
    526

    Default Re: Beer keg steamer

    I used to use a stainless steel beer keg as a steamer, just unscrewed the valve assembly & bodged a bit of 1 1/4 pipe to fit the hole. A lump of 4x2 jammed across the top with a cut out for an old aluminium broken mast section. Wrapped it in carpet to keep the heat in.
    Fired by a large propane gas ring it worked really well.
    Good thing about Beer kegs is when you have finished steaming things they make excellent barbecues!

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