Step 5: Drilling The Hole For The Ball Valve

I want to eventually add a pickup tube to this set up, so there needs to be some clearance to allow for this. I drilled my hole at 3.75" from the very bottom of the keg.  This is a pretty common placement for most kegs.  On my keg, this is about 1.25 " from where the skirt is welded onto the keg itself. 

Another thing to keep in mind when determining where to place your valve is the location of the keg vents. If you place it too close to one of the vents pictured, the flames could come through and heat the ball valve itself a little too much.  There should be 4 vents on your keg. I put my ball valve centered in between two of them.

While drilling the hole with the step drill it will get very hot. If you want your tools to last, make sure to use plenty of cutting fluid.  Just keep drilling with the step drill until you reach the 3/4" mark. Your weldless ball valve setup should fit right in.
<p>You didn't show how to install the ball valve.</p>
<p>To avoid (or at least minimize) getting sprayed, gently lay the keg on it's side when depressurizing.</p>
Great job - I like how you made a jig to cut a nice circle with the plasma cutter. I've always messed up my freehand cuts, so that is a perfect solution. I believe the jig could be modified to accommodate an angle grinder (maybe using one of the grinder's threaded handle mounting holes). <br> <br>I saw one video where they tied a rag over the valve and then released the pressure with a long screwdriver. <br> <br>Prost!
Nice instructable, I think you covered the basics here pretty well. <br> <br>I made a very similar with less sophisticated tools last year. I used a loop of string and a sharpie to mark a circle around the keg's valve. Then I used an angle grinder with a cutoff wheel and some patience to cut out the top. If you have a steady hand this actually works pretty well. I mention it because many of us don't have access to a plasma cutter, so we need to find an alternative solution. <br> <br>Also for others who might want to try this: I wasn't able to remove the valve on mine despite some hours of fiddling, so I left it in when I cut the top out. As long as you make sure the pressure is drained before cutting, this works out OK. <br> <br>One other thing I did which was very helpful is I made sure that the opening I cut matched the glass lid for my pasta pot (standard 10 inch lid I think). It's nice to be able to put a lid on the keggle while you are chilling/draining the wort. <br> <br>Lastly I'd reccommend getting a ball valve assembly with a pickup tube. This will help you siphon all the wort out down to about 1/2cm left at the bottom of the keg. Otherwise you will 'lose' some liquid below the level of your valve. <br> <br>Cheers

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