Polishing your stainless steel beer making equipment
In a previous post we gave details on how we polished a stainless steel beer keg for use in home brewing with wet dry sand paper and Autosol metal polish. This post is to show you how we polished another keg or keggle, depending on your terminology, this time using polishing compound bars and finishing with Wenol Red metal polish. The technique took us about 1/3 the time, but the finish while bright and shinny, was a little more subtle than when we used the wet or dry sand paper routine.
In the first post about polishing stainless kegs, we wanted to do it by hand with no power tools. In this post we will use a Ryobi 18v cordless drill, a couple of spiral sewn buffing wheels and a Promo Buff Ball. The type of items you most likely have around or can readily procure most anywhere.
We used the same Black & Decker Workmate bench as the last time, opening it up enough so the keg when on its side could be easily spun to an un-shined spot. We then took a 4 inch spiral sewn buff wheel and raked it with a flat bladed screw driver. If your wheel was not raked before, you might want to do it outside as you will produce quite a bit of lint. Then at low speed we applied the brown tripoli compound onto the wheel. You do this by using light pressure. The friction will cause heat and thus get the compound onto the wheel. You don’t need a lot on the wheel. Then again starting on slow speed we lightly touched the wheel to the stainless steel surface. Increase your speed and work in a small area 8 inches long or so in between the ribs of the keg. You don’t need to put a lot of pressure on the wheel to see good results. Keep the wheel spinning and moving, not staying on the same spot long at all. In fact if you sense that the metal is getting hot or warm to the touch, let it cool and don’t apply nearly as much pressure and move faster. After you have gone the entire circumference of the keg, move to the next ribbed section, applying more compound as necessary until you have the keg completely done.
Next we prepared to go to the green stainless compound. You can either rake off any remaining brown tripoli compound you have on your wheel, or just simply go to another new wheel. Apply the green compound to the wheel as done above and polish the keg in a similar manner as before until finished. We then washed down the keg with warm soapy water, rinsed and dried with a microfiber cloth. By now you should have a nice bright surface.
Now to put the cherry on top of the cake, we used Wenol metal polish in the red tube. We applied polish to the tips of our nitrile fingered gloves and spread evenly over the whole section between each raised rib of the keg. We then put on a Promo Buff Ball onto our cordless 18v Ryobi drill and starting slowly so the polish did not splatter, increased the speed and buffed the keg to a really nice shine. We applied more polish to each ribbed section until the whole keg including the lid was shined. You should remove any excess polish and wash the keg with warm soapy water and rinse it thoroughly before using to to brew. Down the road as your equipment’s shine dulls down somewhat, you can easily bring back the shine with just another application of Wenol polish and hand buffing. Wenol has long been used in the restaurant business for cleaning and shining expensive professional pots, pans and catering equipment. If you are looking for Wenol polish click here to be taken to our recommended online supplier.