So after the initial issues I had with cutting the top of the keg off, things actually came together very well in the end. Here is what I did:
After I drilled the hole in the side that was big enough for the 1/2 brass connector piece to fit through, I used the Teflon tape (yea it’s pink, so what?) to seal the threads. *I did not use the connector pictured because the non-threaded area in the middle made this too long. The one I used was the same thing only with out the non-threaded area in the middle.
From here I attached the 1/2in brass ball valve I got at home depot with a 3/4in brass washer and a #14 rubber gasket. On the inside of the keg, I used an old 1/2 to 3/4 in piece I had from a cold plate setup I took apart. I used this because with the washer, it was the only thing I had that was going to make the connection tight enough to keep the water from leaking. I used another 3/4 in brass washer and another #14 rubber gasket as well.
After a couple of tries with the sealing and re-tightening, I had it with no leaks so I left water in it over night. I also dealt with the sharp edges left from the cutting process with some coarse sandpaper I had left over. This was wood sand paper, but it really did a job on the keg and its all dull around the sides now.
From here is was just a matter of attaching the 1/2″ hose barb adapter.
As you can see, this is a huge upgrade in the size of my brewing operation.
I am waiting on the delivery of a thermometer for the keg that I ordered off of eBay. I will be sure to review the product and the seller as well as the installation.
I am brewing with the new setup next weekend so we will have to see how it’s going to go.