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Old 07-27-2010, 05:07 PM   #1
Islandboy85
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Default Hot liquor tank/fermenter keg

I'm thinking about using my last keg I have laying around the house as a fermenter, but I also need a better HLT than a bucket or the beat up cooler I have now. My thought was to use the keg as a hot liquor tank which would effectively sterilize it as a fermenter or pretty close to it. Since I don't yet have a March pump, I want to use CO2 pressure to transfer the sparge water to my mash tun. I have two options:

Option one which would also be handy during fermentation costs me $79+S/H
http://www.brewershardware.com/images/P/F1.jpg

My second option is to use a standard sanke tap which would run me anywhere from $25-$40 depending on where I buy it. I would then simply ferment with a large rubber stopper and an airlock.

I figure that I'm having to pressurize the tank enough to pump the sparge water about five and a half feet up, maybe a bit less. I'm not sure how much CO2 pressure it takes to pump water that high or if my first option could handle it. Which do you think would be the best method for me to use?

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Old 07-27-2010, 06:13 PM   #2
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I'm thinking about using my last keg I have laying around the house as a fermenter, but I also need a better HLT than a bucket or the beat up cooler I have now. My thought was to use the keg as a hot liquor tank which would effectively sterilize it as a fermenter or pretty close to it. Since I don't yet have a March pump, I want to use CO2 pressure to transfer the sparge water to my mash tun. I have two options:

Option one which would also be handy during fermentation costs me $79+S/H
http://www.brewershardware.com/images/P/F1.jpg

My second option is to use a standard sanke tap which would run me anywhere from $25-$40 depending on where I buy it. I would then simply ferment with a large rubber stopper and an airlock.

I figure that I'm having to pressurize the tank enough to pump the sparge water about five and a half feet up, maybe a bit less. I'm not sure how much CO2 pressure it takes to pump water that high or if my first option could handle it. Which do you think would be the best method for me to use?
I've got the Brewers' Hardware fermenter - It's freakin' Awesome! Highly recommended.

I personally think it's a bad idea. I don't know how much pressure it'll take to move water up 5', but I'm going to guess it's a lot. Also - You're talking about heating water in a sealed vessel - That lowers the boiling point of the water, and you could wind up in a very dangerous position long before you expect it. Another Sanke would be a lot safer IMO - Spend the $80 on the new sanke to cut, and use a carboy cap as your fermenter cover. It's not as friggin sweet as the BH Fermenter cap, but it'll get you up and running, for about the same $$, without the dangers of making a pressure cooker out of a container rated for 65 PSI.
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Old 07-27-2010, 06:21 PM   #3
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I was not planning on heating it with it sealed. I realize that it would be hard to reinstall the spear with a hot keg to use the sanke coupler. That is why I thought about using the first option from brewshard because I would only have to attach a triclover clamp.

My other option would be to heat the water in my boil kettle, gravity feed to my HLT, pressurize the tank, and then pump it up to my mash tun.

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Old 07-27-2010, 06:26 PM   #4
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I was not planning on heating it with it sealed. I realize that it would be hard to reinstall the spear with a hot keg to use the sanke coupler. That is why I thought about using the first option from brewshard because I would only have to attach a triclover clamp.

My other option would be to heat the water in my boil kettle, gravity feed to my HLT, pressurize the tank, and then pump it up to my mash tun.
I don't see why that wouldn't work.
But honestly, it sounds like a lot of work and complication to get hot water into a MLT.

Do you use a 3 tier rig? Or 2?
Can you re-arrange for the HLT to be above the MT? Gravity is free, and doesn't require CO2

I'll shut up now...
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Old 07-27-2010, 06:30 PM   #5
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Right now I use a whatever tier...I'm using my apartment balcony, so it's really a two tier. I like the idea of a gravity fed three tier, just not having to hot water seven feet off the ground...of course that may just be paranoia.

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Old 07-27-2010, 06:51 PM   #6
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Right now I use a whatever tier...I'm using my apartment balcony, so it's really a two tier. I like the idea of a gravity fed three tier, just not having to hot water seven feet off the ground...of course that may just be paranoia.
Have you thought about a "Beer ladder"? I've seen a few here, and it might be something that would work for you, and break down for storage quite well.

Honestly, there's no reason you can't use CO2 to push sparge water uphill. But, I've never seen it mentioned here. It could be a first! Let us know how it works

OTOH, a pump isn't much more expensive than the $90 fermenter cap
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Old 07-27-2010, 06:55 PM   #7
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Yeah, I know a pump isn't much more... my other thought is that I could simply use an air compressor instead of CO2 also. Some day I WILL have a pump. It sure will make the whole mash easier.

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Old 07-27-2010, 06:58 PM   #8
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Yeah, I know a pump isn't much more... my other thought is that I could simply use an air compressor instead of CO2 also. Some day I WILL have a pump. It sure will make the whole mash easier.
An air compressor would work too, but be aware of the oil and water. Thar be nasties in that there hose...
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Old 07-27-2010, 07:00 PM   #9
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It's an oilless compressor and it has an water/oil separator on it. I think that should get it...the CO2 may be a safer bet.

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Old 07-27-2010, 07:04 PM   #10
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It's an oilless compressor and it has an water/oil separator on it. I think that should get it...the CO2 may be a safer bet.
I'm pretty sure it would be...
Even if you had med grade filters installed, the hose is anything but clean (If it's anything like mine are)
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