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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > keg as primary fermenter?
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Old 12-09-2006, 11:26 PM   #1
runhard
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Default keg as primary fermenter?

There are way too many bright people on the forum for me not to ask. I'd love to buy one of Yuri's fermenters but I bet the line is standing room only and I'm not sure how many he is making. So, I was thinking of trying to convert a 15.5 gallon keg I picked up at a garage sale into a fermenter. I have two problems, I only MIG weld so I'll have to pay someone to do some welding but I think some homebrew will work as payment for one gentleman I found. I will use the racking port assembly that will rotate but I've got one problem or question. With a conical, one simply opens the valve and you can drain the trub and yeast. Then continue to ferment as a secondary and finally rack off with the other valve when secondary fermentation is complete. If I convert a keg, how would you recommend draining the trub? I haven't come up with anything and am looking for suggestions.

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Old 12-10-2006, 12:24 AM   #2
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Why don't we lobby the people that make Better Bottles to make 7.5 gallon carboys ? 2 of them would be equivalent to your Sanke kegs. 7.5 gallons would allow some headroom and 6 full gallons after racking. 7.5 gallons is a lot easier to move and heat than 15 gallons.

If we wanted to really get sophisticated, we could ask them for 7.5 gallon conicals. I'd like the same neck as their BBs so that they could be pressurized for pressure racking/filtering.

I like my fermentors to be clear so that I can see what is going on.

I fermented in Corny kegs for a while. I didn't like not being able to see, the pickup tube was always the wrong distance off the bottom and 19L is way, way too small, especially for a primary fermentor.

Just my $0.02.

I thought about using Sanke kegs being that I have a few of them. 15 gallons is too big for most of my batches.

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Old 12-10-2006, 03:42 AM   #3
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You could recreate something like this that b3 sells:

http://morebeer.com/product.html?pro...ee0a9841a5fb4b

Basically, take a corney lid and put in in a sankey.

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Old 12-10-2006, 03:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drost
You could recreate something like this that b3 sells:

http://morebeer.com/product.html?pro...ee0a9841a5fb4b

Basically, take a corney lid and put in in a sankey.

Hi drost,
I was thinking of trying to make something very similar as what you linked to. I see it is a drop shipped item and my guess is that it is a SABCO product. I will gladly sacrifice a beat up Cornelius keg for this project but I'm still needing some suggestions on how to remove the trub after primary is complete. Since I picked up a used keg for next to nothing and I already have a converted keg kettle I thought that I'd see what I could design or reverse engineer from what you posted. Any ideas for dealing with the trub? Thanks, Jeffrey
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Old 12-10-2006, 03:55 PM   #5
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The MoreBeer.com site has the following to say about the ?SABCO? product.

"The top part of a standard corny keg is welded onto a stainless steel commercial Sanke keg, along with two ball lock fittings - one gas and one beverage. The lid alows for easy access into the keg for dry hopping, cleaning, etc. The keg is pressure tested and the included relief valve is set to release at 50 psi. The beverage out ball lock is attatched to a length of tubing that runs down the side of the fermenter, acting as a sight gauge. This sight gauge is connected to a racking arm that enables the user to pull a sample of the beer for testing, or to remove the trub and yeast for later use. "

I'm just wondering if that racking arm will really allow for removal of the the trub and yeast. Any thoughts or gut feelings on that? I just know that it seems awfully small diameter pipe for a trub slurry and sometimes depending on what I'm brewing that trub can seem like it is pasted to the bottom of my glass fermenters.

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Old 12-10-2006, 05:08 PM   #6
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runhard,

You're right, it is the Sabco product, they're just reselling it.

The small diameter of the tube may be an issue, but could you 'flood' it to thin out the trub, then force it out?

It would be nice to be able to hook CO2 in, and force the fermented beer out, if your dip tube were above the trub. I guess I want it both ways! 2 beer 'outs' with one to the bottom to push trub, and one to push beer!

Just a thought...

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Old 12-26-2006, 05:33 PM   #7
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I've got one of those without the sight gauge. I just cut an inch off of the down tube and I get clear beer (after an intial purge, which I use for my TG)

I ferment in a chest freezer so its nice to be able to just push into the corny's with CO2 (no lifting)

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