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Old 01-14-2010, 10:51 PM   #101
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dang it! im already half built one.

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Old 01-19-2010, 06:34 PM   #102
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Picked up 2 used Sanke kegs from the scrap metal yard yesterday...only $23 each! And today I ordered two of these kits. Can't wait to ditch the glass carboys, and go entirely with stainless fermenters. I weighed out the pros and cons, and it seems like the right way to go.

Pros:
- Can heat sanitize a keg with steam OR boiling wort ala no chill brewing - (I plan to boil 2 gallons on my HLT burner in a keg to sanitize, while the boil is going)
- Not breakable
- 15 gallon capacity means one keg to one batch, and only needing to clean one fermenting vessel per batch.
- Can do a pressure transfer to kegs with CO2 adapter
- Can easily harvest yeast by lowering the racking cane
- All stainless construction completes my stainless brewery

Cons:
- More difficult to clean and/or see what needs cleaning. Carboys can be visiually inspected easily.
- Cost is greater: 2xCarboys = $80. Sanke keg + Conversion kit = $90-110
- Cannot see the fermentation (when fermentation begins, when krausen falls, etc.)
- 10 gallons in one vessel is harder to move around than 2 carboys.

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Old 01-19-2010, 06:49 PM   #103
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I saw this sanke fermenter conversion which is quite a bit more work than Derrin's but alleviates many of the cons. http://forums.morebeer.com/viewtopic...13712&start=30 this is probably the route I am going to follow (as the top is already cut) and it seems like it does the same thing but allows you to see all inside the keg and clean it out nicely. Derrin's contraption is really amazing though and I would have a decision had my top been in tact but if you have a keg with the top cut off already, this seems very viable.

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Old 01-19-2010, 06:55 PM   #104
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im getting to polished collage kegs from my buddy for making him 5 gallons of nut brown ale. he has a kegerator so im just gonna put it in a cornie and give him my co2 to use. its only costing me 25 bucks to brew it. i just need to order those fermenter adapters and ill be set. then i can sell all this glass i have.

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Old 01-19-2010, 07:45 PM   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
And today I ordered two of these kits. Can't wait to ditch the glass carboys, and go entirely with stainless fermenters.
Welcome to the club!

After using the sanke kit for 5 batches now, I can make the following suggestions/recommendations:
  • Do ensure the cap is completely centered on the flange (to cover the spiral ring notch). I did a poor job centering the lid on my last batch and had a small leak that prevented pressure buildup (after 24 hours). I now apply 1 psi of starting pressure to check for leaks.
  • The flare fitting nut only needs to be hand tight. If you're fermenting under pressure (like me), you'll need to get the nut hand tight plus 1.5 full turns to safely hold 1 bar (14.5 psi). In that case, you'll destroy the soft silicone o-ring and I recommend using an extra hard (90A durometer) o-ring.
  • You'll inevitably get wort/gunk buildup in the top welding seams. I found it hard to clean and was worried about it compromising the welds over time (years), so I applied a tiny bit of JB weld to form a hermatic seal.
  • To avoid trub pickup, I recommend attaching a racking cane tip. After cold crashing, I almost completely avoid yeast pickup and only lose ~0.5 gallon of wort to the trub on a 5 gallon batch (racking cane fully extended).
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:51 PM   #106
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I've made about 4 batches using Derrin's setup. Since I've adopted a single fermenter no secondary approach, it's great. Cleaning is done courtesy of oxyclean. I use a mirror on a stick to peer in the top after rinsing. I wish i had not actually cut the top off my other spare keg so I could use two instead of one. Carboys are relegated to 5 gallon batches and the keg fermenter gets the 10 gal. brews.

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Old 01-21-2010, 03:32 PM   #107
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Someone PMed me, so I thought I'd post up here. I've now put 4 full batches through my two fermenters, and numbers 5 and 6 are currently chunking away. I'm completely happy with my purchase. The adapters make low-pressure racking to keg a breeze, and the adjustable racking cane makes it stupid simple to save and/or wash your yeast.

I built a washer to help ensure the kegs are 100% clean inside, and also so I don't need to mix up 15 gallons of PBW. It's also set up to do carboys or corny kegs:


Anyway, I've been constantly singing the praises of this setup. After seeing it in action I convinced TwoHeadsBrewing to build a keg washer, and as you can he above he picked up two adapters from Derrin.

Saturday or sunday I'm going to be pulling a sample from a pale ale, and if it looks ready I'll keg it and try to get some pictures.

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Old 01-21-2010, 04:55 PM   #108
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Do you have a breakdown of the kegwasher? Is it just a sump pump in a bucket or is it a little more complex than that?

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Old 01-21-2010, 05:48 PM   #109
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I would love to see some more details on your keg washer as well...it looks very interesting.

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Old 01-21-2010, 06:07 PM   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyBeer View Post
I would love to see some more details on your keg washer as well...it looks very interesting.
I just built one exactly like it...and it works beautifully. Fill the bucket with hot water and PBW/OxyClean and leave it for a couple hours. Rinse with hot water, and you've got a sparkly clean vessel with no scrubbing. Caspio posted a build thread in our local home brew club forum with details: http://www.chicohomebrewshop.com/for...6&p=1223#p1223
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Last edited by TwoHeadsBrewing; 01-21-2010 at 06:10 PM.
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