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Old 06-22-2011, 10:38 PM   #1
CheCulo
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Default Using Used Kegs as fermenters

I'm a brand new brewer.....haven't even finished a batch yet!!! I'm planning on using used 15 gallon kegs to ferment 10 gallon batches. Is this possible? Will the extra head space create problems? Will cleaning afterward be a pain in the a$$? Any assistance is much appreciated.

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Old 06-22-2011, 10:40 PM   #2
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lots of people here ferment in sanke kegs, I'm not the one but I seen few people do with good results.

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Old 06-22-2011, 10:46 PM   #3
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Fermenting in kegs kicks ASS... Headspace isn't an issue, it's a plus. You'll be able to use more active yeast there. You can also put 10-12 gallons of wort into the keg to ferment, getting 10 gallons out of it.

Get a keg/carboy cleaner (http://www.kegcleaner.com/ or http://www.carboycleaner.com/) to make cleaning them out easier. Otherwise, just hose them out, run PBW solution through them, and then sanitize before getting the wort into them. I would make sure you have someone/something to help you to move the filled kegs around though. At least to get them to where they'll ferment...

I've been fermenting in kegs for several batches now. I started with [4] 1/6 barrel, but now have a couple (2) 25L and one pony keg to use. I hope to have a 13.3 gallon keg to ferment 10 gallons in (a batch not yet on the books, but never hurts to be ready to brew it)... I've been brewing ~5 gallon batches so far. The extra headspace I have in the 25L and pony kegs means I can put more wort in there, plus not need to use blowoff tubes. Just fit the bung with an airlock and let it ride.

Enjoy fermenting in 1/2 barrel kegs...

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Old 06-23-2011, 01:05 AM   #4
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Im about to get a couple corny kegs that I'm going to use for secondary fermentation.

This will let me brew more batches since I only have 2 carboys to use for now.

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Old 06-23-2011, 02:14 AM   #5
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I have two corny's for ferment. I do leave a little head-space to allow for some breathing. I have a tube on the PR valve for over-excited beer. I don't PREFER this to my Conical, btw... It DOES work and it is VERY easy.

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Old 06-23-2011, 11:16 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone!! I was a little doubtful, now I'm psyched!!

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Old 06-23-2011, 12:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerman1957 View Post
I have two corny's for ferment. I do leave a little head-space to allow for some breathing. I have a tube on the PR valve for over-excited beer. I don't PREFER this to my Conical, btw... It DOES work and it is VERY easy.
What's the max amount of beer you can use in the corny? Do you have to have less than 5 gallons? I only plan on using them for secondary with an airlock and using my 6gal carboys for primary so I can see the action and have some extra room for krausen, etc.

Also, does using a corny for fermentation require any modifications that would make it non-usable as an actual keg later on?
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Old 06-23-2011, 01:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stankonia View Post
What's the max amount of beer you can use in the corny? Do you have to have less than 5 gallons? I only plan on using them for secondary with an airlock and using my 6gal carboys for primary so I can see the action and have some extra room for krausen, etc.

Also, does using a corny for fermentation require any modifications that would make it non-usable as an actually keg later on?
If you are going to use Corny's as a secondary, there is no need for head space, since the beer is mostly calming down. I think you could go almost to 5 gallons and have no blow-off issues with a secondary. I caveat all this because it does depend on the beer you are making since some produce wild quantities of kraussn (sorry spelling). For primary I have gotten away with 4.5 gallons. Secondary... well not too much to worry about.

As far as Mods go, I just cut the liquid tube about 3" higher than the bottom to allow for trub accumulation. To pump out, I have rigged two "Out" beer line attachments and I pump from one keg to the other using CO2. You can always buy a new tube if you decide to use the keg for dispensing.

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-23-2011, 08:55 PM   #9
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The best part about fermenting in converted kegs is they are guaranteed sanitary if you just boil a bit of water in them for 15 minutes with the lid on. Love it! I use my hot liquor tank to ferment in, and it's nice to be able to scrub it out with a sponge to clean them as well.

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