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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Fermenters > Corny Keg Secondary Fermenter
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Old 07-19-2011, 02:08 AM   #1
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Default Corny Keg Secondary Fermenter

Hi all,

Looking for some help or direction to a thread which provides information on how to properly setup a ball lock corny keg to be a secondary fermenter. I'm sure I've seen something in past browsing, but can't seem to find it through search. I have two plastic corny keg lids (didn't even know they existed). Each lid has a "nub" on the bottom that I was planning to attach a hop bag to for dry hopping. Just not sure the best way attach an air lock.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Cheers!

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Old 07-19-2011, 02:12 AM   #2
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Why not do what everyone else does - extended primary for about a month? No secondary - or are you looking to secondary for a reason?

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Old 07-19-2011, 02:20 AM   #3
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Dry hopping. Plus, then I can rack from one keg to another with CO2 so there's no more oxygen contact.

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Old 07-19-2011, 02:22 AM   #4
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Pull off one of the posts (if you can) and use a short piece of tubing to connect the airlock to that.

I used a 5 gallon corny as a primary with a batch. Simply removed the pin-lock relief valve and used a small bung with an airlock there. Worked really well too (along with fermcap)... I probably wouldn't go with that size keg again, unless I'm fermenting 4-4.5 gallons of wort.

I've changed over to 25L and 1/4 kegs to ferment in. I have four 1/6 bbl kegs to age in (when needed) that I was fermenting in before I got the current (larger) kegs. I also have a 50L keg that will be a primary for 10 gallon batches (when I'm ready).

I also agree that you don't NEED to go to another vessel just to dry hop. You can do that in primary. One less racking, one less chance of contamination of the brew, and one less time you need to clean/sanitize your gear...

How long has the brew been in primary? OG? Has it actually reached it's FG?? Don't rack, IF you really feel you must (seek professional help ), until the brew is otherwise finished/ready for bottle/keg. Then, if you really must, rack to dry hop... IMO, it's pretty foolish to rack simply to dry hop, or because you want to push it with CO2... There are better uses for CO2, such as carbonating, and serving, your brew...

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Old 07-19-2011, 02:44 AM   #5
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I have been using a corny for my secondary for a while. I tried hard to over think the air lock issue than a buddy pointed out that I just needed to put a gas quick disconnect with a hose running to some water. Acts just like a blow off.

Should have seen some of the mess I came up with

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Old 07-19-2011, 02:51 AM   #6
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I had always heard/thought it was better to get the beer off the yeast/sediment into a secondary vessel once it's done fermenting. Help give the beer more clarity when it's complete.
Definitely wouldn't move the beer until it was completely done fermenting, this one is 1.074 OG, so it'll be a bit.

Regarding the relief valve, how small of a bung did you get? Seems the hole for the relief valve is just slightly bigger than the airlock itself. Definitely interested if you have a pic, although I realize you said this was something you did a while back.

If I go with the don't rack option, which seems like the only option that doesn't leave me a fool, what's the best way to dry hop? It seems just throwing the hops into the primary would leave an awful mess in the bottom to have to avoid when racking for kegging/bottling. I'd like to use a hop bag, but do I just bag the hops up and toss it in then fish the bag out later?

Thanks all for the advice. I've done this numerous times, just trying to improve the flavor, clarity and process.

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Old 07-19-2011, 02:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P8ten View Post
I have been using a corny for my secondary for a while. I tried hard to over think the air lock issue than a buddy pointed out that I just needed to put a gas quick disconnect with a hose running to some water. Acts just like a blow off.

Should have seen some of the mess I came up with
I primary in corny kegs and simply remove the gas poppet and press on a 5/8" blow off tube onto the threaded fitting. I don't secondary but primary most of my beers for about 3.5-4 weeks and then cold-crash for 3-4 days at 36 degrees. I then hook up a picnic tap to the keg and pour off the sediment before I use a jumper to transfer the beer to my serving keg. If I dry hop it is in a paint strainer bag inside of my serving keg which I pull out after 2-3 weeks. This system has been working great for me and producing crystal clear beer without using a secondary or filtering!
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Old 07-19-2011, 03:01 AM   #8
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First time I dry hopped, I tossed a full ounce of whole hops into primary (a carboy)... I had no issue getting clear brew into the bottling bucket and people loved it. I use an auto-siphon, so there's something to help block the hop matter from getting picked up.

I'll be dry hopping an English IPA (just over a week on the yeast) in a few more weeks (in 3-5 weeks) for a full week before kegging (and maybe bottling) it up. I'm fermenting inside Sanke kegs now, so I have less visibility into where the end of the auto-siphon tube is. BUT, I still get really clear rackings. I'm giving serious thought to putting the entire batch of the English IPA into keg. It will seriously shorten the time it takes to bottle/keg.

I do love fermenting in kegs... IMO, fermenting in stainless steel beats all other materials, hands down.

As for a brew with an OG of 1.074... I would give it 4-6 weeks in primary, taste the hydrometer samples (to confirm it's at FG) and then dry hop for a week. Just watch what you're pulling up from the keg when racking to where it will be served. I brewed a mocha porter with an OG of 1.074... After 7 weeks in primary, it was ready for bottle/keg... My English IPA has an OG of 1.068 and I plan to have it in primary for ~6 weeks. Of course, I'll taste it before I dry hop it up... I hope to be able to sample it at either 4 or 5 weeks from brewing. It might go a bit longer, depending on how schedules work out with my brew-buddy... No harm will come to the brew though.

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Old 07-19-2011, 03:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P8ten View Post
I have been using a corny for my secondary for a while. I tried hard to over think the air lock issue than a buddy pointed out that I just needed to put a gas quick disconnect with a hose running to some water. Acts just like a blow off.

Should have seen some of the mess I came up with
I've done this with my last ten or so batches, used them as a primary with no secondary. I just make sure that I remove the internal pieces of the disconnect, as the pieces in there can get gummed up with blowoff. Works like a charm.

If I dry hop, I just push the beer from the primary corny to my serving corny, hang a dry hop bag, and then remove the dry hop bag when I want the hops out.
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Old 07-19-2011, 04:06 PM   #10
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If you are using it for secondary, then you don't need a blowoff. Just take the poppet out of the gas post, and cover it with a piece of foil. Nothing will get inside. I do all my fermentations in corny kegs, and love being able to do all my transfers under pressure without any air contact.

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