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Old 12-29-2012, 03:11 PM   #11
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1/6 barrel sanke keg I also use them to age my mead batches. Put a solid TC cap over the opening and purge with CO2 and set it aside.

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Old 12-29-2012, 03:30 PM   #12
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I use a 5-gallon ale pail for primary. Easy to get into. Easy to clean after the initial racking. Downside is that the lids don't seal well, so it can be difficult to determine when the yeast are just starting up or are going dormant.

Brewing is classic hurry-up-and-wait. Give it 8-72 hours before panicking. I just did a raspberry melomel (OG 1.116 with D47), and it's just beginning to show signs of life at 16 hours.

If you feel apprehensive, I suggest giving the bucket/carboy a good shake. That oxygenates the must and distributes the active colonies. Sometimes, I also shout "Wake up yeasties!" It always makes me feel better.

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Old 12-29-2012, 03:34 PM   #13
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GD, when you use a keg how do you know when its clear enough to rack? WVMJ

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1/6 barrel sanke keg I also use them to age my mead batches. Put a solid TC cap over the opening and purge with CO2 and set it aside.
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:38 PM   #14
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Your hydrometer will tell you when its ready to rack, I start to think about racking into a carboy at about 1.020 or wait until it goes all the way down to dry and stops fermenting. Its saturated with CO2 so its not going to get oxidized right after its done fermenting but dont wait to long after its done. WVMJ

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So that fact that its not bubbling is fine it smells right how long do I leave it in the bucket before I rack it to a secondary?
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:59 PM   #15
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GD, when you use a keg how do you know when its clear enough to rack? WVMJ
Experience.

I let it go until it's had long enough to finish up for primary. Then transfer to another [sanitized] keg to rest for a few months (up to about six normally) then I transfer again and repeat every 4-6 months. IMO, once you get over the need to see inside, you'll get a much better product.
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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
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Aging:mead
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Old 12-29-2012, 05:36 PM   #16
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Experience.

I let it go until it's had long enough to finish up for primary. Then transfer to another [sanitized] keg to rest for a few months (up to about six normally) then I transfer again and repeat every 4-6 months. IMO, once you get over the need to see inside, you'll get a much better product.
I noticed your mention of "sanke kegs" a while ago. But for the life of me, can't picture what you mean.

Are you referring to standard beer kegs with sanke fittings ? If so, how do you fit air locks etc ?

Only because I've got a keg in the shed and I believe the quick release fitting for when it was used to distribute beer, is called a sanke connection......

Maybe you could post a photo or something ?
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Old 12-29-2012, 06:09 PM   #17
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I noticed your mention of "sanke kegs" a while ago. But for the life of me, can't picture what you mean.

Are you referring to standard beer kegs with sanke fittings ? If so, how do you fit air locks etc ?

Only because I've got a keg in the shed and I believe the quick release fitting for when it was used to distribute beer, is called a sanke connection......

Maybe you could post a photo or something ?
Since YOU asked...

Here's the one I filled up last, for a wildflower traditional mead. It's due to be transferred (first time) sometime soon. I'll simply remove the airlock (that's a section of 1/2" ID vinyl tubing connecting the airlock there) and install my cut dip tube and liquid corny post to transfer with a CO2 push.
mead_sanke_fermenter.jpg  
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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine
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Old 12-29-2012, 06:51 PM   #18
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Sorry GD, but looking at a row of tin can fermenters isnt the same as caressing a glass carboy filled with deep red berry melomel or seeing that golden glow of a banana mead shining through the glass. Its kind of sad, you cant taste them with your eyes while they are resting. All you get is the cold blank stare of the mirrored sides and at best an aluminum can taste in your mouth when you try to see with your minds eyes through their thick walls to imagine what is inside. You are missing out on an important part of berthing a mead. JMHO So I can see why its easy for you to just can them up and forget about them which I fully agree, the longer in the carboy the better, no matter what kind, warm soft glass or cold steel.

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Old 12-29-2012, 07:00 PM   #19
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Sorry GD, but looking at a row of tin can fermenters isnt the same as caressing a glass carboy filled with deep red berry melomel or seeing that golden glow of a banana mead shining through the glass. Its kind of sad, you cant taste them with your eyes while they are resting. All you get is the cold blank stare of the mirrored sides and at best an aluminum can taste in your mouth when you try to see with your minds eyes through their thick walls to imagine what is inside. You are missing out on an important part of berthing a mead. JMHO So I can see why its easy for you to just can them up and forget about them which I fully agree, the longer in the carboy the better, no matter what kind, warm soft glass or cold steel.

WVMJ
Once you get past the 'need' to see what's going on inside, you're suddenly free to do all sorts of things. Also, with how tight these seal up, there's NO risk of no airlock movements while fermentation is going on.

I used carboys initially, so I know what things look like. I mix up my batches of mead in a 1 gallon measuring cup, so I know what the color will be. Plus, when I transfer to a new vessel, I get to see what it's color is (and how clear it really is).

You can keep your neurosis over the glass carboys, along with the first aid kit within reach. My vessels are 100% light proof, won't crack, break, shatter at all, and if you drop one, at worst you'll put a ding in the floor. I'll even be able to hide behind them when the zombies start coming around.

BTW, while you have to lift your glass carboy onto a table (or have it on a shelf) in order to transfer to something else, I can leave mine at ground level. I actually bottled my maple mead/wine with my Blichmann Beer Gun, with the keg at floor level. Used a couple of PSI of CO2 into the keg and it went easy as pie. Also, these are 100% stainless steel, NOT 'tin can fermenters'...
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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:40 PM   #20
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Hi GB, lifting carboys? Why do that when I have a vacum pump. I can have the carboy in the basement and vacum pump it upstairs if I wanted Drop one of those steel cans on your toe. I have cut a hole in the wifes brand new linoleum, but I survived her wrath so carboys are not that dangerous. Yes I have a need to visit with my carboys, I especially enjoy checking up on the before bedtime, making sure everything is peacefull and snug. I like the colored lights playing on the wall when I shine a light through them. I think this is another how a beer guy makes mead and how a winemaker makes mead thing. If I was going to make carbonated meads I would get one of these kegs, maybe when I start geezing I might have to switch to them if I ever start dropping stuff a lot WVMJ

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