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Old 11-11-2007, 03:47 PM   #1
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Default Converting a Carboy to a Keg

My origioinal thread was removed but I was hoping to continue the dialog.
Mod edit: It was removed because you do not have a vendors account and you were promoting your product.

So I did not explain well why I created the carboy keg adapter in the first place – some of you will agree with my story and many of you won’t (and probably be offended) but that’s all part of the process.

To begin, the soda manufacturers are very capable of changing the seals in a Cornelius container, these containers were designed this way on purpose. They discarded these containers for another reason such as health, safety, or reliability. For example, if the container is dented, the passivation process on the stainless has now been compromised. For whatever reason, the home brewers, including myself once, think they have found a treasure at the scrap yards and recycle centers and only need to change out the replaceable parts to make them new again but in reality, no one knows the real reason the Cornelius container was discarded (and never will) BUT we home brewers have no problem placing our brew, to be consumed, in that same scrapped container – go figure. The argument “I can buy these for $20” doesn’t fly with me because you are buying “contaminated stainless scrap” which is the exact category. Obviously, if you purchase these containers new and take care of them, it’s a great solution.

Yes, I’m on the conservative side especially when it comes to the health and safety to anyone I share my brew with and that is exactly why I came up with another way to keg… The Carboy Keg adapter is NOT recycled it is NEW. Manufactured from high quality materials where there are no health concerns. Yes this solution leverages from a plastic bottle with inherent disadvantages but it is NEW, made from food grade materials (water is a food) and can be easily replaced. Compare the solutions new to new, not new to scrap.

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Old 11-11-2007, 04:18 PM   #2
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I don't think the carboys are designed to be under pressure.

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Old 11-11-2007, 04:19 PM   #3
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You're thread got deleted because you don't have a vendor membership and you're hocking your wares.

You are basically claiming that 1000+ homebrewers are jeopardizing their health because they're reusing a stainless container. Do you have any evidence to support your theory that stainless can somehow harbor pathogens even after sanitizing it? Using health concerns as an (false) arguement to create value for your product is just a lame appeal to consequences. To your point, as soon as your device is used once, it's also now not new and therefore must be contaminated recycled scrap also.

The soda industry abandoned corny kegs because a cheaper solution came along. It's not that sanitizing was impossible, it was just more trouble and cost than the newer solution. Each unit cost them over $100, and with raw goods prices going up, it was getting worse. The board of health had to do spot checks to make sure the distributor's process was sound. Now they just move boxes of syrup. Less labor and equipment for them, no seals to deal with, etc. It became easier to pump syrup from the bags rather than pressurize each vessel. I received this information from at least three distributors and they all said the same things whether they sold me cornies or not.

What I'd like to see is your version of a completed keg, ready to take gas and dispense with a list of additional parts needed, where to get them, and a total cost. I'll then show you a cleaned, sanitized corny keg that I've been using over and over for a year on countless batches that have not gotten anyone sick; that I paid $5 (plus $2 for new Orings); that does the job better.

You can't just make these unsubstantiated claims and not get called on them. That is part of the process.

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Last edited by Bobby_M; 11-11-2007 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 11-11-2007, 04:29 PM   #4
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I hear your argument and am not taking sides, I just feel I would never use this but can see a niche where it may be used. Personally, if I were moving 5 gallons or more of beer anywhere, I would use a 5 gallon sanke. This is how my setup operates though, and it is just simpler for me to use all the same taps and fittings and tubing, etc. I am just stating from my view here, so please don't take offense. Most people, if they were just starting out kegging, would have a glass/BB/plastic carboy that they use for primary/secondary. You are selling them another plastic bottle (be-it new) instead of them going out and buying a used keg or new if they are that worried about what was in it before. You are also selling them one piece of equipment that has to stay on top of said bottle the entire use of that bottle (as a serving keg/pressured fermentation vessel, etc), which prompts me to a question. What happens when they want to go bigger? They have to buy your system again with the bottle and everything, or without it doesn't matter. At this point, some would already have saved money by not going your route and buying the keg(sanke or corny), since they can simply un-tap/un-connect it and it is a storable pressurized vessel. They can use one/one set of the tap/connectors on now another keg if they grew and not have to buy anything except the keg. Your way would have them with 10 gallons of "storage" with a high price in my opinion. If the moved all the way up to 15 gallons then you can really see how your system would weight compared to what is already in place for them to buy. This being said I also don't want you to get disappointed. Sometimes/most of the time, when a person has a new idea it gets trampled by most, accepted by a few, and built on and made better/workable from the rest. I am sure you can find a few people this would benefit, I am just not one. I would damn sure love to help make them though, metal projects are fun on the CNC lathe and mill. I used to work in a machine shop and miss the fun in manufacturing something from nothing.

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Old 11-11-2007, 04:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M
You can just make these unsubstantiated claims and not get called on them. That is part of the process.
LOL, you mean can't don't you, lol.
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Old 11-11-2007, 04:37 PM   #6
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I use 4-5 gallon sankes and 1-15.5 gallon sanke, plus one 15.5 sanke as a fermenter. That is like over $200 in kegs (but over 35 gallons in storage, not counting the fermenter) with three taps, which is unnecessary because I only use two of them for $35 each. My storage/fermentation/everything like you are describing would be under $300 and I am sure to easily size up without any cost other than the vessel, and don't have to worry about sunlight/gas exchange through the plastic/or buying anything else to close up and store under pressure.

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Old 11-11-2007, 05:33 PM   #7
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Yup, I meant "can't". I'm a party pooper and all but once you outfit the whole system, you COULD buy cornies brand new for a few bucks more. You've got to really hone the snake oil sales pitch to sell this thing and I suppose that's where the "health risk" angle came from. If a product is really the golden solution, it sells itself.

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Old 11-11-2007, 05:34 PM   #8
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Thanks for the feedback - I am really wanting the discussion both pos and neg because you people are the "experts" in the field and with my origional posting, I was not trying to unfairly promote my wares (notice no link- in this one at least), I was only wanting to discuss another way of doing something.

As far as the "claims" I made- I never said people would get sick by using the Corney's - my only point was they were discarded for an unknown reason. I personally don't like that idea of revamping a discarded product but then possibly I am more paranoid than most.

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Old 11-11-2007, 05:37 PM   #9
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It looks nice.



There is no problem discussing design etc. as long as you don't try to promote or sell them. Get a vendors account and you can.

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Old 11-11-2007, 07:11 PM   #10
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Pros:
A brand new thing, not reused stainless.
If cornies weren't available anymore, it would be a logical next step.
Cons:
Expensive for one "keg".
Oxygen permiable with #7 bottles, better bottles would be better but that's another $25.
Clear bottles = sunlight skunking (already mentioned above).
Incomplete so far, no gas/beverage connections or diptube (have you figured this part out yet or is it up the end user?)
Water bottles are not pressure rated (you've tested one and it held. I'd recommend testing 10 of each type to failure and take half of the average failure pressure).
No overpressure safety valve. This is a far more scary condition than syrupy stainless in worst case scenario.
Assuming it's aluminum, it won't stand up to the acidity. I've left beer in an aluminum bottle overnight and it started corroding. Maybe your finish is protective?
Plastic bottles are not as easy to sanitize as stainless.
You can't fit many in a fridge/chest freezer. I fit 5 cornies in mine, only 2 five gallon better bottles.

Let's talk a little more about the unknown nature of corny kegs. The last time they were used, it was for food grade purposes especially if you get them right from a soda distributor. What do you suppose happens between then and now? It's a huge reach in logic to suggest it "might" be tainted. Even if there was something really disgusting in there, stainless isn't exactly porous. Micro breweries buy well-used dairy equipment for kettles and fermenters. How do they get away with it? Is the entire homebrew community getting scammed?

I don't know how much money you've spent in development but I'd recommend you cut your losses. I don't know why I'm the single devil's advocate here because I guarentee you're not going to convince the vast majority of keggers to take their questionable cornies to the scrap yard. If you really want to develope this thing, maybe put a spunding valve on there for pressurized fermentation.

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Last edited by Bobby_M; 11-11-2007 at 07:13 PM.
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