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Old 07-14-2009, 05:54 PM   #1
cornRIDE
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Default cooking in 15.5g Keg input desired

Hello all-

man, did i find the right place to kill some time and learn a few things. thanks for allowing me to lurk the past few days and thanks for the recipes!

now- i'll come right to my debate: I've taken a plasma cutter to the top of an empty full sized keg. i've fabricated a lid that works perfect. I plan on using a stainless (rubberless) valve in the base of the keg for draining/racking (so the rubber doesn't warp upon heating to cooking temp). I will be cooking the wort in the keg with a turkey fryer (beats the electric stove top) and fermenting (single ferment) in a completely intact keg.

does anybody else brew full sized batches of beer using this or a similar method? I see lots of posts regarding 5 gallon kegs and such, but frankly, for the work involved in a 5 gallon batch i'd rather just pony up the dough for ingredients and do a 15.5 batch.

due to the cooking in the modified keg and fermenting in the intact keg i have a few questions:

-as far as racking, i prefer a clearer ipa, what is the best method?

racking out of the primary fermenter into multiple carboys and then rack back into the fermenting keg for the rest of it's life span?

-bulk ingriedents?

hopunion? local shop? expect to still pay retail prices? where's the best vendor for a bulk order? (granted i live in WA and can hit up the yakima farmers market for a brown bag of hopps reaaaaaaaaaal cheap. just have to wait till the harvest)

-expected troubles/concerns, suggestions on what style of beer/ale might preform better cooking at this volume?

would a quick hefe be easier than a nice ipa? just due to the turn around time, the racking requirements? i will avoid any lager like a plague.

i would be happy to post pictures of this endeavor as it goes on, but am just too damn curious to see if you all have experimented with this before. thoughts?

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Old 07-14-2009, 06:55 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cornRIDE View Post
Hello all-


now- i'll come right to my debate: I've taken a plasma cutter to the top of an empty full sized keg. i've fabricated a lid that works perfect. I plan on using a stainless (rubberless) valve in the base of the keg for draining/racking (so the rubber doesn't warp upon heating to cooking temp). I will be cooking the wort in the keg with a turkey fryer (beats the electric stove top) and fermenting (single ferment) in a completely intact keg.\
You will need a rubber gasket (they make ones that can handle high temps, or you will have leaks unless you actually have something welded on...

Quote:
Originally Posted by cornRIDE View Post
does anybody else brew full sized batches of beer using this or a similar method? I see lots of posts regarding 5 gallon kegs and such, but frankly, for the work involved in a 5 gallon batch i'd rather just pony up the dough for ingredients and do a 15.5 batch.
Alot of people brew this way, BUT in a keg the most you can really brew is 12 gallons, and I have heard that can be pushing it... Brweing in large batches is no problem, but you might want to start off making smaller ones just so you don't have to screw up 10 gallons when you could screw up 5...

Quote:
Originally Posted by cornRIDE View Post
due to the cooking in the modified keg and fermenting in the intact keg i have a few questions:

-as far as racking, i prefer a clearer ipa, what is the best method?
I have heard of some people fermenting in the boil kettle, but you would have to rack it off, clean it out, then rack it back in... Especially if you like clearer beer...

I like irish moss, but some people use basic water filters...

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Originally Posted by cornRIDE View Post
racking out of the primary fermenter into multiple carboys and then rack back into the fermenting keg for the rest of it's life span?
yeah you could do that, or just leave them in the carboys....


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Originally Posted by cornRIDE View Post
-bulk ingriedents?
You're on it

Quote:
Originally Posted by cornRIDE View Post
-expected troubles/concerns, suggestions on what style of beer/ale might preform better cooking at this volume?

would a quick hefe be easier than a nice ipa? just due to the turn around time, the racking requirements? i will avoid any lager like a plague.
I don't think this is a concern...

Quote:
Originally Posted by cornRIDE View Post
i would be happy to post pictures of this endeavor as it goes on, but am just too damn curious to see if you all have experimented with this before. thoughts?
Take some more time and poke around the DIY and equipment page, I think you will be able to find answers to all of your questions... Judging from the plasma cutter, it seems that you have alot at your expense and the know how... My biggest advice to you is not to rush into anything, do it once, do it right...
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Old 07-14-2009, 07:00 PM   #3
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How to Brew - By John Palmer

And the stickies in the beginning brewers forum will give you tons of great information.
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Old 07-14-2009, 10:41 PM   #4
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thanks Rockford White! and i do have the How To Brew book. been doing 5 gallon batches on my stove for some while, and the better route for what i'd like to do is to have larger amounts.

that is very interesting about the max cooking wort at 12 gallons.... a good heads up.

yes, the rubber can be high heat but i was worried about over time. i don't want to have to do this more than once if i don't have to. I may just weld a nut onto the keg and run a valve through that. we'll see what the hardware store can provide!

i'll post some pictures as this project moves on this month. i don't anticipate cooking with it till later this month. you know, i didn't even see the DIY section before i posted in here. my apologies admins/users for the post in the wrong section.

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Old 07-14-2009, 10:58 PM   #5
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I will start my boil with about 14G. After evaporation, trub and cooler loss, about 11.5G go to the fermenters. Then 5G ea. to the cornies, and the rest to a blend keg.(for my alcoholic freeloading friends).

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primary- Tangerine Dream, SWMBO slayer,
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Old 07-14-2009, 11:01 PM   #6
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Sorry if I came across the wrong way. I just figured the book would answer quite a few of the questions you have.

I use converted kegs for a boil kettle and hot liquor tank (sparge water). Both have weldless fittings like this one. No issues at all. They have a high temp O ring.

Taking the tops off is easy. There are some cool videos on here by Bobby_M that show how to do it with an angle grinder (that's how I did it). If you have a plasma cutter, it's easier yet from what I hear. Using converted kegs as boil pots is the way to go if you can.

One other thread I recommend reading is this one. You'll see why. The first post says the link is dead, but it works now.

Good luck on your brewery upgrade.

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Old 07-15-2009, 05:27 PM   #7
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Sorry to tread jack... but beer thirty can you point me to a place where it explains (or just explain) this idea of a blend keg?

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Old 07-15-2009, 05:39 PM   #8
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it's just a "slop bucket" or catch all. The last 1/2 to 1 gallon from each batch that won't fit into the corny kegs go into a generic "blend keg" for storage when that gets close to full I chill/carb it. For me I usually chill it after 1/2 (2.5-3gallons) full and usually there are 2-4 diffferent styles in there at once. Every time it tastes different but it's availble to people who just drink to get drunk, or for my "one more before I call it a night" and don't want to waste my good beer on buzzed tastebuds....

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Old 07-15-2009, 05:58 PM   #9
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oh, no worries MacBrew! that is by far my favorite book for beginning homebrew. We ended up going with an extract recipe just to try out on the new setup. i need to bring the pictures to work. The only reason for extract is that we've yet to build a 3 tier gravity setup for the mash yet! We did manage to purchase our ball valve for the drain off of the cooking keg and the other hardware to co2 it. now, all i need is a co2 tank and to whittle myself a cool looking handle. thank god i work at a community college where i can grab a surplus (and pressure checked) co2 bottle! the big one!

brewed a 5 gallon batch of a Ruination Clone too. feelin' productive.

thanks for the links and quick info you guys! this network is sweet! i'll be sure to post pictures of the setup once it's shiny, pretty and full of beer!

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Old 07-15-2009, 11:20 PM   #10
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Thanks Greenwood, I couldn't have said it better.

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"I've got a fever... and the only prescription is, MORE CARBOYS!"
primary- Tangerine Dream, SWMBO slayer,
serving- amber ale hop experiment #6, Roggenbier, apfelwine
planning- Cru?
conditioning- 9/9/09 barleywine
Drink water?... Never, fish fornicate in it.--- W.C. Fields
Most problems can be solved with the proper application of force.
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