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Old 02-08-2006, 02:47 PM   #1
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Default Keg as Secondary?

I've heard of kegs being used as primaries or secondaries, and I know there would be a sediment issue, but wouldn't it be nicer to just rack from primary (bucket) to keg with some polyclar or gelatin? You could blow off the headspace w. CO2, then cool it down, carbonate and draw off the sediment in the 1st pint right? Has anyone had success or failure doing it this way?

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Old 02-08-2006, 05:17 PM   #2
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How much sediment do you like in your beer?

The very small extra effert to rack twice, and wait acouple more weeks, will show in your beer, and the compliments from your friends. An extra bucket is cheap.

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Old 02-08-2006, 05:35 PM   #3
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Most of my ales go from the primary to a keg and I rarely have a sediment problem (one pint and it's clear). You have to avoid moving the keg, or just let it settle out again. If I want a really clear ale, I'll chill it and run it though a filter. I'd say I've filtered five times out of 60 ales.

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Old 02-08-2006, 05:49 PM   #4
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How much is a filter setup? 5 ales out of 60 seems like it might be a little bit of a pain in the arse...

The other thing I was thinking of was the aging problems associated with just racking to keg. There would be a "secondary" period of 1-2 weeks, then a "conditioning" period of 2 weeks or more, right? By then I'd have gotten half deep into a keg of green(ish) beer...

I guess I'm just trying to weigh out the best option for the best beer, because that's really what it's all about (at least for me).

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Old 02-08-2006, 05:54 PM   #5
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My filter setup was about $40. I originally purchaed it because I had a muddy, yeasty IPA that wouldn't settle. I suspect polyclar would have been cheaper, but my brewbud was being a purist, so we filtered.

And waiting for ale to age is certainly a problem. The only solution is to brew more often.

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Old 02-08-2006, 09:15 PM   #6
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I like that solution! I've got 3 batches in the bottles, one in the keg and another planned for tomorrow. According to your advice I'm on the right track, and it FEELS right too! BREW ON!

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Old 02-09-2006, 02:08 PM   #7
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On a side note, how do you modify the kegs for use as a secondary fermentor? Do you modify the lid to accept an airlock? Can you blow off the oxygen with some CO2 and assume it won't build significant pressure? Or just release the pressure with the valve every so often?

I just ordered a couple more cornies, so now I'll have 4, but can only fit 2 in my kegerator. Seems like it would make sense to turn them into secondary fermentors, so I don't have to buy any more carboys.

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Old 02-09-2006, 03:12 PM   #8
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Usually there isn't a lot of pressure produced in the secondary, so I guess guys usually just pull the pressure release every day or so. I have 3 kegs now, so I think I'm going to do that. Rack from primary to CO2 purged keg, then let sit for a week or so, then rack to next purged keg and carbonate. Obviously I can't do that every time 'cause I'll run out of kegs, but it seems like a plan this time!

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Old 02-09-2006, 03:35 PM   #9
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I'm thinking that drilling a hole through the lid and adding one of those rubber grommets like they install on bucket lids might work, too. I'll have 2 kegs for use in the kegerator, plus two as secondaries, which I'll just siphon over to the serving kegs. I'll just keep a 5 gallon carboy around for secondary when I want to bottle.

I've seen replacement lids on morebeer.com for about $15 used, in case I screw one up or want to change it back to a serving keg.

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Old 02-09-2006, 03:51 PM   #10
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If I was you, I would try it out without modifying the keg - just because you might not need an airlock. Obviously fermentation can take place under pressure (e.g. bottle priming) so my thoughts are that it won't hurt anything to not vent a secondary. It may just be a formality to do so. Plus, who knows when you'll need a working keg for a party, friend, or whatever. Just my thoughts. Something you could do is just remove the Gas In valve and install an airlock there. Then you wouldn't have to alter your keg. Those things are precious, man!

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