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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Using Cornies for secondary - equipment needed?
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Old 11-07-2005, 09:04 PM   #1
PeatReek
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Default Using Cornies for secondary - equipment needed?

Yet another Corny question (I'm investing in a couple of them, it seems). I just talked to the guys at the LHBC and they say that, in addition to the kegs themselves, I'll need probably $200 of gear to get started kegging (bottle of CO2 plus regulator plus tubing and misc).

So, as an intermediate step, if I want to use the Corny kegs for secondary ferments or lagering or something, what portion of the equipment do I need? The guy at the store seemed to think that I could just seal them tightly and there would be like no chance at all that they'd blow up or anything (seems reasonable, since I'm not talking about primary fermenting).

But... would that make it dangerous to open later? I imagine you could build up a few PSI from a month of secondary. Should I go ahead and get the regulator at least? Something else? Or am I needlessly freaking out?

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Old 11-07-2005, 09:33 PM   #2
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You can just look in on them and vent daily.

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Primary: Empty

Secondary #2: Empty

Bottle Conditioning: Oatmeal Stout

Drinking from Keg: Ordinary Bitter, Kolsch

Drinking bottled: Brown Autumn Wee Heavy
Hefe Weizen
Peaches and Cream Weizen


"This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption... Beer!"
-Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, Friar Tuck.

Next up: Hefe Weizen

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Old 11-07-2005, 10:29 PM   #3
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All you need is the cornies. A cornie's poppet will vent at about 40 psi. They can handle a lot more pressure than that. The main thing you might want to do is remove the outlet tube and cut about 1/2 inch from the bottom. That way, it will be above the trub (most of the time).

To open, you just pull the poppet ring until the pressure is off. You can't open them under pressure because the lid is actually inside the keg and held in place by a lip.

Don't forget a party tap for testing.

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Old 11-08-2005, 01:03 AM   #4
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Boo-ya! Thanks for the info, david_42. That's... brilliant. Age in kegs and test periodically with a picnic tap.

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Originally Posted by david_42
All you need is the cornies. A cornie's poppet will vent at about 40 psi. They can handle a lot more pressure than that. The main thing you might want to do is remove the outlet tube and cut about 1/2 inch from the bottom. That way, it will be above the trub (most of the time).

To open, you just pull the poppet ring until the pressure is off. You can't open them under pressure because the lid is actually inside the keg and held in place by a lip.

Don't forget a party tap for testing.
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Old 11-08-2005, 02:13 AM   #5
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I've got 13 cornies now. Unfortunately, only five have ale or cider in them. I've got a barley wine in the secondary (that being an exception to my general rule of using cornies) and another porter in primary. I'll be over 50% by turkey day, unless I float another one.

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Old 11-08-2005, 02:40 AM   #6
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So assuming you're conditioning (like, with primer and stuff) in your cornies, how do you find the carbonation works out with the picnic tap? If you draw off a couple of pints, does the rest stay pretty carbonated for... a few weeks or whatever?

Or are you using the full setup, with a tank and regulators and everything?

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I've got 13 cornies now. Unfortunately, only five have ale or cider in them. I've got a barley wine in the secondary (that being an exception to my general rule of using cornies) and another porter in primary. I'll be over 50% by turkey day, unless I float another one.
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Old 11-08-2005, 04:54 AM   #7
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Most of the time you can get about a gallon out before the carbonation starts dropping off. After than you need the full setup. There are small CO2 injectors you can buy, but it takes a lot of 12 gm bottles to dispense the whole keg.

If you like cask conditioned ales, 1/4 cup of priming sugar will dispense the whole thing. Gets a bit slow towards the end & you have to put you mug on the floor next to the keg base.

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Old 11-08-2005, 03:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42
All you need is the cornies. A cornie's poppet will vent at about 40 psi. They can handle a lot more pressure than that. The main thing you might want to do is remove the outlet tube and cut about 1/2 inch from the bottom. That way, it will be above the trub (most of the time).

To open, you just pull the poppet ring until the pressure is off. You can't open them under pressure because the lid is actually inside the keg and held in place by a lip.

Don't forget a party tap for testing.
I think your terminology is a bit off. A cornie has two poppet valves, one for the gas in and one for the beer out. They can't "vent" pressure as they are always held closed, in the up position, by a spring and are forced down by the connectors when hooked up.

I think you are talking about the pressure release valve. Not all cornies have that.
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Old 11-08-2005, 06:30 PM   #9
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Right you are. Too much QA on the ales last night. The poppet valve is the spring-loaded seal (two each) inside the keg plug/posts assemblies (one in, out out). I was referring to the pressure relief valve. If a keg doesn't have a PRV, replace the lid with one that does.

Just noticed colored plug O-rings . Just the thing for those days when your vision is a little blurry, be it from old age or too much QA!

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