The Great Bottle Opener Giveaway

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > $49.95 Stainless fermenter

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-01-2007, 03:38 PM   #1
runhard
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Buda, TX
Posts: 447
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default $49.95 Stainless fermenter

Here is my keg conversion fermenter with racking arm assembly. A friend at work pick up 3 kegs for me out of someone's trash; can't beat free. These were beat up pretty good but not so much to be used a kettles and a cheap fermenter. I posted and gave two away to a fellow homebrewer who lives about 100 miles away and he and his wife drove up and picked them up. They'll make good kettles for him and since they were free to me I gave them to him. I hope the next time I visit his city I can have a homebrew. I cut a 9 inch hole in the top and fashioned a lid out of acrylic and gasket out of rubber so I can see the krausen fall or harvest some yeast from the top if my racking assembly won't work. The only thing I paid for was the $49.95 racking assembly which I should have just made; the quality isn't superb for sure and I probably could've made something as functional for about half that. Oh well, lesson learned. I need to add a ball lock so that I can add a little pressure to aid in racking or harvesting the yeast but I'm 90% done. I'll pressure test it today after the ball lock addition but so far it at least holds as much pressure as I can force into it with my lungs. It should work
fermenter-take-1.jpg

__________________
runhard is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-01-2007, 04:44 PM   #2
Orfy
For the love of beer!
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Orfy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Cheshire, England
Posts: 11,853
Liked 68 Times on 52 Posts
Likes Given: 30

Default

Looks good. Can you tell me more about how the lid fixes/ seals to the keg.
What's the racking assembly?
I'm thinking about doing something similar. I have a few spare kegs.

Orfy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-01-2007, 04:50 PM   #3
brewman !
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,227
Liked 14 Times on 13 Posts
Likes Given: 16

Default

I've got 3 virgin kegs and I am trying to figure out if this is a good thing to do. I was going to do the same thing you did, but I am starting to change my mind.

A Sanke keg is too large for a 5-6 gallon batch. So it would only be used for double batches.

I can see a Sanke keg being the right size for being a primary fermentor for 12-13 gallon double batches. But it won't be good as a secondary fermentor for the same. By the time you rack it off, you'll have 12 gallons of beer in a 15.5 gallon fermentor and I feel that is too much headspace.

And as far as it being a good primary fermentor, I already use plastic pails and they work great for that. They can be equipped with the same racking valve. They are easy to clean and sanitize, they are much easier to store, are less expensive, they are easier to move when full and easier to fit into a deep freeze lager chamber.

So I guess I am undecided about using Sanke kegs for fermentors.

Anyone want to buy some kegs ?

__________________

Getting back into brewing...

brewman ! is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-01-2007, 04:55 PM   #4
Orfy
For the love of beer!
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Orfy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Cheshire, England
Posts: 11,853
Liked 68 Times on 52 Posts
Likes Given: 30

Default

I'm thinking of turning them upside down and using the dipp tube turned up side dow and re-inserted so I can use them as a conical type fermenter. at the top I was going to cut a corni keg top shape hole and using a corni lid.

Orfy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-01-2007, 05:00 PM   #5
brewman !
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,227
Liked 14 Times on 13 Posts
Likes Given: 16

Default

EDIT: I THINK the bottom would be too flat. The yeast wouldn't collect and you'd have to rack anyway.

I'd like to know more about the racking valve. I was going to use Better Bottle racking valves in my plastic pails, but if there is something better, I'd like to know.

__________________

Getting back into brewing...


Last edited by brewman !; 01-01-2007 at 05:48 PM.
brewman ! is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-01-2007, 05:03 PM   #6
Orfy
For the love of beer!
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Orfy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Cheshire, England
Posts: 11,853
Liked 68 Times on 52 Posts
Likes Given: 30

Default

The simples way is in a carboy with a cap, racking tube and a quick squirt of CO2. I reckon that is the simples quickest cheapest way to do it.

__________________
GET THE GOBLIN
Have a beer on me.
Orfy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-01-2007, 06:02 PM   #7
Dude
Will work for beer
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Dude's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Knob Noster, Missouri
Posts: 8,843
Liked 35 Times on 26 Posts
Likes Given: 5

Default

Looks awesome! I think those kegs are sold really cheap too, aren't they?

__________________
On Tap: Lake Walk Pale Ale -- Eternity (Raspberry Stout) -- Nutrocker -- Donnybrook Dark
Primary: Lake Walk Pale Ale
Secondary: Summit IPA
Up Next: Smoked Porter -- Pub Ale -- Watermelon Wheat
Planning:
Gone But Not Forgotten:

www.IronOrrBrewery.com
Dude is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-01-2007, 06:12 PM   #8
brewman !
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,227
Liked 14 Times on 13 Posts
Likes Given: 16

Default

Quote:
Conditioning after ferment in multiple glass carboys is what I had in mind, although I don't see why you couldn't use another Sanke keg. Two six gallon or 6.5 gallon carboys would do the trick for a 13 gallon brew minus trub losses.
I agree on the multiple carboys for the secondaries. I'll be using Better Bottles.

I disagree on using a Sanke keg for the secondary for 12 gallons of beer. There would be too much headspace and it would oxidize.

I have changed my find on Sankes as primary fermentors. I just measured my plastic pails and they are about the same overall diameter as the Sanke kegs. The plastic pails have a 1" lip on them and thus they take more room than the Sankes. The kegs are taller. I could fit one keg with 12-13 gallons of beer in just about the same space that a plastic pail would take.

I'm going to cut one and try it as a primary fermentor. A medium to large sized deep freeze would make an excellent lagering chamber. One could fit 2 Sanke kegs (24 gallons of beer) plus carboys and serving kegs in it. And they are cheap if you buy them used.

Quote:
Note that if you can pressurize the keg, then you can void the oxygen out of it easily with C02 so headspace would be irrelevant. Actually, nitrogen would probably work best for that purpose.
I guess you could do that. I'm not 100% certain that gets rid of all the O2. Add a touch of sugar to the brew or racking before its done fermentation and it will self purge.


I am going to leave off the racking valve, so that they fit in the deep freeze better. One could make a lid with a port for a racking cane and force a little air/CO2 in to start the flow. I do that with my Better Bottles now. It works great.
__________________

Getting back into brewing...


Last edited by brewman !; 01-01-2007 at 06:18 PM.
brewman ! is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-01-2007, 06:29 PM   #9
runhard
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Buda, TX
Posts: 447
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

[QUOTE=orfy]Looks good. Can you tell me more about how the lid fixes/ seals to the keg.[QUOTE]

As far as the lid, I have two small square tube bars that run across the lid on either side of the air trap and fit through the keg handles. I drilled two holes in each bar and added threads so that I can tighten the bolts and add a little pressure to the acrylic lid. I placed a cut out square piece of steel around the air lock that allows me to add pressure at four points. I surmise wood might work as well.
[Quote=orfy]What's the racking assembly?[QUOTE]
I bought the racking assembly from Austin Homebrew supply. It is design for conicals but works for this application. It allows one to move the siphon tube to a level to either remove the yeast and trub or siphon off beer without disturbing the trub and yeast sediment. I believe that Yuri has a picture of the racking arm on his thread about his conical. I need to rack an ale to kegs but when I'm done I'll post a picture of the assembly. I'm kicking myself for spending the money as I think I could've fashioned one very similar for about 1/2 the price by just ordering parts from McMaster-Carr or even making one out of CPVC.

Someone asked about headspace. As far as too much head space, I do 10-12 gallon batches and I'm not too concerned. If I purge with CO2 or N2 I'll be fine. I also plan to try my hand at siphoning off the trub with the assembly. If it doesn't work then I'll add a valve to the bottom and drain what trub and yeast I can. I know it isn't as nice as a conical but it will do for me.

So far my investment is about 2 hours and the racking assembly for $49.95 US. I should have made something on my own. Live and learn, right?

I like your idea of flipping the keg upside down. I saw a website where a guy did that. If i can locate his page again I'll send you the link as he had a couple of pointers on using the Sanke valve for a dumping valve.

If this works then maybe I won't be whining about a conical so much.
Jeffrey

__________________
runhard is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-01-2007, 06:31 PM   #10
Orfy
For the love of beer!
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Orfy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Cheshire, England
Posts: 11,853
Liked 68 Times on 52 Posts
Likes Given: 30

Default

Cheers,

Keep us updated.

__________________
GET THE GOBLIN
Have a beer on me.
Orfy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Sale - Stainless steel conical fermenter thantos For Sale 13 08-16-2009 07:27 PM
My stainless fermenter SAMBUCA DIY Projects 5 07-02-2009 03:07 PM
Stainless fermenter for wine billtzk Wine Making Forum 3 12-21-2008 07:42 PM
stainless conical fermenter nchomebrew Extract Brewing 10 09-05-2007 10:42 PM
Stainless Steel Fermenter JEM Australia Equipment/Sanitation 12 01-08-2005 12:09 AM