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Old 03-14-2011, 01:12 PM   #1
Ranger9913
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Default 55 gal SS Drum Fermenter - need advice

I recently purchased 4 55g SS drums and converted them all to kettles. However, I decided to use one right as a fermenter until I got a big enough conical. These were all closed top heads and I cut about a 10" diameter hole in the top to allow for cleaning. I also installed a 1/2 ball valve 6" from the bottom. It is sitting on a 1ft tall rack so my plan is to simply open the ball valve to rack the beer of the yeast bed to my pump and put into 15.5g kegs to carb.

Anyone see a problem with this or have a better solution for racking.


In case you are wondering I made a top to function the same way these conicals do.

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Old 03-14-2011, 03:08 PM   #2
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Your ball valve is only 18" from the floor & a Sanke keg is around 24" tall, you will want the ball valve to be at least that high to gravity feed the beer to the kegs. Other than that, it sounds like a good plan!

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And I'd like to see my 1.080 beers ready from grain to glass in a week, and served to me by red-headed twin penthouse pets wearing garter belts and fishnet stockings, with Irish accents, calling me "master luv gun," but we can't always get what we want can we? :)
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Old 03-14-2011, 03:33 PM   #3
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Well I have a dedicated pump i am going to use for to move the beer between fermenter and keg. Although, if my lid can hold 3-5psi I will move it with CO2

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Old 03-14-2011, 03:43 PM   #4
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Look into rotating racking arms. That will allow you to adjust your diptube height so you can rack more beer and leave the trub behind.

Using a pump to move beer to a keg seems a little much. You'd have to sanitize it before you use it and then clean it when you're done. It just seems easier to raise the fermentor and let pressure do the work (it's pressure that does the work, not gravity). CO2 seems more simple than a pump but again I'd rather use height.

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Old 03-14-2011, 03:50 PM   #5
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Using a pump to move beer to a keg seems a little much. You'd have to sanitize it before you use it and then clean it when you're done. It just seems easier to raise the fermentor and let pressure do the work (it's pressure that does the work, not gravity). CO2 seems more simple than a pump but again I'd rather use height.
Agreed, if you're not constrained by ceiling height I'd just raise the fermenter up a bit.
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And I'd like to see my 1.080 beers ready from grain to glass in a week, and served to me by red-headed twin penthouse pets wearing garter belts and fishnet stockings, with Irish accents, calling me "master luv gun," but we can't always get what we want can we? :)
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Old 03-14-2011, 03:51 PM   #6
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Okay I see your point. I will also have it on 5" casters so that 22" in which I should probably move it up another 4" to give me 26".

I am actually going to build the rack today so I should should make the legs 16" then. I was going to build an 18"x18" square frame with 16" legs out of 1"x1"x1/8" angle iron. That should hold 300#lbs right?

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Old 03-14-2011, 08:12 PM   #7
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In case any is interested, I found this at Home Depot and saved me a lot of welding and cutting.

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Old 03-15-2011, 01:03 AM   #8
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Looks kind of thin, what is it made to hold? A hot water tank? I'm assuming it will hold the drum full of wort with no issues.

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Old 03-15-2011, 01:30 AM   #9
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I just set it up and it is thin but it's sturdy and rated for 40-100 gallons tanks. Not bad for $30.00

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Old 03-15-2011, 01:32 AM   #10
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It is a little thin but it's sturdy as can be. It's rated for 40-100 gallon tanks. Not bad for $30.00

1bbl.jpg  
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