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Old 10-09-2009, 05:11 PM   #11
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I have started using a 15.5gallon sanke for fermenting 5 gallon batches. It seems to be working great with no signs of oxidation from a large headspace. It's relatively easy to clean with oxiclean and then I boil my sparge water in it for extra sanitation. Then I hit it with some starsan and use a #11.5 stopper with an airlock in it.
That sounds awesome, but I think I'd want to ferment my 10 gallon batches in one of those things. I know I can get a keg on CL for less than two carboys would cost! Hey, but how do you get the fermented beer out? do you have an extra long racking cane or do you have a bulkhead on the keg?

Thanks,
J
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Old 10-10-2009, 05:00 AM   #12
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Yeah to do a 10 gallon batch in the keg would be ideal. I simply chose to use it cause it was the only option I had left after I got away from using plastic. It really is very simple, just remove the spear from the keg and stick a stopper in it.... that's all. Actually to rack out of it is very easy. My regular sized autosiphon fits it like a glove (just long enough) and the concave bottom of the keg allows you to drain as much as you would like. Most racking canes are even longer than an autosiphon so that would work just as well.

There are a quite a few people around here that use sankes as fermenters and ferment with the spear left within the keg. This way you can transfer the beer within a closed system under CO2 with no oxygen exposure. I could do this but have chosen this more simple method for now until I'm more comfortable working with CO2 and beer lines. But it works well for many people.

Opponents of sanke fermentation say that it's hard to clean but it's actually just as easy as cleaning a better bottle. Fill it with hot water and oxiclean and let it soak over night. Unlike a better bottle you can also take a carboy brush along the sides to ensure maximum gunk removal. Then I just rinse it well, heat up my sparge water within it for added measure and hit it with some starsan before adding my wort.

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Old 10-10-2009, 05:52 AM   #13
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Yeah to do a 10 gallon batch in the keg would be ideal. I simply chose to use it cause it was the only option I had left after I got away from using plastic. It really is very simple, just remove the spear from the keg and stick a stopper in it.... that's all. Actually to rack out of it is very easy. My regular sized autosiphon fits it like a glove (just long enough) and the concave bottom of the keg allows you to drain as much as you would like. Most racking canes are even longer than an autosiphon so that would work just as well.

There are a quite a few people around here that use sankes as fermenters and ferment with the spear left within the keg. This way you can transfer the beer within a closed system under CO2 with no oxygen exposure. I could do this but have chosen this more simple method for now until I'm more comfortable working with CO2 and beer lines. But it works well for many people.




Opponents of sanke fermentation say that it's hard to clean but it's actually just as easy as cleaning a better bottle. Fill it with hot water and oxiclean and let it soak over night. Unlike a better bottle you can also take a carboy brush along the sides to ensure maximum gunk removal. Then I just rinse it well, heat up my sparge water within it for added measure and hit it with some starsan before adding my wort.

Awesome! So I guess since your saying racking cane this and autosiphon that, you don't have a bulkhead (ball valve) on the keg?

Happy fermenting,
J
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Old 10-10-2009, 11:42 AM   #14
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Unless I was moving to 10 gallon batches- I'd just sell them, probably put the money toward a nice Boilermaker brewpot. But, my attitude toward keg conversions has changed in the last year. A year ago, the savings realized in a keg conversion seemed like a big deal. Now, when I look at the money involved in a year's brewing, buying a large piece of "capital equipment" like a brewpot, mashtun, or fermenter doesn't seem like that big a deal, and I'd be far more inclined to just buy a purpose designed and built piece of equipment. If and when I ever move in this direction, it's going to be "go Blichmann or go home."

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Old 10-10-2009, 05:18 PM   #15
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I definitely second this option. I am using one right now with plans to get more. It's a sweet piece of gear.
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Old 10-10-2009, 05:25 PM   #16
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Mash in one, boil in the other.

I use the MT by heating strike water in it to a little above my target and then after it cools to my target temp, mash in the grain. I heat sparge water in the 5 gallon alum pot that came with my burner.

It works fine for 5 gallon batches and just as good for 10 gallon batches of IPA's or stouts. Larger grain bills than those, like barley wines, will limit you to 5 batches.

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