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Old 05-21-2012, 08:49 PM   #1
ReuFroman
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Default Inverted Sanke Fermentor

I have a couple of extra banged up kegs from a local brewery. I am thinking of taking the big boy (1/2 barrel) and flipping it to make a kick ass fermentor. It's going to be a couple of weeks before I pull the trigger and I wanted to think about all the aspects of going this route.
https://picasaweb.google.com/107778433784135331819/DIYBrewing#5745090338994619154

The parts list
1"/1.5" Tri Clover X 1/2" Hose Barb with 90* Bend1"/1.5" Tri Clover X 1/2" Hose Barb with 90* Bend.
$15.00 x = $30.00

1" Tri Clover 3-Way Ball Valve1" Tri Clover 3-Way Ball Valve
$52.00 x = $52.00

Tri Clover Clamp Style Concentric Reducer 2" X 1"Tri Clover Clamp Style Concentric Reducer 2" X 1"
$20.00 x = $20.00

1" Tri Clover Sight Glass1" Tri Clover Sight Glass
$49.00 x = $49.00

2" Tri Clover Clamp2" Tri Clover Clamp
$7.00 x = $7.00

1"/1.5" Tri Clover Clamp1"/1.5" Tri Clover Clamp
$6.00 x = $24.00

1" Tri Clover Gasket PTFE1" Tri Clover Gasket PTFE
$1.50 x = $6.00

2" Tri Clover Gasket PTFE2" Tri Clover Gasket PTFE
$1.75 x = $1.75

SUBTOTAL: $189.75

Pros
cheap SS fermentor
space savings
have an extra keg just sitting there saying "USE ME!"
Easy to clean


Cons
Tri-clover are pricey
too shallow of a slope for trub and yeast**


What do you think? Attempt it or forget it





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Old 05-21-2012, 09:02 PM   #2
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Are you going to build a stand/base or weld on legs?



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Old 05-21-2012, 09:09 PM   #3
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My first thoughts are venting. How do you plan to discharge the beer once it is ready to be removed? You can just open the valve but that won't last long before you create a vacuum.
Think of the possibility of adding a CO2 fitting and "pushing" the beer out with that. No oxidizing worries with that system either.

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Old 05-21-2012, 10:50 PM   #4
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I don't see any benefit to inverting the keg, and a lot of reasons not to. As you've already mentioned, the slope isn't near enough to be able to drop trub or harvest yeast. Sankey kegs make excellent fermenters, but all you need to do is remove the spear and stick an orange carboy cap or a size 11.5 drilled stopper on top and add an airlock. You can also leave the spear in place and simply use a coupler with the gas check valve removed and attach an airlock or blow off tube to the gas port. If you want to get fancy you can add a coupler with a spunding valve for pressurized fermentation, or get one of the kits (brewers hardware?) that has a thermowell.

If you were planning on drilling a hole in the bottom of the keg for an airlock, it would ruin the keg for other uses. If your plan was to make a diptube style airlock like the inverted carboy fermenter kits, then you're going to need some much more complicated plumbing.

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Old 05-21-2012, 10:54 PM   #5
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RE: Stand options.... You could do something like this guy's setup. He bolted legs to the keg using the skirt as mounting locations. It is an idea I filed away for future reference (such as making this suggestion).
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/my-freestanding-bottom-drain-direct-fired-fly-sparging-mlt-sight-gauge-329895/

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Old 05-21-2012, 11:11 PM   #6
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I see a few problems with the setup and really no benefits. Even after $200 of hardware, you still don't have a plan for the air lock. Also, I'm not sure why you need a sight glass. For this same amount of money you could put together a 15 or 30 gallon plastic conical with yeast catcher.

I think you'd be better off just getting a fermentation adapter and leave it sitting right side up.

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Old 05-22-2012, 12:57 AM   #7
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I ferment in 1/4 barrel sankes. A #11 stopper works great and is only a few bucks.

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Old 05-22-2012, 03:22 AM   #8
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I have used my kegs as fermenting buckets with a bottle cap for a while now. They work great.

The slope concern is why I am thinking sight glass it will give me a little more "foot" space for yeast and trub. I was going to drill a small hole for a tube of off gas.

I have seen where you mate a 1/4 bbl and a 1/2 bbl. I was thinking about that option also.


Any other concerns?

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Old 05-22-2012, 03:24 AM   #9
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As for the stand, I already have a rig set up in my kegorator. Which with my new keezer will be my fermentation chamber.

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Old 05-22-2012, 03:42 AM   #10
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How do you plan on letting co2 escape during fermentation? I really don't see any benefits of doing this instead of just fermenting with it sitting upright. Add in $200 in cost and it really doesn't sound like a good idea to me. Definitely an interesting thought, though.



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