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Old 05-13-2011, 06:01 PM   #1
dflipse
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Default Spunding Valve Construction For Corny Keg

I'm headed down the road to fermentation in corny kegs and the next step is construction of a nice, solid spunding valve (for fermenting under pressure, which along with Fermcap will reduce krausen and allow natural carbonation and maybe other benefits, plus transfer under pressure to a serving keg). Poindexter and WortMonger have previously posted very detailed information regarding this handy apparatus.

Spunding valve - video - shows how Poindexter put it together
Closed-system pressurized fermentation technique! - Post #39 in particular includes some McMaster part numbers

It's been several years since those posts. Following those instructions, and wishing to put together something as functional and solid as possible, I came up with the following McMaster-Carr parts list-

$31.64 - 99045K46 - Adj Pressure-Maintaining Plastic Relief Valve 1/8 NPT Female, 0.5-60 PSI (recommended by WortMonger)
$45.48 - 4066K512 - Stainless Steel-Case Gauge +/-2% Accuracy Dry, 2-1/2" Dial, 1/4" NPT Male Ctr Back, 0-60 PSI (recommended by WortMonger)
$12.58 - 5469K101 - Aluminum Manifold 2 Outlets, 1/4" NPT Inlet X 1/8" NPT Outlet
$1.29 - 4830K111 - Std-Wall Type 304/304L SS Thrd Pipe Nipple 1/8" Pipe X 3/4" Length, Fully Threaded (To connect the relief valve)
$2.44 - 4464K331 - Type 304 Stainless STL Threaded Pipe Fitting 1/8" Pipe Size, Hex Head Plug, 3000 PSI (Plug the extra hole in the manifold)
$3.23 - 5670K84 - Type 303 SS Multi-Barbed Tube Fitting Adapter for 1/4" Tube ID X 1/4" NPT Male Pipe

I like the idea of the manifold construction rather than putting it together with a tee and a bunch of tubing. I believe this would give me everything I need right up to the 1/4" barb to connect to the gas line on my corny keg. (Anyone with bright ideas on how to directly build the gas connect into this, maybe using one of these stainless steel bad boys, I'm all ears.)

The gauge and pressure relief valve are obviously the bulk of the cost. People also mention parts from Grainger-
Pressure Gauge
Pressure Relief Valve

That would bring the cost for those two parts down to the $30 range instead of $80ish, and the whole project to about $50 instead of $100. I'd just need to use a slightly different arrangement on the manifold.

Any thoughts on how to approach this project? Better to use a 0-30psi gauge for finer control? Different materials? This will spend some time in a fermentation chamber with some potential for condensation. The other possibility is a loss of krausen control and that for some foam (or more than foam, I guess) to come through here, but that's not the plan. Maybe add a check valve of some kind

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Old 05-13-2011, 06:11 PM   #2
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Why would you spend 45 bucks on a gauge when any variety of standard 10 dollar gauges would work. There are some pretty nice gauges for 15 bucks even.

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Old 05-13-2011, 06:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jd3 View Post
Why would you spend 45 bucks on a gauge when any variety of standard 10 dollar gauges would work. There are some pretty nice gauges for 15 bucks even.
The McMaster gauge and relief valve were specifically recommended by WortMonger, who has really been on the forefront of this kind of brewing, at least on HBT. But those posts were a few years ago.

I should have listed the prices to be more clear, the Grainger gauge looks reasonable to me, about $12 or so, and I was planning to use that instead unless someone had a good reason that I should use the more expensive part.
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Old 05-13-2011, 06:38 PM   #4
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I followed this post to build mine:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/my-...-valve-231048/

I have exactly the same parts. The only difference is that I added some clear tubbing in order to see if some liquid/kreusen is coming up. It is working great.

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Old 05-13-2011, 10:05 PM   #5
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That's perfect, I hadn't seen that post. Thanks!

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Old 05-14-2011, 01:14 PM   #6
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If gauges are going to live in your ferm chamber and you don't want to replace them every year or so, then an all stainless gauge like the one you mention is what you want. The ones that are glycerin filled are the best and I would get that since you're going there. Think about if/how you are going to mount the gauge in your chamber (so you don't drop it and crack the casing like I did) and then you can choose the bottom or back inlet models.

I started with the 0-60 and actually have replaced with the 0-30. I went to 35 PSI once and see no reason that finer control isn't better. That is unless you are like WortMonger and trying to fully carb at 70*, doing hot lagers and what not. If I ever need to go above 30 PSI, it will be with the tank. Your choice.

I use a ganged pressure vessel (a corny) so I get no gunk in my tubing or whatnot and that's very sweet. I use my spunding valve for a lot of things and am not the biggest fan of marrying it to one fermenter or making it so I have to clean it all the time. Mine is very transportable and I do 3 keg at once tandem corny filling from one sanke and it works flawlessly. Because of the spunding valve, all 3 receiving kegs are the same pressure and fill at exactly the same rate and end with exactly the same headspace, which is great if I need to adjust any carb levels with the tank.

I use this manifold to do that: Part #: 5465K71

As far as krausen passing thru a post with the poppit still in place, well, I wouldn't do that, but that's my opinion. That's a pretty small diameter opening and well, yikes! I guess with my ganged corny, I have the luxury of having that opinion though. No poppits from the sanke to the corny but there is one on the gas out of the corny where my spunder is.

You didn't mention how big your batches are or plan on being but if I were you (and I do 15 gals) I would set up my spunding valve so I could pressure ferment 3 kegs (of the same wort) at once with just the one valve.

I'm not getting what you mean by using a check valve. If you put your spunder right on your corny gas out and fill your fermenter up to as high as possible, you are going to get crap in your $100 spunder and have to clean it every time. Those guys who are putting the spunder right on the fermenter are not pushing final volume like I am... (I believe). I am doing 14.5 gals in a 15.5 sanke and definitely wouldn't want to do without my ganged corny. If you are doing 5 gal batches in a 5 gal corny, I think you'd want to engineer your valve differently than right off of the post. IMO.

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Old 05-14-2011, 01:55 PM   #7
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You might consider fermenting in a sanke. You could just as easily build a much larger fermentation vessel and have no worries about krausen gunking up your spunding valve.

Here's mine. King of a frankenstein, but it works great. I added a quick connect from home depot to attach to a co2 tank for pushing out fluids and pressurizing whenever I want.


If you do or are considering 10 gallon batches, a sanke is really nice option. Cleaning is basically a non issue. Just soak in oxy. Rinse. sanitize as you normally would. Mine is sparkling clean after each batch.

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Old 09-01-2011, 12:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dflipse View Post
I'm headed down the road to fermentation in corny kegs and the next step is construction of a nice, solid spunding valve ...
Just checking in with you to see what your status is? Did you make a spunding valve and how's that corny fermentation process coming along. We need pictures or it didn't happen...
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Old 09-01-2011, 02:19 AM   #9
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They have these at brewmasterwarehouse for 22 dollars...

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Old 09-01-2011, 02:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
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They have these at brewmasterwarehouse for 22 dollars...
Can you post a link?
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