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Old 02-03-2012, 02:35 AM   #1
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Default The Switch - Sanke keg serving and fermenting

Everyone here keeps us VERY busy.
I'm managing to get some of my personal brew related projects worked out.
Thanks for keeping us busy!


Also want to say thank you to several people I borrowed all these great ideas from off the forum!
I would list them here.......

I'm in the process of changing over to 1/6 barrel kegs for serving and fermenting.
I have a couple 1/2 barrel kegs to do larger 10-12 gallon batches when needed.

These are brand 1/6 (5.17 gallon) new slims I bought locally. Not cheap but I wanted them to all match and have the same spear hardware etc. 10 keg minimum forced my hand!



Had to figure out a way to clean them so I modified a tap by removing the ball and check valves. Soldered 1/2 x 3/8 NPT reducing hex nipples to the nuts so I could connect camlocks to the in and out.



So using a sump pump and some hose connections I can recirculate cleaner and then run rinse water through the sanke tap. Water flows into the liquid connection sprays up the spear and drain out the co2 side.


I have a wand with sprayer head that hooks onto the camlock I put on the pump so I can switch between this and the sanke connector. This allows me to clean the fermenters without installing the spear.



I got impatient and made my own tool to press on the spears to make it easier to get the spiral rings in and out. Not pretty but it works great.
1/4" plate steel and a harbor freight C clamp cut and welded. I use a nut and socket to push on the spear.


Fermenting setup will be documented when I get the parts. Plan to use 2" tri-clover and to modify some 2" caps by drilling and adding some 1/2" pickup tubes through them.
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Old 02-03-2012, 02:36 AM   #2
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Managed to find a block of time to drill and solder in a fitting.

Note: USE COBALT BITS. 1/4" thick blanks will eat up all other bits. Don't cheap out and use cobalt coated either.

This is my test fitting. I just cut the thread off a brass compression adapter and drilled out the stop.
Roughed up both brass and the stainless steel blank surface around the hole and butt soldered the fitting.

I will test it for leaks.
I will be using o-rings to seal against the pickup tube.





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Old 02-03-2012, 02:37 AM   #3
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:13 AM   #4
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Looks great. I have a similar setup, but not quite as polished/well thought out, so I will definitely be borrowing some of your ideas!

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Old 02-03-2012, 08:28 AM   #5
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That is awesome. You just made me think about changing to sanke. I only have 3 cornies at the moment and want more (usual story ). Over in NZ used cornies go for about NZ$120 and in kind of short supply, used 50 ltr sankes are... $120 (ligit that is ) so I guest 25 ltr one might be a bit cheaper (don't know really ) and are more available. So for the long run it is kind of a good idea to go to sanke
How much is not cheap by the way?

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Old 02-03-2012, 12:28 PM   #6
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Those kegs look great! I'm still using cornies mostly for serving, but I have 2 and soon to be 3 sanke's that I'm going to start doing some closed system fermentating.

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Old 02-03-2012, 12:37 PM   #7
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The 1/6 are around $130 each with tax new. So not cheap.

Corney kegs are up around that same price brand new so that's how I justified spending the money.
I do have and use corney kegs.

I'll post some pictures of the fermentation connections and I do plan on trying pressure fementing as well.

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Old 02-03-2012, 12:46 PM   #8
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That's not bad at all! You need to display them in your brewery when not in use! I'm tempted to polish the sanke's just for looks in the brewery.

One thing I suggest you do, after you get your spunding valve setup, hook up your C02 tank to a keg with the beer out port blocked or closed off. Pressurize it to 15-20. Disconnect, and hook up your spunding valve to see how it works (not sure if you have used it before), i found mine incredibly unclear on how adjustments on the knob would affect pressure release, and still am in a way. I know where zero is on the valve and I'm getting the idea how much a full turn of the knob is.

Good luck!

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Old 02-03-2012, 01:08 PM   #9
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I've made two spunding vales and played with pressure fermenting a couple years ago.

I only did one or two batches that way and it worked out fine but I do remember it being kinda a pain to get the pressure set on it.

Seemed to remember I needed a shorter range pressure gauge so I could get better resolution on the low end.

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Old 02-03-2012, 01:58 PM   #10
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Very intrested on how this turns out. I am currently working with 1/2 barrel sankes to ferment then transfer to another sanke to bright/serve out of.

Are you planning to ferment and serve out of the same keg?

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