Welcome to Part 6. The Final Part
The previous posts are:
Part 1 - Introduction
Part 2 - The Grain Mill
Part 3 - The Mash/LauterTun
Part 4 - The HLT and Keggle
Part 5 - The Stand and Setup
I had the opportunity to meet and talk to a local craft brewer. I told him about my planned home brew build and picked his brain about brewing.
For him as small brewer, one of the hardest parts of brewing is producing a good, consistent product. When he first opened the brewery his biggest issue was oxidation. He lost many batches early on to oxidation. He had to go through his whole process to find out where the oxygen was getting into the beer.
His biggest concern overall is sanitation, sanitation and sanitation.
So how does this figure into a fermenter. Well, I wanted a system that was easy to clean and sanitize, but also one that kept oxygen away from the beer. I decided to use a corny keg as a fermenter. A nice stainless steel interior which is easy to keep clean. I can also use a tank of co2 to move the beer from primary to secondary...oxygen free. Then later move it to my bottling bucket, without oxygen. I am working on a kegerator soon, so I will be able to keg most of my beer.
Here's the fermenter, blow-off container and all:
A close-up of the fermenter top. I purchased a special lid from morebeer, it has a 1/2inch coupling welded to the lid, it allows me to attach the blow-off hose to the coupling using a 1/2inch nipple:
From the top, the blow-off tube runs down to a plastic container. I drilled a hole in the lid. The hose comes in on top to a CPVC valve. A piece of CPVC pipe is at both ends of the valve. One end goes into the blow-off tube, the other through the lid, where another piece of tubing continues down to the bottom of the container. The usual sanitizing solution goes into the container. The valve allows me to close off the tube before the container, so when I pressurize the keg to move the beer, the co2 does not travel down into the container, and bubble away: