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Old 09-30-2012, 08:55 PM   #1
Rossnaree
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Default Fermenting in a Mini-Keg?

I did a search, didn't find an answer.

I have ready access to fresh (pasteurized) cider most of the year. I usually make apple wine in larger amounts (5-15 gallon batches), but for experimenting with small batches of hard cider I was wondering about using the small mini-kegs, not the Heinekin or Newcastle and the sort but what I get from the local brew shop and sometimes fill a few when making beer. They're the same in size and appearance as the Newcastle and such, but have no internal components. The grommets that plug the top have a hole that would perfectly accomodate an airlock, and there's the spigot at the bottom. I was wondering about leaving the contents in for the entire time without racking, taking the airlock out when fermentation is over, then priming through the top, laying down CO2 in whatever headspace there is left after topping off and then sealing the top of the mini, waiting til it's ready and then dispensing? Since there's a small space between the draw-off and the bottom, I think most or all of the lees would be left behind but I have my doubts. Most of my containers are either already in use or will be shortly, but I have several of these mini's around and they won't see any beer for awhile since I'm starting to keg instead.

Anyways, this is just a preliminary idea I had earlier today and haven't really thought it through very much, and I'd like to know if anyone has any suggestions for or against.

Thanks in advance,
- Tim
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Secondary: Apfelwein, Chambourcin, Blackstone Pond American Ale, King of the North, Concord, 2nd wine from pulp of both
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:53 PM   #2
Wayneh
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That sounds like a cool alternative. That would brew straight up old fashion hard cider. I see no reason why it wouldn't work.
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:18 AM   #3
smegger
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It should work, but the main down side I can see is the lees left behind without racking. You will have a LOT there.

If you leave it sitting absolutely still maybe it might compact a little, but if you move it slightly it'll all get stirred up again. Even if you serve from the keg the suction/pressure of the moving liquid may stir it up.

Using the mini keg is a good idea but personally i'd rack at least once before putting it into its final mini keg.

Of course if cloudy yeasty cider doesn't bother you then there isn't a great issue.
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