Originally Posted by haeffnkr
I have read through this thread and the majority of the people do not cut the dip tubes, but I dont understand why?
I have about 1 to 1 1/2" of yeast and trub in my 6.5 gallon fermenters.
I usually scale up my recipes to finish at 6.75 gallons of wort in the kettle so that end up with 5 gallons of clear beer in my serving keg.
So with this pressurized system if I dont cut the sanke spear short I will get pint(s) of sludge any time I try to get a sample or when I transfer.
Please help me understand this process.
First off, yes you will get some sludge when you sample, and when you start to transfer, but not pints worth. I ferment in unmodified sankey kegs. Last night I took a sample (about 4oz), I shook it up and degassed it for a while and then let it sit for about 20 minutes. It settled and there was a layer of yeast/trub in the glass but not much, maybe 1/2 cm. Then I decanted the liquid off into my sample beaker to take a gravity reading. No big deal.
When the beer is done and cold crashed, the yeast compacts and most of it stays put. I pour about 8-10oz in a glass before I start the transfer (it is cold, carbonated beer-I drink it). Then switch to my transfer hose and go for it. If you are fermenting under pressure, you are probably also kegging, so any yeast that gets in will just settle out anyway. You probably get some yeast when you transfer now, so what is the difference? Have you ever let your racking cane slip down into the trub? It is not like the whole cake flows into the cane, just a small divot around it, the same is true inside the keg. Once the divot is gone, everything else stays put.
If you cut the spear, you create other problems.
First, you leave beer in the keg! I don't know how much, but definitely some.
Second, it makes it harder to clean. You can't drain it completely while the keg is upright (I use an air compressor) and when you rinse it with a hose or pump upside down the water will not blast against the bottom and cascade down the sides.
Third, it makes it harder to harvest yeast. Because you leave liquid in the keg, when you try to rinse the yeast and push it out, you won't be able to get all of it.
Fourth, if you ever want to use it as an actual keg again, you want it to be complete.
Somewhere in this massive thread I believe WortMonger (the Godfather so to speak) said he cut his spear and wished he hadn't.
Finally, I would say this. You don't know until you try it. Do it at least once with the spear unmodified and see how it goes. You can always cut the spear later, you can't reattach it when you wish you hadn't cut it.