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derekcw83

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I have been kegging for about a year. I started doing closed transfers on my ipas about a few months ago.

My question is what is the absolute best method for doing a closed transfer to eliminate as much oxygen as possible?

I am nearly certain I am oxidizing my ipas as I get sherry type of candy flavor within a week or 2 of kegging, aroma diminishes within a week of kegging and the nice hoppy punchy flavor has dulled quite a bit as well.

Currently this is my method. Flush keg with sanitizer and purge it all out using co2 after I've sealed it prior to running the co2 through. I then give it a little extra pressure and then hookup my racking cane fixture with tube and all to the liquid side of the keg, allowing the excess co2 to run through the tubing very quickly as I immediately cap my fermenter with the racking cane fixture (my thought is that I'm flushing the tubing and cane as much as possible with co2) then I assume at this point that most of the gas in the fermenter and the keg are co2, I hookup gas, transfer into keg, then purge the keg at least 10 times.

Where I am GUESSING that I am introducing oxygen is when I'm as quickly as possible attaching the orange cap with cane to the fermenter?

Could I in theory, with the cane fixed at a high position while capped on the fermenter, flush the keg headspace with co2? Maybe even use the fermenter as the in between to flush sanitizer out of the keg?? meaning run gas through the fermenter head space, through the cane and siphon, into the gas side of the keg, and out the liquid side? Then switch DQ to liquid side, drop cane into beer, and continue onto transfer?
 

brew703

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Your process sounds good. I would think the issue is not from attaching the carboy cap and racking cane but not sure as I have not done this yet.

I'm been thinking about this for some time now and my plan was to do exactly as you are. Then i started reading about people using kegs to ferment in which would be totally closed. But I'm just not sure if the exact method using a keg as it will be fermenting under low pressure with no oxygen at all. At least that's what i've been reading. Not quite sure how the yeast would react to no oxygen. Plus i actually like seeing my beer ferment.

But I was all set to do as you do as I'm in the process of getting my keg system set up.

I'll follow to see what the more experienced folks have to say.
 

day_trippr

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wrt to the OP, the process as described seems fairly sound.
The one thing I do differently is I install my racking gear on the fermentor with the "cane" well above the beer line, stick a spare beer post in the disconnect (you could use your thumb instead) and apply CO2 to the fermentor, thus purging the entire liquid path before attaching the disconnect to the keg and then lowering the "cane" to start the beer flowing.

Anyway...perhaps the O2 uptake happened before you even started racking to your keg.

eg: do you cold-crash without taking measures to prevent O2 uptake?
(Hint: an "air lock" does zero wrt preventing O2 ingress)...

Cheers!
 

thekraken

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@derekw83, are you sure you entirly purging your keg before transfer? I do what @schematix describes here and make sure I tilt the corny in such a way that liquid fills every void and pushes out all air pockets that could even be hiding in and around the dip tubes.

Do you cold crash your fermenters? If so, do you take steps to avoid drawing in outside air into the fermenter?

@brew703, you still oxygenate your wort when fermenting in a keg.
 

h22lude

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If you want to remove as much O2 as possible, you need to cut your gas dip tube to be level with the keg. Air gets trapped in the lid. If you tilt the keg to let the air out the gas dip tube without cutting it, the air won't escape because it gets trapped around the tube. Cutting it allows that air to escape. Then fill with StarSan until it comes out the gas side. Now your keg is 100% O2 free.

You do get O2 in when you remove your cap and put the racking cane in.

If you continue to do it this way, when you remove the cap to put your racking cane in, put in some priming sugar. Let your kegs carb naturally. The active yeast from carbing will scrub the same amount of O2 you let in with the cane.

Edit: thekraken beat me to it.
 

brew703

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@derekw83, are you sure you entirly purging your keg before transfer? I do what @schematix describes here and make sure I tilt the corny in such a way that liquid fills every void and pushes out all air pockets that could even be hiding in and around the dip tubes.

Do you cold crash your fermenters? If so, do you take steps to avoid drawing in outside air into the fermenter?

@brew703, you still oxygenate your wort when fermenting in a keg.
Yeah, but outside of that no oxygen gets in and I'm sure the yeast eats up all the oxygen that was initially added. Which is a good thing.

Once I get my keg system set up I'll give this a try. I dont brew alot of IPA's but i do like NEIPA's. I quit brewing them because of oxidation issues. I've been putting off getting a keg set up but now is the time.
 

day_trippr

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While I did cut all of my gas dip tubes down to 1/2", that wasn't for purging.
You don't have to cut anything if you have a full length dip tube properly positioned in its well.

I fill the keg with Star San mix via a length of plain vinyl tubing through the lid until it's almost full.
Then I install the lid, flip the keg over, switch the plain tubing to one with a gas QD, and fill through the gas post while draining out the beer post until the liquid runs clear.
Flip the keg over, slap a gas line on the keg and push the Star San out via the beer post.
Done and done...

Cheers!
 

h22lude

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While I did cut all of my gas dip tubes down to 1/2", that wasn't for purging.
You don't have to cut anything if you have a full length dip tube properly positioned in its well.

I fill the keg with Star San mix via a length of plain vinyl tubing through the lid until it's almost full.
Then I install the lid, flip the keg over, switch the plain tubing to one with a gas QD, and fill through the gas post while draining out the beer post until the liquid runs clear.
Flip the keg over, slap a gas line on the keg and push the Star San out via the beer post.
Done and done...

Cheers!
What is the StarSan in that you can push it through the gas line when the keg is upside down? Are you using gravity, CO2 or a pump?
 

day_trippr

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I keep a 7 gallon bucket with a drain valve filled with Star San/distilled water mix on a bench top, and I fill the kegs on the floor.

The inversion thing sounds like a big process but it really isn't. If you have the tubing/QD combinations made, set up time is trivial. Most of the time is standing around as the Star San moves along (gravity only works so fast :))

To that end, I use 3/8" tubing shoved directly over the male QD threads with a worm clamp to hold it tight. Much less resistance than 3/16" ID beer line = faster transfers...

Cheers!
 
OP
D

derekcw83

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wrt to the OP, the process as described seems fairly sound.
The one thing I do differently is I install my racking gear on the fermentor with the "cane" well above the beer line, stick a spare beer post in the disconnect (you could use your thumb instead) and apply CO2 to the fermentor, thus purging the entire liquid path before attaching the disconnect to the keg and then lowering the "cane" to start the beer flowing.

Anyway...perhaps the O2 uptake happened before you even started racking to your keg.

eg: do you cold-crash without taking measures to prevent O2 uptake?
(Hint: an "air lock" does zero wrt preventing O2 ingress)...

Cheers!
I don't do the purging of headspace and tubing the way you describe here but I am going to try this, it sounds right. Also, I do not cold crash for the oxygen reasons, but I am going to cut my gas tube to allow for letting all the air out of the keg. Between those 2 things I should be eliminating all oxygen possibly making it's way into the beer.
 

h22lude

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I keep a 7 gallon bucket with a drain valve filled with Star San/distilled water mix on a bench top, and I fill the kegs on the floor.

The inversion thing sounds like a big process but it really isn't. If you have the tubing/QD combinations made, set up time is trivial. Most of the time is standing around as the Star San moves along (gravity only works so fast :))

To that end, I use 3/8" tubing shoved directly over the male QD threads with a worm clamp to hold it tight. Much less resistance than 3/16" ID beer line = faster transfers...

Cheers!
I'll have to try this. Doesn't seem too hard. Might get a little starsan in the floor the first few times but at least I'll have fully purged kegs lol
 
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