Closed transfers from plastic fermenter.

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scogan

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Now realised I need to moved to closed transfer to keg to preserve hop aromas .Once I have bought a corny, do I need to add a slight
pressure above the beer in my plastic fermenting bucket or is it ok to just pop the airlock off so it can empty without air locking ?
 

balrog

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I feed a small tube from my CO2 tank, which I set to very slow stream, put into the airlock grommet to feed positive CO2 pressure into the top of the bucket.
THen I pop the bucket top to take final SG sample and insert autosiphon.
(True OCD types will point out that I have O2 in the autosiphon and tubing to the QD that hooks into the liquid out of the purged keg.)
During fermentation, I connect from the airlock to the keg liquid out and from keg gas out to jar of starsan, letting the CO2 from fermentation purge the keg during fermentation.
 
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scogan

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Thanks for that , I have realised a few folk do the purge using active ferment derived co2 .Is it done just to save money on Co2 ?
 

balrog

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Thanks for that , I have realised a few folk do the purge using active ferment derived co2 .Is it done just to save money on Co2 ?
I wasn't purging kegs before, and by using fermentation gas it just required a little extra setup. I use a 20# tank, make about 30 batches a year, keg almost all and bottle very little, so kegging/carbing/cleaning means I refill tank about yearly and didn't want to change that. To your question then, yeah, I guess it's about saving CO2, and since it's pretty easy, I figure why not use fermentation gas.
 

McMullan

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If the FV isn't pressure rated (like my old Speidel FVs, which I still use occasionally) something like a cask breather, e.g., a low pressure butane/propane regulator, can be used as a secondary regulator, to keep things safe.
 

whattabrau

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You don't need to apply pressure per se. You just need tubing, connectors and gravity. Place the FV higher than the keg, hook the spigot of your FV to the "out" on the keg, and hook the "in" of the keg to the airlock on your FV. In other words, form a literal closed loop. Open spigot. Liquid flows into the keg, and is replaced in the FV by inert gas from the purged keg.

You can get as creative as you want with replacing the airlock with the gas connection from the keg, but I just pop mine quickly off and the other one into place. Currently have a NEPA that's been on tap for a few months, and not deteriorating one bit.
 

tracer bullet

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You don't need to apply pressure per se. You just need tubing, connectors and gravity. Place the FV higher than the keg, hook the spigot of your FV to the "out" on the keg, and hook the "in" of the keg to the airlock on your FV. In other words, form a literal closed loop. Open spigot. Liquid flows into the keg, and is replaced in the FV by inert gas from the purged keg.
Exactly what I do, works well.

On a related note, I fill the keg with water and use CO2 to push it out. I leave a slight pressure in the keg, 1 psi or so, and use that to try to purge the line connected to the spigot and later the line connected to the top of the fermenter.

I put some 1/4" flare bulkhead fittings with o-rings in the top of the fermenter lid. I'm sure there are other creative ways to do this as well.
 
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scogan

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I think that sounds good , positive pressure not needed .Since I will be draining out the fv by a tap very close to the trub , is a filter advisable ?
 

tracer bullet

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I don't, if it's settled well enough the trub stays put. Close enough for me anyhow. Nice thing with a clear fermenter is you can drain and slowly tip too and see what's happening.

I do get a little but within a glass or so it's gone. I'm sure there are better methods but "eh, just be careful" is an option.
 

mashpaddled

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I think that sounds good , positive pressure not needed .Since I will be draining out the fv by a tap very close to the trub , is a filter advisable ?

No, the placement of the spigot is intentional to draw beer above the trub but not so high that you're leaving a significant amount of beer behind. If your trub is up to the spigot then you should tilt the vessel away from the spigot and let the trub settle away from it. Under most circumstances this won't be an issue. You'll get a little trub in but after the beer carbs, pull half a pint, let it settle out and see how much trub you get. Pour another half pint and do the same thing. It should be clear by then and ready to drink. If you find you're getting a lot of trub, consider cold crashing before racking (if you aren't already).
 

CascadesBrewer

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I think that sounds good , positive pressure not needed .Since I will be draining out the fv by a tap very close to the trub , is a filter advisable ?

It is not a requirement, but I use an inline filter. My first time doing a closed transfer with a hoppy beer, I had some hops clog at the keg post. The filter has prevented that and stops some particles from getting into the keg. The "Bouncer" branded ones are easier to find. I purchased a VacMotion branded one off Amazon, but they don't sell them there anymore. You can get them from their site, but there are a lot of options to sort through: VacMotion Vacuum Inline Filters/Strainers The exact one I have would be the following options: Mini Series, Hose Barb, 3/8", White Nylon, Clear Nylon, EPDM (red), 20 Mesh. The "20 Mesh" filter is fairly coarse, but they have finer ones. I am 99% sure that Bouncer and VacMotion filters are both made in the US by a company named Ron-Vik, Inc (Ron-Vik, Inc specializes in the design and manufacture of products which combine wire or synthetic mesh with thermoplastics or plastisols.).

The process that I use for a closed transfer from my Fermonster fermenters into a keg sounds a lot like the steps others have described. I first fill the keg with StarSan and push that out with C02 (using C02 from fermentation is another option). I then transfer out the spigot into the "liquid/out" post in the keg with a tube running from the "gas/in" post on the keg to the top of my fermenter.

My video on my process:
 
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