Cornelius keg dip tube final liquid level / sediment exclusion foot?

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Cider Wraith

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(Apologies in advance because this thread makes reference to something posted a couple of weeks ago … thought this was a compelling enough possibility to repost as the central topic)

For those that ferment in Cornelius kegs and want to transfer from ferm to serv in a way that leaves behind the majority of sediment, and if not wanting to use a floating dip tube and if hesitant to cut a dip tube, how about the idea of a Cornelius keg dip tube final liquid level / sediment exclusion foot that could be installed or removed in seconds allowing any keg to be used as a fermenter and then back to a server? What if modifying dip tubes was unnecessary with simple alternatives?

Most folks will be familiar with a racking cane, so, given the principle of the “sediment exclusion foot” on a racking cane how about something like the following

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720136-tube-bottom.jpeg

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Those images are just for illustration … a racking cane foot probably wouldn’t reliably stay on a dip tube and probably one would want something a little taller ... but what could do the job? Have done searches for “stainless steel vial”, “miniature test tube”, “stainless steel pipe cap”, “stainless steel lug nut”, etcetera. I like the idea of stainless steel and possibly but preferentially not glass. Some of these are looking possibly interesting

This is a "vial" with a screw top intended allow one to wear a small quantity of something in a neckless. The deal breaker here is the clear portion is plastic
dip_foot_1.jpeg

This is the bottom of a miniature glass screw top bottle so in this case one would have to be cutting off the top
dip_foot_2.jpeg

Similar idea, requires some glass cutting? Or would the tube be a good fit down into the neck? So here, one would be committing to drawing down to only the top of the height of the bottle so not customizable
dip_foot_3.jpeg

This is looking more interesting. These are miniature flasks intending to allow one to wear a small amount of liquid on a neckless. And so, these are food-grade stainless steel and intended for consumption related use
dip_foot_4.jpeg

Looking interesting here. A question would be, would the dip tube fit down into the neck? If so, that makes the job so much easier. So in this case, if the tube would fit into the vessel, one could estimate how low they want to draw liquid from, how much liquid to sacrifice in the interest of eliminating sediment, and at that height drill three holes around the perimeter.
dip_foot_5.jpeg

Now, a couple of constraints are that something like that isyou're just going to have to expect/hope that the bottom of the dip tube sits crooked enough against the bottom of the vessel to allow liquid to pass into the tube, and you're going to have to have a little bit of luck that there is space enough between the bottom of the keg and the bottom of the tube to allow this to fit into that space. I guess in the first case if the bottom of the tube was sitting too closely to the bottom of this "foot" could one throw in a few spare "O rings" to create some gaps?

There could be other possibilities like food-grade rubber hose that was large enough to fit completely freely over the dip tube and not seal against the bottom of the keg but to fit well enough to keep out most sediment, and ideas like hoses inside hoses for the same effect. I did try a dip tube in an upside-down keg post but the fit was so snug it would simply halt flow. If one wanted to go with plastic hose I guess one could install two gas dip tubes and have the "OUT" one connect to a fixed length piece of tubing that was hanging an exact distance above the bottom. But that's back to the concerns of floating tubes bending or leaching or curling and kinking and not thrilled about rubber/plastic in fermenting. Finally, if one could do fine stainless steel fabrication a small "J" shaped foot could be constructed that would push onto the end of a dip tube and causing flow to be turned 180 degrees back up the tube to the point where one wanted the final liquid level to be and it would function like a pond stand-pipe drain.

Maybe some of you have already perfected the Cornelius keg dip tube final liquid level / sediment exclusion foot? Appreciate any feedback, thanks -
 
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Cider Wraith

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Stainless steel shot glass possibly 1 oz size (shown here 2 oz). The rim of the shot glass becomes the pond stand-pipe drain spillway and the height establishes final liquid level. Must account for if it's slightly tilted in the bottom of the keg. If wanting final liquid level lower, drill holes at desired height. Stainless steel shot glasses are inexpensive so can have several drilled at different heights for different batches
stand_pipe_1.jpeg


Stainless steel funnel upside-down on dip tube serves two purposes. Helps keep shot glass relatively parallel-ish to dip tube, but not so in alignment liquid can't pass between the shot glass and tube but sure seems like it would keep it from kicking out. Then, serves as a sediment "umbrella" encouraging settling sediment to collect away from the shot glass and overwhelming not in it. Everything lose fitting enough to allow for generous liquid transfer while accomplishing the job of dramatic sediment exclusion
stand_pipe_2.jpeg


All food grade stainless steel and all surfaces can be touched to clean, sanitize. Inexpensive, off-the-shelf parts. Will this work?
 

Bassman2003

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I think a lot of this would work but the trick is keeping it attached or under the dip tube. The cut dip tube is nice because it is pointing downward. The shot glass would catch some sediment because it is an open bucket pointing upward. The length to cut the dip tube is easy to measure by starting conservatively then checking. Cut the dip tube something like 1/2" or 3/4", drain a batch and take a flashlight out to look at the sediment. If it has a crater, then the dip tube is still too long. If it is undisturbed, then you are done. Either way, your batch will be improved from when you started and you will not have "things" to deal with in your keg going forward. Simple is always best. What would be the harm if you did cut the dip tube a little too much? not that much liquid would be lost and you would know the cider is clear.
 
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Cider Wraith

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What would be the harm if you did cut the dip tube a little too much? not that much liquid would be lost and you would know the cider is clear.
🤣 Yes, agreed! - Yep, of course you're exactly right. I just got on this track last night and got to thinking before giving up on it I wonder what other people have done. There is the guy I think in South America that has made this work. But I have plenty of kegs and a trimmed dip-tube is fail-safe. Always thoroughly appreciate hearing from you and all comments! -
 
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Cider Wraith

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Cut the dip tube something like 1/2" or 3/4", drain a batch and take a flashlight out to look at the sediment. If it has a crater, then the dip tube is still too long. If it is undisturbed, then you are done. Either way, your batch will be improved from when you started and you will not have "things" to deal with in your keg going forward. Simple is always best
@Bassman2003 your thoughtful replies are immeasurably generous and highly appreciated

We're agreed on trimming dip, so here's a thought. You suggested starting at 1/2" to 3/4" and observations reveal that sounds good (as to be expected from a master) :) But another twist, if you please ......

What I'm thinking in most cases is, after a perfectly fermenting batch is done, throwing another round of sweet onto that yeast/mess. Experimenting with this a few times has resulted in the best ever, unreproducible (unfortunately) monster outcome - did a cider immediately after a mead and it got raves

I guess my question is, any estimate on how much sediment is produced cumulatively per batch? Does each batch produce a similar quantity of sediment, or do subsequent batches begin producing less and less sediment? Because think about it, like if the dip were trimmed wildly too high like three inches if intending to to multiple batches in the same ferm, one is still only losing any excess liquid in the last batch

And so, any wild guesses how many batches it would take to raise the sediment level to a 1" or thereabouts? 2"? 3"?

And of course, doing consecutive batches in the same ferm one is only really "losing" the remaining unused liquid in the last batch, because the overflow of the former batch goes into the next new batch.

Thoughts, or have you had enough of this? 🤣
 

Bassman2003

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I can't really guess as I do not have any experience with cider & keg ferments. If you are pouring clear apple juice onto a previous yeast cake, it would seem that not too much would fall out of the juice. If it is fresh pressed or farm apple juice, it seems a lot more would wind up in the bottom. All of this would not be ideal for a cut dip tube unless you could have a couple of different lengths of dip tubes and swap them out when you brew this way.
 

odie

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I thing the issue that will cause you problems is that you cannot see the sediment layer. Cut the tube too long and you will still get lots of trub. cut it too short and you lose a lot of beer. And each batch is going to have a different depth layer.

I see no practical alternative to a floating dip tube to achieve what you want.

Or just leave the tube alone and sacrifice the first couple pints.
 
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Cider Wraith

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( ...was intending to let this thread pass into history because I'm sure you are all tired of hearing from this noob ... but ... )

Have had success with, after a batch is finished fermenting, before opening and transferring, being ready with fresh ingredients. I've gone maybe four or so rounds with the same yeast, although much of that was in my - now over - carboy days. In some cases I went right back into the same carboy and in some transferred. So how about in a corny?

First of all, a question, for those that have done it, does adding new ingredients to existing yeast continue to raise the sediment level higher-and-higher for each successive batch? Seems like it would. If so then the length a dip tube would be cut wouldn't be a function of it sitting at the level at the top of the sediment of a single batch, but at the level of the top of the sediment after as many batches as you intend to throw onto the same yeast

For example -

First batch finished, open top, looking at liquid? Yes - add more ingredients

Second batch finished, open top, looking at liquid? Yes - add more ingredients

Third batch finished, open top, looking at liquid? No, looking at yeast with a small crater. Drain keg, clean, start over. And so in a case like that that tube is cut to be an approximately three batch tube
 
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