Cornelius keg fermenter

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Bobby_M

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That kit just tells me that people will buy just about anything. The fact that you don't leave enough headspace for a normal krausen should be enough to tell you it's not a great primary fermenter. They do make great secondaries though where you don't need more headspace. Just unscrew the post and put a piece of rubber hose on it into which you insert the airlock. If you shorten the dip tube, you can use CO2 to rack into another keg or into your bottling bucket.
 

Bobby_M

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Yeah, did you notice the foam control part of it? You can probably primary a 4 gallon batch in a corny, but 5 gallons just takes it too close to the top.
 

jrpark22000

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I have no problem with using kegs for primary, but I have way to many corny kegs and use 2 kegs for a single batch primary and transfer both into a single keg for secondary. I still use a 6.5 carboy on some batches, but sealed kegs from pitch thru filter to tap makes things easy.
I also made some of the stainless disconnect airlocks for free from supplies I had, and it is much easier than having to take the post on and off. Is it worht $25, only if you havve way to much money to spend, just build it yourself with a plastic disconnect some tubing and a airlock.
 

brauhausjoe

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What do you guys think about a 10 gal keg as a primary for a ~5 gal batch? Then using CO2 to rack it into a 5 gal secondary and then the same process to get it to a dispensing 5 gal keg?

Would there be to much head space in the primary 10 gal?
 

Beerrific

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olllllo said:
$25 seems spendy to me when you consider all that is really required is an open ended tube for a blowoff.
Not to mention that you are 'wasting' a keg. If you need the primary, sell the keg and buy a carboy...save the $25.
 

Nwcw2001

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Go down to your local Home Depot and grab 3 feet or so of 1/2 tubing. take the "gas in" post off and pull out the tube. Put the tubing on the threads and put on a hose clamp to keep it in place. Now you have a blow off.

I measured the exact amout of liquid goes into these kegs, all the way full to the very top of the keg is 6 gallons. I just fermented 5.5 gallons of a Belgian Trippel with no problems. I could also strap a heat pad onto the side of the keg to jack up the ferment temp at the end of the fermentation to get it to finish properly.

And I didn't use any fermcap. IF I had had some I would have used it, just to make sure I loose as little beer as possible. The brewpub I worked at used Fermcap to be able to increase their fementers capacity.

I think I will be using this system more and more. I plan on getting a sanke keg and doing the same thing with bigger batches.

John
 

abracadabra

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Nwcw2001 said:
Go down to your local Home Depot and grab 3 feet or so of 1/2 tubing. take the "gas in" post off and pull out the tube. Put the tubing on the threads and put on a hose clamp to keep it in place. Now you have a blow off.

I measured the exact amout of liquid goes into these kegs, all the way full to the very top of the keg is 6 gallons. I just fermented 5.5 gallons of a Belgian Trippel with no problems. I could also strap a heat pad onto the side of the keg to jack up the ferment temp at the end of the fermentation to get it to finish properly.

And I didn't use any fermcap. IF I had had some I would have used it, just to make sure I loose as little beer as possible. The brewpub I worked at used Fermcap to be able to increase their fementers capacity.

I think I will be using this system more and more. I plan on getting a sanke keg and doing the same thing with bigger batches.

John
I think it's great when people with actual experience post money saving advise such as this.

Keep up the good work John.............:mug:
 

Nwcw2001

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I just tasted the Trippel today and it is FANTASTIC!! it was sticky sweet last thursday when I tasted it but, giving it a shake and the heating pad fermented it out and it is fabulous! It get's crashed tomorrow and carbed in two days!

John
 

brauhausjoe

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I would like to try to do this because I have all the equipment and am curious to see how it works, especially if it makes better beer.

I have a few questions:

I have been reading that there is not enough head space in a 5 gal keg, is there to much head space in a 10 gal keg? After pouring into the 10 gal primary, should I add some CO2 to push out the air?

To help keep the transfer clean, should I cut/shorten the “out” tube? If so, how much for a 10 gal keg Primary and Secondary? How much for the 5 gal secondary? Is there something I could put on the end? Maybe the plastic thing on the end of a racking cane?
 

Nwcw2001

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Maybe I am missing something, but Cornies will hold 6 total gallons all the way full. If I am not mistaken, that's how much my 5 gallon carboy holds. How is the headspace any different?

The 1/2" tube coming out of the "gas in" line is bigger than using a carboy cap as a blow off, so you get the same amount of blow off. It works really good. Using my kegs to ferment my Belgians I think they would work really well for smaller beers, without the monster krausen.
 

abracadabra

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brauhausjoe said:
I would like to try to do this because I have all the equipment and am curious to see how it works, especially if it makes better beer.

I have a few questions:

I have been reading that there is not enough head space in a 5 gal keg, is there to much head space in a 10 gal keg? After pouring into the 10 gal primary, should I add some CO2 to push out the air?

To help keep the transfer clean, should I cut/shorten the “out” tube? If so, how much for a 10 gal keg Primary and Secondary? How much for the 5 gal secondary? Is there something I could put on the end? Maybe the plastic thing on the end of a racking cane?
Rather than cut the end of the bev. tube off. If it were me I'd just insert a phillips head screw driver that was a snug fit and bent the tube up. It's easier and not permanent. That's what I did.
 

brauhausjoe

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Here is my plan for fermenting a 5 gal batch using corny kegs:

Primary Fermentation:

After brewing but before adding the yeast, pour the wort in a 5 gallon bucket to make sure it is around 5 gallons, then pour into the 10 gallon sanitized corny keg. Add yeast, aerate, seal and put airlock in place.

Secondary Fermentation:


Attach an open ended line with a thumb valve to the “out” post of your primary. Then hook up CO2 to the “in” post and apply 3-4 lbs pressure and let flow into a collection vessel until the beer is clear. When clear, stop the CO2. Now hook up “out” post of primary to “out” post of secondary. Put the Airlock in place. Then apply 3-4 lbs CO2 pressure. On the keg you are using as your secondary you need to open the relief valve to let the air or current gas being displaced to escape.

Serving Keg:

Once again, hook up “out” post of primary to “out” post of secondary. Then apply 3-4 lbs pressure. On the keg you are using as your secondary you need to open the relief valve to let the air or current gas being displaced to escape.

Bottling?:

If you wanted to bottle, attach an open ended line with a thumb valve to the “out” post of your secondary. Add muttons or similar carb tabs to the bottles. Then hook up CO2 to the “in” post and apply 3-4 lbs pressure and fill your bottles using the thumb valve for control.

What do you guys think? Good process? Bad Process? Improvements?
 

JungMin

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Go down to your local Home Depot and grab 3 feet or so of 1/2 tubing. take the "gas in" post off and pull out the tube. Put the tubing on the threads and put on a hose clamp to keep it in place. Now you have a blow off.

I measured the exact amout of liquid goes into these kegs, all the way full to the very top of the keg is 6 gallons. I just fermented 5.5 gallons of a Belgian Trippel with no problems. I could also strap a heat pad onto the side of the keg to jack up the ferment temp at the end of the fermentation to get it to finish properly.

John
This is still working well?? I want to start brewing some lagers, but I have no where to ferement the beer at lager temps except my kegerator (holds two kegs). When my next keg empties, I am going to brew up a lager and try the above, leaving one beer on tap. Unfortunately, I have no other way of doing it. So I hope this works!!
 

MrFugglz

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Does anyone have experience using the Corny Kegs for lagering? I have a dual corny kegerator with a digital thermostat. I was thinking of using one of them for my primary, transfer it to a glass carbouy, clean out the original corny, transfer it back. I am anal when it comes to sanitation, so I am not too concerned about the possibility of contamination due to the multiple transfers..

Having not done a lager yet, does it still generate krausen at the top, even though most are bottom fermenters?
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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This thread is out of date. Many of us are now doing all our fermentation in cornies with great success. Do a search for primary ferment in corny and it will come up.
 

abracadabra

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This thread is out of date. Many of us are now doing all our fermentation in cornies with great success. Do a search for primary ferment in corny and it will come up.
I have to disagree that the thread is out of date. It's a couple of years old true enough, but if you read it John posts where he has had great success using a corny as a primary, how he did it and why it works without any problem. So the information still relevant. The fact that this was one of the earliest posts with factual info on the fact that cornies make for a great primary does not make it out of date.
 

Grimm

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I actually removed the release valve from the lid and got a small stopper an airlock to fit in that hole. And as far head space, It seemed to have plenty, i didn't get any blow off.
 

Layne

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I also ferment in corneys.
10 gal batch split between 2 corneys, a few drops of fermcap, remove 'in' post, put 1/2" hose from there to a plastic bottle with some starsan in it.
Occasionally, I'll overflow, but usually not. Then use co2 to push thru a filter into new corneys. So, I get really close to 10 gals fermented, in the same small fridge that would hold only 1 6.5 gal carboy.
 

buzzkill

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when I primary in a corny,I take out the dip tubes, one less thing to clean crud out of. Then pull the post, drop it in, push to new keg. I bend the tube, if you cut it,you can never un-cut it.
 

abracadabra

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Does anyone have experience using the Corny Kegs for lagering? I have a dual corny kegerator with a digital thermostat. I was thinking of using one of them for my primary, transfer it to a glass carbouy, clean out the original corny, transfer it back. I am anal when it comes to sanitation, so I am not too concerned about the possibility of contamination due to the multiple transfers..

Having not done a lager yet, does it still generate krausen at the top, even though most are bottom fermenters?
Be careful not to areate the beer as you transfer and you should not have any problems. Be sure and either bend the dip tube up or cut off an inch or so
that you don't transfer the crud on the bottom of your corny.

I prefer a direct corny to corny transfer as that it can be done using CO2 and the recieving corny can be flooded with co2 before the transfer takes place so that there is no contact with 02 at all.

But your method should work.
 

MrFugglz

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Thanks Abra.. I just put in an order for 2 more corny kegs, the closed system transfer using CO2 makes a ton of sense. I haven't looked at the dip tube yet, but is it fairly easy to bend and/or cut? I assume you can disassemble and remove?
 

bentonre

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Thanks Abra.. I just put in an order for 2 more corny kegs, the closed system transfer using CO2 makes a ton of sense. I haven't looked at the dip tube yet, but is it fairly easy to bend and/or cut? I assume you can disassemble and remove?
If your hands and arms aren't too big, you can reach in the lid opening and bend it up a bit. I like the kegs with the pickup tube off to the side, bending it toward the middle or opposite side seems to raise it up enough for me.
 

abracadabra

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Bending the tube is easy I've done it at on at least 6 cornies. But just to make sure they don't crimp I place a phillips head screw driver in each end, a long one in the straight end and a regular lenght in the curved end and bend it over my knee.

I've never cut one as I like the fact that a bent tube can easily be unbent once you cut it you are pretty much stuck
 

Marmadoon

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I used to ferment, condition and tap from a three corny unit. Ferment in the first keg with a pickup cut about 3/4" - 1" short to leave the trash. Instead of unscrewing the "gas in" on the fermenter, I rigged a hose and airlock on an extra pinlock gas fitting. When your primary ferment is finished, charge the secondary with CO2, remove the airlock, connect gas fitting and transfer to secondary. Then repeat to transfer to final. Doing it this way virtually eliminates stray bacteria/yeast. All of my fittings have been lost in the course of three moves in the past 9 years. I have ordered new fittings and will use this system next brewday.
 
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