Cut your corny dip tubes

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Bobby_M

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I know, I know.... it's been discussed before. I always dismissed the need to cut the dip tube shorter as a needed remedy for people who rack to keg way too soon and needed to avoid the likely thick sediment from continued clearing.

Anyway, I finally decided to lob off about 3/8" on the keg I was about to rack a Blonde ale into. Now, granted, I usually secondary my beers for 2 weeks, the latter being COLD. Even so, racking those beers into a "stock diptube" keg has always taken 2 weeks to start really clearing for me.

The blonde that I racked into the shortened tube keg started pouring clear on the second pint. This tells me that even when you put relatively clear beer into the keg, there's a general sediment layer right on the bottom that gets disturbed due to the beer flowing toward the inlet.

I'm cutting 3/8 to a 1/2" off every dip tube now. I'm converted, that's it!
 

jdoiv

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I've been thinking of doing this. I find that my beers will get crystal clear near the end of the keg. I figure that by that point all the sediment that had dropped out has been sucked up by that point giving me such a clear product. I usually will have some sludge left at the bottom of the keg, maybe half a pint or so.
 

homebrewer_99

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I just bent mine...;)

I found a torx screw driver that fit perfectly. I put it in and gave a slight bend, pulled out an inch or so and repeated all the way to the end...(I know, sounds sexual...;) ).
 

EdWort

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homebrewer_99 said:
I just bent mine...;)

I found a torx screw driver that fit perfectly. I put it in and gave a slight bend, pulled out an inch or so and repeated all the way to the end...(I know, sounds sexual...;) ).
Depends on how long your screwdriver is. :D
 

rabidgerbil

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I have no need to shorten the out tube, but I am thinking of cutting almost all of the gas in tube off... my batches seem to over fill my kegs a little, and swapping gas lines on a pressurized full keg keeps giving me a quick misting of beer... not exactly the shower that I wanted to take.
 
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Bobby_M

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EdWort said:
Now, if you cut off 3/8" how much beer will be left behind when the keg blows?
In my pinlocks, the dip tube goes down into a slight recess so I'm guessing taking 3/8 off will only leave half a pint or so.
 

Funkenjaeger

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homebrewer_99 said:
I just bent mine...;)

I found a torx screw driver that fit perfectly. I put it in and gave a slight bend, pulled out an inch or so and repeated all the way to the end...(I know, sounds sexual...;) ).
I bent mine as well. I don't see much reason to go cutting anything when you can modify it in a non-permanent way (not to mention, it's even easier and faster)

And, I did it in an even easier way - no tools involved. Just grab the tube, hold it over your knee, and gently bend it. Since you don't need much of a bend, there's not much danger of crimping - I did 4 of my kegs this way, took just a couple seconds while cleaning each one, and there's no noticeable crimp on any of them - they still slide into the out post hole just fine.

Not only does this lift the inlet off the bottom, it also moves it away from the center of the keg, which is where I would expect the bulk of the sediment to settle.
 

homebrewer_99

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Funkenjaeger said:
I bent mine as well. I don't see much reason to go cutting anything when you can modify it in a non-permanent way (not to mention, it's even easier and faster)

And, I did it in an even easier way - no tools involved. Just grab the tube, hold it over your knee, and gently bend it. Since you don't need much of a bend, there's not much danger of crimping - I did 4 of my kegs this way, took just a couple seconds while cleaning each one, and there's no noticeable crimp on any of them - they still slide into the out post hole just fine.

Not only does this lift the inlet off the bottom, it also moves it away from the center of the keg, which is where I would expect the bulk of the sediment to settle.
Exactamundo!!;)
 

sirsloop

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I got the tubes in 4 of my kegs this weekend... the tubes literally touched the bottom of the keg so knocking off a half inch will leave a very small amount of brew. Seeing as though I prime the kegs it'll be sludge anyways. I was gonna rack this belgian into a keg, but damn after 4 weeks it looks like milk chocolate! Damn Belgian yeast is persistant! HAHAH!
 
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Bobby_M

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See, pinlock kegs are different. They don't put the tube in the center of the kegs. However, there's no reason I can imagine that bending wouldn't work.
 

sirsloop

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Well... you have to worry about the beer tube spinning around with pin locks...if its bent the tube could spin around and touch the side of the keg leaving you back at square one. I suppose when you reassemble the keg if you keep that in mind it'll be ok. All of my kegs had VERY close tolerances between the end of the beer tube and the bottom. If it was something without a cake like apfelwein, it would leave less than a half cup of fluid behind.
 

Chriso

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I'm starting to wonder if the original owner of my kegs already cut them. I know he bent the living shishkabobs out of them. Odd. Either way, mine are all ball-lock and they do what most of you describe - go straight down, then at the bottom of the keg curve inward to dead-center. Some touch the bottom at dead-center, others dangle a little.
 
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Bobby_M

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You want it like 3/8" off the bottom. The sediment layer can be from 1/16" to 1/4" depending on how anxiously you rack or if you crash cool your fermenter first. 3/8" seemed to do the trick in that the beer was flowing clear by the time it was carbed. It used to take me 2-3 weeks.
 

BeerCanuck

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For those hesitant on cutting the dip tube I came up with a compromise that I havent tested but might have potential;

Its the tip of a standard racking cane that I was able to attach to a dip tube utilizing a small piece of 7/16 hose.

Cheers
BeerCanuck
 

cubbies

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I should take a picture of the first pint of my next batch. I cold condition my beers for about 10 days before they go in the keg and pint #1 is crystal clear. No sediment to speak of in my kegs.
 

BeerCanuck

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cubbies said:
I should take a picture of the first pint of my next batch. I cold condition my beers for about 10 days before they go in the keg and pint #1 is crystal clear. No sediment to speak of in my kegs.
I would love to secondary/cold condition/carbonate using a standard keg. Unfortunately there is no way of getting a freezer/fridge in my brew basement.

<sniff>
BeerCanuck
 

Cookiebaggs

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BeerCanuck said:
For those hesitant on cutting the dip tube I came up with a compromise that I havent tested but might have potential;

Its the tip of a standard racking cane that I was able to attach to a dip tube utilizing a small piece of 7/16 hose.

Cheers
BeerCanuck
Now that looks like an idea! :rockin:

Let us know how that works out.
 

Brewing Clamper

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BeerCanuck said:
For those hesitant on cutting the dip tube I came up with a compromise that I havent tested but might have potential;

Its the tip of a standard racking cane that I was able to attach to a dip tube utilizing a small piece of 7/16 hose.

Cheers
BeerCanuck
The bottom of the dip tube is usually pretty flush with the tank floor, does that racking cane tip fit? I imagine you might still have to take off 1/4" or so... definitely let us know how it works!
 

sirsloop

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I was actually thinking about doing that... but figured cutting would be good enough. That''ll definitely direct the flow away from the cake...much better than just a cut tube.
 

BierMuncher

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I've been cutting and bending since my first keg. Those stock tubes literally touch the bottom of some kegs.

Ain't no way any sediment gets avoided unless you snip and bend.


HappyFri_4.jpg
 

Kaiser

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BierMuncher said:
I used a pipe cutter. Nice clean cut.
+1 on this one.

I secondary and lager in kegs with a significantly shortened dip tube (about an inch) and then rack the beer into a serving keg that has a full length dip-tube.

Kai
 

cubbies

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BierMuncher said:
Ain't no way any sediment gets avoided unless you snip and bend.
View attachment 4075
I'm telling ya BM. No sediment to speak of in my kegs after 7-10 days of cold conditioning. It is going to be at least a week before I put a beer in keg, and probably another 3+ until I touch that keg, but I will try and remember to take a pic of my first pint. Crystal clear.
 

sirsloop

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I used the largest drill bit I could fit in a 3/8" chuck. I marked the tube, put it in one of those quick locking clamps, drilled it by hand, and deburred the ends with a dremel once done. It took me roughly 5 minutes each getting them to look pretty.
 

TexLaw

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cubbies said:
I'm telling ya BM. No sediment to speak of in my kegs after 7-10 days of cold conditioning. It is going to be at least a week before I put a beer in keg, and probably another 3+ until I touch that keg, but I will try and remember to take a pic of my first pint. Crystal clear.
Pretty much the same thing here. If I rush a beer, it might be hazy for a little while, but they always clear up and quickly. If I give it the time it should have, I get clear beer from the start or, at the worst, one cloudy pour.

I would rather drink that first pour than leave it at the bottom of a trimmed dip tube.


TL
 

BierMuncher

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TexLaw said:
...I would rather drink that first pour than leave it at the bottom of a trimmed dip tube.
TL
I estimate it's about 4 ounces.

The thing about a dip tube submerged in a thin cake of yeast, is that the drawing off of a beer won't suction out the yeast cake. It'll just create a bit of a "crater well” and the beer will continuously flow into that well and up the dip tube. This can increase the chance if pulling off a yeasty bite.

I’m not one to waste beer either, but let’s face it, 1/4 to 3/8 inch is not that much.
 

TexLaw

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BierMuncher said:
I estimate it's about 4 ounces.

I’m not one to waste beer either, but let’s face it, 1/4 to 3/8 inch is not that much.
Well, I'll agree with you there. And, still, I would rather drink that tiny bit than leave it in the keg. Other than the one pour (if it even comes out that way), I don't see how that small bit buffers enough against the crater well effect. After no more than one pour, it seems that whatever will wash out does wash out. At least, it's been that way for all the kegs I've filled and emptied over the last several years.


TL
 
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