Keg Converted to Fermenter

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digdan

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Has anyone successfully converted a half barrel keg into a fermentation vessel?

The rounded bottoms on those kegs seem like they would be perfect for putting a stainless steel valve on the bottom. And once the top has been removed I wouldn't see it too hard to convert that to a blow-off tube/airlock setup.

Let me know if I'm way off track
 

Brewing Clamper

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I ferment in a 1/2 barrel sanke. I didn't modify it much though, I just cut 3/4" off of the stem. I push the wort in from my chiller through the beer line (backflow check removed) and use the gas side (again, backflow check removed) as a blowoff. When the beer is ready, I crash cool it for a few days then just pump the beer out as usual, from the sanke to my cornies... way easier and less chance of contamination...
 

Fett327

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Hey Clamper,

Any comments on how you clean the sanke between fermentations? Seems like that is the main reason that most people dont ferment in these things.
 

McKBrew

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Hey Clamper,

Any comments on how you clean the sanke between fermentations? Seems like that is the main reason that most people dont ferment in these things.
Most people cut a larger hole in the top to allow easier access for cleaning.
 

hayabusa

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24-hour soak in Oxyclean, a good rinse and then boil 1 gal for 5 minutes to sanitize....
 

samc

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I just saw one for sale @ Steinbarts in Portland.. 3 legs welded on, a corny lid welded on top and on the bottom they had a clear waterfilter housing welded in for trub dump. Did not look all that smart of a set up as far as the filter on the bottom as the bottom of the keg does not have the required angle to flow the trub/break into the cylinder.

Overpriced as well (don't remember $$), all the equipment they have is marked up at least 50% more than most online stores.
 

kcinpdx

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yeah - they are a bit pricey for equipment. I buy grain from there on occasion though as they have a great selection.

As far as the fermenter goes, I just got an empty a week ago. My plan is to go stock, stem removed, orange carboy cap with racking cane and push with CO2. I'd rather start with zero mods and make them if I need them.
 
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digdan

digdan

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What would the benefits be of a converted keg for a fermenter oppose to per say a airtight plastic barrel/bucket ?
 

beesley121

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i have a 54 litre carboy!!

I dont use it much now as i cant put fit it in my fridge which i have coverted to hold a specific ferment temps

also they are a real PITA to clean. i yet to find an easy way to clean all the crap from inside so its pristine. im always scared of contaminating other brews

i think sankeys would be ok to ferment in. strong construction and a big volume too but only disadvantages i can see is again cleanning through such a small hole and also seeing into the keg when syphoning the beer of to make sure no yeast is picked up
 

calpyro

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i have a 54 litre carboy!!

I dont use it much now as i cant put fit it in my fridge which i have coverted to hold a specific ferment temps

also they are a real PITA to clean. i yet to find an easy way to clean all the crap from inside so its pristine. im always scared of contaminating other brews

i think sankeys would be ok to ferment in. strong construction and a big volume too but only disadvantages i can see is again cleanning through such a small hole and also seeing into the keg when syphoning the beer of to make sure no yeast is picked up
My Sankey fits in my fridge and I crash the fermenter to 34 degrees to drop the yeast prior to kegging.

It is not really hard to clean. I just soak it overnight with Oxyclean and it makes it sparkle. One time that I had the yeast dry hard inside, I used lye and it removed everything completely.
Sanitizing the Sankey is the easiest of all of the common fermenters. I just put in a gallon or so of water and boil the snot out of it for five or ten minutes. I then pour out the remaining water and cover with aluminum foil. I cannot imagine anything living though that.
 
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digdan

digdan

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Having a hard time finding a good Sankey Mod post. Anyone got some good information on how to convert a Sankey Keg?
 

giligson

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If you want to take out the spear - a good place to start. Here is a link:
Sanke Keg Revealed!

I cut the top off one and use it as a fermenter for larger than 5 gal batches. I love it. It wont break like glass, its light proof, and its a snap to clean up (with the top cut off you just hose it down, wipe it scour it whatever). I have just built an acrylic top that screws down (hard to describe - I have to post a pic later) with a gasket that will hold about 2-5 psi of pressure so the next batch I might be able to just keep it in keg without having to transfer to secondary to limit oxygen for storage (for a lager)
 

WortMonger

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You don't have to mod the keg at all. A keg can be rolled anywhere, I wouldn't even want to try moving a 15 gallon glass demijohn. I have a write up in my signature about keg fermentation. Here's what my fermentation looks like inside my chest freezer.


 
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digdan

digdan

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Do you have more instructions on how exactly you modified your sanke d tap?
 
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