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Question about sanke keg fermenting

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crlova2

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I know there are a thousand threads out there on this but I didn't find what I was looking for in about 15 minutes of searching.

I have an extra sanke 15.5g keg sitting around and I do ten gallon batches with my friend. I am planning on making the keg an extra primary fermenter. I typically secondary all my beers so I will just be going from the keg to two 5 gallons secondaries. So is there a point to doing all the fancy stuff with the conversion kits and such? Is there anything wrong with just throwing a stopper or carboy cap on there and then siphoning to the secondaries? What parts are needed to connect to a carboy cap to pressure push the beer into the secondaries incase it becomes to heavy to lift to siphon. Also, what size stoppers and carboy caps are used to fit on American sanke kegs? Any other input is appreciated. Thanks.

Btw I don't have money to buy the conversion kit so please don't suggest that I have already looked into it. Maybe I'll get it when I get some money.
 

buzzkill

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I dont (yet) have the cool conversion kit. i use a rubber bung( dont know the size,I just went to LHBS and got the big one they had) I have a friend help me lift,move around(most the time) and autosiphon it to cornys.

you will love keg fermenting. not much help I know. :cross:




on edit,the tape shows my bung is 2 1/4 across at the big end. (yes it sounds bad)
 

Chello

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I use a carboy cap and an airlock which works great for me. Just siphon out when done.
 
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crlova2

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Thanks! I am still trying to figure out that part you need to attach a CO2 hose to a carboy cap in order to push the beer out with a dip tube.
 

Brewing Clamper

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For the longest time I also used either a bung (#11 methinks) or a carboy cap. For the cap you pretty much have to soak it in hot water to make it stretch over the opening. After a while I used a sanke coupler with the stem (minus .75") to rack the beer out with co2.
 
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crlova2

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For the longest time I also used either a bung (#11 methinks) or a carboy cap. For the cap you pretty much have to soak it in hot water to make it stretch over the opening. After a while I used a sanke coupler with the stem (minus .75") to rack the beer out with co2.
So you used a stopper while you fermented then put the keg back together with the stem and then transfered? Does it take much time to put the parts back on so you can use a coupler? I already have a coupler so I may do that if it is easier than just using the carboy cap with a racking cane and CO2. Although I still don't know what part you use to connect the CO2 to the carboy cap... Does anyone know???
 

Chello

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So you used a stopper while you fermented then put the keg back together with the stem and then transfered? Does it take much time to put the parts back on so you can use a coupler? I already have a coupler so I may do that if it is easier than just using the carboy cap with a racking cane and CO2. Although I still don't know what part you use to connect the CO2 to the carboy cap... Does anyone know???
The pictures i'v seen are kinda ghetto. Looks like they have just a co2 tank attached to a racking canes with tubing. One short piece pushing gas in, the other long cane for the liquid out. Each joint (as well as the carboy cap itself) has a worm clamp on it keeping them tight enough to hold the 1-2 PSI needed to transfer. Making use of swivel nuts could make it less "permanent."
 

ShortSnoutBrewing

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I just "slip" on the CO2 hose over the smaller of the two "arms" of the carboy cap. Works fine. I say "slip" because it sometimes takes a little convincing.
 

Dgonza9

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I've been thinking about this setup as well. I would think that you could attach the standard coupler and just put the connecting hoses in a bucket as a blowoff tube, no?
 
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crlova2

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I've been thinking about this setup as well. I would think that you could attach the standard coupler and just put the connecting hoses in a bucket as a blowoff tube, no?
That doesn't sound like a bad idea. Anyone try this before?
 

cruelkix

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I've been thinking about this setup as well. I would think that you could attach the standard coupler and just put the connecting hoses in a bucket as a blowoff tube, no?

If you attach the standard sanke coupler, you would have to take the little grey rubber check valve thing out of the gas line. The gas line in would be what you would use for blow off out to your bucket. Then you would have to connect some sort of cap to the beer out line of the sanke coupler. If you didnt you would have air touching the beer or worse if any pressure built up you would have beer spilling out.
 
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crlova2

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So as far as sanitizing the keg you can just boil a couple gallons and the steam will do the rest? Or is that wrong?
 

buzzkill

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thats how I do it. after its cleaned and rinsed, I put a little water in it,foil over the top and boil. Then flip,let drain and ready to fill.
 

cruelkix

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After I clean it I just make a starsan solution and use that to sanitize. Boiling works as well. I electric brew so I dont really have the means to boil a keg full of water.
 
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crlova2

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After I clean it I just make a starsan solution and use that to sanitize. Boiling works as well. I electric brew so I dont really have the means to boil a keg full of water.
Well that is what I am trying to figure out for sure is whether you actually need to boil a full keg or just a little bit and the steam coming off from the couple gallons boiling will sanitize the rest. I have heard people say this works like the previous post before yours..
 

cruelkix

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Well that is what I am trying to figure out for sure is whether you actually need to boil a full keg or just a little bit and the steam coming off from the couple gallons boiling will sanitize the rest. I have heard people say this works like the previous post before yours..
Sanitation by boiling is all about maintaining a temperature for a given period of time. Common practice in the industrial world is maintaining at least 180 degrees for at least 15 minutes. It's all about the actual side wall temperature, not the steam raising up. As long as everything is 180 degrees for 15 minutes you are good to go. Which really just means boil it for 20 minutes and you are fine.
 
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crlova2

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That sounds like a lot of propane. Would rolling around a couple gallons of star san be just as effective?
 

WortMonger

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Oxy-Clean and then Star-San works for me. Honestly, if you already have the keg... you have everything you need to ferment in the keg. The keg connector tap (as previously mentioned) works great for a release of pressure. Or, you can even do it under pressure like I do. Either way, I like fermenting in a "sealed" keg. That way when you are done and un-tap, you are very assuredly clean. Transferring is no different than serving a beer, or as complicated as counter pressure keg filling into your secondary/serving keg. It's as easy or hard as you want to make it. Stoppers/carboy caps/foil can do the job on a unsealed keg just fine as well. Your choice, your beer ;). Check out the link in my signature if you want to know more about fermenting under pressure. Good luck, and great brewing.
 

cruelkix

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That sounds like a lot of propane. Would rolling around a couple gallons of star san be just as effective?
Yeah, like i said in an earlier post that is what i do. I clean with oxy clean/water and sanitize with star san.
 

Brewchitect

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I ferment 12 gal batches in 15.5 gal sanke's. I use #11 rubber bung stopper things and regular 3 piece airlocks. A typical auto-siphon is the perfect length to get every drop out of the keg and into 2 bottling buckets, which makes for a nice assembly line if you have a couple bottling helpers.

I don't know if they make a rubber stopper larger than #11, but it would be nice. Mine get fairly close to being pushed down inside the keg, which I would expect to be dang hard to get out...
 
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