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Recommendations for FV

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Ridenour64

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I just sold my SS Brewtech Unitank today. I was looking to simplify my brew days and bring more ease to my process. The unitank was great, but that’s a ton of parts to clean every brew day, and also my DIY glycol was a pain in the butt.

With that being said, I’m on the lookout for a new FV. What I’m thinking right now is a 15 gallon torpedo keg to ferment in. I can do 5-10 gallon batches. My only concern is wondering if cleaning a 15 gallon corny will be difficult. I can toss the keg into a chest freezer (with an ink bird) to maintain temps. Pressure ferment/ transfer ETC.

Any cons you can think of to my plan? Any recommendations on other ideas? (No plastic for me)
 

MoreHopsPlease

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I have a couple 15 gallon torpedos I use as brite tanks, and they are awesome for the price. I remember a day when that was the going rate for the old 10 gallon corny kegs - these are in another class for sure. Still, I think your concerns about fermenting in them are valid. I certainly wouldn't plan on getting to the bottom of them with a sponge or anything - you would have to rely on PBW and hot water - but I suppose that's not all that different than a glass carboy. I have never used them but one of those keg washers could be a wise investment if they would work for such a large keg. My other concern would be lifting one of these things with 15 gallons full of beer into and out of a chest freezer. Mine goes into a fridge with a short home-made shelf on the bottom and that is probably the most lifting I would want to do with it.

Personally I have just started fermenting in conicals and love it for the ease of collecting and re-using yeast. I prefer the tri-clamp fittings for the versatility, and many of the parts don't need a whole lot more than a rinse off with hot water if cleaning promptly. I also have always liked having a thermowell for fermenter temperature control, and that's a bit of a PITA with a keg. Have you looked into a conical that fits into a fridge so you don't have to mess with the glycol?
 
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Ridenour64

Ridenour64

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One of my biggest reasons for wanting to move on from my unitank (7gal) was to do bigger batches. After roughly 2 years of brewing 5 gallon batches, ive realized that time spent on a brew day/ waiting to drink the beer is definitely worth more than 5 gallons. When thinking about a new vessel, the price of the keg is very enticing given that it offers most of the benefits that interested me in the unitank. I harvest yeast from my starters so dumping isn’t an issue for me. I have a brush that I know will make it to the bottom. I was hoping I could get my arm in enough to wash around the top and a few inches down the wall. My brush will get the rest. A thermowell seems to be about the only thing I will miss. I was actually google searching to see if anyone had a modified keg lid that had a tri clamp fitting on it. I know it would be a tight fit for the small lid, but would offer a lot of opportunities.

But yeah, the ease of fermenting in this keg excites me. I will need a buddy to get it in my chest freezer. I prefer a chest freezer over a fridge because they are so cheap new. I had an old fridge that I was going to move into my basement one time, and in the process, a mouse jumped out from the bottom of the fridge. Decided on a new chest freezer at that point.

any reccomendations on other accessories for this torpedo keg? So far in my cart I have the keg, floating dip tube, and a brush for the keg posts. Considering a spunding valve.
 

MoreHopsPlease

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I suppose if you always have someone around on brew day that will work for you. For me not being able to do it myself when I needed to would be a big turn off. Just a heads up I also have seen some 15-20 gal conicals that will fit in a fridge. You can always find a $50 fridge on Craigslist (or maybe for free) and use your chest freezer for lagering/conditioning.

As for accessories I think you nailed it - can't see you needing anything else. I never thought of the floating dip tube for fermenting but that should work great as long as it doesn't suck up residual krausen. Otherwise just cut the dip tube a bit short. If you could find someone to custom weld you a corny keg lid with a TC port and a PRV that would be amazing if it could fit. Maybe Bobby or Jay at NorCal could make it happen? A welded on thermowell seems like you would have a hard time getting the lid in place. And I have used the fermenting lids with the hole for the stopper and they are not ideal.
 

apache_brew

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I think you'd be real happy with the 15 gallon torpedo as a fermenter. I'd pick up a corny lid with liquid post so that your floating dip tube siphons through it. Then you leave your long dip tube in your beer out post. If you want to add oxygen at the start of fermentation, blow in down through the beer. If you want to purge with CO2 while your dry hopping? Blow CO2 down into the beer and open the Corny lid so CO2 is bubbling up through the beer while you dump in hops. Kegland makes a nifty little screen filter for their floating diptubes. I would blow CO2 through this before cold crashing to purge any built up hops/yeast off the screen to minimize getting clogged during racking.

kl15721_-_keg_lid_with_liquid_corny_post_ss_float_80cm_silicone_hose_the_corny_floater_-_copy.jpg
kl16957_-_floating_dip_tube_filter_-_bottom_position_dry.jpg

As far as cleaning it, a stationary keg washer with spray ball should make easy work of cleaning it if you want a set it and forget it type approach.

An alternative is 1/2 bbl sankey kegs using a tri clamp ball lock fitting.

kl10610_-_ball_lock_tapping_head_to_2inch_tri-clover-_fitting.jpg


I'm going the 1/2 bbl keg route with tri clamp parts and floating dip tube like this.

sankefermenter.jpg
 
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