Sanity check before pressure fermenting in corny kegs for the first time

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rkhanso

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I'm going from my plastic conical fermenter with heat/cold temp control to pressure fermenting in corny kegs. I've read a lot of posts. It appears to me that many of the threads assume you have only one fermenting keg and one serving keg. I'll have two of each. I think I've understood most of the threads, but being a triple-checker kinda guy.... I still need to buy some stuff in order to properly switch over, and need to know what to buy.

My goal isn't LODO brewing, though that will likely be a by-product. The goal is to use a sensible process, simplify brewing, reduce equipment and space required, and still end up with great beer.

I have 2 pin-lock cornys that I've been serving out of. I now also have 2 ball-lock cornys to ferment in. I have been making 11-gallon batches to fill the pin-lock kegs (leaving trub behind in the plastic fermenter) but now might have to dial that back to 9-10 gallon batches so everything fits in the two ball-lock kegs, right?

After cooling wort with the CFC I'll pump it into the two ball-lock kegs, pitch the yeast, give them a shot of O2, seal up the kegs with a quick shot of CO2.

Then I'm a bit fuzzy on what to do next. Since I'm making enough beer to fill 2 kegs, do I connect a hose from the gas side of the first fermenting keg to the beer side of the 2nd fermenting keg? And then the spunding valve on the gas side of the second keg to regulate pressure in both kegs? OR - I can also use the CO2 during fermenting to clear the serving kegs of O2, right? So actually (in order) - FV1 gas port to beer port on FV2. Gas port on FV2 to Beer port on SV1. Gas port on SV1 to beer port on SV2. And the blow-tie spunding valve on the gas port of SV2? I'm making Sparky's Nut Brown Ale next. Should I set the pressure to say, 2 PSI for a few days before dialing it up to 12 PSI for the rest of the fermentation? I'm sure there's some correction that needs to be done there. And there are probably 100 different ways of accomplishing this.

I also have an iSpindel, but am not sure that's going to get the WiFi signal through the Stainless Steel of the keg.

Then when fermentation is done, I pressure the serving kegs with CO2 (or release a bit of it if all 4 kegs are at the same PSI) a few PSI lower than the fermentation kegs and pressure transfer from FVs to SVs?
 

marc1

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I'm going from my plastic conical fermenter with heat/cold temp control to pressure fermenting in corny kegs. I've read a lot of posts. It appears to me that many of the threads assume you have only one fermenting keg and one serving keg. I'll have two of each. I think I've understood most of the threads, but being a triple-checker kinda guy.... I still need to buy some stuff in order to properly switch over, and need to know what to buy.

My goal isn't LODO brewing, though that will likely be a by-product. The goal is to use a sensible process, simplify brewing, reduce equipment and space required, and still end up with great beer.

I have 2 pin-lock cornys that I've been serving out of. I now also have 2 ball-lock cornys to ferment in. I have been making 11-gallon batches to fill the pin-lock kegs (leaving trub behind in the plastic fermenter) but now might have to dial that back to 9-10 gallon batches so everything fits in the two ball-lock kegs, right?

After cooling wort with the CFC I'll pump it into the two ball-lock kegs, pitch the yeast, give them a shot of O2, seal up the kegs with a quick shot of CO2.

Then I'm a bit fuzzy on what to do next. Since I'm making enough beer to fill 2 kegs, do I connect a hose from the gas side of the first fermenting keg to the beer side of the 2nd fermenting keg? And then the spunding valve on the gas side of the second keg to regulate pressure in both kegs? OR - I can also use the CO2 during fermenting to clear the serving kegs of O2, right? So actually (in order) - FV1 gas port to beer port on FV2. Gas port on FV2 to Beer port on SV1. Gas port on SV1 to beer port on SV2. And the blow-tie spunding valve on the gas port of SV2? I'm making Sparky's Nut Brown Ale next. Should I set the pressure to say, 2 PSI for a few days before dialing it up to 12 PSI for the rest of the fermentation? I'm sure there's some correction that needs to be done there. And there are probably 100 different ways of accomplishing this.

I also have an iSpindel, but am not sure that's going to get the WiFi signal through the Stainless Steel of the keg.

Then when fermentation is done, I pressure the serving kegs with CO2 (or release a bit of it if all 4 kegs are at the same PSI) a few PSI lower than the fermentation kegs and pressure transfer from FVs to SVs?

I would not connect the 2 fermenters in series.

You could connect gas on FV1 to beer on SV1, and gas on FV2 to beer on SV2. SV1 and SV2 would both have a spunding valve on the gas post set to low pressure to keep the lids seated.

Or you could have the gas from FV1 and FV2 go to a T, and then have that go to the liquid on SV1, and then gas post on SV1 to liquid on SV2, and then a spunding valve on the gas post of SV2.


The spunding valves don't seem to be very good at keeping accurate low pressure. Just keep it somewhere at the low end unless you have a reason for the pressure. When there's a few points left on the fermentation, you can up the pressure a lot to carbonate. Or, with a few points left, do a closed transfer to you serving keg and spund that at higher pressure for carbonation in keg. Or, let it finish out at the low pressure, closed transfer to your serving kegs, and carb from your CO2 bottle.
 
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rkhanso

rkhanso

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If I just use the same corny kegs I ferment in as serving kegs (no transfer after fermentation), I'd have less stuff to buy. It appears many people have success with this process and like its simplicity. I just might do this instead. If I filter through a mesh bag when filling the kegs, it appears I may likely be able to harvest yeast from the first few pours from the kegs. Or if not that, after the first few pours, the beer remains clear as long as I won't move around the kegs or kegerator. Keeping the tubing on the long side will help keep the "blowoff" out of the spunding valve. Or use some fermcap if necessary.
 

marc1

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If I just use the same corny kegs I ferment in as serving kegs (no transfer after fermentation), I'd have less stuff to buy. It appears many people have success with this process and like its simplicity. I just might do this instead. If I filter through a mesh bag when filling the kegs, it appears I may likely be able to harvest yeast from the first few pours from the kegs. Or if not that, after the first few pours, the beer remains clear as long as I won't move around the kegs or kegerator. Keeping the tubing on the long side will help keep the "blowoff" out of the spunding valve. Or use some fermcap if necessary.

If you are going to serve out of it, I highly recommend a floating dip tube.

I think the Clear Beer Draft System one is the most well made (stainless steel, no fiddling around with adding extra washers to get it to work properly), but it is comparatively spendy.
 
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