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Sanke Fermenter Conversion

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Several people PM'd me and asked that I post some pictures when I get the prototype done for the Sanke keg-> fermenter conversion. For whatever reason the picture makes the welds look terrible, they're not all stacked up like that. Price is still up in the air while I add up the materials and time, but here's a sneak peak:


 

weremichael

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Very beautiful. I look forward to your "production models."
 

thorongil

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Some type of measurement on the racking arm to tell you how far off the bottom it is would be helpful...
 

hayabusa

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The one I bought from St Pats ($120) was the best investment I have made homebrewing so far... it makes kegging from my sanke fermenters effortless....

 

cheezdog

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Looks like a hot item. I'd be interested in one also. This would work a lot better than a carboy cap with a racking cane stuck thru it. It might be a good idea to offer a model without a thermowell. Shave some production time and cost for those people that don't use thermowells on their fermenters.
 
OP
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Wow guys! Thanks for the great response!

Let me try and tackle the questions without going back and quoting everyone.

First, all the tubing is 3/8" and sturdy at .035 wall.

The blow-off port is flush with the bottom of the cap.

The racking arm extends to the very bottom of the keg and can be removed while the clamp is in position.

Someone sent me a link to the St Pat's model while I had this in development to ask if mine would be similar. I thought the expense of the Tri-Clover fitting for the single purpose of attaching a hose was pretty silly and not worth the extra money. I do not, however, have a pressure release valve and do not recommend using this to pressurize the vessel. 1-2psi to initiate a transfer shouldn't be any trouble.

I'm putting these on the new site (I'm changing stirplates.com to BrewersHardware.com since it's more fitting) and they'll run $79 with clamp and gasket. Since I've had such great support from HBT users overall, I'm going to do a pre-sale deal of $65 through this link only: Welcome to Brewer's Hardware

The link is live, the new site is live but wasn't quite ready to go up. If you see a any typos, broken links or something that makes me look like an idiot I'd appreciate a note! If you cruise the site, don't order through the fermenter page as it'll come up $79. please use the HBT link.

I'll give the thermowell-less version some thought. I think in the long-run you'll be happy it's there but admittedly it's a difficult piece to weld (for me). I will be introducing a BrewTroller version that will replace the thermowell with a 14" DS18B20 sensor in another compression fitting. If you really want one without a thermowell, PM me. I think it'll knock about $20 off the price.

Last I'd just like to say thanks to everyone here. I get more referral traffic to stirplates.com from HBT than the rest of the sources combined. If it weren't for you guys (and the pursuit of great beer!) I wouldn't have been inspired to evolve stirplates into Brewer's Hardware.

Thanks!

Edit: That link to the special page will be live until 8/1. Also, if the link resolves to the 404 page on stirplates.com. try it again in 24 hours. i just finished all the DNS changes and such a few minutes ago.
 

hayabusa

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Do you push with CO2? Does the racking cane adjust?
I push with CO2 and the cane is not adjustable, I use a 2 90' elbows and straight pipe to pick my depth based on what i've done... i.e. if I have added fruit I will go 2" to 3" above bottom, etc...

Having the 2nd tri-clamp has both its pro's and cons.... if I get one of these I will do a side by side.
 

mmb

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How easy would it be to harvest yeast with this setup? Transfer under pressure?

I already have 1/2bbl for fermenting but this opens up a whole other realm of possibilities. :ban:
 

hayabusa

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How easy would it be to harvest yeast with this setup? Transfer under pressure?

I already have 1/2bbl for fermenting but this opens up a whole other realm of possibilities. :ban:
This concept is perfect for yeast harvesting. Once you have racked your beer you drop the arm to minimal clearance and blow them yeasties right out the tube into your vessel for storage and into the mixing bowl for pretzels....
 
OP
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How easy would it be to harvest yeast with this setup? Transfer under pressure?

I already have 1/2bbl for fermenting but this opens up a whole other realm of possibilities. :ban:
The link is live now, or should be.

The idea behind the adjustable arm is for just that, sediment free transfers and yeast harvesting.

I toiled long and hard over adding a gas port. But then I'd have to add a pressure relief valve and I'm afraid of the liability. You could, however, remove the blow-off tube after fermentation, attach a CO2 hose and use a couple psi to transfer your beer, but again, this unit does not have any sort of pressure relief and therefore I can't recommend you pressurize the vessel.

For racking, you'd start your transfer and then drop the arm down until it just picks up sediment and back off. After a nice sediment free transfer is made, you can swirl up the fermenter, drop the arm to the bottom and transfer out your yeast.
 

KillerKellers

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I just saw your site from your link in another thread.. and I love the idea! I bookmarked it, but won't be going this route until I go AG (still getting kegs for that portion). This would be awesome for doing large batches =)
 

uabericm

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I am still a noobie, so I have a few dumb questions:
1-Does this just fit on the top of a sanke keg w/o any modifications?
2-How do you clean the commercial beer out and how do you clean it after fermentation?
3-What would be the capabilities of this fermenter (volume)?
4-If I don't have a temperature probe and don't plan on monitoring my fermentation temp that closely, would I really need the thermometer port?

Thanks.
 

springer

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I am still a noobie, so I have a few dumb questions:
1-Does this just fit on the top of a sanke keg w/o any modifications?
2-How do you clean the commercial beer out and how do you clean it after fermentation?
3-What would be the capabilities of this fermenter (volume)?
4-If I don't have a temperature probe and don't plan on monitoring my fermentation temp that closely, would I really need the thermometer port?

Thanks.
1. No mods made to keg. Just remove the Spear and this drops in its place

2. Plenty of threads on this just search "convert keg"

3. The keg is 15.5 gallons so 10 to 13 is a good #

4. no. But its nice
 
OP
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Question for you all:

It's been suggested that the blow-off port should be straight to make it easier to add an airlock for extended secondaries. I was thinking about making a modification of just cutting the bloe off tub and including a short piece of 3/8" tubing to connect it together. So you would be able to drop a bubbler on it or attach the included SS sweep to hook up a blow off tube....

 

Sawdustguy

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This is such a great solution for those looking for stainless steel fermenters. It would be easy to install a valve on the bottom of the keg to drain off some yeast. If you Tig Weld some legs onto the Keggle you have a beautiful non-conical fermenter for half the price of a Conical Fermenter similar to this:

 

kcinpdx

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Question for you all:

It's been suggested that the blow-off port should be straight to make it easier to add an airlock for extended secondaries. I was thinking about making a modification of just cutting the bloe off tub and including a short piece of 3/8" tubing to connect it together. So you would be able to drop a bubbler on it or attach the included SS sweep to hook up a blow off tube....

I think that is a great idea and will likely push me over the edge to get one.

You mentioned in an earlier post that one could (at their own risk of course) take off the blow off tube and add a gas hose. I take it that this means the blow off tube is removeable?

never mind - I am an idiot. Simply add a clamp and hose.... Perhaps I am the guy who should not be trying that!
 

smearex

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Will this work on a 7.5 gallon sanke? I just purchased a 1/2 barrel that I was planning on using as a mashtun. Would be awesome if I can use this on the 7.5 gallon tank as a fermintor which I already have.

Also would I be able to use it on either?
 

Displaced MassHole

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Freaken awesome!!

Derrin-

How long are these going to be available? I cant fit one into the brewing budget right now as I'm in the process of closing on a house, but it would make a great B-day gift to myself in september.
 
OP
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Is a 3/8" tube wide enough for a blow off?
When i fermented in carboys, I would remove the cap and cup fom a 3-piece airlock and place a 3/8" tube onto the stem during primary as a blow-off tube. So, in my experience it's worked fine even with vigorous wheat beers. Coupled with the fact that most people will be using it with a 15.5 gallon vessel, head space shouldn't be an issue. So, think it'll be fine.

Will this work on a 7.5 gallon sanke? I just purchased a 1/2 barrel that I was planning on using as a mashtun. Would be awesome if I can use this on the 7.5 gallon tank as a fermintor which I already have.

Also would I be able to use it on either?
As long as it has an American Sanke port, it should work fine. The thermowell is a fixed depth of 16" but since the racking arm is adjustable, you'll be able to compensate for a different vessel depth up to 16". If you figure out you really need one with a shorter or no thermowell that can be done too.

How long are these going to be available? I cant fit one into the brewing budget right now as I'm in the process of closing on a house, but it would make a great B-day gift to myself in september.
This is a permanent addition to my product line so as long as everything continues to go OK with this little venture, it'll be available for a very long time. The pre-sale will end on or about August 1st.
 

smearex

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As long as it has an American Sanke port, it should work fine. The thermowell is a fixed depth of 16" but since the racking arm is adjustable, you'll be able to compensate for a different vessel depth up to 16". If you figure out you really need one with a shorter or no thermowell that can be done too.
The 7.5 is actually the same height as the 15.5 so it sounds like I am golden. This is pretty awesome and actually creates a much cheaper solution then say a 7 Gallon Conicle even the plastic ones.

So the tube that bends at an angle is the airlock?

Thanks
 
OP
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I guess they both bend. Sorry I am a noob at this but do I attach an airlock?
In the prototype in the picture, there is no provision for an airlock, just a blow off tube, which left in a bucket of clean sanitizer is an airlock. That's the way I'd always done it when I fermented in cornies. But, popular demand seems to favor the ability to attach a bubbler so; I'll be cutting that tube so a bubbler can be attached. I'll include the cut/bent tube to make a nice sweep down to a bucket for blow-off.

I just found the caps I was looking for for the racking arm as well so there will be an FDA approved vinyl cap to keep the arm clean and sanitary during fermentation.

I'm about done with the first units in that configuration. I'll post new picts before I ship the first couple orders.
 
OP
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OK, I finished the first 4 pre-production kits. A few new tools later and quite a learning curve on the order to weld things; I'm ready to roll into production I think. Here's a picture of the first one shipping. Missing from the picture is the 3/8" tubing for connecting the blow-off sweep to the blow-off port. The racking arm is shown removed from its' fitting as is the new silicone o-ring for sealing the whole thing.



Edit: I also added the option to purchase without a thermowell built-in. If anyone already ordered one with a thermowell and doesn't want one, let me know and I'll refund you the difference.
 
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