Sanke Keg Fermentor

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Mike B1190

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Good Morning Everyone,

I have recently started to conceptualize fermenting in Sanke kegs. I have seen conversion kits online for this purpose, but considering that I already have a Sanke coupler with ball lock fittings, I am curious if I could leave the spear in place with the coupler attached for fermentation.

My thought was that I could fill the keg with wort/yeast, replace the spear, attach the coupler with the ball lock fittings and to the liquid out post, attach either a liquid disconnect with a blowoff tube, or a spunding valve, just as fermenting in a corny. Post fermentation, I would simply attach a liquid jumper to a purged corny keg and rack with C02 into a corny for serving.

Any reason this wouldn't work?

I usually brew 5.5 gallon batches and am considering trying this with a half barrel keg. I realize that's a ton of headspace, but considering the amount of C02 produced during fermentation, I wouldn't think this would be an issue. The extra room would mean that I shouldn't have to worry about blowoff clogging anything either.

Has anyone else tried this before?
 

NTBeer

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I believe sanke couplers have a check valve on the gas side which would need to be removed.

I also ferment in sankes without a spear. I use a ball lock "cap" and TC clamp with a blow off tube.
 
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Mike B1190

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Thanks for the replies. If I were to opt for a conversion kit, that seems like the way to go and is affordable. Still, if I can save $40 bucks, I'd like to. I feel like the coupler would be doing essentially the same thing, except instead of having a floating dip tube, the keg spear would be in place. Not sure if it would suck up too much or not, though.

The check valve is easily removable from the coupler, but I don't think it would have to be removed. It prevents beer from flowing into the gas line. That port would only be used for gas-in during transfer. Blow off would be directed through the liquid out. Unless I'm overlooking something.

The spear would be removed for cleaning, though I'm not sure how difficult those are to clean themselves. I don't have a lot of experience with sankes.
 

apache_brew

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I second the adapter that @NTBeer recommended. Make note that this adapter doesnt include a float ball. So makesure the one you get also fits inside the sanke neck (most dont). The older Kegland one does. I'm not a fan of the sanke ball lock adapter fittings. Have you tried disassembling one to clean them? The snap rings are a nightmare to put back together. They're definitely not made to be taken apart. Check out my thread in my signature line on how I ferment in sanke kegs with tri clamp fittings and ball locks.
 

Basspaleale

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I use a a 1/2 barrel Sanke keg for my fermentation. You'll want to use the gas port as your pressure relief port not the spear liquid out. I remove both the gas check valve and the ball/ball check retainer. I block off the liquid out port during fermentation and connect a silicone tube to the gas port. I then run that to two 5 gallon Sanke kegs connected in series. I fill the first with sanitizer.
 

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