Sanke Keg system - required equipment

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snarf7

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I tried researching this in the sticky thread but all the links I clicked were dead so apologies if I'm asking a redundant question.

I've picked up a set of sanke kegs off a guy who's roommate left them behind when he moved out. He doesn't know anything about them but wanted them out of his garage and since the guy stiffed him on the rent a little extra cash for them will help :)

Anyway, is there an article or guide you can recommend that will give me the lowdown on what equipment I will need to go with these? I've never kegged before, only bottled but I'd like to be able to have 3 different brews on tap at the same time if that matters. The kegs appear to be in good shape but I would want to purchase o-rings and such so I'm stocked for any required maintenance.

Much obliged!
 

OpenSights

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I have a couple of sanke kegs, plus a tap for cleaning and one for use. Haven’t used the system yet, but will when I get my AG system put together. IIRC, for cleaning you have to remove some check valves. No need to have two like me, just found a deal at my LHBS on some used ones, but for use you’ll have to put the checks back in.

I think if you pick up a corny keg it will be much easier to clean out the old beer pushing it with co2, but haven’t tried yet. Cornys aren’t that expensive used.

I’ve bought a few cornys from a member here VBallRod21. Great guy, fast to ship, kegs arrive pressurized and with backup gaskets.
 

zolakk

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Back when I started kegging I used sankey kegs but I just pried put the retaining ring holding the spear in after making sure they were depressurized and then you can pull the whole spear out and clean/fill the same as you do a carboy. Then I just put the spear back in and used one of these in place of the original retaining ring to hold the spear back in and away you go. http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...;campid=5338413729&icep_item=370292285982
 
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snarf7

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Probably the best one...
yep, that was very informative thanks...

One question for everyone, it seems like everyone who does this has a corny keg they use as a brite tank that they then push into the Sanke. Is there any reason I can't use one of my sanke's for this purpose since that's all I have and I have extra?
 

wilserbrewer

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With practice, removing and installing a sanke stem is fairly easy....
tips
Install spiral ring so it only passes indent by 1/4" to 1/2", this will make it easier to remove.
Do not bend spiral ring when removing, this will make installation almost impossible.
 
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snarf7

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OK this is all good info but I'm more looking for what specific equipment I need for this setup, like a shopping list that I can put together and order online.

I know I need 2 d-system sanke couplers...and I was going to order a bag of beer nut tailpieces for the connectors and some extra tubing and probably a couple ball lock disconnects as well. I also ordered some PBW for cleaning.

What else do I need? What about for the CO2? It looks like the tanks come with the valve but don't I need a gauge assembly that attaches to that to see the pressure? I just don't want to go to keg up my batch and find i'm missing one small thing.

thanks
 

wilserbrewer

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Ball lock disconnects?
Rather than running thru your corny connectors...

Might be easier to put a flare fitting in the line to switch b/w sanke and corny kegs.

You can buy a kit to swap b/w the two if that’s your goal.
Several posts as well in how to swap tap systems.
 
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snarf7

snarf7

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I finally managed to find a site with the info I was seeking...mainly a shopping list of things I will need. Unfortunately these articles are for corny kegs so I'll have to do some more research to make sure I've got the correct stuff but this is a good start. It's unfortunate we don't have a sticky on this forum with this info, almost all the links I clicked in the current sticky were long dead :(

https://www.morebeer.com/articles/kegging-homebrew
https://www.morebeer.com/articles/kegging_homebrew
 

OpenSights

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647DA419-88F8-4DFB-81A8-024A2C71DC8D.jpeg


Sorry about the meme... only way I could figure out to get the file size small enough. The blue one has the check valves removed. This is my plan anyway. Black from the corny hose clamp to the in on the sanke and a line for draining after soaking.

I’m still new myself, but this is what I came up with.... the twist came with my kegerator, the blue handle one I bought used from my LHBS for like $10.
 
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snarf7

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Sorry about the meme... only way I could figure out to get the file size small enough. The blue one has the check valves removed. This is my plan anyway. Black from the corny hose clamp to the in on the sanke and a line for draining after soaking.

I’m still new myself, but this is what I came up with.... the twist came with my kegerator, the blue handle one I bought used from my LHBS for like $10.
Yep, that's what I'm doing too. One of my taps I'll just remove the check valves and leave it like that so I can use it for transfer and cleaning. And I got the couplings to convert to the quick disconnects so I'm not constantly screwing/unscrewing everything. Hopefully this will work out
 

wilserbrewer

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Just be aware that there is substantial volume left in the bottom of a sanke when fully drained thru the coupling.

Not sure how commercial operators deal w this?
Perhaps blown clear w/ co2.

It’s like a pint or two. Not sure I’d want that mixed w/ the new beer?
 
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snarf7

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Just be aware that there is substantial volume left in the bottom of a sanke when fully drained thru the coupling.

Not sure how commercial operators deal w this?
Perhaps blown clear w/ co2.

It’s like a pint or two. Not sure I’d want that mixed w/ the new beer?

Given that this is the format widely used by restaurants, breweries, etc. I find that very hard to believe. Why would they universally adopt a design that shortchanged them on every single keg?
 

shoengine

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First, reason.

Sankes are tough to clean. Cornys are way easier. At home, the only way to thoroughly clean it is to disassemble it completely. I say this from experience. My first keg purchase was a whim when I was already at a garage brewery sale getting a boil kettle. I picked it up then researched it and found out how tricky they can be. Additionally, if you want the proper tools for diassembling it they are very expensive, due to the commercial nature of the kegs. Cornys can be completely diassembled with nothing more than a combination wrench set. Other folks have posted completely viable cleaning options using modified d taps. I remove the spear so I can inspect it, and with the spear removed, I just do this:

20181225_121825.jpg


With reason out of the way, what I bought was:
  1. Sankey D tap (don't let it sit in acid sanitizer!!) and hose barbs (if not using QDs)
  2. Two dial CO2 regulator
  3. CO2 tank
  4. Spray bottle (for checking for gas leaks)
  5. ?ft of 5/16 x 7/16 vinyl tubing for beverage line.
  6. ?ft of 5/16 x 9/16 vinyl tubing for gas line.
  7. Picnic tap
  8. PBW or some other cleaner
  9. Starsan or some other sanitizer.
  10. Ball lock conversion kit (anyone with multiple kegs would get value out of these)
  11. Ball lock quick disconnects (always buy more than you need)
  12. Optional: keg cleaner (see above; I didn't buy this, the wife got it for me for Christmas this year. It is amazing. Buy it or make it.
For beverage line, figure out your distance, head, temp and pressure and use calculators to determine the length. For gas, it is whatever is convenient.

Other handy notes:
  • The ball lock posts are not interchangeable. The chamfers on the gas posts are different than the beverage post. You will destroy your black quick disconnect if you plug it into your gas post trying to get it back off again.
  • If you want to carbonate or serve off multiple kegs with ome CO2 source, you will need a gas manifold with at least shutoffs or at best with individual regulators. Plus more gas lines and gas QDs.
  • Don't begin kegging on the weekend! When one of your gas fittings leak, you have to wait until Monday to get an exchange.
Did I mention that kegging is expensive?
 
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snarf7

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First, reason.

Sankes are tough to clean. Cornys are way easier. At home, the only way to thoroughly clean it is to disassemble it completely. I say this from experience.

My question (see my original post) was solely focused on the specific equipment required to set up a sanke system (that's what I own)...the couplings, tubing, regulators, that kinda thing.

I did manage to find a couple different articles on other sites that helped me put together a pretty comprehensive shopping list. Looks very similar to yours, so that's good.

Is this the keg cleaner you got for xmas?

https://www.northernbrewer.com/products/mark-ii-carboy-keg-washer

That looks pretty sweet, I might hafta pick one of those up, thanks
 
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wilserbrewer

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I find that very hard to believe?
Ok sorry, maybe my sanke kegs are different than yours. Fully drain one of yours thru the D coupling and report back what’s left in the keg?

When one of my sanke kegs is kicked, I remove the stem, and pour about at least say a pint out, typically yeast slurry cause I tend to keg early....

Maybe I would guess that the keg is designed to leave a small bit behind in case of undesirables?
Idk, I didn’t design them but am very familiar with using them....your experience?
 

Bobby_M

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The very specific answer to your question is that you'll need a co2 tank, a regulator, a gas manifold or a simple hose barb tee in the lines, sanke couplers that match the kegs you have, then dispensing line that attaches to whatever faucet type you want to use. This depends on where the kegs are going to live. You can use picnic faucets but you'll have to open the fridge to pour. You can put shanks through the door of the fridge for proper faucets.
 
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Qhrumphf

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Cleaning a sanke keg without access to a commercial keg washer is a NIGHTMARE. With *inverted keg*: Compressed air purge to drain the dregs, high flow rinse (shell), low flow rinse (spear), air purge, high flow/low flow caustic, air purge to recover caustic, high flow/low flow water rinse, air purge, high flow/low flow sani (PAA, oxine, steam, something FAR more potent than star-san), hold, CO2 purge, pressure, CO2 purge, pressure.

I've seen few (read: no) homemade "sanke cleaning" systems to follow those steps.

Even if you remove the spear every time, you can't see inside well to verify that homebrew methods and homebrew chemicals are doing the job.

I use sanke kegs at home. But I pop em on the keg washer at work to clean em.
 

Qhrumphf

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BUT-

IF you can get the keg cleaned properly, you can attach your siphon hose onto an appropriately sized barb to hex nut attached to the the liquid post of a coupler with check ball removed, and rack into a depressurized sanke the same way you would rack into cornie.

If you can do a pressure transfer it's even easier (and better!). Keep the keg 2-3 PSI below whatever the fermenter is and you're good to go.

At that point any out of the box kegerator is gonna be set up for d-type sanke (although with criminally short lines).
 
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SanPancho

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Ok sorry, maybe my sanke kegs are different than yours. Fully drain one of yours thru the D coupling and report back what’s left in the keg?

When one of my sanke kegs is kicked, I remove the stem, and pour about at least say a pint out, typically yeast slurry cause I tend to keg early....

Maybe I would guess that the keg is designed to leave a small bit behind in case of undesirables?
Idk, I didn’t design them but am very familiar with using them....your experience?
Typically they’re washed upside down. Everything drains and is blown out the gas in of the sanke.
 

505-Brewer

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Typically they’re washed upside down. Everything drains and is blown out the gas in of the sanke.
This. Some breweries clean kegs for smaller breweries that dont have a cleaner. If you ask nicely and take beer I bet the initial clean you could get done by them. Usually its an air purge, water rinse followed by ultraniter acid followed by CO2 purge or there abouts. Tom Hennessey had some posts on youtube on how they do it. Search “Colorado Boy” of “Colorado Boy Beer” and you should be able to find it. Good luck!
 
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snarf7

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I use sanke kegs at home. But I pop em on the keg washer at work to clean em.
Lucky ducky. I've heard that sometimes local breweries will wash em for you for a nominal fee. That might be a good idea to make sure the initial state is sparkling clean then you just have to be meticulous about cleaning them out right after you're done with them.

BUT-

IF you can get the keg cleaned properly, you can attach your siphon hose onto an appropriately sized barb to hex nut attached to the the liquid post of a coupler with check ball removed, and rack into a depressurized sanke the same way you would rack into cornie.
Yep, that's exactly the setup I'm targeting. In fact I don't currently have cornys but I purchased the coupler adapters (sanke-to-corny ball-lock disconnect) so that I can easily swap hoses. And I think I'll pick up a couple cheap cornys to ferment in, then transfer clean, filtered beer to the sanke for conditioning and serving
 

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I've been running sankes forever, used Conrys before that. Youll be way happier with sanke kegs. I'd get into why but it sounds like you've done your research.

The ONLY thing different from a full corny setup and a full sanke setup is the connection at the keg. EVERYTHING else is exactly the same on the entire keg system.

So simply read up on kegging setups and switch the ball lock connector at the keg for a sanke connector...literally that simple.

Check your height in your kegerator. If its tight they make a low profile coupler..."Perlick low profile D sanke coupler"

1000% get a flow control faucet. Between the sanke keg and flow control you can forget about the long lines and all the calculators and run 5 foot lines as kegging was intended as its a perfect system.

Cleaning is gravy. Pop off the ring pull out the spear and rinse out in the tub or with a hose. I've never once needed to get my arm in there for scrubbing. If your nervous about a deep clean thrown some oxiclean in there and let it soak overnight and it will sparkle. Dont let any scare you with nonsense. Most that will comment have never even used one and are repeating false information to keep in line with "the homebrew way"

THe forum is stuck on using cornys from the dark ages because its a "homebrew thing"

Reality is sanke kegs are meant for beer and corny kegs are made for soda.
 

Blazinlow86

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I've been running sankes forever, used Conrys before that. Youll be way happier with sanke kegs. I'd get into why but it sounds like you've done your research.

The ONLY thing different from a full corny setup and a full sanke setup is the connection at the keg. EVERYTHING else is exactly the same on the entire keg system.

So simply read up on kegging setups and switch the ball lock connector at the keg for a sanke connector...literally that simple.

Check your height in your kegerator. If its tight they make a low profile coupler..."Perlick low profile D sanke coupler"

1000% get a flow control faucet. Between the sanke keg and flow control you can forget about the long lines and all the calculators and run 5 foot lines as kegging was intended as its a perfect system.

Cleaning is gravy. Pop off the ring pull out the spear and rinse out in the tub or with a hose. I've never once needed to get my arm in there for scrubbing. If your nervous about a deep clean thrown some oxiclean in there and let it soak overnight and it will sparkle. Dont let any scare you with nonsense. Most that will comment have never even used one and are repeating false information to keep in line with "the homebrew way"

THe forum is stuck on using cornys from the dark ages because its a "homebrew thing"

Reality is sanke kegs are meant for beer and corny kegs are made for soda.
Out of curiosity what specific parts of using sankys do you find better than the corny? I have a few sankys but never use them for all the typical reasons. You find them easier to open then a corny? Cheers
 

JONNYROTTEN

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Out of curiosity what specific parts of using sankys do you find better than the corny? I have a few sankys but never use them for all the typical reasons. You find them easier to open then a corny? Cheers
Its been beaten to death and dont want to swing the thread in that direction but quickly, no they're not easier to open than swinging a corney lid open. But they're not hard either so its a wash.
They never leak so there is no hunting for leaks on the keg side, or loosing a tank of gas due to the keg.THere are no dip tubes to clog, which happens, and causes restrictions and foaming. And most important they serve better. Sankys have an engineered system for beer. Dont ask my how, I dont make them but they just serve better. There is a reason every beer serving establishment in the country uses them. Its a multi billion dollar industry with endless R&D. If cornys served better they would all use them. Plus you can swap out for store bought keg if you want which is a mighty nice bonus

.......NOT looking to get into a debate about it though
 
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snarf7

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The ONLY thing different from a full corny setup and a full sanke setup is the connection at the keg. EVERYTHING else is exactly the same on the entire keg system.
So simply read up on kegging setups and switch the ball lock connector at the keg for a sanke connector...literally that simple.
Yep, that's exactly my plan. I read quite a few articles on it in the last couple week and that was one of the things that constantly came up. It provides maximum flexibility and ease of use and I'm all for working smarter, not harder :)
1000% get a flow control faucet. Between the sanke keg and flow control you can forget about the long lines and all the calculators and run 5 foot lines as kegging was intended as its a perfect system.
That's one thing I didn't know about but if you're that adamant about it I'll definitely check it out. Is it like an inline coupling with a knob on it or what? Do you have a make/model you can link me to so I can check it out?
Dont let any scare you with nonsense. Most that will comment have never even used one and are repeating false information to keep in line with "the homebrew way"
THe forum is stuck on using cornys from the dark ages because its a "homebrew thing"
Reality is sanke kegs are meant for beer and corny kegs are made for soda.
Yep, couldn't agree more man! That's been my experience on these forums so far as well. There are definitely some brilliant beer nerds on here who have really done the deep dive into some asapect or another and it's fasicnating to read their findings, but then there are the thousands of parrots who just echo whatever anecdotal made up BS they've been spoon fed like it's the gospel or something. That's why I really enjoy brulosophy's site because he debunks most of this nonsense with the scientific method. But yeah, the 'sankes are the devil, impossible to clean' is one of the more prevalent myths on here. I spent about half an hour working with one while watching youtube videos on how to take it apart, by the end of that 30 mins I could have it apart in 30 secs and back together in 2-3 mins. I think most folks are just lazy and not willing to put in the time to learn a new skill.
Thanks for the help.
 

JONNYROTTEN

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The flow control faucet screws on like any other faucet. THeres a lever on the side with a ball valve inside that control the flow. Dial it down when needed for foaming and while in the open position they're just like any other faucet...as far as kegging goes they're the greatest thing since sliced bread. Will take away all your foaming issues that there are ENDLESS threads about.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074D9YBR9/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
 

Blazinlow86

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Its been beaten to death and dont want to swing the thread in that direction but quickly, no they're not easier to open than swinging a corney lid open. But they're not hard either so its a wash.
They never leak so there is no hunting for leaks on the keg side, or loosing a tank of gas due to the keg.THere are no dip tubes to clog, which happens, and causes restrictions and foaming. And most important they serve better. Sankys have an engineered system for beer. Dont ask my how, I dont make them but they just serve better. There is a reason every beer serving establishment in the country uses them. Its a multi billion dollar industry with endless R&D. If cornys served better they would all use them. Plus you can swap out for store bought keg if you want which is a mighty nice bonus

.......NOT looking to get into a debate about it though
Nothing much to debate. As you said theres a reason commercial brewery's use sankys and homebrewers use cornys. How big is your keg fridge? How many taps do you run? Cheers
 
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snarf7

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The flow control faucet screws on like any other faucet. THeres a lever on the side with a ball valve inside that control the flow. Dial it down when needed for foaming and while in the open position they're just like any other faucet...as far as kegging goes they're the greatest thing since sliced bread. Will take away all your foaming issues that there are ENDLESS threads about.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074D9YBR9/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
Ah OK, solely for serving then?
 
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