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Keg fermenter questions
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,085
    So I happen to have an extra 1/2 barrel sanke keg that came with my used kegerator when I bought it a couple years ago. I'd like to convert it a fermenter maybe. I saw one pic of @Djsethall 's and they appeared to be laying on the side? I'm curious how this works.
    Is it under pressure or do you have an air lock?
    How is cleaning done?
    How is transferring done?
    How is dry hopping done?
    All the jazz thanks.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 48,087
    Curious about this myself ..... most ways I have seen don't look real practical to me
    In wine there is wisdom.
    In beer there is freedom.
    In water there is bacteria.
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,085
    My initial thought is to invert it and weld appropriate fittings into it to basically make it a conical. But I don't know.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 102,350
    i bought a triclamp and a blank cover to go over the top of the bung after the spear assembly was removed. i drilled two holes in the blank, into one i welded a pipe stub, onto which i can attach a blow off tube or a co2 line for pressurized transfer. the other hole has a racking cane fitted through it. i have an o-ring seal on the racking cane. i'll take some pictures and post them next time i get out to the garage. i would likely do the racking cane seal slightly differently if i were to make another one, just because the way i made it was difficult. but other than that it works very well.

    i use my sitting upright, like a normal keg. overall there are no modifications to the keg shell.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 102,350

    My initial thought is to invert it and weld appropriate fittings into it to basically make it a conical. But I don't know.


    they dont have a deep enough draw on the ends to function like a true conical.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 48,087
    Lakewood said:

    i bought a triclamp and a blank cover to go over the top of the bung after the spear assembly was removed. i drilled two holes in the blank, into one i welded a pipe stub, onto which i can attach a blow off tube or a co2 line for pressurized transfer. the other hole has a racking cane fitted through it. i have an o-ring seal on the racking cane. i'll take some pictures and post them next time i get out to the garage. i would likely do the racking cane seal slightly differently if i were to make another one, just because the way i made it was difficult. but other than that it works very well.

    i use my sitting upright, like a normal keg. overall there are no modifications to the keg shell.



    How difficult is it to clean???
    In wine there is wisdom.
    In beer there is freedom.
    In water there is bacteria.
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,085
    ceannt said:

    Lakewood said:

    i bought a triclamp and a blank cover to go over the top of the bung after the spear assembly was removed. i drilled two holes in the blank, into one i welded a pipe stub, onto which i can attach a blow off tube or a co2 line for pressurized transfer. the other hole has a racking cane fitted through it. i have an o-ring seal on the racking cane. i'll take some pictures and post them next time i get out to the garage. i would likely do the racking cane seal slightly differently if i were to make another one, just because the way i made it was difficult. but other than that it works very well.

    i use my sitting upright, like a normal keg. overall there are no modifications to the keg shell.



    How difficult is it to clean???

    This for sure.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,085
    Lakewood said:

    i bought a triclamp and a blank cover to go over the top of the bung after the spear assembly was removed. i drilled two holes in the blank, into one i welded a pipe stub, onto which i can attach a blow off tube or a co2 line for pressurized transfer. the other hole has a racking cane fitted through it. i have an o-ring seal on the racking cane. i'll take some pictures and post them next time i get out to the garage. i would likely do the racking cane seal slightly differently if i were to make another one, just because the way i made it was difficult. but other than that it works very well.

    i use my sitting upright, like a normal keg. overall there are no modifications to the keg shell.


    Pics would be great. This seems pretty simple.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 102,350

    ceannt said:

    Lakewood said:

    i bought a triclamp and a blank cover to go over the top of the bung after the spear assembly was removed. i drilled two holes in the blank, into one i welded a pipe stub, onto which i can attach a blow off tube or a co2 line for pressurized transfer. the other hole has a racking cane fitted through it. i have an o-ring seal on the racking cane. i'll take some pictures and post them next time i get out to the garage. i would likely do the racking cane seal slightly differently if i were to make another one, just because the way i made it was difficult. but other than that it works very well.

    i use my sitting upright, like a normal keg. overall there are no modifications to the keg shell.



    How difficult is it to clean???

    This for sure.


    I have cleaned using various methods. Hot pbw and rolling around seems to work really well. If there is anything stuck and not breaking free i will throw a lb of rock salt in there and roll it around some more. That pretty much works everytime.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 48,087
    I saw one that a guy cut the top off as for a keggle..... made a big rubber gasket .... and clamped a big Plexiglas lid on it.... would make cleaning easy ..... but.... not sold on the Idea
    In wine there is wisdom.
    In beer there is freedom.
    In water there is bacteria.
  • JerryJerry
    Posts: 74,359
    If you just pull the tap connection out (tricky be not all that hard) you can just jam a bung in there. Cleaning would be harder as you can't see what's going on, but a good oxy soak works wonders when you can see it, why wouldn't it when you can't?
    "Again?"
    CurlyFat's 60,000th post
  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,013
    First, you will need a horse. I built this out of standard 2x4 construction. Exact dimensions are not needed, just build something to hold the keg at about a 15 degree angle or so. You want the yeast to settle and slide down to the bottom. You'll see why in a second.
    IMG_20120608_205502.jpg
    2592 x 1944 - 999K
  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,013
    Next up is the sanitary fitting. Sanke kegs have a modified tri-clover type of clamp setup. It is a little thicker than the standard ones but it does work. You may need to grind the fitting down a hair or widen the gap in the tri-clamp ring. The beginning was a blank 2" sanitary plug. I had the local metal shop drill and tap a 3/8" NPT fitting in the middle of the plug. I then ordered a 3/8" instrument fitting from graingers. This allows you to turn the tube without breaking the seal. The tube is 3/8" OD tube (stainless of course). It is shaped in a U, sort of. This allows for a siphon effect to take place once the tube is turned. Turn the tube until you get heavy yeast, back it off a hair until it is clear.
    IMG_20120608_205515.jpg
    2592 x 1944 - 864K
  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,013
    The hole in the top is just simply drilled or cut with a plasma torch like this one. You want to go with a larger bung. This is an 11. This allows another small access hole for cleaning. You will end up with about 1/2 to 1 gallons of head room. I haven't ever had to use a blowoff setup.
    IMG_20120608_205522.jpg
    2592 x 1944 - 748K
  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,013
    This is a pic of a golden gate style keg with the wooden bung removed. It made the perfect port for a size 11 bung. Cleaning is performed by using hot water and one scoop of an oxy based cleaner per 5 gallons of water. I usually leave it outside overnight for a day or two. If you have nasties after two days of soaking, you can hit it with a standard carboy brush. Then soak again. You can use a dental mirror to look inside while anglining the other hole into sun light or use a flashlight. Then it gets a nice rinse of hose water before I bring it inside. After rinsing with tap water, I mix a small amount of Star San and about a half gallon of water.
    IMG_20120608_205528.jpg
    2592 x 1944 - 872K
  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,013
    Here is a pic of a golden gate style. The sanitary fitting is recessed on these and will not allow a tri-clamp to ft inside the recess. I had the local welding shop use a keg top from one of the keggles and weld it to the top of the GG keg. An angle grinder and marking it for the welder is a good idea. Any other questions?
    IMG_20120608_205534.jpg
    2592 x 1944 - 708K
  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,013
    Comments enabled. Lol
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,085
    Nice pics
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • JerryJerry
    Posts: 74,359
    djsethall said:

    Hold comments for a second



    okay (yeah I fixed that)
    "Again?"
    CurlyFat's 60,000th post
  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,013

    Nice pics



    Six shots with my phone. Took all of 30 secs.
  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,013
    I do fill the siphon tube with sanitizer or whiskey if I have it around the house. I also use these as primaries and don't worry too much about yeast as it sits for awhile longer in glass. Before anyone asks, I use secondaries as brite tanks, not actual secondary fermentations...... yet
  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,013
    I also attach the racking can backwards to the stainless siphon tube. This allows me to control the flow using the cane lock and fill from the bottom which I have heard is best. I realy don't know if there is a difference, but that's what the pros do.
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,085
    Very nice. I like the siphon tube. Very handy. Basically self priming, right?
    You fill it through the siphon tube?
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,013
    Self priming siphon yes. Fill through siphon tube, no. I fill it through the bunghole, bunghole
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,085
    djsethall said:

    I also attach the racking can backwards to the stainless siphon tube. This allows me to control the flow using the cane lock and fill from the bottom which I have heard is best. I realy don't know if there is a difference, but that's what the pros do.


    djsethall said:

    Self priming siphon yes. Fill through siphon tube, no. I fill it through the bunghole, bunghole


    Can you explain this then? I assumed you meant when going to the fermenter you filled through the fermenters siphon tube.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,013
    I fill it through the bunghole on the top, where the airlock is. I use a pump through a chilling block and into the fermenter it goes. I get it all clean and sanitized, set the pig on its horse, fill the siphon tube with an alcoholic beverage (whiskey. vodka etc.). This is my seal against nasties. I also cover the siphon tube with some foil and a small holed stopper over the foil for extra measures against infections. Does that explain it enough? I think there is a video somewhere. I have upgraded to a water line chiller now. Works just like a plate chiller.