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General Category => Kegging and Bottling => Topic started by: shibbs on March 06, 2011, 06:41:34 PM

Title: Keg secondary fermentation
Post by: shibbs on March 06, 2011, 06:41:34 PM
After shattering my slippery glass 5 gal carboy full of sanitizing solution (and shredding my hand!), I'm now switching to using kegs as secondary fermenters and for dry hopping.  I'm looking for that best practice in doing so... I understand to sanitize/purge keg with co2 to avoid oxidation, but should I also purge the head space just as in a serving vessel?  Does putting the beer under pressure affect the secondary fermentation process?  And if so do I need to vent the pressure building up?  Let me know your thoughts and techniques.  Thanks all
Title: Re: Keg secondary fermentation
Post by: tom on March 06, 2011, 08:00:07 PM
I secondary in 5 gallon corny kegs and I love it.
I sanitize the corny by filling it with StarSan. Then I put on the lid and push the StarSan to another keg with CO2. This leaves the keg sanitized and full of CO2. I fill the corny from the beer-out fitting and open the pressure relief valve.  Then I pressurize the keg with CO2 to seal the lid and you're good to go.
Title: Re: Keg secondary fermentation
Post by: tubercle on March 06, 2011, 10:38:45 PM
No secondary and have found dry hopping in the serving keg most useful.

 
Title: Re: Keg secondary fermentation
Post by: tom on March 06, 2011, 11:25:19 PM
ahh, yes this would also be my serving keg. I ferment ales for 2 weeks, then transfer into a keg.
No need to vent pressure
Title: Re: Keg secondary fermentation
Post by: HydraulicSammich on March 07, 2011, 12:16:16 AM
tubercle, do you leave the hop bag in the serving keg until finished?
Title: Re: Keg secondary fermentation
Post by: ajk on March 07, 2011, 01:49:31 PM
I understand to sanitize/purge keg with co2 to avoid oxidation, but should I also purge the head space just as in a serving vessel?  Does putting the beer under pressure affect the secondary fermentation process?  And if so do I need to vent the pressure building up?

If the beer is completely fermented by the time you transfer it to the keg, pressurizing the keg shouldn't adversely affect anything.  It will just give you a head start on carbonating the beer.

I use Corny kegs for primary fermentation, and once that's finished (after 1-4 weeks), I transfer to another Corny.  But I just carbonate and serve it right out of that second Corny (after dry-hopping, if it's that kind of beer).  I don't think there's much fermentation going on in that second Corny unless I add fruit or some other fermentable.
Title: Re: Keg secondary fermentation
Post by: denny on March 07, 2011, 04:33:23 PM
tubercle, do you leave the hop bag in the serving keg until finished?

I do.  Usually 2-3 months.
Title: Re: Keg secondary fermentation
Post by: HydraulicSammich on March 08, 2011, 12:36:30 AM
I do.  Usually 2-3 months.

Thanks Denny.  That makes it a real time saver.
Title: Re: Keg secondary fermentation
Post by: bluesman on March 08, 2011, 02:33:49 AM
I commonly rack from the primary into the keg, dry hop, force carbonate and serve. Before kegging I purge the keg with CO2. After the beer has been transferred I'll purge the headspace and begin force carbonating with or without hops.

Like Denny...I've been leaving the hops for the duration of the keg...mostly because I'm too lazy to pull them out.  :)
Title: Re: Keg secondary fermentation
Post by: tubercle on March 08, 2011, 02:57:15 AM
tubercle, do you leave the hop bag in the serving keg until finished?

I do.  Usually 2-3 months.

 Ditto
Title: Re: Keg secondary fermentation
Post by: shibbs on March 08, 2011, 04:19:37 PM
Appreciate all the imput, I'm very new to kegging my homebrews but love it.  Good to hear what all you guys do and I'll be taking all the advice.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Keg secondary fermentation
Post by: aqsucka on August 16, 2011, 01:48:07 AM

Quote
I use Corny kegs for primary fermentation, and once that's finished (after 1-4 weeks), I transfer to another Corny.  But I just carbonate and serve it right out of that second Corny (after dry-hopping, if it's that kind of beer). 

How are you transferring the beer from primary fermentor to secondary?  I have two corny kegs but cannot figure out how I am going to transfer all 5 gallons without sucking up the spent yeast in the bottom of my keg. 

Title: Re: Keg secondary fermentation
Post by: ajk on August 16, 2011, 03:36:28 AM

Quote
I use Corny kegs for primary fermentation, and once that's finished (after 1-4 weeks), I transfer to another Corny.  But I just carbonate and serve it right out of that second Corny (after dry-hopping, if it's that kind of beer). 

How are you transferring the beer from primary fermentor to secondary?  I have two corny kegs but cannot figure out how I am going to transfer all 5 gallons without sucking up the spent yeast in the bottom of my keg. 

A friend of mine gave me the idea.  I bend the beverage dip tube gradually so it touches the side of the keg right at the seam between the cylindrical part of the keg and the bowl-shaped bottom.  That way I can use CO2 to push the beer to a serving keg (no secondaries for me) without yeast uptake.  Then, to harvest the yeast, I tilt the keg on its side (beverage post up) and push the yeast out (usually through a cobra tap into Mason jars), again with CO2.
Title: Re: Keg secondary fermentation
Post by: euge on August 16, 2011, 05:06:35 AM
Me three also "secondary" in the keg if you want to call it that. But that means I serve out of the secondary fermenter as well. ;D Last week I cut about 3/4" off the diptubes so they're way above any sediment. Finally after 4 years I bothered to do it. Wondering how efficacious this will be. Certainly not worried about the  couple cups of beer this'll cost me.

To me secondary= bright-tank and a keg is perfect for that. I just happen to serve out of my bright-tanks...


Sorry to hear about the accident. The glass aspect of carboys is a major deterrent... Nick an artery- maybe die or sever tendons that will take expensive surgery to correct. The only upside is long-term storage. This they do extremely well. So do kegs.
Title: Re: Keg secondary fermentation
Post by: tschmidlin on August 16, 2011, 06:51:59 AM
I would just pour it until it is clear, then rack the rest to the new keg.  No need to mess with cutting diptubes IMO.
Title: Re: Keg secondary fermentation
Post by: euge on August 16, 2011, 08:11:00 AM
I would just pour it until it is clear, then rack the rest to the new keg.  No need to mess with cutting diptubes IMO.

Blah Tom. Party killer. Transfer beer all you want. I prefer to serve it as easily as possible. ;D
Title: Re: Keg secondary fermentation
Post by: tschmidlin on August 16, 2011, 08:22:56 AM
I would just pour it until it is clear, then rack the rest to the new keg.  No need to mess with cutting diptubes IMO.

Blah Tom. Party killer. Transfer beer all you want. I prefer to serve it as easily as possible. ;D
Then just serve it! ;)  Blow off until it is clear, then pour the rest of the keg. ;D