Author Topic: Fermenting in a corny keg  (Read 6737 times)

Offline BrewinSB

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Fermenting in a corny keg
« on: March 30, 2012, 09:25:00 PM »
I know this has been brought up many times and have read up a lot on this topic.  However, I was wondering this..I normally ferment in my carboy and just do a longer primary, cold crash then transfer to the keg.  If I fermented in a corny keg, could I just cold crash it in that keg, push out the trub and other gunk with CO2, then just carb up and serve in that same keg; or would the dip tube just get all clogged?  Anyone every tried this? 

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Fermenting in a corny keg
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2012, 11:18:36 PM »
I would rack to another keg for carbing.  There will be a pretty good pile of stuff in the bottom, and blowing it out won't really work.  You'll blow out some of it, sure, but then I think more will fill in as the keg sits.  I could be wrong.  Primary in a keg, rack to another keg for carbing and you'll be fine.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline euge

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Re: Fermenting in a corny keg
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2012, 12:58:28 AM »
You could but it's not a great practice. Better to get the beer off the yeast in the long run.

So while it is possible and someone probably does this under certain conditions there are simpler methods. Shorten the diptube a bit, cold crash and and use a fining agent. Then transfer.

I don't think you'll get all the gunk out otherwise.
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Offline tom

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Re: Fermenting in a corny keg
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2012, 05:37:19 AM »
You won't be able to get all the trub out.  I just transfer off the trub into the next keg.
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Offline BrewinSB

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Re: Fermenting in a corny keg
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2012, 10:05:53 AM »
Alright, thanks for the replies.  Looks like I will have to purchase another keg, darn...   :)

Then, maybe this will allow me to have something lagering while I am serving an ale.

Offline DaveR

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Re: Fermenting in a corny keg
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2012, 06:33:27 PM »
Corny kegs are great for a lot of things. One can never have too many  :) !

I'm going to ferment in carboy but carbonate in a corny in order to make a cask ale. I have a beer engine that I rebuilt. The last few places I've been that served cask ale - most recently Jack of the Wood in Asheville - served cask ale from a corny. It was delicious. I assume the beer was conditioned in the corny.

 I was going to get a pin keg but after reading up I think corny's are fine for fermenting. But I agree that you will want to transfer after fermenting. I'll be interested to see how much trub there is from carbonating a cask ale.

Offline amico414

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Fermenting in a corny keg
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2012, 11:03:21 PM »
So forgive me if I'm missing something obvious...  What does one use for an airlock when fermenting in a corny?  Modify one of the posts to affix a blowoff?

Offline ajk

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Fermenting in a corny keg
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2012, 06:03:27 AM »
In my corny fermentors, I bend the dip tube so it touches the side of the keg about where the bottom seam is.  A friend showed me this.  After racking off the beer, you can then tip the keg on its side and blow out almost all of what was left behind.  I use this technique to collect yeast for repitching.  I wonder if you could use a similar technique *before* racking.

Instead of an airlock, I use a blowoff hose.  It's just a length of tubing connected to the gas post of the keg with the other end in a jar of sanitizer.


Offline DaveR

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Re: Fermenting in a corny keg
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2012, 07:51:57 AM »
So forgive me if I'm missing something obvious...  What does one use for an airlock when fermenting in a corny?  Modify one of the posts to affix a blowoff?

Use a standard airlock. Run a sort piece of vinyl tubing from a quick connect on the "in" post to the airlock. Use a piece of wire to hold the airlock above the quick connect.

I had an extra lid. I drilled a hole in one for a rubber grommet and airlock. I haven't used it yet. I doubt it works any better quick than using a quick connect.

The downside of fermenting in a 5 gallon corny is you can only do about 4 gallons allowing for headspace.

Offline denny

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Re: Fermenting in a corny keg
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2012, 09:01:47 AM »
Instead of an airlock, I use a blowoff hose.  It's just a length of tubing connected to the gas post of the keg with the other end in a jar of sanitizer.


After trying a few things, I've also settled on that method as the easiest, most straight forward way.
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Offline euge

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Re: Fermenting in a corny keg
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2012, 10:53:30 AM »
I was listening to JZ&JP on Brewstrong and Jamil was really down on using a cornie keg as a fermenter.

Ultimately he gave his reason as thee were too many nooks and crannies in there for bacteria to hide and are difficult to clean. I remember thinking that this doesn't make sense- that it's ok to store your fermented beer but is not good to ferment in a cornie keg? I think the nooks and crannies point is BS and a cop-out.

I say do it and use a blow-off hose. Might be the best approach for some folks.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

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Offline denny

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Re: Fermenting in a corny keg
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2012, 12:10:31 PM »
I gotta agree, euge.  His points don't make sense to me, either.
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Fermenting in a corny keg
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2012, 04:59:14 AM »
I have started doing some ferms under pressure in cornies.  First time I tried pushing yeast out.  It wasn't terribly effective, you get a lot of beer along with the yeast and it keeps coming out in lumps.  What I did after that experience was to cut the dip tube off about 1.5" for my fermentors.  Then I can rack clean beer to a second serving keg using pressure.  After that I open the corny and harvest my yeast last.  That worked well.  I didn't cold crash but I think that would help the yeast make a firm cake.
Lennie
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Offline beersk

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Re: Fermenting in a corny keg
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2012, 06:46:16 AM »
Instead of an airlock, I use a blowoff hose.  It's just a length of tubing connected to the gas post of the keg with the other end in a jar of sanitizer.


After trying a few things, I've also settled on that method as the easiest, most straight forward way.
So you are fermenting in cornies now?

I still don't understand how you'd get the yeast out of there for repitching if pushing it out doesn't work well.  I would think dumping it from the opening of the keg would be risky.
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Jesse

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Fermenting in a corny keg
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2012, 07:08:37 AM »
It pours well enough into a quart jar, especially if you add a little boiled water to make a nice slurry.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO