Author Topic: Using Corny Keg for Secondary?  (Read 4104 times)

Offline monk

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Using Corny Keg for Secondary?
« on: May 27, 2010, 07:51:00 AM »
I've been trying this lately, after hearing about it on here (I think from Beechum?).  It seems to work very well for me, but I have a little question:

When using the keg for a secondary/bright tank, how much pressure should I seal it with? 

I have a beer that is still cleaning itself up, and so is giving off a fair amount of C02 still.  Should I be venting this?  Or does it matter much?  The pressure's not big...probably around 10 psi.  The beer's at room temp, basically.

Thanks for any advice!

Offline weithman5

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Re: Using Corny Keg for Secondary?
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2010, 08:41:40 AM »
i have been thinking of doing this as well, and for lagering.  i thought i would just leave the gas supply line open to vent with either a tube in to a glass of water/vodka or just put sanitized cotton over it.
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Re: Using Corny Keg for Secondary?
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2010, 08:49:10 AM »

I have a beer that is still cleaning itself up, and so is giving off a fair amount of C02 still.  Should I be venting this?  Or does it matter much?  The pressure's not big...probably around 10 psi.  The beer's at room temp, basically.


First off, I wouldn;t recommend transferring a beer before fermentation is complete. If you are still actively fermenting in the keg you may be better to instal an airlock. But you are always better off keeping the beer in the primary until the fermentation is complete, and then even letting it sit 2 or 3 days after fermentation is complete. (or even up to a week or two won;t hurt). By moving the beer off the yeast you risk 1) stalling the fermentation 2) slowing the fermentation so much that the beer is not able to clean up diacetyl or blow out sulfur.

Second, yeah, a cory keg is the ultimate bright tank for homebrew use. Simply doesn;t make sense to use a carboy a s a secondary when you can use a keg, the main reason being that you can purge the head space with Co2 and reduce oxidation and contamination concerns. In fact, IMO using a glass carboy for most low gravity ales as a secondary is an unneeded risk.
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Offline pyrite

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Re: Using Corny Keg for Secondary?
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2010, 09:43:31 AM »
I agree with you Monk and Majorvices, "the corny keg is the ultimate home brewers bright tank". 
« Last Edit: May 27, 2010, 09:46:29 AM by pyrite »
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Offline monk

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Re: Using Corny Keg for Secondary?
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2010, 10:27:58 AM »
So this beer in particular is an old ale that fermented for one week and had no more visible signs of fermentation (krausen had fallen, no more bubbles, etc.).  It's also down to 1.018, which is where I expect it to end, most likely.  Do you think I should of left it in the primary for another week still?

Normally I don't use a secondary at all, keg or otherwise.  I just leave beers in primary for 2 weeks and then keg and carbonate.  For this one, since it's an old ale, I thought I'd transfer to a keg to let it condition at room temp for a couple more weeks, then keg/carb as usual.  Unnecessary step?


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Re: Using Corny Keg for Secondary?
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2010, 11:31:55 AM »
Did you use the WY old ale yeast? Because that has a strain of brettanomyces as well as whatever other yeast they are using and it will continue to ferment for a while. In that case, just continue to vent the keg.
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Offline monk

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Re: Using Corny Keg for Secondary?
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2010, 11:46:17 AM »
No...I just used US-05.  This was kind of a pseudo old ale, maybe.  No sour, 1.062.  Just an old ale in the sense of malt bill and final gravity, really.


Offline IHBHS

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Re: Using Corny Keg for Secondary?
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2010, 04:34:35 PM »
10 psi is about perfect for doing your secondary, but majorvices said, dont transfer til primary is complete.  if you fine it with isinglass you'll want to chill it down but other than that you'll be fine.
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Offline tom

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Re: Using Corny Keg for Secondary?
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2010, 08:36:19 AM »

Cornies are great!
Put enough CO2 pressure in to seal the lid.
Brew on

Offline monk

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Re: Using Corny Keg for Secondary?
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2010, 09:15:32 AM »
Cool.  Yeah, I'm really happy I read that post, because for some reason I hadn't thought of using a corny for a bright tank.  I was always worried about getting too much trub in the serving keg, but then if I crash cooled the fermenter I was worried about drawing water and air through the airlock into the beer.  Using a corny totally solves that problem.

Offline 1vertical

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Re: Using Corny Keg for Secondary?
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2010, 07:12:05 AM »

Cornies are great!
Put enough CO2 pressure in to seal the lid.
Yep that is what I do, I will add some more gas after a day or so incase
the beer absorbed most of the gas in the headspace.
A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.

Offline richardt

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Re: Using Corny Keg for Secondary?
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2010, 12:17:13 PM »
I don't know the maximum pressure a corny keg can hold, but if you're unsure what the FG is going to be (especially if using Brettanomyces), then I would consider depressurizing occasionally. 

I had a situation (Specialty Stout--long secondary in a corny keg) and had one keg just massively carbonated, but not the other (don't know why--neither seem off or infected; I presume one sealed better than the other).  At bottling time, it took me several minutes to de-gas the high pressured keg to a safe enough level to take the lid off.  I had to de-gas (using one-second increments and rests of a minute of two in between) in the shower with the curtain pulled shut because it was spewing foam if I did it any longer than that.  Doing it in the shower was nice because I could hose down everything with the spray.  It took a good 45 minutes to de-gas, though.

I've seen adaptations of the Fluid OUT corny quick disconnects being attached to a beer tap dispenser.  I wonder if a Gas OUT corny quick disconnect can be attached to a gas regulator w safety valve?  Has anyone seen or made one?

Offline tom

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Re: Using Corny Keg for Secondary?
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2010, 03:17:10 PM »
Here is a relief valve, but I replaced the valve on the end with an adjustable relief valve.
http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/bleeder-valve.html
And bought the adjustable relief valve from McMaster:
48935K25
Brass Adjustable Vacuum/Pressure Relief Valve 1/4" NPT Male, 0-20 PSI
In stock at $8.32 Each
 
« Last Edit: May 31, 2010, 03:21:40 PM by tom »
Brew on

Offline The Professor

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Re: Using Corny Keg for Secondary?
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2010, 09:04:51 PM »
...Second, yeah, a cory keg is the ultimate bright tank for homebrew use. Simply doesn;t make sense to use a carboy a s a secondary when you can use a keg, the main reason being that you can purge the head space with Co2 and reduce oxidation and contamination concerns...

I absolutely agree that the corny makes a great secondary/bright tank...but then again. I have kept brews in glass secondary for upwards of 6-9 months with no concerns at all  about oxidation...purging the minimal headspace in glass carboys is an easy enough operation if you have a co2 tank handy.

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Offline ipaisay

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Re: Using Corny Keg for Secondary?
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2010, 12:10:55 PM »
I have been using a corny as a secondary/bright tank for some time now on most of my beers.  It works great.  I will even dry hop/dry nib cacao nibs by tying a disposable hop bag to the serving tube.  I'll purge and cap the keg with enough pressure to keep the lid sealed and check regularly that there is positive pressure on the keg.  I will then transfer to another Corny under pressure for serving.  Beer is usually nice and clean if the secondary has been chilled for a week before transferring too.

Best of luck!