Author Topic: 1/6 Bbl kegs for homebrewing  (Read 3045 times)

Offline yso191

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1/6 Bbl kegs for homebrewing
« on: July 03, 2015, 04:45:37 PM »
A friend of mine here in Yakima swears by commercial 1/6 barrel Sankey kegs.  He says they are easy to clean and don't have the sealing problems that corny kegs do.  And they are roughly the same cost.  So I'm curious.  I'd love to simplify the kegging process as well as get rid of the 'is it going to stay sealed' issues.

Does anyone agree with my friend?  If so, what is the best way to get the kegs clean, purged with CO2 and refilled?
Steve
All Hands Brewing
BJCP #D1667

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: 1/6 Bbl kegs for homebrewing
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2015, 03:23:54 AM »
How does he clean them? Can you share?
Na Zdravie

On Tap At The TapRoom:
Bohemian Pilsner
Bohemian Dark Lager
Smoked Bock
MaiBock
American Brown Ale
Marzen
Root beer

Offline majorvices

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Re: 1/6 Bbl kegs for homebrewing
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2015, 03:07:50 PM »
I use 1/6 bbl kegs all the time. If you have recircing cleaner system they are easy to clean. But I can't imagine that being practical for a homebrewer. I also never really had problems getting corny kegs lid to seal. And taking the spears out of a sanke keg is a real PITA.

Offline yso191

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Re: 1/6 Bbl kegs for homebrewing
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2015, 04:23:29 PM »
How does he clean them? Can you share?

As I recall he has adapted a sankey keg coupler to flush via the spear.  No spear removal.

I toured a nano brewery in Peoria a year or so ago.  They rigged a PVC CIP stand which they kept in a deep sink and inverted the kegs over that.  This did require removal of the spear.

I have had issues with losing a seal on a corny keg- more than twice, but less than 5 times I'd say.  That does not count all the times (countless it seems) where I do the Starsan spray/bubbling test and cussed the result, and had to remove and reseat posts or whatever.  The bottom line is that there are 6(!) places on a corny keg for a seal to go bad - only one on a sankey keg.
Steve
All Hands Brewing
BJCP #D1667

Offline majorvices

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Re: 1/6 Bbl kegs for homebrewing
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2015, 06:47:36 PM »
We build our first keg cleaner, they are fairly simple to make. You can also get adapters that can fit both sanke and ball lock/pin lock QDCs.

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: 1/6 Bbl kegs for homebrewing
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2015, 01:40:33 PM »
Sankey kegs are great.

They still can leak thru the seal but this will happen most likely if there is a dirt in the seal. Another wash cycle usually fixes it.

I have a friend that used corny keg and CO2 to clean them. He puts cleaner to corny keg and pushes it thru inverted keg thru beer out port and drains it thru gas in port.

I am still using home rigged keg washer. It is using a pump to circulate cleaner and sanitizer.
Na Zdravie

On Tap At The TapRoom:
Bohemian Pilsner
Bohemian Dark Lager
Smoked Bock
MaiBock
American Brown Ale
Marzen
Root beer

Offline yso191

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Re: 1/6 Bbl kegs for homebrewing
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2015, 02:44:39 PM »
I am still using home rigged keg washer. It is using a pump to circulate cleaner and sanitizer.

Do you remove the spear, or if you don't, what do you have rigged to make it work?
Steve
All Hands Brewing
BJCP #D1667

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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1/6 Bbl kegs for homebrewing
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2015, 04:58:49 PM »
No I do not remove it. Just couple it on and turn the pump on.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/f5b6pnl4bxwmb2x/2015-07-05%2011.53.54.jpg?dl=0
« Last Edit: July 05, 2015, 05:00:29 PM by Thirsty_Monk »
Na Zdravie

On Tap At The TapRoom:
Bohemian Pilsner
Bohemian Dark Lager
Smoked Bock
MaiBock
American Brown Ale
Marzen
Root beer

Offline majorvices

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Re: 1/6 Bbl kegs for homebrewing
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2015, 05:58:36 PM »
There is absolutely no reason to remove the spear except for periodic inspection. It's a simple recirculation cleaning procedure. However, I seriously think it would be a hell of a lot easier just cleaning cornies than building a keg cleaner. If you are required to remove the spear every time you will quickly regret this idea.

Offline yso191

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Re: 1/6 Bbl kegs for homebrewing
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2015, 07:34:10 PM »
No I do not remove it. Just couple it on and turn the pump on.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/f5b6pnl4bxwmb2x/2015-07-05%2011.53.54.jpg?dl=0

Love the manifold/valve setup!  I may have to have my pipefitter son in law weld one up out of stainless!
Steve
All Hands Brewing
BJCP #D1667

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: 1/6 Bbl kegs for homebrewing
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2015, 07:40:16 PM »
I did it with coper. It was fast and cheap. You still needs to have vessel to hold a cleaner and pump.

It looks quite overkill for homebrewing. Unless you have a homebrew club and they operate one for everybody. 
Na Zdravie

On Tap At The TapRoom:
Bohemian Pilsner
Bohemian Dark Lager
Smoked Bock
MaiBock
American Brown Ale
Marzen
Root beer

Offline yso191

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Re: 1/6 Bbl kegs for homebrewing
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2015, 10:15:20 PM »
I live for overkill
Steve
All Hands Brewing
BJCP #D1667

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: 1/6 Bbl kegs for homebrewing
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2015, 11:21:14 PM »
Na Zdravie

On Tap At The TapRoom:
Bohemian Pilsner
Bohemian Dark Lager
Smoked Bock
MaiBock
American Brown Ale
Marzen
Root beer

Offline yso191

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Re: 1/6 Bbl kegs for homebrewing
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2015, 08:27:54 PM »
Case in $@%€ point!  Yesterday I finished cold-conditioning a pale ale, so I took it out of the freezer (where it was holding pressure perfectly) and moved it to the kegerator to join a Munich Helles (which was also holding pressure perfectly).

I returned last night with my son-in-law and went to pull a beer.  Nothing.  The CO2 tank was empty!  The gas post on the Helles had begun leaking, and now both beers are flat.  I had only checked the new connections. Can I swear on this forum?

I need to work out a good cleaning system for 1/6 bbl sankey kegs and begin getting rid of these corney kegs!
Steve
All Hands Brewing
BJCP #D1667

Offline bboy9000

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Re: 1/6 Bbl kegs for homebrewing
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2015, 09:00:38 PM »

Can I swear on this  forum?
You can on the Brewing Network forum.  Come on over!
Brian
mobrewer