Author Topic: How to maintain corny keg temps during fermentation?  (Read 1212 times)

Offline MarvinSwordenski

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How to maintain corny keg temps during fermentation?
« on: September 13, 2015, 01:38:04 PM »
I've researched this topic in depth and tried my first brew to corny keg as primary fermenting experiment yesterday. I fell short on a coulpe points. I'd like to include this information for anyone else reading this thread for informational purposes.

Problem 1. You must reconfigure your system's height to accommodate the added 4 plus inches of the corny keg. After running from the kettle the uphill head pressure reduced the gravity flow and left about a gallon of wort in the kettle.

Problem 2. I can only use a cooler filled with water and swap out frozen 2ltr bottles for cooling. I haven't found any 20”+ deep coolers yet to fit the height of the keg. (like to have one big enough for 2 kegs and 2 bottles) Less than half the keg is submerged leaving most of the action exposed the the outside ambient temps (for me here in the south that's garage HOT)

I have the garage circuit breaker maxed out and can't do anything electric like another fridge.

SOoooo, how do you keep your corny keg cool during fermentation?
« Last Edit: September 13, 2015, 06:55:55 PM by MarvinSwordenski »

Offline kramerog

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Re: How to maintain corny keg temps during fermentation?
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2015, 02:21:26 PM »
Sounds like you should put a sleeping bag over the corny and cooler.

Offline tommymorris

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Re: How to maintain corny keg temps during fermentation?
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2015, 02:32:39 PM »
Maybe you should cut a keg sized hole in the lid of an 10G Igloo water cooler and place the keg down in that hole. That should cover 90% of a keg at least and insulate your cooling water for less frozen bottle additions.

Offline MarvinSwordenski

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Re: How to maintain corny keg temps during fermentation?
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2015, 02:35:30 PM »
@kramerog
That I can do.
Anyone know of a deep cooler? All I can find is about 20" but that will include thickness and lid.
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Igloo-60-qt-Ice-Cube-Wheeled-Cooler-Dark-Green/35679267

Offline Stevie

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Re: How to maintain corny keg temps during fermentation?
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2015, 02:43:09 PM »

Maybe you should cut a keg sized hole in the lid of an 10G Igloo water cooler and place the keg down in that hole. That should cover 90% of a keg at least and insulate your cooling water for less frozen bottle additions.
+1 - the keg will take up much of the space, so that could limit the size of ice bottles. Cheap at Home Depot and lowes

Offline MarvinSwordenski

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Re: How to maintain corny keg temps during fermentation?
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2015, 03:06:00 PM »
Maybe you should cut a keg sized hole in the lid of an 10G Igloo water cooler and place the keg down in that hole. That should cover 90% of a keg at least and insulate your cooling water for less frozen bottle additions.

Thanks for the idea.... I use the 10gal Gott as my Mash Tun. I measured inside depth at 20".
$40 x 2 $80 and no room for bottles.
$80 is used freezer chest and back to my electric problem.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2015, 03:07:51 PM by MarvinSwordenski »

Offline tommymorris

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How to maintain corny keg temps during fermentation?
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2015, 03:23:45 PM »
What about a cool brewing bag?

http://www.cool-brewing.com/
« Last Edit: September 13, 2015, 03:25:26 PM by alestateyall »

Offline MarvinSwordenski

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Re: How to maintain corny keg temps during fermentation?
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2015, 04:28:01 PM »
What about a cool brewing bag?

http://www.cool-brewing.com/

http://www.morebeer.com/products/cool-brewing-insulated-fermentation-bag.html

That looks like it may work.
Inner dimensions: 18.5"D x 25.5"H
I drew it up to scale. Cornies at 9" and 2ltr bottle at 4.25" you could get 4-2ltrs in there. IF.... that is maybe squeezing a bit. Corny measures in at 25"H
« Last Edit: September 13, 2015, 04:43:07 PM by MarvinSwordenski »

Offline tommymorris

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How to maintain corny keg temps during fermentation?
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2015, 04:38:41 PM »
They are big. I have one. You can put water in it but sides are soft so it isn't really made for that. It works well without the water. It's better at holding temps than cooling down.

PS. I don't use it anymore. Adding water bottles is a PITA and means I can't brew when traveling for work.

Offline MarvinSwordenski

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Re: How to maintain corny keg temps during fermentation?
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2015, 04:46:23 PM »
They are big. I have one. You can put water in it but sides are soft so it isn't really made for that. It works well without the water. It's better at holding temps than cooling down.

PS. I don't use it anymore. Adding water bottles is a PITA and means I can't brew when traveling for work.

PM'd you, Tommy.

Offline tommymorris

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Re: How to maintain corny keg temps during fermentation?
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2015, 05:54:09 PM »



Offline tommymorris

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Re: How to maintain corny keg temps during fermentation?
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2015, 05:54:55 PM »


Bag closes fine with 2 cornies. 

Offline MarvinSwordenski

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Re: How to maintain corny keg temps during fermentation?
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2015, 06:53:31 PM »
Tommy,
That looks a whole lot bigger than advertised. That may work.
Thank you for the extra effort in posting the pics.

Offline brewsumore

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Re: How to maintain corny keg temps during fermentation?
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2015, 04:35:41 AM »
Maybe you should cut a keg sized hole in the lid of an 10G Igloo water cooler and place the keg down in that hole. That should cover 90% of a keg at least and insulate your cooling water for less frozen bottle additions.

I did this for a portable kegerator, except with a 70-quart igloo ice chest.  You can see what it looks like with a ball lock keg via my posts with photos on page 4 and 5 of the old thread on another board at:  http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=77879&start=45

FWIW, it insulates really well.  I can keep the beer ice cold serving at least 2 - 3 days in hot summer weather, without adding more ice.  With a keg inside it holds 40 lbs of ice, so plenty of room for frozen bottles to maintain a ferment temp with fewer bottles as suggested above.

In case you want to reconsider another alternative to the ferment cooling bag...

And it could do double duty as a portable kegerator / jockey box.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2015, 04:51:55 AM by brewsumore »

Offline stevecrawshaw

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Re: How to maintain corny keg temps during fermentation?
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2015, 08:26:17 AM »
If you can get hold of a maxi chiller, you can hack the internal python pump to be switched by a cheap temp controller. The pump can feed chilled water into a coil in a water bath in which your corny sits. Here's how I did it..

http://www.bristolbrewers.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1547

I use it mainly for dispense \ conditioning but it would work well enough for fermentation if your ambient temps are greater than your desired ferm tep.

cheers
steve
I like to keep a bottle of stimulant handy in case I see a snake, which I also keep handy.