Author Topic: fermenting lager in a keg  (Read 1368 times)

Offline homoeccentricus

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fermenting lager in a keg
« on: November 12, 2015, 03:40:46 PM »
Since I recently switched to kegs and I have only one chest freezer available, I have to ferment a lager (my first one, a Dortmunder Export) and serve my beer side by side. For a 10 liter batch would it be sufficient to do the following  (from http://byo.com/hops/item/1763-ferment-in-a-cornelius-keg-projects):

For fermentation, remove the gas side's short dip tube. Attach the "Gas In" disconnect to the "in" post on the keg. Now slip the tubing onto the hose barb of the disconnect. Fill your jar or growler about half full with a solution of the sanitizer of your choice. Insert the other end of the tubing in the growler and you're ready to go.

and even not do the blowoff at all?

And if I want to collect the yeast, can I simply do this by means of forcing CO2 through the keg after primary fermentation, and collect the first few messy pints?

Any other tips?

Thanks in advance!
Frank P.

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Offline BrodyR

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Re: fermenting lager in a keg
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2015, 04:08:43 PM »
Since I recently switched to kegs and I have only one chest freezer available, I have to ferment a lager (my first one, a Dortmunder Export) and serve my beer side by side. For a 10 liter batch would it be sufficient to do the following  (from http://byo.com/hops/item/1763-ferment-in-a-cornelius-keg-projects):

For fermentation, remove the gas side's short dip tube. Attach the "Gas In" disconnect to the "in" post on the keg. Now slip the tubing onto the hose barb of the disconnect. Fill your jar or growler about half full with a solution of the sanitizer of your choice. Insert the other end of the tubing in the growler and you're ready to go.

and even not do the blowoff at all?

And if I want to collect the yeast, can I simply do this by means of forcing CO2 through the keg after primary fermentation, and collect the first few messy pints?

Any other tips?

Thanks in advance!

This has become my go to method lately. It's pretty basic, the only thing they don't mention is you have to take the guts out of the gas in connect which only takes a minute with a screwdriver. I then run a tube from the barb to a growler of starsan.

The benefits to me are steel doesn't break like glass or scratch like plastic, I can get my whole arm in their to scrub it down, and it's narrow shape allows me to fit two at a time in my secondary freezer (which would only hold one carboy). I always just rack off the yeast but have been meaning to try shortening the dip tube and just using a keg jumper to do everything without exposing the beer to the atmosphere.

Offline kramerog

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Re: fermenting lager in a keg
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2015, 04:16:02 PM »

For fermentation, remove the gas side's short dip tube. Attach the "Gas In" disconnect to the "in" post on the keg. Now slip the tubing onto the hose barb of the disconnect. Fill your jar or growler about half full with a solution of the sanitizer of your choice. Insert the other end of the tubing in the growler and you're ready to go.

and even not do the blowoff at all?


The quoted BYO instructions provide blowoff.  Am I missing something?

Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: fermenting lager in a keg
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2015, 04:17:39 PM »

For fermentation, remove the gas side's short dip tube. Attach the "Gas In" disconnect to the "in" post on the keg. Now slip the tubing onto the hose barb of the disconnect. Fill your jar or growler about half full with a solution of the sanitizer of your choice. Insert the other end of the tubing in the growler and you're ready to go.

and even not do the blowoff at all?


The quoted BYO instructions provide blowoff.  Am I missing something?

Yes, that I'm only fermenting 10 liters.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: fermenting lager in a keg
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2015, 04:50:41 PM »
If the lid of your corny has a pressure relief valve it might safely vent the pressure, but it isn't wise to rely on it as the primary way to prevent the keg from exploding. 

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: fermenting lager in a keg
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2015, 04:58:54 PM »
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Offline narcout

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Re: fermenting lager in a keg
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2015, 05:05:17 PM »
When I ferment in a corny keg I neither remove the gas in dip tube nor the guts of the gas in disconnect. 

You can just attach the gas disconnect to the keg and attach some tubing to the disconnect (put the other end of the tubing into a jar of sanitizer). 

If you are only fermenting 10 liters in a 5 gallon keg, you shouldn't have any issues with blowoff.  The gas will vent through the disconnect.

And if I want to collect the yeast, can I simply do this by means of forcing CO2 through the keg after primary fermentation, and collect the first few messy pints?

If you build a jumper cable, you can use CO2 to rack beer from the fermentor keg into your serving keg.  Some yeast and other trub near the bottom of the liquid out tube will come out first, and you'll want to direct that into another vessel before redirecting the flow into the serving keg.

In my experience, the majority of the yeast, etc. will remain in the fermentor keg until you get down to the last bit of beer. 

There is some good info and instructions here: http://www.thebeerjournals.com/Racking.html
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Re: fermenting lager in a keg
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2015, 05:36:05 PM »
IME, it's about a 50-50 regarding whether you can push yeast slurry through a cornie post. It does seem to work out fine for powdery strains, but with something highly flocculent you could have issues.

If the lid of your corny has a pressure relief valve it might safely vent the pressure, but it isn't wise to rely on it as the primary way to prevent the keg from exploding.

At ~100 psi, the bigger issue might be CO2 toxicity.

Either that or ending up with a beer carbed to 5+ vol.
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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: fermenting lager in a keg
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2015, 06:23:33 PM »
So if I want to harvest the yeast, dryhop and use gelatin, I will have to transfer twice :(
Frank P.

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Offline BrodyR

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Re: fermenting lager in a keg
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2015, 06:50:35 PM »
Narcout - Interesting, I wonder what was different with you leaving everything intact - when I tried that initially there was still pressure in the keg building up (as in I'd have to vent it). Removing the guts allowed all the C02 to escape easily.


Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: fermenting lager in a keg
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2015, 06:55:34 PM »

So if I want to harvest the yeast, dryhop and use gelatin, I will have to transfer twice :(

You could drill hole in bottom, install port valve, and then harvest yeast before continuing with other steps.


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Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
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Offline narcout

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Re: fermenting lager in a keg
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2015, 06:58:42 PM »
Narcout - Interesting, I wonder what was different with you leaving everything intact - when I tried that initially there was still pressure in the keg building up (as in I'd have to vent it). Removing the guts allowed all the C02 to escape easily.

Did you leave everything else intact (gas-in dip tube and poppet valve in the keg post)? 
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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: fermenting lager in a keg
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2015, 06:59:58 PM »
No, I will need all my kegs once I start conquering the known universe with my beers.
Frank P.

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Offline BrodyR

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Re: fermenting lager in a keg
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2015, 07:42:21 PM »
Narcout - Interesting, I wonder what was different with you leaving everything intact - when I tried that initially there was still pressure in the keg building up (as in I'd have to vent it). Removing the guts allowed all the C02 to escape easily.

Did you leave everything else intact (gas-in dip tube and poppet valve in the keg post)?

Think I removed the dip tube and poppet valve but left the guts of disconnect intact originally

Offline narcout

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Re: fermenting lager in a keg
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2015, 07:50:05 PM »
Think I removed the dip tube and poppet valve but left the guts of disconnect intact originally

You need the keg post poppet valve in place to press against the poppet valve in the disconnect, otherwise the valve in the disconnect will remain closed. 

You might need the dip tube in place in order for the keg post poppet valve to seat correctly, but I'm not positive about that - easy enough to test though. 
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