Author Topic: German gravity keg Sanke to ball lock help needed  (Read 173 times)

Offline brian_welch

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German gravity keg Sanke to ball lock help needed
« on: May 28, 2019, 01:27:56 PM »
As part of my growing obsession with brewing various Franconian beer styles (Rauchbier, Dunkel, Schwarzbier, Kellerbier, etc.) I have purchased a German gravity keg.



Unlike English casks, which are relatively popular in the US and are sold through US retailers, this was the only model I could find that didn't require importing a keg from Germany, the Schaefer Party Keg, sold by the North American division of a German keg maker: https://schaefercontainers.com/products/kegs/party-keg/

https://www.keg.schaefer-container-systems.com/fileadmin/Redakteur/KEG/PDF/party-keg-201605en.pdf

As you can see, the beauty of this model is the "Bavarian bunghole" for "bayerischer Anstich" or a gravity pour.

It is 20 liters (5.3 gallons) and the standard option for the North American market is the Sanke D fitting on top.  This is where my questions begin. I know you can remove the spear and fill the keg that way (and that is probably how I will clean it), but for closed transfers you need to go in through the spear.  I bought a coupler (this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E5WWNT0/) and these Sanke to ball lock converters (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01FT3I0PE/).

The question is this, if I have the ball lock converters in place, do I need the plastic check valve on the gas in and the ball on the line out?

My basic goal is "real lager" (the lager version of real ale, AKA traditional naturally carbonated lager). I plan to do a closed transfer  when the beer is mostly done fermenting out of my Speidel fermenter into the keg through beer out port and then attach a spunding valve to the gas in port so it can naturally carbonate while it finishes fermenting.

I'm pretty sure the check valve will prevent the excess pressure from release out through the spunding valve so I think that has to be removed.  And I think the ball in the beer out line will prevent me from pushing the beer into the keg. If I have the ball lock adapters on, my intuition is that I don't ever need the check valve or ball (it's not like corny kegs need either of those things).  Can anyone think of a reason why I might need them?

When it comes to serving, I'm gonna follow these instructions:
http://www.bunitedint.com/information/collections/3/gravity_guide/

The keg comes with an air inlet valve for venting the keg (which you can also do with the coupler, but that won't look as cool).

If anyone wants to see it in person I will be serving a Kellerbier at NHC in Providence in a month, either at club night or maybe during the social hour that my club has signed up for. Hope it works as I won't have time for a test beer before then.  Wish me luck!

Brian Welch
WIZARDS (Worcester Incorporated Zymurgists Advancing Real Draughts)

ON TAP:
Franconian Dunkel
Scottish Export
Rauchbier

ON DECK:
RauchDunkelWeizenbock
Amber Kellerbier

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: German gravity keg Sanke to ball lock help needed
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2019, 06:09:47 PM »
That is a nice setup.  Whether to use check valves and avoid the risk of overfilling (getting beer into the gas line at tapping) is your choice, since you will be spunding to this device.  You should be fine filling it and pulling one pint off - at least in my experience with cornies.  As to the use of the Sanke fitting - that is a great way to attach carbonation to the dispense and to preserve the beer that is not consumed at the first tapping.  Good luck with the NHC serving - I bet it will be a popular tap!
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: German gravity keg Sanke to ball lock help needed
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2019, 08:22:49 PM »
I will have my eyes looking for this set up.
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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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German gravity keg Sanke to ball lock help needed
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2019, 01:05:55 AM »
As part of my growing obsession with brewing various Franconian beer styles (Rauchbier, Dunkel, Schwarzbier, Kellerbier, etc.) I have purchased a German gravity keg.



Unlike English casks, which are relatively popular in the US and are sold through US retailers, this was the only model I could find that didn't require importing a keg from Germany, the Schaefer Party Keg, sold by the North American division of a German keg maker: https://schaefercontainers.com/products/kegs/party-keg/

https://www.keg.schaefer-container-systems.com/fileadmin/Redakteur/KEG/PDF/party-keg-201605en.pdf

As you can see, the beauty of this model is the "Bavarian bunghole" for "bayerischer Anstich" or a gravity pour.

It is 20 liters (5.3 gallons) and the standard option for the North American market is the Sanke D fitting on top.  This is where my questions begin. I know you can remove the spear and fill the keg that way (and that is probably how I will clean it), but for closed transfers you need to go in through the spear.  I bought a coupler (this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E5WWNT0/) and these Sanke to ball lock converters (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01FT3I0PE/).

The question is this, if I have the ball lock converters in place, do I need the plastic check valve on the gas in and the ball on the line out?

My basic goal is "real lager" (the lager version of real ale, AKA traditional naturally carbonated lager). I plan to do a closed transfer  when the beer is mostly done fermenting out of my Speidel fermenter into the keg through beer out port and then attach a spunding valve to the gas in port so it can naturally carbonate while it finishes fermenting.

I'm pretty sure the check valve will prevent the excess pressure from release out through the spunding valve so I think that has to be removed.  And I think the ball in the beer out line will prevent me from pushing the beer into the keg. If I have the ball lock adapters on, my intuition is that I don't ever need the check valve or ball (it's not like corny kegs need either of those things).  Can anyone think of a reason why I might need them?

When it comes to serving, I'm gonna follow these instructions:
http://www.bunitedint.com/information/collections/3/gravity_guide/

The keg comes with an air inlet valve for venting the keg (which you can also do with the coupler, but that won't look as cool).

If anyone wants to see it in person I will be serving a Kellerbier at NHC in Providence in a month, either at club night or maybe during the social hour that my club has signed up for. Hope it works as I won't have time for a test beer before then.  Wish me luck!

In Sankey D gas check valve is to prevent beer to spill into the gas line and check ball in beer out is to stop beer in line to leaking out and making mess in the cooler.

If you want to fill your keg with that coupler you have to remove the ball from beer out and if you want to put a spunding valve you also have to remove the gas check valve.

If you buy keg filling coupler they will come without check valve or ball.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2019, 01:08:16 AM by Thirsty_Monk »
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Bohemian Dark Lager
Smoked Bock
MaiBock
American Brown Ale
Marzen
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Offline brian_welch

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Re: German gravity keg Sanke to ball lock help needed
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2019, 03:34:52 PM »
In Sankey D gas check valve is to prevent beer to spill into the gas line and check ball in beer out is to stop beer in line to leaking out and making mess in the cooler.

If you want to fill your keg with that coupler you have to remove the ball from beer out and if you want to put a spunding valve you also have to remove the gas check valve.

If you buy keg filling coupler they will come without check valve or ball.

Thanks.  This is very useful.  I am going to practice by moving sanitizer around and see what happens.
Brian Welch
WIZARDS (Worcester Incorporated Zymurgists Advancing Real Draughts)

ON TAP:
Franconian Dunkel
Scottish Export
Rauchbier

ON DECK:
RauchDunkelWeizenbock
Amber Kellerbier