Author Topic: Kegging through the ball lock disconnect.  (Read 534 times)

Offline JFMBearcat

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Kegging through the ball lock disconnect.
« on: July 17, 2019, 01:26:53 PM »
Hi all - for years I have just run a clean tube to the bottom of my keg when packaging.

I have noticed people running the tubing now from the ball valve of the fermenter to the liquid out post of the keg while keeping the lid sealed, I'm assuming to lessen the oxygen.

Is this as simple as just attaching the tubing to a black disconnect and letting her rip from the fermenter? Or is there anything extra I have to do to get a continuous flow?

Thanks

Offline Robert

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Re: Kegging through the ball lock disconnect.
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2019, 01:44:49 PM »
It's pretty much that simple. 

Obviously to keep it flowing you have to let gas escape the receiving keg as liquid enters.  You could just use the keg lid PRV, or better yet a tube on a gas (gray) disconnect on the gas post.  You can put that in a bucket of sanitizer just like an "airlock."  When beer starts to come out the gas side, the keg is full! 

To start the flow, if the fermenter is higher than the keg, gravity should do the trick -- as you say, let 'er rip.   If they're on the same level, you'll need to put a pound or so of CO2 on the fermenter to keep pushing it into the keg.  In any case, you need to also let gas into the fermenter as liquid leaves, just like gas has to leave the keg as liquid enters.  This can be air (but that exposes you to oxygen) or find a way to apply CO2.  The most elegant way some people use is to run a tube from the gas post of the keg back up to the fermenter:  once gravity starts the flow it's a closed loop.

If you really want to avoid oxygen, properly purge the keg first:   fill with sanitizer and push it all out with CO2. 

Enjoy the fruits of your closed transfers; fresher beer longer!
« Last Edit: July 17, 2019, 01:50:58 PM by Robert »
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Offline JFMBearcat

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Re: Kegging through the ball lock disconnect.
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2019, 01:57:07 PM »
Thanks a ton. Very well explained. I'm going to start using this method right away.

Offline denny

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Re: Kegging through the ball lock disconnect.
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2019, 02:30:43 PM »
OK, maybe I'm stupid, but how do you prevent the CO2 in the keg from going back into the fermenter?
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: Kegging through the ball lock disconnect.
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2019, 02:41:46 PM »
Why would you want to prevent the CO2 from the keg entering the fermenter?




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Offline Robert

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Re: Kegging through the ball lock disconnect.
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2019, 02:43:40 PM »
OK, maybe I'm stupid, but how do you prevent the CO2 in the keg from going back into the fermenter?
You want it to.  You need to vent the keg to keep flow going, and the fermenter too or you'll build a vacuum and stop flow.  If you can run a line from the keg to the top of the fermenter (not the valve you're draining through) it takes care of itself.  Though I currently do counterpressure transfers, not gravity, I did use this sometimes when I was using a Speidel (modified with ball lock fittings but there's plenty of possible ways to hook it up:)

(Wish I could find a link to where BrewBama posted a pic of his setup, from conical/bucket to keg -- great example.   Maybe he'll jump in here.)
 

EDIT

^^^^
Hey, I see he did while I was posting!  Cool.
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Offline denny

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Re: Kegging through the ball lock disconnect.
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2019, 02:56:37 PM »
See,I told you I was stupid....so, I have a key under pressure, full of CO2, after I push the sanitizer out to purge it.  I hook the fermenter out to the keg in.  CO2 from the keg blows back into the fermenter, stirring everything up.  At least that's what happens to me when I try this.  What am I doing wrong?
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Offline Robert

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Re: Kegging through the ball lock disconnect.
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2019, 03:01:11 PM »
See,I told you I was stupid....so, I have a key under pressure, full of CO2, after I push the sanitizer out to purge it.  I hook the fermenter out to the keg in.  CO2 from the keg blows back into the fermenter, stirring everything up.  At least that's what happens to me when I try this.  What am I doing wrong?
Depressurize everything before you hook up the liquid line, or gas will blow from the keg to the fermenter through both lines.  I had the  same thing happen first time I tried that setup.  Then if gravity alone won't start the flow, you might have to give the fermenter a quick burst of CO2.   After that the closed loop will keep it going.
Rob Stein
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Offline denny

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Re: Kegging through the ball lock disconnect.
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2019, 03:10:12 PM »
See,I told you I was stupid....so, I have a key under pressure, full of CO2, after I push the sanitizer out to purge it.  I hook the fermenter out to the keg in.  CO2 from the keg blows back into the fermenter, stirring everything up.  At least that's what happens to me when I try this.  What am I doing wrong?
Depressurize everything before you hook up the liquid line, or gas will blow from the keg to the fermenter through both lines.  I had the  same thing happen first time I tried that setup.  Then if gravity alone won't start the flow, you might have to give the fermenter a quick burst of CO2.   After that the closed loop will keep it going.

That's so obvious....I guess I assumed that if you depressurize the keg you get O2 ingress.
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Offline BrewBama

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Kegging through the ball lock disconnect.
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2019, 03:21:00 PM »
Not sure where your problem lies.  This is what I do:

Fill a clean upright keg with sanitizer until it comes out the PRV. I fill thru the out post (from the bottom up). Then close the PRV to stop flow.

I push the sanitizer out with 2 - 3 PSI of CO2 attached to the gas in post. The hose from the liquid out post is positioned in bucket. Once it blows bubbles I remove the liquid out QD stopping flow, invert the keg with the CO2 still attached, position it over the now full bucket of CO2 and pull the PRV to drain the remnants of sanitizer. Careful - it comes out in all directions.

I position the keg under the full fermenter, attach the liquid out QD and attach the loose end to the sanitized fermenter spigot while it is allowing CO2 escape from the keg (purging the line with CO2).  I then attach the gas in QD allowing CO2 to escape purging the line and as the gas flow begins to slow down I attach it to the fermenter lid.

Very little CO2 pressure remains in the keg, the lines are full of CO2 and the headspace of the fermenter is full of CO2. Closed loop.

I open the spigot and allow beer to flow into the keg pushing the CO2 in the keg (under very little pressure) into the headspace of the fermenter.

Edit: while the keg is filling, it’s a great time to drink a beer and contemplate life. (My beer fridge is just to the left of my fermenter fridge.)

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« Last Edit: July 17, 2019, 03:24:56 PM by BrewBama »
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Offline Robert

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Re: Kegging through the ball lock disconnect.
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2019, 03:27:27 PM »
^^^^
There you go.  You have very little CO2 pressure in your keg after purging.  Denny and I have both experienced what happens when there's too much pressure in the keg.  It's spectacular, but not worth the price of admission!    Denny, if you pull the PRV and the last remnants of CO2 are still escaping when you close it, oxygen won't flow in but you can really minimize pressure in the keg.
Rob Stein
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Offline Robert

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Re: Kegging through the ball lock disconnect.
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2019, 03:35:15 PM »
Oh, here's another favorite tip I learned around here.  To get last of the sanitizer out.  I have my gas tubes trimmed flush with, or slightly recsssed from, the inside surface of the keg.  Blow most out the liquid side, invert the pressurized keg with the gas post at the lowest point, and pop on a gray QD.  You'll blow out every last drop (the keg PRV stands proud of the inner surface of the lid, so a little can remain,) and in a tidy (unidirectional) fashion too.
Rob Stein
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Offline denny

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Re: Kegging through the ball lock disconnect.
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2019, 03:38:54 PM »
Thanks, guys.  I'll use some adaptation of your tips.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Kegging through the ball lock disconnect.
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2019, 04:53:03 PM »
See,I told you I was stupid....so, I have a key under pressure, full of CO2, after I push the sanitizer out to purge it.  I hook the fermenter out to the keg in.  CO2 from the keg blows back into the fermenter, stirring everything up.  At least that's what happens to me when I try this.  What am I doing wrong?

I vent the keg before I connect it to prevent blow back. Often I hook up a hose and a gas disconnect in to a jar of water, vent, leave it and push the beer into the keg from the fermenter with CO2. That prevents a vacuum in the fermenter, but uses some CO2.
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Offline denny

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Re: Kegging through the ball lock disconnect.
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2019, 04:54:32 PM »
See,I told you I was stupid....so, I have a key under pressure, full of CO2, after I push the sanitizer out to purge it.  I hook the fermenter out to the keg in.  CO2 from the keg blows back into the fermenter, stirring everything up.  At least that's what happens to me when I try this.  What am I doing wrong?

I vent the keg before I connect it to prevent blow back. Often I hook up a hose and a gas disconnect in to a jar of water, vent, leave it and push the beer into the keg from the fermenter with CO2. That prevents a vacuum in the fermenter, but uses some CO2.

I'm using 2 GF conicals these days.  I have a pressure xfer kit for them.  I'll give it a go on the next batch.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell