Author Topic: Fermenting in a Keg  (Read 397 times)

Offline redrocker652002

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Fermenting in a Keg
« on: July 20, 2022, 09:16:33 am »
OK, so I have been thinking of ways to get my fermenting vessel into a temp controlled environment and freeing up my hall closet so my wife can have it back.  LOL   I have looked at mini fridges and wine coolers.  They all seem to have a small lower shelf that gets in the way and causes the bucket not to fit.  I am still looking, but was thinking of something else that I thought might work.  If I buy a used Corny keg and use it as my fermenting vessel, it will fit in the kegerator I have and I can control the temp using my InkBird.  I can get a used keg for about 50 bucks, rig up a blow off tube to the pressure relief valve and off I go.  Thoughts on this?  Am I making this way to simple?  I am sure there is more to this than I am seeing, but just thought I would ask.

Thanks in advance for the info. 
RR

Offline denny

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Re: Fermenting in a Keg
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2022, 09:37:57 am »
OK, so I have been thinking of ways to get my fermenting vessel into a temp controlled environment and freeing up my hall closet so my wife can have it back.  LOL   I have looked at mini fridges and wine coolers.  They all seem to have a small lower shelf that gets in the way and causes the bucket not to fit.  I am still looking, but was thinking of something else that I thought might work.  If I buy a used Corny keg and use it as my fermenting vessel, it will fit in the kegerator I have and I can control the temp using my InkBird.  I can get a used keg for about 50 bucks, rig up a blow off tube to the pressure relief valve and off I go.  Thoughts on this?  Am I making this way to simple?  I am sure there is more to this than I am seeing, but just thought I would ask.

Thanks in advance for the info. 
RR
It's a great idea. Just keep in mind that will limit you to a 3-3.5 gal. batch size.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Fermenting in a Keg
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2022, 11:58:51 am »
I've  been doing some lager fermentaions in 5 gallon Corny kegs. Less kausen forms with a lager than an ale that is really rocking the fermentation.

I do 10 gallon batches and split between 3 kegs, as i have enough kegs to do this. I fill by weight, adding about 27 to 28 lbs wort per keg. I use the gas in as my CO2 out. In my room in the basement  that gets down to 50F in the winter i have a gas disconnects with tubing going to a bucket of sanitizer. In my temp controlled keezer i use spunding valves set to a low pressure.

One trick is to cut about 3/4 inch off of the beer dip tube. That way it is less likely yo clog, and you leave yeast behind when to transfer the beer off for lagering.

Transferring  procedure is to have 2 clean, sanitized, and purged kegs ready. Make a black disconnect to black disconnect jumper.  Do a closed transfer from the fermentation  keg to the vented purged empty keg. I put a gas disconnect  to bucket of sanizer on first to vent the pressure and act as an airlock. I transfer by weight on a scale, a full keg weighs 50 lbs.  Pressurize when done. Put the 2 full kegs into the lagering chamber.

Hope this helps.

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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Fermenting in a Keg
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2022, 01:25:11 pm »
Consider using a floating dip tube in the fermenter...I use them there and then they are never needed in the serving keg.
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Offline chinaski

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Re: Fermenting in a Keg
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2022, 03:55:17 pm »
I ferment full 5 gallon batches in cornies using special lids that have another hole to accept a bung and blow or airlock.  Works terrifically for ales and lagers.  I don't even cut the dip tubes for this.  When I'm ready to transfer a finish fermentation, I attach a CO2 line and run a bit of gas while I remove the special lid and replace it with a regular one.  Then I close transfer to another serving keg after running some of the yeasty first bits into a sanitized jar to  save for yeast resue.  I'm happy with this but know there are plenty of ways to skin a cat...

No matter how you do it I like both the durability and the ease of cleaning of the kegs- not to mention the price point and multi-use possibilities of them.

Offline Drewch

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Re: Fermenting in a Keg
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2022, 06:13:48 pm »
I've been kicking around a similar scheme, just with spunding valves to naturally carbonate in the keg --- then either serve from the keg or fill bottles off the naturally carbed keg.
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Offline Richard

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Re: Fermenting in a Keg
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2022, 07:12:27 am »
There are definite advantages, but you might have range issues with your Tilt-type hydrometer.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Fermenting in a Keg
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2022, 02:32:21 pm »
There are definite advantages, but you might have range issues with your Tilt-type hydrometer.


My tilt reads through a kegmenter, but I have to put my phone right on it to get the reading.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Fermenting in a Keg
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2022, 03:14:37 pm »
I ferment in corny kegs exclusively and it works fantastic. I use an adjustable pressure release valve on the gas side. For ale fermentation I set it low (around 2 PSI) and for pressurized lager ferments I'll set it to 15 PSI.

I will second the recommendation to use a floating dip tube. I was using a normal dip tube for a few years and it would clog pretty frequently. With a floating dip tube you don't run into problems even if you dry hop fairly heavily.

If you keg, you can transfer finished beer to your serving keg with minimal oxygen exposure. If you bottle you can attach a bottling wand to the Out port and use a little CO2 to push the beer out of the keg.
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Offline narcout

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Re: Fermenting in a Keg
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2022, 11:15:17 am »
This is the way: https://www.chicompany.net/ball-lock-kegs-c-376_1_44/cornelius-gallon-ball-lock-refurbished-p-1073.html

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Offline jklinck

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Re: Fermenting in a Keg
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2022, 09:12:53 pm »
I ferment a 5 gallon batch in 2 corny kegs. Here is a video I did years ago. The only thing I do differently now is the floating dip tubes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29F7QR6vT4U&t=142s

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Offline Joe_Beer

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Re: Fermenting in a Keg
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2022, 05:33:42 am »
OK, so I have been thinking of ways to get my fermenting vessel into a temp controlled environment and freeing up my hall closet so my wife can have it back.  LOL   I have looked at mini fridges and wine coolers.  They all seem to have a small lower shelf that gets in the way and causes the bucket not to fit.

I picked up a Danby (4.4 cu ft?) from Craigslist which works great for a single bucket. Not enough room for an airlock so I drilled a hole in the side and always run a blowoff tube (90 degree stainless elbow on it the bucket end of the hose).  Not sure on the model number. I looked inside and didn't see a label. Looks a lot like this one: Danby DAR044A8BBSL-SD or this one Danby DAR044A4BDD