Author Topic: Racking under CO2  (Read 1892 times)

Offline brian-d

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Racking under CO2
« on: November 18, 2011, 09:15:52 AM »
Does anyone have a good set-up with detailed explanation and pictures to rack from fermentor to keg under co2 pressure to avoid oxidation?  Thanks.

Offline hmbrewing

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Re: Racking under CO2
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2011, 10:15:38 AM »
Greetings! Try this website http://www.brewingtechniques.com/library/backissues/issue2.4/dawson.html. There seems to be lots of detailed information in regards to racking between carboys and from carboys to kegs. I believe what you are looking for is towards the bottom of the page. I've never tried it myself so let us know how it works out! Cheers!
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Offline hamiltont

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Re: Racking under CO2
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2011, 10:26:23 AM »
I connect the CO2 to the out post of the keg with the lid off, purge it for a short time (10-20 seconds) and then rack from the fermenter to the bottom of the keg. Once the keg is buttoned up I'll hit it (with the in post) with ~20 lbs, pull the relief valve a few times to get the O2 out & call it good.  Nothing real specific or scientific. Just works.  Cheers, and Happy Brewing!!!
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Offline euge

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Re: Racking under CO2
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2011, 12:47:40 PM »
I connect the CO2 to the out post of the keg with the lid off, purge it for a short time (10-20 seconds) and then rack from the fermenter to the bottom of the keg. Once the keg is buttoned up I'll hit it (with the in post) with ~20 lbs, pull the relief valve a few times to get the O2 out & call it good.  Nothing real specific or scientific. Just works.  Cheers, and Happy Brewing!!!

My method as well. Quite simple thought I suggest lubeing up the out-post slightly in order to get the QD on and off more easily. Trust me on this one. :D
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Offline narcout

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Re: Racking under CO2
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2011, 01:46:05 PM »
Here's a link to a page with great explanations on how to rack under pressure from a variety of fermentors:

http://www.thebeerjournals.com/Racking.html

Offline hamiltont

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Re: Racking under CO2
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2011, 01:52:49 PM »

I suggest lubeing up the out-post slightly in order to get the QD on and off more easily. Trust me on this one. :D
Yes, GOOD point!!
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Racking under CO2
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2011, 02:01:48 PM »
Are you just using CO2 to start the siphon, or do you also need to overcome the static head (i.e. have the fermenter and keg on the same level)? If the latter, you'll need to be able to pressurize the fermenter to 2-3 psi, meaning you definitely can't use a glass carboy, and even a plastic bucket might not stay sealed.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Racking under CO2
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2011, 03:31:13 PM »
There is this guy who has some stuff on the Maltose Falcons page. 
http://www.maltosefalcons.com/tech/racking-co2

You can use 2-3 PSI on a carboy.  1 PSI will lift fluid 27 inches and a fraction.  2 PSI has been fine when I do this.  The caps will pop off if your pressure gets too high.  As Drew says, do not go over 5 PSI.  Do not put a clamp on the cap.

I always double check the pressure settings when I do this, as you need to think safety.
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Offline James Lorden

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Re: Racking under CO2
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2011, 07:36:39 AM »
I can post pictures if needed:

First, I fill my keg with sanitizer then I use CO2 to force the sanitizer out into a bucket.  Now I have a sanitized keg that is full of CO2.  I generally have the keg on a table above the recieving bucket so only need about 1 psi after the thing gets flowing since the siphon action is doing most of the work.

Next, I have a carboy cap with a stainless racking cane that goes onto the carboy with a black beverage out ball lock QD on the other side of the tubing.  In the other hole on the carboy cap I have inserted one of those white gas line QD's  ( http://morebeer.com/view_product/17400/102238/Beer_Gas_Tubing_Quick_Disconnect_-_1_4%22_Barb_x_Female_Shut-off ).  Note I just used this racking cane apparatus to empty sanitizer out of my keg so all I am really doing is taking the racking cane out of the bucket of sanitizer (ball lock QD still attached to keg) and putting it in the carboy.  Again, I elevate the carboy so as to utilize the siphon action so that I can apply as little pressure as possible.  Next, I remove the pressure relief valve on the keg.  Then, I attach my gas system to the QD on the carboy cap and push into the keg.

I agree with others that the carboy cap should pop off before pressure build up becomes dangerous (DO NOT TRY TO SECURE IT TO THE OPENING OF THE CARBOY IN ANY WAY).  That said I would not recommend this method to anyone since it is dangerous and I am a fool for doing it - (a fool that likes to drink beer that has never touched Oxygen  ;) )



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Offline seajellie

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Re: Racking under CO2
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2011, 08:41:02 AM »
This is one of those cases where I can't help but wonder if our love of gadgets and techniques leads us to solutions that are perhaps overkill. Nothing wrong with rigging up a glass carboy, or even a plastic fermenter, to rack using CO2, of course. Mostly, I ferment in kegs anyway and use CO2. But here's what I do when my primary was in glass or plastic.

There is already a blanket of CO2 sitting on top of your beer when it's done fermenting and sitting in glass or plastic. If I'm able to siphon, I'm not really too concerned that oxygen is going to drive down through that blanket of CO2 in one or two minutes, like some sort of invasive aggressive snake, and destroy my beer. I may be wrong, and of course would love to see evidence that this happens, but I just don't experience that in my brews. I'm much more concerned about keeping it sanitary.

I use two holes in the primary lid (in plastic, I had to drill a second, smaller, hole in a spare lid used just for this purpose). In one hole goes the racking cane. In the other, some vinyl tubing attached to a sterile filter, which I blow into. Of course, the holes must be air tight for this to work.

Of course, it's important to purge your receptacle first. I fill it in well in advance with CO2, let it settle so the CO2 sits in the bottom, and then open the relief valve to (hopefully) eliminate the o2. I'm actually much more concerned about potential oxidation in this container than in the racking source, since that keg is filled with oxygen in the first place, whereas the primary is not. I doubt that the Co2 and O2 levels stratify nice and cleanly just to accomodate me, so like others said, I'll often do it twice.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2011, 08:52:10 AM by seajellie »

Online morticaixavier

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Re: Racking under CO2
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2011, 09:03:18 AM »
Of course, it's important to purge your receptacle first. I fill it in well in advance with CO2, let it settle so the CO2 sits in the bottom, and then open the relief valve to (hopefully) eliminate the o2. I'm actually much more concerned about potential oxidation in this container than in the racking source, since that keg is filled with oxygen in the first place, whereas the primary is not. I doubt that the Co2 and O2 levels stratify nice and cleanly just to accomodate me, so like others said, I'll often do it twice.

I think someone up above already mentioned this but can't hurt to repeat given your expressed concern over o2 in the recieving vessel. If you first fill your keg with sanitizer right up to the brim, seal it and force the sanitizer out with CO2 there will be almost no o2 in the keg and you don't have to worry about letting the co2 settle in the bottom and 'hopefully' purge out the o2.
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Offline seajellie

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Re: Racking under CO2
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2011, 09:28:24 AM »
Thanks Adam, good point, and I sometimes do that, though not always. I'm often just too...ah, what's that popularized word, pragmatic... yeah yeah, that's the ticket...

Some folks even blow out the tubes first. I gotta confess, I never have done that and don't think I ever will.

Another confession: I have a sneaky feeling that I like just a tad of oxidation in a lot of the bigger brews I make...

just call me, Robert Parker of beer, champ of micro-oxidation...

Offline maxieboy

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Re: Racking under CO2
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2011, 04:58:05 PM »
Are you just using CO2 to start the siphon, or do you also need to overcome the static head (i.e. have the fermenter and keg on the same level)? If the latter, you'll need to be able to pressurize the fermenter to 2-3 psi, meaning you definitely can't use a glass carboy, and even a plastic bucket might not stay sealed.

I've been force racking out of carboys(to other carboys and kegs on the same level) for years. No issues. As Jeff says, don't go over 5 lbs. and don't clamp the carboy cap. My beers don't see O2 until in my glass...  ;D

eta: if there is a blockage during this procedure(usually hop debris) don't crank up the pressure. Clear the blockage, then proceed.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2011, 05:09:48 PM by maxieboy »
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