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Fermenting in a soda keg

So I have been do this for a while now, and have a final conclusion for me. I will stop now. I like that its stainless steel, no light, handles on the top, easy to transfer using CO2, can fit 3 in me freezer, and best of all, cheap! Now the down side, what a PITA to clean! With or without the liquid tube in. I can put 4.5 gallons in and ferment, using the gas side as my blow off tube, I can’t fit my hand in the opening to clean top were the krausen is most abundantly stuck. I had a hard time getting the yeast out for for reuse. I would assume someone crafty may have a better way to utilize them as a fermenter. Sneezles61

Whew, that’s one less expieriment I will try. Actually I figured it would be a pain to clean but let’s face it a lot of people still use those silly glass carboys. My first question when changing my process is " how easy is it to clean" then I weigh the benefit.

Cleaning challenge along with reduced volume is why I’ve never tried it.

Glass carboys aren’t hard to clean at all. The plastic ones are. I still have a few glass carboys around but I mostly just use buckets now.

I clean my keg after each fill up. Granted, there is nothing as difficult to clean as krausen, but when I clean the keg I fill it with 4 gallons of boiling water. Then I add a scoop of oxyclean and top it off with cold water till it reaches the complete full top. This results in water that is near 200 degrees and has an aggressive oxygen cleaner at work. I allow it to sit for a few hours and then I dump it and rinse well with the hose. I always come out with a squeeky clean keg. Before I dump and the temperature has become low enough that it will not be dangerous to me, I assemble to keg and push a fair amount of the liquid through the liquid tube and allow it to sit for a while to clean the tube. After all rinsing I add a half gallon of Starsan to the keg, assemble and shake. Then I push some through the liquid tube and then just allow it to remain like that until the next time I use it. I would bet that this method would be rather effective at cleaning the krausen from the hard to reach parts of the keg, and it’s really very easy.

Wow. I spray with hot water, slosh some star San and fill. Ever other fill I pull the tubes. Nothing can grow in the co2 environment

Yep. I am well aware of that. But I am by far guilty of WAAAAAAAAAAAY over cleaning and over sanitizing.

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Yes…yes you are.

My MO is the same as @brew_cat’s rinse, starsan, refill with beer. Clean the beer lines? Yup I run beer through em!

I’m with Brew Cat and Dannyboy, yet when fermenting you have to take the extra steps to prevent a disaster. There are alot of little nooks and crevices at the top of a keg that I had to do a total dis-assemble to clean, carboys didn’t require as much attention. I even got a carboy brush, bent a sharp angle to srub the top. The volume I did was 4.5 gallons. That left some head room, yet at full krausen, the foam would travel half way down me blow off tube! Anyways, its behind me now. Sneezles61

I’m thinking of trying to use a keg as a bright tank, especially for ciders. I would ferment in my bucket then when initial fermentation was complete I would transfer to a keg. After a little age time I would just push to another keg for carbonating and serving or bottling. I know others do this do you have any advise?

I too have thought about doing this with a couple kegs. I thought about cutting about an inch off the liquid out tube to leave most the sediment behind. After all I have 20 kegs.

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I think loopie is on the right track. I have pin lock kegs and they pull from the side, I would be certain to elevate the side the draw tube is on , leave as much sediment behind as possible. I think you could also bend the draw tube some more rather than cut, then tilt… Sneezles61

Wouldn’t just blowing out the first pint or two be the same thing. Or like @sneezles61 said tilt the keg. I’m reluctant to cut the tube.

Guess you could. Maybe put a valve in your jumper line so you could close it to stop flow to attach the ball lock disconnect.

Its seems the yeast that collects really sticks until disturbed roughly, as in the end of the keg. So if you keep the draw tube up out of the way, it will stay there. I know you said a secondary, yet you still git some residual yeast that will settle out. Sneezles61

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