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Keg as fermenter

Im thinking about getting a keg and using it as a fermenter until I can afford the rest of a kegging setup. What would I need to use a keg as a fermenter becides the keg.

Sanke or corny?

There are kits out there for both sanke and corny. I would imagine you are talking about corny as you plan on using it to serve. Here is this:

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/keg-fermentor-kit.html

I think it could be done, but you’d want 2 kegs. That way you could rack the beer off the yeast/trub. Not sure what you’d use as an air lock during fermentation. Just leaving the relief valve open is probably not a very sanitary option. Why not just get a bubbler carboy for 25 bucks, or even less for a plastic bucket?

http://www.homebrewing.org/Cornelious-K ... p_999.html

$10 - it’s an airlock lid for a corny.

Attach a blow-off hose to the gas QD, and put the end of the hose in sanitizer. No modifications or special lids needed. If you want to get real fancy you can start with this method, then cap the fermentor and finish the fermentation under pressure.

Agreed. Those kits are silly. I fermented a few beers in kegs, it works well, but I didn’t like how the beers tasted. I think the vessel really does change how the yeast perform, the esters created, etc. The beers tasted different, simply put. I had to use a hop sack in the boil so as not to clog the dip tube when doing closed transfers. It was all just too much equipment to clean. I’m back to carboys and my stainless racking cane now.
Try it, see how you like it. There’s tons of info out there about fermenting in cornies. Homebrewtalk has loads of info.

I recall Jamil and John Palmer discussing this and saying a keg is not an ideal vessel for fermentation due to fermenter geometry. If you care, check out the Brew Strong podcast on fermentation.

I’m curious what your reason is for wanting to use a keg for fermentation. Are you unhappy with using a carboy or bucket? Just have the experimentation bug? I assume you are planning to brew smaller batches, due to insufficient headspace to ferment five gallons.

It seems to me that the keg is the most important piece of real estate in the brewing neighborhood. I want to keep the prettiest family (finished beer) in the keg. I don’t mind if a less desirable crew squats in a bucket or carboy - I have more of those units.

[quote=“kcbeersnob”]I recall Jamil and John Palmer discussing this and saying a keg is not an ideal vessel for fermentation due to fermenter geometry. If you care, check out the Brew Strong podcast on fermentation.

I’m curious what your reason is for wanting to use a keg for fermentation. Are you unhappy with using a carboy or bucket? Just have the experimentation bug? I assume you are planning to brew smaller batches, due to insufficient headspace to ferment five gallons.[/quote]

I’m getting a really small chest freezer for free. I can’t fit 2 carboys but i think i could get a carboy and a keg. Also experimenting is always fun plus I’d have a keg when I have the money to get the rest of a keggging setup. I generally do 3 gallon batches so the size would be perfect

[quote=“beerme11”][quote=“kcbeersnob”]I recall Jamil and John Palmer discussing this and saying a keg is not an ideal vessel for fermentation due to fermenter geometry. If you care, check out the Brew Strong podcast on fermentation.

I’m curious what your reason is for wanting to use a keg for fermentation. Are you unhappy with using a carboy or bucket? Just have the experimentation bug? I assume you are planning to brew smaller batches, due to insufficient headspace to ferment five gallons.[/quote]

I’m getting a really small chest freezer for free. I can’t fit 2 carboys but i think i could get a carboy and a keg. Also experimenting is always fun plus I’d have a keg when I have the money to get the rest of a keggging setup. I generally do 3 gallon batches so the size would be perfect[/quote]

Perfect. I only brew in kegs now, and I’ll typically put about 4.8 gallons into the fermentor without any problems. I’m the sole drinker in the family, so a post-ferment volume of ~4.25 gallons is plenty for me anyway. I do however have plenty of friends that are always willing to drink all my beer, so if I need a larger batch I split a 9 gallon batch into 2 kegs. My normal process is outlined in another thread here:
http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=117253#p1025536

[quote=“CliffordBrewing”][quote=“beerme11”][quote=“kcbeersnob”]I recall Jamil and John Palmer discussing this and saying a keg is not an ideal vessel for fermentation due to fermenter geometry. If you care, check out the Brew Strong podcast on fermentation.

I’m curious what your reason is for wanting to use a keg for fermentation. Are you unhappy with using a carboy or bucket? Just have the experimentation bug? I assume you are planning to brew smaller batches, due to insufficient headspace to ferment five gallons.[/quote]

I’m getting a really small chest freezer for free. I can’t fit 2 carboys but i think i could get a carboy and a keg. Also experimenting is always fun plus I’d have a keg when I have the money to get the rest of a keggging setup. I generally do 3 gallon batches so the size would be perfect[/quote]

Perfect. I only brew in kegs now, and I’ll typically put about 4.8 gallons into the fermentor without any problems. I’m the sole drinker in the family, so a post-ferment volume of ~4.25 gallons is plenty for me anyway. I do however have plenty of friends that are always willing to drink all my beer, so if I need a larger batch I split a 9 gallon batch into 2 kegs. My normal process is outlined in another thread here:
http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=117253#p1025536
[/quote]

Awesome thanks man. I’m really excited about trying that process. I’ve never thought to my self gee I wish it took longer for a batch to finish but I’ve thought the opposite every time… Getting a freezer too small for 2 carboys which I was a little bummed about may turn into a awesome thing. thanks again for sharing that :cheers:

[quote=“beerme11”]

I’m getting a really small chest freezer for free. I can’t fit 2 carboys but i think i could get a carboy and a keg. Also experimenting is always fun plus I’d have a keg when I have the money to get the rest of a keggging setup. I generally do 3 gallon batches so the size would be perfect[/quote]

That is why I switched. I conduct my primary in 6.5 gallon glass carboys and then swap over to pin lock corny kegs for secondary. I have started making sours and it is a long term fermentation process so this was the only reasonable solution I could find that worked for me.

His is a photo:

I use an airlock that connects to the gas post, I will try to post a better photo of that.

Here is a close up of the airlock:

[quote=“beerme11”][quote=“kcbeersnob”]I recall Jamil and John Palmer discussing this and saying a keg is not an ideal vessel for fermentation due to fermenter geometry. If you care, check out the Brew Strong podcast on fermentation.

I’m curious what your reason is for wanting to use a keg for fermentation. Are you unhappy with using a carboy or bucket? Just have the experimentation bug? I assume you are planning to brew smaller batches, due to insufficient headspace to ferment five gallons.[/quote]

I’m getting a really small chest freezer for free. I can’t fit 2 carboys but i think i could get a carboy and a keg. Also experimenting is always fun plus I’d have a keg when I have the money to get the rest of a keggging setup. I generally do 3 gallon batches so the size would be perfect[/quote]
3 gallon batches will be perfect. Are you going to siphon the beer out or do a closed transfer with a jumper hose? I liked the idea of closed transfers, but man is it a pain to clean all the equipment. Cleaning a keg out after fermenting in it is a pain. But, kegs are awesome if you’re patient and they should last forever. I do 4 gallon batches and that’s about perfect for kegs as well, I used a little Fermcap, which I didn’t like using, just didn’t feel right. I’m back to 5 gallon carboys, but I’d probably ferment in a keg again. I did honestly feel like the beer tasted a bit different. I think the geometry had everything to do with that. But I had zero issues with attenuation, like some will report.

Sans the poppet valve, yes? :slight_smile:

Sans the poppet valve, yes? :slight_smile: [/quote]

I actually leave the poppet in, never had a problem. But then again I always leave headroom and have never had any blow-off leave the keg. I suppose if you’re anticipating a vigorous ferment or not leaving much headroom it couldn’t hurt to leave out the poppet.

Sans the poppet valve, yes? :slight_smile: [/quote]
If the poppet is removed, be sure to remove the post valve/spring as well.

Sans the poppet valve, yes? :slight_smile: [/quote]
If the poppet is removed, be sure to remove the post valve/spring as well.[/quote]

Yup, I was referring to leaving the guts out of the post to allow free flow-age-ness…

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