So today we made a big jump to eliminate oxidation risk based on what I’ve read here. We use big mouth bubblers so I drilled a second hole in one of the lids the same size as the first. We put a tap off our CO2 manifold and ran a piece of tubing from it to a piece of racking cane in a stopper and put that in one hole of the BMB lid. We put a racking cane through a stopper and inserted it in the other hole of the BMB lid. We ran tubing from that cane to a beer out QD and hooked it to the beer out side of the keg. We added a line to a gas in QD and hooked it to the keg as well. We put about 1-2 psi on the BMB (it leaked a little) and voila, we transferred under gas with zero exposure to atmosphere. Total cost was about $20 including the valve, canes, tubing. We also transferred a Saison to a Saison keg we blew tonight without cleaning the keg. Can’t see what could go wrong there since everything was sanitary. Need a couple of refinements but we have a proof of concept.
^^ this is what I hope to do with my bourbon barrel
Nice. I’ve gone from the auto siphon hose through a QD to a closed purged keg. Going through the lid pushing it out with CO2 would defintely expose it to even less oxygen.
Here’s the setup minus the CO2 connection. My theory is we’re protected from over pressuring the fermenter by the loose fit of the racking cane and gas-in stoppers and the stoppers being able to pop out. Our host sells a two hole lid but I couldn’t resist getting out the Dewalt.
These airless transfers are what anyone should be doing, if they want their beers to age less quickly. I was moderating one of the sessions at an AHA Conference a couple of years ago and the speaker was presenting on reducing oxidation in the brewery. While sitting in that presentation I finally recognized that the simple setup to push beer out of the fermenter with CO2 into a pre-purged keg was something I knew I could do.
I was consistently having problems with my beers suffering from oxidation effects after several months. I installed a male gas-in fitting to my conical’s lid and I began filling all my kegs with sanitizer and pushing the sanitizer out with CO2. Its made a remarkable improvement.
I should have made that change years ago!!
When I fill my kegs, doing quite similar as WMNoob and employing the “emptying the keg” as Mabrungard explains, I will have a “gas in” disconnect ready, so when the keg is filling, I will put it on and let it blow to the room… There is displacement pressure from the filling process and I feel that no oxygen will re-enter the keg whilst filling… Sneezles61
I have spigots on all my fermenters…that go directly to a qd on the keg…should i be shooting some co2 in the fermenter before transferring?
If you can, get a pound CO2 helping to “push” out of the fermenter… As the brew leaves the fermenter, something has to replace the volume going out… O2 can come in and some will dissolve into the head of the brew… Sneezles61
Next time we transfer I’ll take pics of our simple setup. Anybody that kegs can do it quite simply.
If you ever watch a canning line the cans are not filled under pressure. First a blast of co2 then the beer is shot in from about a inch above the can then they March along a conveyor without a top. They don’t seem to worry about it. Actually fun to watch at your local brewery. We were picking the cans off the line and drinking them as they passed.
Yea I’m transfering a batch today…i’ll release a little CO2 into the bucket then rack through the liquid line to a purged keg with the purge valve open to let pressure out as beer enters.
Here’s a handy little gizmo to vent the “gas in” while filling.
That is cool! Presently we use a piece of tubing hooked to a gas fitting dunked in sanitizer like a blow off.
Do you still use this setup?
Yeah, actually haven’t thought about doing any other way since we made the stuff. I have found it’s better to have the fermenter a little higher in relation to the keg. I actually only really use the CO2 to start the siphon and to act like a vent to replace the volume as I transfer like @sneezles61 says above. I have to hold the lid down till I get it going then just monitor the fermenter to make sure I have the pressure balanced to the outflow from the fermenter. Haven’t had any oxidation issues since even on the NEIPAs. I see I failed to post action pics. I plan to use this method to transfer the blonde I just made to secondary so I’ll take pics then.
Thanks! I currently do this with glass carboys but would like to transition to better bottles after reading some horror stories about stitches and broken glass
I do something similar with buckets. Not as elegant and no way to really seal a bucket lid so I shoot a little CO2 into the head space then closed transfer to the keg. My IPAs definitely stay fresh a bit longer.
Have you been doing this for a while now?
Yup. I don’t even own an auto siphon anymore. Needed one the other day and had to figure out another way to get it started.