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I had been thinking about using a couple corny kegs as fermentors. Maybe even trimming up some dip tubes to be able to CO2 push finished beer out of the kegs to clean serving kegs. Here are some of the things I am concerned about.

  1. Using the standard gas out port for my airlock set up (tubing and a water jug), may have more restriction than I am used to. A source of regular clogging perhaps?

  2. The corny keg only holds about 5.25 gallons. This almost ensures the need to blow off every time, and as stated in part 1 cleaning that narrow a diameter tubing would be a pain each time. The fix would be 4 gallon batchs. I nice idead for experimenting with recipes, but my mash tun and boil kettle are all somewhat optimized for 10 gallon brew sessions. Do I really want to ferment in two kegs for each batch?

  3. The stainless keg is a superior container for sure. Light, easy to move, relatively indestructable. But I'd be competing for keg fermentor space all the time vs. keg serving space.

Fermenting in Corny kegs just doesn't seem to have a enough plus sides. Am I missing any?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

You may be better off using corny kegs as a secondary fermenter. (If you transfer.) I use them as brite tanks, clarifying my beer a week before serving.

  • There is no risk of krausen explosion
  • You can naturally carbonate
  • You can transfer to the serving keg under pressure
  • No worry of clogging your dip tube
  • Don't need to trim the dip tube. Most stories I hear about using cornys for fermenting caution against this.

In the dark crevices of your local homebrew shop you can probably find dusty, ugly, beat up corny kegs that don't hold pressure. They're a great deal to pick up for use as a fermenter.

Like you, my brewery is set up for ten gallon batches. I just started using Sanke kegs and this conversion kit for fermenters. They are great - just as difficult to clean as carboys, but you can sterilize by boiling a gallon of water in them and capping with tin foil. I do this while heating strike water, giving the keg time to cool.

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The link is dead. Has it moved or is it really gone? –  Flyhard Oct 8 '12 at 10:14
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Updated --Dean . –  Dean Brundage Oct 24 '12 at 16:41
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