Mini Kegs

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buddha3004
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Mini Kegs

Post by buddha3004 » Tue May 12, 2020 3:20 pm

Hi all,
What is my best plan of attacked to get some mini kegs? I brew 9 litre batches so was thinking 5 L kegs?
Has anyone bought such small kegs before? and where from?
I have seen theses (link below) and i guess this what I am after. I would also like to naturally carbonate too or should i just go all in with a small CO2 reg thing?
Trying to keep costs down and do some kegging. I still want to bottle but am curious about kegs.
Along with kind of keg what devices am I after to carbonate the keg? Soda bulbs etc? im not interested (yet) in the whole kegorater thing.
Also would like to obtain locally if not a Canadian website.

Thanks

https://beveragelements.com/product-cat ... lock-kegs/
https://www.northernbrewer.com/products ... -regulator

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mccutheon
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Re: Mini Kegs

Post by mccutheon » Tue May 12, 2020 3:57 pm

This is actually a road I've been going down lately.

Ontario Beer kegs has 2.5G kegs, I ordered two a few days ago. I also put together a flow control tap that goes right onto the liquid port. Grabbed all those parts from ontario beer kegs. I hooked that up to a sodastream co2 bottle and regulator (purchased from amazon), and I also got a $12 gizmo from ontario beer kegs that allows you to refill your own sodastream bottles from bulk co2 tanks, and also to help get around sodastream's built in 'DRM' in their co2 tanks.

Looks like you can get 1.5G keg from hop dogs, though I know nothing about these guys

http://hopdawgs.ca/torpedo-keg-1-5G

Another option I had considered was the 1.6G gallon kegs you can get on amazon, which seem really awesome to me

https://www.amazon.ca/YaeBrew-Stainless ... 224&sr=8-2

and a pic of my mini keg set up all together

Image

buddha3004
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Re: Mini Kegs

Post by buddha3004 » Tue May 12, 2020 4:26 pm

Ah you are a legend. That looks like a small tight compact setup and what I am really after. How high does the tap handle make the whole thing?
Do you mind mentioning the parts you bought for the "flow control tap" thingy?
Another question what is the AEB or AMCLY on the two differnt 2.5 gallon kegs? Also how long does one of those soda stream canisters last?

Thanks heaps for your post!

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mccutheon
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Re: Mini Kegs

Post by mccutheon » Tue May 12, 2020 7:05 pm

Sounds like we might have similar plans, all the way down to the keg conditioning. I'll take you through my rough plan, and note the different parts. I put this together with the intention of making super tasty, low-ish dissolved oxygen, quick grain to glass homebrew, with a reduction in co2 use via spunding.

-Stovetop BIAB in a paint strainer bag or cheese cloth sock, in 16 quart pot
-Standard brew day, mash, boil, and then put it kitchen sink with cold water and frozen pop bottles of ice to help cool down
-Transfer directly into 2.5G keg, which is the fermenter vessel
-Pitch yeast and then oxygenate
-Put a few drops of fermcap in if you have it
-Stick it in a temp controlled room or ferm chamber (lets say at 65F and carry that temp through the rest of the process for now, as an example)
-Put a gas quick disconnect on the keg, with a tube going into some sanitized solution in a bowl
-Day 2 of fermentation, draw off a small sample, and put it on top of the fridge, or somewhere else warm for 24-36 hours. This is a fast ferment test to estimate final gravity
-Use a refractromer to determine estimated Final gravity. You could also use a hydrometer, but that is a lot of sweet sweet beer to draw off for testing.
-continue to sample every day or every other day or so
-When you are about 6 points away from estimated Final gravity, detach the gas post and tube, and attach a spunding valve. We will set that spunding valve relief pressure equal to what we want our final carbonation level to be, at the current temperature. I want my ale, fermenting at 65, to have a pretty standard co2 level of 2.5 vols, which looks like it happens at about 28.5 PSI, according to the handy dandy beer carbonation chart

https://www.glaciertanks.com/site_templ ... -chart.jpg

so lets set our spunding valve to 29 psi and leave everything alone now till the beer is at final gravity in a few days, and you'll finish with a mostly carbonated keg at this point. From here you have a few options:

-if you can cold crash, do that for two days, draw off the sludge till you have clear beer, and then hook the keg up to co2 at proper pressure for your serving temp, and serve out of the keg you fermented in. I'm trying this plan first, and won't be cutting my dip tubes to start, though any dry hopping or additions will be done in a sock

-if you can cold crash, do that for two days, draw off the sludge till you have clear beer, and then transfer this keg over to a serving keg. hook the keg up to co2 at proper pressure for your serving temp, and serve as usual.

-Set the keg aside in a cellar or whatever, and come back when you want. It should be very low Dissolved oxygen at this point, and should keep very well, its also already mostly carbonated, so when you wanted to finally crack it, you could just quick carb it up based on your planned serving temperature, and have at it.

Top of the beer tap on my current set up is about 17 inches high, tap handle adds 3 more.

Parts for tap, from keg to spout (this could also be a picnic tap, tube, and standard liquid QD to save some bucks):

Intertap Stainless Steel Ball Lock Liquid Disconnect - 1/4" MFL (Black)
https://www.ontariobeerkegs.com/Interta ... iq-mfl.htm

Nylon Flare Fitting Washer - 1/4"
https://www.ontariobeerkegs.com/Product ... swivel-nut

Stainless Steel Flow Control Beer Faucet Keg Disconnect Adapter - 1/4" FFL
https://www.ontariobeerkegs.com/S_S_FC_ ... faucet.htm

Beer Faucet Coupling Nut
https://www.ontariobeerkegs.com/Beer_Fa ... et-nut.htm

Intertap Stainless Steel Flow Control Faucet
https://www.ontariobeerkegs.com/Interta ... faucet.htm

Sodastream parts

co2 regulator for sodastream
https://www.amazon.ca/Charger-Stainless ... NrPXRydWU=

Sodastream co2 tank refill adapter
https://www.ontariobeerkegs.com/Product ... ptor-valve

Gas Quick disconnect I used after sodastream/regulator becuase I dont know if the regulator includes a check valve
https://www.ontariobeerkegs.com/CM_Beck ... 1-4mfl.htm

Spunding parts from ontario beer kegs

Adjustable Pressure Relief Spundling Valve With Gauge (0-15 PSI) Gas disconnect not included
https://www.ontariobeerkegs.com/Adjusta ... -gauge.htm


Low Pressure Gauge (0-60 PSI | Right) the included gauge that the spunding valve comes with only goes up to 15, which isn't ideal
https://www.ontariobeerkegs.com/Low_Pre ... -gauge.htm

In terms of differences between the two styles of kegs, some quick googling suggests very little difference, but that AEB seems to be higher quality, and more new company, but people seem happy with either.

I can't say exactly how long the sodastream bottles will last, but relying on spunding to initially take care of the majority of the carbonation, should mean much less co2 use, since you'll be mostly using it for pushing the beer out of the keg, as opposed to burst carbonating it.

I'll be doing my first test brew of the above plan in about 2 weeks, and have a kettle sour berliner weisse and NEIPA planned.

Any other questions, go nuts. I clearly love talking about this stuff

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Re: Mini Kegs

Post by buddha3004 » Tue May 12, 2020 8:34 pm

Haha I was reading g through this thinking who is this person....i got to your last sentence and i get it. I live this stuff too but that this knowledgeable to this extent. I've learnt so much in the last year and still trying to fine tune. I'm disappointed in my carbonation per bottle so that is bringing me to the keg idea without jumping into heaps of $$$$.
As for your comment. I will re-read and read again with looking at all the links and getting my head around the valves, pressure etc. I will look up what 'spunding' is as I've heard it many times on podcasts but was never at that point.
Thanks very much for the effort you have put into your comments and you sound like a person to have a few beers with to soak up all the info you would be willing to offload haha.

Thanks again.

Edit.
I am BIAB stove top in a thought was a 14q pot but maybe 16q. I transfer to a 3 gallon glass carboy to ferment for 10 days before checking gravity. Move closer to my heat source for a few days to clean up and finish a few more points. That doesn't seem to happen and lately my beers have not been finishing.
Rack to a bottling bucket and full bottles.

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Re: Mini Kegs

Post by karlp028 » Tue May 12, 2020 11:26 pm

I have been brewing 6 liter batches for the past year and a half. Some of them I bottle, and some I put into these 5L mini kegs. I added a tap to an old mini fridge and use a 20oz paintball tank for CO2.

I also want to get a couple of 2.5 or 3 gallon kegs for fermenting and serving. My plan is to replace the liquid dip tube with a floating dip tube that pulls from the top.
.
minikeg.jpg
beertap.jpg
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On tap
Oat Cream IPA
Fermenting
Milk Stout
Motueka Pale Ale
Raspberry Wheat
Next up
Belgian IPA
El Dorada Pale Ale

buddha3004
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Re: Mini Kegs

Post by buddha3004 » Wed May 13, 2020 12:03 am

Wow those cankegs are the easy way to go for myself. I'm guessing the beer is naturally carbonated first and as the video says the CO2 is just for serving pressure.
Looks like you are pretty crafty
Hmm I've got a lot of youtubing tomorrow. Do you think you can put these kegs under carbonation pressure? Probably a silly question as there is probably no difference in pressure between natural and forced. It's the same amount of pressure. Thanks so much for all the info again. I'm sure I will be asking more questions and modification I can. Gotta get saving though $150 for just the tap.

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Re: Mini Kegs

Post by buddha3004 » Wed May 13, 2020 12:04 am

Very jealous of your setup.

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Re: Mini Kegs

Post by buddha3004 » Wed May 13, 2020 12:12 am

Does tour paintball tank able to connect to the pro tap kit that is also on the site? Also are the paintball tank able to force carb?
Thanks

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Re: Mini Kegs

Post by karlp028 » Wed May 13, 2020 8:29 am

I force carbonate in the mini keg. This chart has an approximation of how much you can serve or carbonate with various tanks. I think I carbonated and served 35 to 40 liters before my tank was empty.

I think the regulator in the pro tap kit has the same inlet as the brewers regulator, so it could connect to a paintball or sodastream tank with the appropriate adapter..
On tap
Oat Cream IPA
Fermenting
Milk Stout
Motueka Pale Ale
Raspberry Wheat
Next up
Belgian IPA
El Dorada Pale Ale

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Re: Mini Kegs

Post by buddha3004 » Wed May 13, 2020 8:50 am

This is all good info. I will be on cankeg today figuring out what i want. Is the price of the pro tap overly expensive? Or pretty reasonable?

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Re: Mini Kegs

Post by karlp028 » Wed May 13, 2020 11:08 am

If you have the space for it, I would get a 2.5 or 3 gallon keg. One will easily fit in a mini fridge, but not two. They're actually a bit less expensive than a 5L keg + ball lock cap. Then get a regulator, tap, etc. from CK or Amazon.
On tap
Oat Cream IPA
Fermenting
Milk Stout
Motueka Pale Ale
Raspberry Wheat
Next up
Belgian IPA
El Dorada Pale Ale

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Re: Mini Kegs

Post by buddha3004 » Wed May 13, 2020 11:35 am

Right. Yeah ive got a bit of digging around to find out what I really want.
Thanks for the input I appreciate it.

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Re: Mini Kegs

Post by pathaze » Wed May 13, 2020 12:13 pm

I got this guy hoping to use it to bring to parties and whatnot this summer. Unfortunately doesn't seem too likely to happen many times but I've been using it to try different things with a beer that I am already putting in my 5G kegs. Could be an option for you.

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Re: Mini Kegs

Post by karlp028 » Wed May 13, 2020 6:21 pm

mccutheon wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 7:05 pm
-Transfer directly into 2.5G keg, which is the fermenter vessel
-Pitch yeast and then oxygenate
-Put a few drops of fermcap in if you have it
How much wort do you figure you can ferment in the 2.5G keg with or without the fermcap? I'm not sure how long the gas dip tubes are, but I've read that some people cut them down a bit.
On tap
Oat Cream IPA
Fermenting
Milk Stout
Motueka Pale Ale
Raspberry Wheat
Next up
Belgian IPA
El Dorada Pale Ale

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Re: Mini Kegs

Post by karlp028 » Wed May 13, 2020 10:47 pm

I just transferred an Oat Cream IPA to one of the mini kegs tonight. I had a blowoff tube connected to the keg during fermentation to purge it. So, theoretically, it was mainly full of CO2.
closedxfer.jpg
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On tap
Oat Cream IPA
Fermenting
Milk Stout
Motueka Pale Ale
Raspberry Wheat
Next up
Belgian IPA
El Dorada Pale Ale

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mccutheon
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Re: Mini Kegs

Post by mccutheon » Thu May 14, 2020 7:19 am

karlp028 wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 6:21 pm
mccutheon wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 7:05 pm
-Transfer directly into 2.5G keg, which is the fermenter vessel
-Pitch yeast and then oxygenate
-Put a few drops of fermcap in if you have it
How much wort do you figure you can ferment in the 2.5G keg with or without the fermcap? I'm not sure how long the gas dip tubes are, but I've read that some people cut them down a bit.
I think I am going to first try and put about 8.3L in there. That is around 15% headspace or so, and I'm curious to see how it goes. I also brew a lot of low ABV beers, usually around 3% or so, so likely not as much activity as some beers that have double that ABV. Also just checked the dip tubes on the kegs I linked from OBK, and they appear to be standard gas dip tube length of about 2 inches and I'll probably cut them down.

Funny you mention the keg to keg blowoff tube. I actually purchased two of the OBK 2.5G kegs for this specific purpose, one to ferment in, and the other to be purged of oxygen during fermentation, and then do a pressure transfer over. This is a system that goes great with spunding as well. I was interested in trying to ferment and serve out of the single keg first, to see what kind of taste/clarity I am able to get out of it, after a cold crash and blast out of the sludge. Usually I brew on a 30G eBIAB set up, and finish with about 15G going into 3 5G jugs, but now I'm switching that over to fermenting in kegs, going forward. In this case, I'll probably use the keg oxygen purging method of pushing a full kegs worth of saniclean through any serving vessel, or a string of serving vessels, to get that oxygen level down to about 0, until I grab some more chest freezers for fermenting in.

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Re: Mini Kegs

Post by karlp028 » Thu May 14, 2020 10:35 am

What made you decide to get the single handle version over the dual rubber handles, which are slightly less expensive at OBK? I'm still trying to decide myself.
On tap
Oat Cream IPA
Fermenting
Milk Stout
Motueka Pale Ale
Raspberry Wheat
Next up
Belgian IPA
El Dorada Pale Ale

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mccutheon
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Re: Mini Kegs

Post by mccutheon » Thu May 14, 2020 11:05 am

I have some quick carb corny lids, that have a slightly longer locking mechanism then the standard corny lid, and they only work on kegs that have 1 or no rubber handles. I also like the slightly smaller 3d footprint of no handles vs handles, and I think I also just like the aesthetics of the all stainless look. When I started this, I first was looking at that 1.6G keg that has been linked a few times in this thread, and I really liked that option in general, and what I ended up going with was basically the 2.5G version of that, with less handles. I'd probably cut off the top handles on the 1.6G keg if I happened to purchase it.

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Re: Mini Kegs

Post by TheBucker » Fri May 15, 2020 9:19 am

I have a couple of the 'tall boys' 4L mini kegs and love them. I can fit them on the door of my fridge with a sodastream regulator & picnic tap (needed to remove one of door shelves). The pressure relief doesn't go all that high but 10-15 PSI isn't an issue. Cankeg are responsive on email if you have any direct questions. When chatting with Sean he noted that he had them at pretty high pressure with no issues.

buddha3004
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Re: Mini Kegs

Post by buddha3004 » Fri May 15, 2020 9:33 am

Awesome thanks for the info on cankeg. I do like his videos.
I'm second guessing myself if I should spend money to upgrade to a controlled temperature system first before kegging.

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