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Thread: Keg Filling

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    9

    Keg Filling

    I am new to filling Sankey style kegs and would like to know if I am able to fill 1/6 kegs using a pump? I was hoping to circumvent a bright tank and fill directly from my fermenter?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    217
    Yes you can.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    9

    keg filling

    Thank you thirsty monk for your feedback. I would appreciate any advice you might have in that I am new to filling Sankey kegs. My initial concern was if a pump can out weight the pressure inside the keg? What size pump should I look to use for this type of process. I was planning on using the Pro-Line manual filler from GW Kent.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    St.Louis->Tacoma
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    633
    I think if you shared a bit more info you may get a better response from the forum... e.g. why you want/need a pump, how many kegs do you plan to fill, size of tanks etc. (some of us, stop looking at me, can get a little long-winded but if you ask a simple question here you're likely to get a simple answer)

    I have never used a pump to fill kegs myself so don’t take what I say as gospel- that being said I would look for a diaphragm rather than an impeller pump to reduce potential probs (e.g. oxidation). Years ago I worked for a place where we used a CIP (sealed impeller pump) to push finished beer via a plate filter b/c the beer had a 15'-45' vertical climb to reach BBT's.

    What is behind your desire to use a pump? IMHO, unless you’re filling lots & lots of kegs I would just stick with head pressure. Get the wide-bore filling couplers like you mentioned, a good size I.D. hose, a high pressure gas line to fill head pressure as quick as you're displacing it, and if you have lots to fill a manifold too.
    Last edited by Jephro; 07-19-2011 at 11:48 PM.
    Jeff Byrne

    12 year pro craft brewer *NOW available for hire...
    Auburn, Wa - for now

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    9

    Keg filling

    I see your meaning with regards to being more specific and thank you for the advice. We are a small outfit looking to produce and keg 3bbl per week. We will using 1/6 kegs and have commitments from a few pubs around town. Thus far I have only filled corny kegs in my basement which I am finding to be a much simpler process. I have limited space that will be temperature controlled (and of course limited money) and was hoping that I would not need to purchase a bright tank. Instead, I was hoping that I could fill directly from the fermenter into the keg and force carbonate in my walk-in. I have not yet purchased the fermenter but I am finding it difficult to locate a fermenter that will handle any head pressure. What would be my most cost effective solution?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Madison, AL
    Posts
    49

    Pump Question

    Hey Hoofy,

    I've got a similar setup filling 3 bbls into sankey kegs. You can get the keg fill coupler from GW Kent. Right now we have our fermenters elevated on stands and cinder blocks and fill via gravity. You can do it with a pump, but you'll have to play around with getting the keg pressure right prior to filling. I had issues with this and thought gravity was the way to go. The pump I tried was just a simple March pump. We've got about 7 3 bbl fermenters in the same space so I'm usually filling about 3 kegs at a time and it takes about an hour to do it.

    Mike

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Walla Walla, WA
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    100
    I think that most fermenters can handle a little bit of pressure, and you won't need much to move the beer into a keg. I transfer my beer from a fermenter to the serving tank via co2. If you crank the co2 up too high, it will just open the pressure relief valve. What kind of fermenters are you looking at?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    9

    keg filling

    Bluepants,

    That sounds like a good way to go. What type of pressure are you using in the keg before you fill? Thanks.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    9

    keg filling

    Troybinso,

    I have been looking at Blichman but I think I will need to many of them to get the volume I am looking to produce. I saw some threads on DME. What type of fermenter would you suggest? Thanks.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Madison, AL
    Posts
    49

    Pressure

    I work the pressure just like you would a corney. You are really looking for a blanket. Im assuming you are then naturally or force carbing in the keg after fill obviously. I pressurize really to just get clean CO2 in there after washing and sanitizing. Hook up the line through the pour stem (so filling from the bottom) and open the air side to bleed off the pressure. You've still got the blanket of clean CO2 on top and as you fill it will continue to push out.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Madison, AL
    Posts
    49

    Oh and my real recommendation

    My real recommendation is to get a bright. Just FYI. I've been running this nano since October and I wish like crazy that I had a bright. If you can figure out how to fit one in somewhere it will save you sooooooo many headaches.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    9

    keg filling

    Bluepants,

    That helps me a ton, thank you for the advice. What fermentors are you using? I need to purchase some and looking for someone knowledgable to point me in the right direction.

  13. #13
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    May 2010
    Location
    Madison, AL
    Posts
    49

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Prince Rupert, BC Canada
    Posts
    12
    Hoofy and Bluepants I'm in the process of planning a similar sized brewery. Initially we were just going to gravity fill kegs directly from the FV and force carb in large freezers. However the more research I do tells me to just get Brite Tanks for consistency and ease of operations.

    Without hijacking the thread too much my question is 'how may?". Is there a rule of thumb or ratio of FV to BBTs?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Madison, AL
    Posts
    49

    Can't help you there

    Can't help you there. I dont own any. In planning brewery 2 though I think of it from a process flow perspective. It has to sit in the fermenter for # of days, then it has to be in the bright for # of days, so if I have 3 fermenters and 1 bright will my bright be empty when my beer is ready to be transferred from my fermenter to my bright.

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