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Thread: Manual keg to keg transfer filling

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    84

    Manual keg to keg transfer filling

    Howdy all,

    I try to elaborate a plan for “all-in-one” fermenting, bottling and distribution in used [German slider/round flat type] kegs.

    After open primary fermentation a green beer will be pumped to kegs by a free flow.
    Following secondary fermentation and cold crash the beer should be transferred to another set of kegs.
    This transfer supposed to be from one [pressurized to some extent] keg to another one for cold maturating and trade.

    When looking for solutions for keg-to-keg transfer I have encountered several bits of information.

    At http://stpats.com/index.htm - Barrel Tools - they sell for $195 Keg Washer and Filler: "Filling: Keg is upright. Center port is fill port. Side port is vent."

    At http://www.mikrobrau-berlin.de/shop_neu_2005/

    Druckfuller-KEG- FULLKOPF FUR KEGs: here for mere 150 EUR there is a counter-pressure keg filler. Following are a description in German and my "translation" (I don't speak German).

    "FULLKOPF FUR KEGs, zur Abfullung von gelagertem Kellerbier vom Drucktank (bright beer tank) fur Anschluss an Flachfitting oder Korbfitting, Funktion mit Gegendruck und Vorspannen des zu befullenden KEGs und zum Abfullen unter einer Druckdifferenz von 0,3 bar, inkl. Manometer, Gebrauchsanweisung ist beigefugt. Eine CO2 Flasche ist zum Vorspannen der KEGs erforderlich, sowie eine CO2-Flasche zum Umdrucken des Lagertanks zum Fullkopf."

    The "translation":

    "Filling head for kegs for filling of a lagered beer from a bright beer tank, for flat type or [another, European Sankey?] coupler connection, functioning on a counter pressure and Vorspannen ["forward", head pressure?] of kegs to be filled and filled at any pressure difference less than 0.3 bar, including pressure gauge, instruction for use is attached.
    One CO2 bottle is for Vorspannen? that kegs require, one more CO2 bottle for transfer pressure from a bright beer tank to the filling head."

    One way or another this is a counter-pressure filler that could be understood and bought or much better built.

    My question is: am I really need a counter-pressure filler?

    The beer after secondary fermentation is slightly carbonated with a little head pressure at about 3C. Before the transfer the beer could be even more vented to make it more flat-quiet. Then it could be transferred as a quiet beverage (wine) as shown at http://stpats.com/index.htm just venting the coupling's CO2 outlet.

    Here at the "target" kegs the force carbonation could be done without problems.

    Any help, advice, ideas, suggestions will be highly appreciated.

    Leonid

    LiBira Brewery
    Haifa, Israel

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    84

    Manual keg to keg transfer

    Now looking more closely at the picture at http://www.mikrobrau-berlin.de/shop_neu_2005/ a simplified (at least two CO2 tanks needless)procedure for the transfer comes to my mind:

    - to measure a head pressure with a gauge at a source keg;
    - to pressurize the target keg for a pressure 0.3-0.5 bar (5-7 psi) less than the source keg;
    - to make transfer with a pressure equal to the head pressure of the source keg.

    Does this approach look like having sense? Should the transfer line restriction be taken into consideration?

    Leonid

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    699
    From what I can understand you are trying to do a secondary fermentation in a keg, then transfill (rack) from one keg to another. In this scenario you have a lot more to worry about then head pressure during the transfer. First any fermentation in a keg is dangerous. The pressure can build up and burst a keg. Even if you have a blow off that is a small hole and can be clogged easily. Second, when you rack out of a keg you fermented in, the keg spear draws from the bottom, meaning you will be transfering a lot of sediment to your new clean keg after you crash your secondary.

    Just to answer your question, the easiest way to tranfill a keg under pressure is to get two couplers with two coupler shut off valves on each. One on the co2 and one on the liquid.
    http://www.micromatic.com/draft-keg-...id-1721AB.html
    The source keg gets a line to a CO2 regulator that will dictate how much pressure will be on the kegs. The destination kegs CO2 line is simply a blow off hose. When you start the transfer leave the destination blowoff hose closed for a minute or two to equalize the pressure in the kegs. Then open the destination blowoff a very small amount. This will keep head pressure on the beer during the transfer and keep your beer from foaming up. Hope this helps and has something to do with what you are looking for.
    Joel Halbleib
    CBO "Chief Brewing Officer" / Zymurgist
    Bluegrass Brewing Co
    636 East Main St
    Louisville, KY
    www.bluegrassbrewing.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    84

    Manual keg to keg transfer

    Quote Originally Posted by BrewinLou
    From what I can understand you are trying to do a secondary fermentation in a keg, then transfill (rack) from one keg to another. In this scenario you have a lot more to worry about then head pressure during the transfer. First any fermentation in a keg is dangerous. The pressure can build up and burst a keg. Even if you have a blow off that is a small hole and can be clogged easily. Second, when you rack out of a keg you fermented in, the keg spear draws from the bottom, meaning you will be transfering a lot of sediment to your new clean keg after you crash your secondary.

    Just to answer your question, the easiest way to tranfill a keg under pressure is to get two couplers with two coupler shut off valves on each. One on the co2 and one on the liquid.
    http://www.micromatic.com/draft-keg-...id-1721AB.html
    The source keg gets a line to a CO2 regulator that will dictate how much pressure will be on the kegs. The destination kegs CO2 line is simply a blow off hose. When you start the transfer leave the destination blowoff hose closed for a minute or two to equalize the pressure in the kegs. Then open the destination blowoff a very small amount. This will keep head pressure on the beer during the transfer and keep your beer from foaming up. Hope this helps and has something to do with what you are looking for.
    You are right, I'll make a secondary fermentation and a cold break at the open fermenter. The kegs will be for cold maturating only.
    To reduce a transfer of a sediment to a "clean" keg the spear could be shorten for 1-1.5cm.
    I have ordered a shut off valve http://www.micromatic.com/draft-keg-...id-7419-1.html.
    To buy 4 looks me like a little bit overkill.
    The procedure you described will work obviously.
    The beer-filled keg should be pressurized I believe just enough to push the beer forward.
    Somebody recommended to also cool down the recieving keg.

    Thank you very much Joel!

    Leonid

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    699
    Thats the exact valve we use. Good find.

    We use our rig for transfering fully carbonated beer. That is the reason we have to have 4 valves. One would take a beer bath early and often if not.
    Temp will not matter since you are only transfering flat beer. It only comes into play when carbonated. Although cold is always better. One last thing make sure the destination kegs are fully purged with CO2...Good luck.
    Joel Halbleib
    CBO "Chief Brewing Officer" / Zymurgist
    Bluegrass Brewing Co
    636 East Main St
    Louisville, KY
    www.bluegrassbrewing.com

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