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Corny Instead Of A No-chill Cube.....

Discussion in 'Partial Mash Brewing' started by pokolbinguy, 22/12/08.

 

  1. pokolbinguy

    The Pokolbin Brewhaus and Winery.

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    Posted 22/12/08
    Ok so was planning to do my 1st AG today but after having to take my motorbike to the mechanics and dog to the vet the day was over before I knew it...so fingers crossed I will get to do it before the year is out....have to work every day between now and new years day except xmas day....

    Anyway the recent thread by Jakechan has led me think about the idea of using a 19ltr corny to store wort after fermentation (no-chill)......instead of using a cube.....would this be a feasible option????

    If you were to do as Jakechan (here) did and fill the keg and then purge with CO2 this should keep infection at bay nicely??? Then place in fridge to cool down for ferment....

    Anyway what do others think??

    At the moment I have a bundle of empty cornies and using them would be great instead of having to source cubes.

    Pok
     
  2. recharge

    Well-Known Member

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    Posted 22/12/08
    I would think you would either be sucking air in into the keg as it cools down or possibly collapsing keg if it manages to seal.
    Maybe

    Rich
     
  3. Thirsty Boy

    ICB - tight shorts and poor attitude. Fuck yeah!

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    Posted 22/12/08
    Just use the cubes dammit - there are lots of brewers here who keg their beer, if NCing in a corny was a great option, don't you think you would have read about it more frequently?? If you don't want to spend the $15 bucks on a willow cube from Kmart/woolies/bunnings/mitre10/camping stores... etc etc etc or you don't want to waste time looking around for one that you could score free - then just NC in the kettle. I dont think its great idea, but people on AHB regularly do it with success.

    Sure you can do it with the corny... but why?? why not just do as the brewers who have been doing it for ages do it?

    And don't stick it in the fridge -- you will achieve absolutely nothing, not one single thing, by putting it in there. Your cube (or perhaps corny) will still cool down far to slowly for you the get the benefits of rapid chilling and it will work the crap out of your fridge plus you will loose some of the pasturisation benefit of the long heat exposure.

    If you want to branch out into unknown territory, fine, use the corny. But if it all goes wrong, you will know why. If you want to be sure that the hours of work you put into your first AG have the best chance of success.... just do it the way everyone else does.

    Sorry to sound cross about it... but the answers you are looking for are all in front of your face, you just keep looking around them for different answers.

    TB
     
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  4. FreemanDC

    Well-Known Member

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    Posted 22/12/08
    Snap.!
     
  5. Thirsty Boy

    ICB - tight shorts and poor attitude. Fuck yeah!

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    Posted 22/12/08
    yeah - bit more grumpy response than the perfectly reasonable question deserved... sorry about that.
     
  6. BrissyBrew

    MashMaster

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    Posted 22/12/08
    Until the keg gets to around 30 deg C I see no reason for putting it in the fridge, as rightly pointed oout. But once down around 35 to 30 I think the fridge will lower temps to pitching range, be it lager or ale. As for the keg, the 4% loss in volume will cause air to be drawn in, so you will need to allow for this somehow, unless you have a sanitary air filter (craftbrewer still sells them I think) and connect this up to gas port (dont over fill you keg) you will be sucking "dirty" air into the keg as it cools.
     
  7. mikelinz

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    Posted 22/12/08
    Just a few thoughts.

    If all brewers just did what every other brewer has already done there woulddn't be biab or cubeing.

    How much pressure can a Corney take before collapsing inwards - surely more than that caused by the wort cooling

    Now if one could find/machine something to replace both the gas and beer posts then you eliminate air being suckked in. However i thing the lid seals by pressure so would likely leak too with the negative pressure of the cooling wort
     
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  8. Jakechan

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    Posted 22/12/08
    As Pok pointed out, I put my first AG yesterday into a corny. And guess what, it didnt suck the sides in, it didnt ruin the keg, and as a matter of fact once it had got down to 30 there was still positive pressure in the keg. I find it strange that everyone is so paranoid about using the keg for nochilling. I have 2 cubes but will never use them now as long as I have an empty keg for the job.

    The keg takes a maximum of 100psi. I pressurised mine up to about 25 psi and there was no problem. Really, just how much atmosphere do the detractors think a cooling wort is going to suck in? Also, throughout the cooling period (as I was floating around the pool with the keg :)) I was pulling the poppit valve every 5 or 10 minutes to ensure that there was still a positive pressure, and even after all this and at 30 there was.

    And there is nothing cleaner in my system than the corny kegs. The steel cylinder cools quicker than a plastic cube, and puring it from the keg into the fermenter aerates the wort nicely ready for the yeast.

    Cheers,
    Jake
     
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  9. afromaiko

    Incredibly Strong Ales

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    Posted 22/12/08
    Kegs are not designed to seal on inwards pressure. So what will happen is that air could be sucked in through the poppets and around the hatch. In fact, kegs won't seal properly at all unless they have a positive outward pressure. The only way I could see this working is if you pressurised the keg with CO2 at the correct amount to balance the suction caused by the cooling wort. Of course this also then causes a problem because you have begun to carbonate your freshly boiled wort with CO2, which isn't going to help ferment kick off unless you can aerate it again well.

    EDIT: you just beat my post.. good to hear you were able to work it out.
     
  10. pokolbinguy

    The Pokolbin Brewhaus and Winery.

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    Posted 22/12/08
    Well seems that Jakechan's experience seemed to work perfectly....the major advantage I see of using the corny's that I already have is that I dont have to find anymore space to house the cubes....spaces is scarce at home for brewing gear atm so being able to keep things neat and tidy would be great.

    Also the cornies are nice and easy to keep clean being SS and are easily purged with CO2 for storage.

    The positive pressure of the co2 should easily seal the keg...and any contraction of wort will be minimal in relation to the pressure of the co2....on the same note the carbonation forming in the wort would be minimal (read none) as you need quite a large volume of co2 to carbonate 18ltrs compared to just purging the keg.

    Yes I could go and find myself a cube quite easily most probably....but why not use something I have at hand if it will work perfectly well....and thats why I asked...

    Anyway food for thought.

    If ideas like this were never challenged homebrewing would never change....

    Pok
     
  11. Jakechan

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    Posted 22/12/08
    Have a go Pok, if it doesnt work come and visit and I will shout you a brew :D
     
  12. pokolbinguy

    The Pokolbin Brewhaus and Winery.

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    Posted 22/12/08
    Haha thats a pretty good offer there Jake....shame it might just work :p

    Anyway it seems like a good idea to me....and other than the idea of it sucking in air....which should be easily counteracted by purging the keg then there shoudn't really be any problems....
     
  13. T.D.

    Hop Whore

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    Posted 22/12/08
    Pok,

    I know a commercial brewer who did this very thing in lieu of a plastic cube. It worked beautifully with none of the negative outcomes predicted above. Give it a go. I'm sure it will do the job nicely. Then just fashion up a liquid QD and some beer line, sterilise it all and push the wort into your fermenter with a squirt of CO2. Will oxygenate it very effectively.

    If there's one thing that kind of worries me a little about no chill, its prolonged use of plastic cubes, and any health implications that go along with that. Using a s/s keg instead sounds like a good option and if you have a few in reserve, why not use them!
     
  14. randyrob

    Halfluck Brewing

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    Posted 22/12/08
    When i first started AG I used to do this with no adverse effects at all, except the odd burn leg from accidentally leaning up against the keg.
    I used to take it 1 step further and push a bit of beer out of the keg and make starters, once the starters going then pitch the rest!

    I did find it a bit of a pain in the arse stripping the kegs right down after woods to remove hop trub etc from the dip tubes, poppets etc
    but never had one suck in, i always purged the kegs with quite a bit of co2

    Rob.
     
  15. Fents

    Not a Beer God

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    Posted 22/12/08
    very nice article in BYO about fermenting in a corny - attach a gas QD, with some beer liner running into a bucket of sterialised water and voila! instanst SS fermenter. Cannot see why NC wouldnt work in a keg. I loved to see how much pressure it took to collapse a keg - NC in a keg i dont think will go anywhere near close imo.
     
  16. Steve

    On the back bloody porch!

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    Posted 22/12/08
    I say give it a go if you want. I personally no chill in the fermenter. Once chilled aerate and throw in the yeast. Easy.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  17. Jakechan

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    Posted 22/12/08
    The beauty of the keg though is that you are not necessarily no chilling. I got mine from boiling down to 30 in probably an hour all up by the time I transferred and realised I can use the pool. I pitched the yeast the same day.

    So, does this still count as no-chilling? I doubt it. But if I had used the cube I would be pitching the yeast today.

    Cheers,
    Jake
     
  18. PostModern

    Iron Wolf Brewery

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    Posted 22/12/08
    I always seem to have an empty keg about, but I wouldn't use it for NC. The poppets have a lot of seals, threads, invisible internal parts and the looong dip tube. I'd want to completely strip, sanitise and service the poppets each use. Mine have thread lids, so the seals would work despite negative pressure. I doubt they'd buckle as (unless pressurised with a little CO2) they'd just suck air into the gas port or beer line.

    Meh, each to their own. My HDPE cubes are working really well for me.
     
  19. Thirsty Boy

    ICB - tight shorts and poor attitude. Fuck yeah!

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    Posted 23/12/08
    People might note that I didn't say it wouldn't work - I just said that I didn't think it was the best solution and that if it was, it would be the one that was the most common. It isn't.

    I'm all for innovation in brewing - but honestly, is it people who are in the planning stages of their first AG who are likely to be successful at that innovation? or would they perhaps be better off following the lead of more experienced brewers till they have some sort of an idea what they are doing? And its not like this is innovation anyway... have a read of the original no-chill threads, it was thought of and done really rather early in the piece.

    Jakechan successfully put hot wort from his first AG into a corny and rapid chilled it (that wasn't No-chill if it was cool in 60min..) and its been done as actual no-chill by a few other people as well - but how many people would have recommended it? As opposed to get yourself a cube, or chill in the kettle, or chill in the fermentor? Things that are regular parts of discussion around this forum? Anyone planning on stopping using their hdpe cubes in favour of a corny keg now that you know it works?

    Sorry to rant at you Pok, I just think that you would be heaps better off going for a stock standard technique - something that someone else has worked all the kinks out of for you. And I think that those stock techniques are to be found, not in stuff that people "used to do when they first started" or "I did that once and it was fine" etc etc; but in the things that many people do with success every day.

    Make some beers, learn what the hell is going on, learn which bits of the process you think are good and bad and why... and then maybe look for a case of " I tried this yesterday and it worked great..." that could help you tweak your process towards one that really suits you.

    That said, if you have a compelling reason to use corny kegs.. what the hell. Use the damn things. Sounds like it will work fine.

    Thirsty

    PS - Jakechan, your corny cooled down rapidly in the pool... but why do you think that it did so any more quickly than a cube would? The corny might be steel and transfer heat better than hdpe... but the cube is going to have more surface area per unit of volume. If you want to "chill" in a container, then I still suggest that your cube would be a better choice of container to chuck in your pool. Easier to fill, easier to clean, no purging or pressurizing to worry about, no pulling in air if you don't pressurize, the Willow ones hold a higher volume so you get to fill the corny with a whole 19L of finished beer afterwards. You have both cubes and cornies... try them both rather than going with the I will never use the cubes line... then you get to see which is better. Either way. If you are rapid chilling in a keg/cube... rememer to be just as careful with your sanitation as you would be with your fermentor. You lose a great deal of the Pastuerization benefit involved in no-chilling by chucking it in the pool, so you need to be careful.
     
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  20. MartinS

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    Posted 23/12/08
    I somehow doubt that the surface area would be significant:
    * The curved side of a corny (50cm h x 20cm d) has about 3150 sqcm of (stainless?) steel in it (ignoring the steel lid and all the rubber bits).
    * A typical cube is 17x54x34 giving it about double the surface area of the keg's curved side.
    * Stainless steel has about 50 times the thermal conductance of HDPE (25 W/mK vs 0.5 at HDPE's upper end).

    If the two are the same thickness, (I suspect a cube will actually have thicker walls than a keg), the keg will start emitting heat at about 25 times the rate that a cube would.

    As for how much CO2 to put in there: A fixed mass/volume of CO2 at 100*C will have about 30% more pressure than the same gas at room temperature (I think). Factor in another 30% from the liquid shrinking (which will add 800mL to your headspace). If you set your guage at 60kpa, then disconnect, you should have just enough gas to handle the cooling (but not keep a seal). Put it at 120kpa, and you'll have plenty of gas in there to cover everything and keep a seal once its cooled, yet there's not going to be nearly enough gas to have any noticeable effect on carbonation.

    I should really be working, instead of running numbers :D.
     

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