Category Archives: Fermentation

Hands on Review: Torpedo 10 Gallon Ball Lock Homebrew Kegs + Five Benefits of Using Kegs as Fermenters!

Larger 10 and 15 gallon homebrew kegs have been very hard to find… for years.  There have been a couple sources, eBay was a best bet, but that was touch and go at best.  When you could find one, prices were… outrageous.  $300++ for a used 10 gallon keg would not be uncommon.  Again, that’s IF you could find one.

Great news homebrewers…. MoreBeer has introduced 10 and 15 gallon homebrew ball lock kegs via their Torpedo line of kegs and accessories.  These are BRAND NEW kegs that are (hopefully) readily available at a reasonable price.

Why a larger 10 or 15 gallon homebrew keg?

The first and most obvious answer is for large batch brewers.  If you brew 10 or 15 gallon batches, it sure would be nice to have a keg that fits your entire batch.  Even if you don’t brew 10 gallons, you may want to brew a couple 5 gallon batches of the same beer (much like professional brewers do) and keg it in a single keg.

A less obvious answer to the question is… to use as a fermenter.  Kegs are well-built stainless steel vessels that are pressure capable.  You can easily move them around and they are built to be bumped around a bit.  Using a keg opens up some really interesting possibilities…. fermenting under pressure with a Spunding Valve [See: Build a Spunding Valve! – How and Why], naturally carbonating in the fermenter/Krausening (again with the aid of a Spunding Valve), transferring under pressure, oxygen-free (or near oxygen-free) transfers, re-purposing expelled CO2 and more.

A third application is similar to the second… Use as a UniVessel.  Ferment and serve in the same vessel.  Save time and simplify your process.


Check Prices, Review Continues Below

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Three Ways to Convert a Keg Into a Fermenter + A Limited Time Deal

The containers we call Ball Lock and Pin Lock Kegs come from the soda industry.  Also called Cornelius Kegs, Corny Kegs and Corney Kegs, they were originally intended to store and distribute soda pre-mix.  The big soda companies decided on different style containers for their pre-mix.  Pepsi landed on the Ball Lock style while Coke uses the Pin Lock style.

Homebrewers have since re-purposed these as homebrew beer kegs. It makes sense. These high quality stainless steel beverages that are meant for years of commercial food use. They’re also tough, can be had for cheap and are easy to move around.  Related: Five Benefits of Using Corny Kegs As Fermenters

What if someone said there was a pressure capable, heavy duty stainless steel fermenter that could be had for 50 bucks or so?


Limited Time Deal, Save on Corny Keg Fermenter Lid

  • These are on sale for $14.
  • Free Gift Card!  As of this posting, Adventures in Homebrewing is giving away a free $20 gift card, with every single purchase of $100 or moreEVERYTHING QUALIFIES.  The one exception is gift cards.  Promotional gift card will be automatically added to your cart.
  • Stacks With Free Shipping!  Adventures in Homebrewing is offering free shipping on most orders of $55 or more with a few exclusions.  Add On Items to Consider: PBW | 20% Off Seasonal All Grain Kits | 20% Off Seasonal Extract Kits | Sale Items

Cornelius Keg Fermenter Lid – on sale for $14 + free GC with $100 order


Great news…. kegs make great fermenters! Same high quality, stainless steel construction, toughness and easy portability, but this time used for fermentation.

Converting Kegs Into Fermenters, 3 Options

One issue needs to be addressed to convert kegs into fermenters… handling CO2 produced by fermentation. Kegs are generally designed to be airtight. Fermentation requires that we allow excess CO2 to escape.  I can think of three options…

  1. A blow-off tube. Remove the gas post or gas post poppet and get use tight fitting tubing to route CO2 to a container of sanitizer.
  2. Use a converted lid to add a stopper and airlock See: Cornelius Keg Fermenter Lid via Adventures in Homebrewing
  3. Use a Spunding Valve

Related: Cornelius Keg Lid for Secondary Fermenter – via Adventures in Homebrewing

FIVE Reasons to Ferment in Kegs!…

Keg Deals

keg deals

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Limited Availability… Refurbished BrewBuilt X1 Uni Conical Fermenters

BrewBuilt™ X1 Uni Conical Fermenters!

As of this positing, MoreBeer has a limited number of refurbished X1 UNI Conical Fermenters. I’m seeing 7, 27 and 42 gallon sizes.

Refurbished X1 UNI Conicals

Full Lineup: BrewBuilt™ X1 Uni Line Of Conical Fermenters

Check Out Our Hands on Review!

Hands on Review: BrewBuilt X1 Uni+ Conical Fermenter!

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BN-LINK Digital Temperature Controller, Two Stage – $27.99 + free shipping, w/20% off coupon

BN-LINK Digital Temperature Controller

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Highlighted Features
  • 【Dual Functions】The professional dual digital outlets three-prong grounded plugs thermostat controller is capable of controlling a heating and cooling device. Bring you great convenience by replacing those controllers that only have one single function
  • 【Variety of Uses】The heating cooling thermostat can be used for seedling germination, rooting, brewing, heating, fermentation, aquarium, and more! keep your various environments in their ideal temperature range
  • 【Professional Grade】The temperature controller owns high-accuracy waterproof sensor probe with working temperature from -58°F to 230°F; Controller with working temperature from -40°F to 176°F. Maximize its functions
  • 【Set and Go】The digital reptile aquarium thermometer have clear display screens, flexible buttons, and sensitive socket contacts. Simply set the temperature probe, plug-in the controller, and choose your desired temperature setting. Digital display supports units in both Fahrenheit and Celsius
  • 【Safe & Reliable】 The advanced thermostat controller comes with overload protection and the sensor probe is waterproof. Rated Voltage is 125VAC 60Hz. 15A/1875W Resistive and general purpose, 1/2 HP, TV-5

 

1/16 8 PM Central: This is selling for $34.99. Click on “Save extra 20% when you apply this coupon” and the price drops to $27.99 at checkout.  Shipping is also free to many US addresses with Prime Membership [Try Prime for Free] or a qualifying order. Prices and availability can change quickly.  Check product page for current info – More About Prices

BN-LINK Digital Temperature Controller Heating Cooling 2-Stage Outlet Thermostat Controller Plug for Reptiles Aquarium Carboy Homebrew Breeding Fermenter Seed Germination °C/°F -40-176°F 15A/1875W – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

Oxygen Free Transfer and Cold Crash Using a Spunding Valve! – Loads of Updates

homebrew oxygen free transfer

What is Cold Crashing?

Cold Crashing is chilling your beer after fermentation is complete.  Typically you want to get as close to freezing as possible, without actually freezing your beer.  These cooler temperatures cause break, yeast and trub matter to drop out of your beer.  This increases clarity, helps to hasten the conditioning process and helps you get a cleaner transfer to your serving vessel.

What is a Spunding Valve?

A Spunding Valve allows you to ferment under pressure, naturally and precisely carbonate in the keg, fix over-carbonated beers and more.  See: Build a Spunding Valve for more info.


Related Gear and Resources, Article Continues Below:

Kegland BlowTie v2

Kegland BlowTie v1

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Dual Scale Refractometer 0-32% Brix & Specific Gravity + ATC – $13.99, best price + free prime ship

Brix Refractometer, Goodes ATC Digital Handheld Refractomete for Homebrew Beer Wort, Wine Fruit Sugar-Specific Gravity 1.000-1.130 and Brix 0-32% (Black)

Brix Refractometer, Goodes ATC Digital Handheld Refractomete for Homebrew Beer Wort, Wine Fruit Sugar-Specific Gravity 1.000-1.130 and Brix 0-32%

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From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • Accurate Reading with ATC: Handheld Brewing Refractometerr with Automatic Temperature Compensation(ATC), no more worry about the temperature change will influence the reading accuracy.the brix refractometer will account for changes in ambient temperature and automatically compensate accordingly to provides accurate and repeatable measurements.
  • Accurate Reading: The Brix refractometer can measure brix between 0-32%±0.2% and Specific Gravity between 1.000-1.130, Brix Accuracy: +/-0.2%, easy to read accurately the result.
  • Portable Sugar Content Tester: Easy to use,sturdy design, compact in size and light in weight, convenient to keep up and carry around.
  • Easy Use: Using the dropper to take a sample of wort and put it on the prism. Then hold the refractometer up to the light and look scale through the eyepiece, more accurate to measure sugars in verities of melon, fruits or juice.
  • Wide Compatibility: The refractometer is ideal for Home Brew, Wine making, Agricultural, Gardening & Educational Purposes, sugar content.

 

For me, getting a refractometer was one of those upgrades that made a lot of difference.  With a refractometer you need a sample size of two drops.  I figured that this would pay for itself in beer savings alone.  I also had just broken my hydrometer and came to the realization that hydrometers are made of breakable glass that can break! 🙂

With the aid of calculators – get a Free Non-Expiring Brewfather Trial Account –  Refractometers can be used to measure gravity throughout the brewing process.

1/15 2 PM Central: This is on sale for just $13.99. That’s the best historical third party Amazon price I /found, notwithstanding Lightning Deals or coupons. Shipping is also free to many US addresses with Prime Membership [Try Prime for Free] or a qualifying order. Prices and availability can change quickly Check product page for current info – More About Prices

Brix Refractometer, Goodes ATC Digital Handheld Refractomete for Homebrew Beer Wort, Wine Fruit Sugar-Specific Gravity 1.000-1.130 and Brix 0-32% – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

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MoreBeer’s Triple Scale Hydrometer – $4.99, Limited Availability Deal of The Day

morebeer hydrometer

Triple Scale Hydrometer via MoreBeer

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From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

Hydrometers are one of the most necessary tools in homebrewing. Our Triple Scale Hydrometer allows you to read your gravity, potential alcohol content, and brix.

A hydrometer is perhaps the most essential piece of measuring & testing equipment in any home brewery. Used it at every stage of brew to keep up with the health and progress of your brew.

This convenient hydrometer features three scales–specific gravity, potential alcohol and brix–and is handy for both brewing and winemaking. It measures 9 inches long and comes with complete, detailed instructions for proper use.

Scale Ranges:

Specific Gravity: 0.982 – 1.160
Potential Alcohol: 0-20%
Brix: -4 – 35


 

Limited Availability Deal of the Day: As of this posting, this on sale as as a MoreBeer Deal of the DayShipping is also free to addresses in the contiguous US with most $59 Orders. Availability: This is available today only, while supplies last. Quantities are limited. Check the MoreBeer’s Deal of the Day to check today’s offering.

Product Description – Here – Use coupon code BEERDEAL to get this discount.

Triple Scale Hydrometer MT300


Safale Sampler Pack – Try 8 Different Yeasts – $24.99… $3.12 each + free prime ship

Fermentis SafAle Sampler Pack Beer/Ale Yeast - Pack of 8 - With North Mountain Supply Freshness Guarantee

Fermentis SafAle Sampler Pack Beer/Ale Yeast – Pack of 8


From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • This Ale Yeast assortment is great for experimenting with the different yeast strains
  • Includes 1 – US-05, 1 – US-04, 1 – BE-134, 1 – BE-256, 1 – T58, 1 – S-33, 1 – WB-06 and 1 – K-97

1/16 4:30 AM Central: These are selling for $24.99.  That figures to about $3.12 per yeast pack. Shipping is also free to many US addresses with Prime Membership [Try Prime for Free] or a qualifying order. Prices and availability can change quickly.  Check product page for current info – More About Prices

Fermentis SafAle Sampler Pack Beer/Ale Yeast – Pack of 8 – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

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Stainless Steel Mason Jar Fermentation Kit – 4 Lid Sets – fermented foods & yeast starters – $13.59 + free prime ship

Fermentation Kit for Wide Mouth Jars – 4 Airlocks, 8 Silicone Grommets, 4 Stainless Steel Wide mouth Mason Jar Fermenting Lids with Silicone Rings

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Highlighted Features
  • KIT INCLUDES: 4 BPA free water airlocks; 4 Stainless steel(18/8) Wide mouth Lids with Silicone Rings; 4 Silicone Grommets.Warning--DO NOT sterilizing the plastic airlocks with boiling water but warm water
  • FITS WIDE MOUTH JAR: Fit 3.38 in (86 mm) Outer Diameter Mouth Jars. Fit small 4oz wide mouth jars all the way to large 64oz wide mouth jars
  • Easily using. 14mm hole instead of 13mm, can easily insert airlock in lid without damage the silicon grommet.
  • Extra silicone grommets The set include extra silicone grommets.
  • One year free Guarantee- if any small parts damaged during delivery, we can change into new one within one year.

 

You should be able to use these as lids/airlocks for yeast starters made in compatible wide mouth jars and for yeast storage.

What are Other’s Saying?   Search this product’s Amazon reviews for “yeast” – may include reviews for other sizes or variations

1/15 9:30 PM Central: These are on sale for $13.59. Shipping is also free to many US addresses with Prime Membership [Try Prime for Free] or a qualifying order. Prices and availability can change quickly Check product page for current info – More About Prices

Jillmo Fermentation Kit, Stainless Steel Fermenting Kit for Wide Mouth Mason Jars (Jars Not Included) – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

Search: “wide mouth mason jars” on Amazon

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Monster Brew Triple Scale Hydrometer – $8.85 + free prime ship

Monster Brew Home Brewing Supplies 1 X Hydrometer - Triple Scale

Monster Brew Home Brewing Supplies 1 X Hydrometer – Triple Scale

Highlighted Features
  • Model Number: 863021
  • Item Package Length: 10.899999988882"
  • Item Package Width: 1.599999998368"
  • Item Package Height: 1.599999998368"

12/15 10:30 PM Central: This is selling for $8.85. Shipping is also free to many US addresses with Prime Membership [Try Prime for Free] or a qualifying order. Prices and availability can change quickly.  Check product page for current info – More About Prices

Monster Brew Home Brewing Supplies 1 X Hydrometer – Triple Scale – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

More Fermentation Related!

Great Prices on Dry Beer Yeast at William’s Brewing