Secondary fermentation in a Cornelius

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psilocybin pony

28 mei 2001 16:32:2628-05-2001
I have just brewed a batch of IPA and it is undergoing its primary
fermentation in a carboy right now.

Once the krauesen subsides, I was thinking of racking directly into a keg
rather than first waiting the week or so it normally takes for the
fermentation to complete. Does anyone have any experience with this?

I suspect there's a danger of too much pressure builing up inside the keg
but I also suspect this danger is mitigated by the probability of the yeast
going inactive once the pressure gets to a certain stage.

Will this approach lead to drinkable beer quicker, or should I wait out the
completion of the fermentation in the carboy?

Frank J. Russo

28 mei 2001 17:02:0628-05-2001
I have not tried it myself. BUT DON'T be in such a hurry.Relax and have a
homebrew and let the chemistry work at its own pace. If you keg before the
secondary fermentation is completed you will have a tremendous amount of
turb and yeast the bottom of your keg. And every tie you move or knock it,
it will redistribute in solution and you will have to wait for it to settle
again, and again, and again.

ATF HomeBrew Club
New Bern NC

psilocybin pony

28 mei 2001 17:52:0828-05-2001
But won't the trub/yeast just all come out with the first pint?

"Frank J. Russo" <> wrote in message

Marc Gaspard

29 mei 2001 17:49:0829-05-2001
Not if you move it around, as he said. If you keep it still it should be
Something you might want to think about doing is building a little
pressure gauge to put on the keg as it secondary ferments. One of
our club members did this. He took a gas out fitting (ball lock, but
'it depends on what you have), attached a 2-3 inch length of hose
with a clamp, and at the other end clamped on a regulator gauge.
He monitors he pressure and releases it as it passes 20psi, always
trying to keep it around 20psi. That should alleviate any worries
about pressure hurting your keg or beer!

Marc Gaspard

psilocybin pony <> wrote in message

Bret Schuhmacher

30 mei 2001 14:33:5130-05-2001
I do primary fermentation in a 10gal Corny. I found an adjustable pressure
relief valve and set it to release at about 5# of pressure (I'm guessing -
I haven't connected a guage). I really like closed fermentation, especially
when it comes to racking. Let me know and I'll try to dig up doc/website on
the relief valve.



psilocybin pony

30 mei 2001 18:15:0030-05-2001
Thanks, Bret, that would be great if you could point me to a source for the
adjustable relief valve!

"Bret Schuhmacher" <> wrote in message

> I do primary fermentation in a 10gal Corny. I found an adjustable
> relief valve and set it to release at about 5# of pressure (I'm

Bret Schuhmacher

31 mei 2001 09:17:1031-05-2001
Here's my original post to the HBD a few years back. Below that is the
information on the relief valve (also found in Dion's web page, contained in
the post). I recommend Dion's page for some good information!


Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 10:27:56 -0700
From: "Bret A. Schuhmacher" <>
Subject: Norgren relief valve

Well, since I spoke up the other day I've gotten lots of requests for
information about the adjustable relief valve I use on my 10 gallon
fermentation keg.

I poked a hole in the side of my glass carboy during cleaning one day.
Just cleaning it with my brush, and all of a sudden, "Plonk!", out
pops a 2 inch diameter piece of glass. Perfectly round, like a metal

That experience drove home the point that glass is too brittle and
dangerous in the brewshop for anything besides bottling. A full glass
carboy weighs about 45 pounds, give or take, and the damn thing
doesn't have a handle! Oh, sure, you can buy one of those handles for
the neck... but do you trust it? That's when I started considering
brewing in kegs.

A 5 gallon keg would require a blowoff tube because there's no
headspace. You'd either have to take off one of the gas/beer QD
fittings or drill a hole in the lid. Not an elegant solution in my
book. You'd always be replacing a fitting or stopping up the hole
in the lid to get any pressure so you could transfer the beer to
another keg. I didn't know if a 7 gallon keg would have enough
headspace, either.

How about a 10 gallon keg, though? Plenty of headspace, no fitting
removal or drilling. No need for extra blowoff tubes, buckets of
water or airlocks. Perfect! Except how do you vent the pressure?
You could remember to do it daily (yeah, right) or find some sort of
pressure relief valve.

I got the information from Dion Hollenbeck's *very* informative web
gadget page at Thanks
again Dion!

I reduced the fitting on the relief valve from 3/8" (?) to 1/4 (?) to
fit a standard beer line swivel fitting. The reducer cost about $.79
at the local hardware store. The relief valve was $3.99 from
Norgren. I needed an extra poppet valve spring to complete the
transformation, but that only cost about $2.00.

Pressure is regulated by the amount of compression on the poppet valve
by way of a threaded endcap on the valve body. Dion fit a brass tee
inline and installed a pressure gauge to better regulate the exact
amount of blowoff pressure, but I haven't found it to be necessary. I
just put the endcap on a couple of turns and lock it down with the nut
to keep it from readjusting itself. I check the keg later to see if
it's got "too much pressure" - a highly subjective term for lots of
hiss when I release the pressure. If it does I loosen the relief
valve a little. Don't worry - the poppet valve spring will keep you
from creating a bomb - it'll release pressure at what, 40psi? There's
no rocket science or magic here - just buy the thing if you want an
adjustable pressure relief valve. It's a piece of cake to use.

NOTE: please don't ferment 5 gallon batches in 5 gallon corny kegs!
The blowoff will clog the tubes and you *will* create a bomb (with
lots of nasty shrapnel).

Buy yourself a 10 gallon keg, chop off the out tube about 1.75 inches
(to leave the sediment behind) and you'll be very happy with the
results. Here are the benefits as I see them:

1) proper fermentation geometry. 5 gallon kegs are too narrow, but 10
gallon kegs are the same or slightly larger diameter than glass

2) no siphons. I funnel my wort into the fermenter keg on brewday,
then rack it under CO2 pressure to secondary and serving kegs.

3) the handles on the 10 gallon keg make it easy to carry and shake
for aeration.

4) *simple* to clean

5) clean and simple. There's no blowoff hose or extra bucket of water

6) simple to take samples for readings. Just pressurize the keg and
put a cobra/picnic tap on it to take your reading. No cleaning turkey
basters or thiefs.

7) rack the beer under pressure and avoid O2 contact.

The only drawbacks I've found is that you can't see the fermentation
taking place (which *IS* kind cool) and it's more difficult to figure
out how much water to put in when you're topping it off to 5 gallons.
The pressure buildup tells me fermentation is taking place. I've put
a mark at the 5 gallon point on the outside of the keg and roughly
estimate to top off the keg. It's not that tough.

I think I've made my best beer since I started fermenting in this
keg. It's certainly been some of the easiest to make :-).

Let me know if there're any questions or screwups above.


Bad Dog Brewery
Montrose, CO
- --
Beauty is in the eyes of the beer holder.


Surplus Center

part #4-1303 Pressure Relief Valve $3.99
Brand new Norgren 25-50psi.

Open up and remove SS spring. Take a poppet out of a corny valve body
and grind off the "rivet" on the bottom sacrificing the poppet and
releasing the spring. Install the poppet spring in the Norgran
valve. It is now a 15-40 psi relief valve.


Bad Dog Brewery
South Pittsburg, TN

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