Options for conditioning/serving bigger than a bottle, but smaller than keg?

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IHN
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Options for conditioning/serving bigger than a bottle, but smaller than keg?

Post by IHN » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:43 am

I'm just starting my latest brew in time for Christmas. I normally bottle the lot, but I know that at Christmas there'll be times when a decent amount will be drunk over a two or three days. So I'm wondering if there's a way of conditioning/storing/serving some of it in something of about 5l (so ten pints-ish), which will store for months but, when opened, could be used over the course of a couple of days?

I initially thought about bottling some of it into bigger fizzy-pop bottles, but then I realised I can't serve it as the yeast at the bottom will keep getting swirled about as the bottle is repeatedly poured. I have some 5l bird-food buckets that are food safe, I was wondering about sticking an airlock and tap in them and filling them and then keeping them in the cool/dark until I wanted them. Is that a dumb idea? Any other better ones?

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Re: Options for conditioning/serving bigger than a bottle, but smaller than keg?

Post by PeeBee » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:50 am

Mini-kegs!

2L, 5L, 10L. They are probably a better option than Corny kegs these days.

e.g. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Growler-Stainl ... way&sr=8-4

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Re: Options for conditioning/serving bigger than a bottle, but smaller than keg?

Post by IHN » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:08 am

Ah, okay.

I take it I'd need some kind of tap/gas wotsit too? What's that going to be, £100 all in? I was hoping for something a bit cheaper (like free!) :wink:

What about this kinda thing?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/5-Litre-Bag- ... 0005.m1851

I assume I'd have to rack it in un-primed? So it'd be flat (not that that's particularly an issue for the beer I'm brewing, it's a traditional ale)
Last edited by IHN on Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Options for conditioning/serving bigger than a bottle, but smaller than keg?

Post by Cobnut » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:09 am

+1 for mini-kegs
I have been re-using commercial ones for a while now - when I need a larger quantity for special events (e.g. cricket tour).
Removing the valve at the top is the hardest part of the operation. Take care not to scratch the metal, or they will start to rust!
And don't use as much priming sugar as you would do in a bottle. Max 11-12g seems to be the recommendation, but I guess it depends on the beer style and how well attenuated it is when packaging.
Other than that, it's very like bottling.
Enjoy!
Fermenting: Lacons Patriot Clone
Conditioning: Mocha Stout, Single (allotment grown) hopped ale, Hazelweiss (8th edition), 'Ol 'Enry Brut IPA
Drinking: Flying Dutchman (American Pale), Voss Kveik 19th century style mild ale (what??!!), Cherry Chocolate Dubbel Trubbel, Single hopped Sussex bitter, ...
Planning: Keyworth mid-season SMaSH, Weizenbock (1100+ OG), etc.

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Re: Options for conditioning/serving bigger than a bottle, but smaller than keg?

Post by Cobnut » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:11 am

Check youtube for how to remove the top valve.
Can also buy replacement valves online, but if you're careful, they can be re-used from the commercial mini-kegs.
They're a 3-piece design: make sure when you re-assemble, you "click" together the top and bottom red-parts. Otherwise they don't hold pressure :(
Fermenting: Lacons Patriot Clone
Conditioning: Mocha Stout, Single (allotment grown) hopped ale, Hazelweiss (8th edition), 'Ol 'Enry Brut IPA
Drinking: Flying Dutchman (American Pale), Voss Kveik 19th century style mild ale (what??!!), Cherry Chocolate Dubbel Trubbel, Single hopped Sussex bitter, ...
Planning: Keyworth mid-season SMaSH, Weizenbock (1100+ OG), etc.

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Re: Options for conditioning/serving bigger than a bottle, but smaller than keg?

Post by PeeBee » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:56 pm

IHN wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:08 am
Ah, okay.

I take it I'd need some kind of tap/gas wotsit too? What's that going to be, £100 all in? I was hoping for something a bit cheaper (like free!) :wink:

Wasn't encouraging linking the Amazon site, they're a bit expensive. They are available on eBay (UK stock) much cheaper but not near "free" I'm afraid. And they need something to get the beer out (e.g. a Sodastream cylinder and suitable regulator) although I have used a disconnect crammed with cottonwool (using a hand-pump). There's a choice of caps, I use the ones with Corny style disconnects, and you can use cheap as chips "party" taps. Corny style caps are cheapest of eBay but can still knock you back £20.

If you "bottle" condition with them you have got yeast sediment to deal with. I pressure transfer into them (no sediment), which is cheap for the transfer items but presumes you condition in a large keg.

£100 may get you 10L of storage (5 + 5L) but you can't avoid that much expenditure going down this path. Sorry, but other options are popping up on this thread.

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Re: Options for conditioning/serving bigger than a bottle, but smaller than keg?

Post by Robwalkeragain » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:29 pm

2L pop bottles? Store em out of light. Easy!

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Options for conditioning/serving bigger than a bottle, but smaller than keg?

Post by f00b4r » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:56 pm

Polypins are another option for some beer styles and the stuff brewed nearer Xmas.

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Re: Options for conditioning/serving bigger than a bottle, but smaller than keg?

Post by f00b4r » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:01 pm

PeeBee wrote:Mini-kegs!

2L, 5L, 10L. They are probably a better option than Corny kegs these days.

e.g. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Growler-Stainl ... way&sr=8-4
Why do you think that?

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Re: Options for conditioning/serving bigger than a bottle, but smaller than keg?

Post by themadhippy » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:42 pm

demijohns and cork bungs is my solution,dont bother with airlocks locks unless you want flat beer,but do check the bungs regularly,the gas likes to push the bungs out.o and wrap the demijons in something or keep em in a dark cupboard
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Re: Options for conditioning/serving bigger than a bottle, but smaller than keg?

Post by TheSumOfAllBeers » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:35 pm

The small poly pins are great value for the money, but you will have to keep them cold or in the original box, or it will lose condition over an extended period

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Re: Options for conditioning/serving bigger than a bottle, but smaller than keg?

Post by PeeBee » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:14 pm

f00b4r wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:01 pm
PeeBee wrote:Mini-kegs!

2L, 5L, 10L. They are probably a better option than Corny kegs these days.

e.g. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Growler-Stainl ... way&sr=8-4
Why do you think that?
Second-hand Cornies are getting thinner on the ground, demanding ever higher prices and … well I've been saying it for years, but still they turn up in unlikely numbers.

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Re: Options for conditioning/serving bigger than a bottle, but smaller than keg?

Post by f00b4r » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:05 am

PeeBee wrote:
f00b4r wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:01 pm
PeeBee wrote:Mini-kegs!

2L, 5L, 10L. They are probably a better option than Corny kegs these days.

e.g. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Growler-Stainl ... way&sr=8-4
Why do you think that?
Second-hand Cornies are getting thinner on the ground, demanding ever higher prices and … well I've been saying it for years, but still they turn up in unlikely numbers.
Ah you are comparing second hand with new. When you add in the current disconnect lids for those mini kegs they turn out to be more expensive than buying new corny kegs. I still quite fancy one to play about with but the price and the fact that I couldn't see inside to clean put me off. I have seen some cheaper ones cut open and because of bad welding having rust etc inside after being used a while, if buying I would buy them from someone reputable, who has probably done some checking on the quality of them. They do come in some nice sizes/shapes though that may be better for some people's fridges, although you can get corny/sankey kegs in 6.5L/9L/11L too (the 6.5L shown is actually stackable with disconnects on but you can get in regular corny shape too):

Image

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Re: Options for conditioning/serving bigger than a bottle, but smaller than keg?

Post by TheSumOfAllBeers » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:41 am

The new 10L growler kegs with an included spear head/dip tube assembly are at the same price as new half cornies.

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Re: Options for conditioning/serving bigger than a bottle, but smaller than keg?

Post by ingo » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:53 am

A bit OT, but what is the build quality of the 6l ones? The handle bar weld looks flimsy in the images, but is it? Looking at them for yeast slurry storage and put them on a gas flame to boil "sterile" (will not be pressurised).

What's a UK price for a corny? When I hop over the border here to Germany I pay 50E for a 18l ball lock or pin lock, without the vent. The vent is the first thing I replace anyway, with a stainless one. Including a vent it's E 10 more. A used 10 l corny is unobtainium :( same price a new from Italy.

Ingo

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