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Sanke Fermentor Conversion Kit Instructions
Warning! This kit is designed to convert an American Sanke keg into a very nice stainless steel fermentor. This kit is NOT DESIGNED TO HOLD PRESSURE! Please be aware that THERE IS NO PRESSURE RELIEF VALVE in the cap. Do not use any hose or tubing clamps on any of the tube connections or an unsafe amount of pressure could build in the fermentor during fermentation. The blow-off tube is designed to vent any fermentation pressure and the cap included with the racking cane should pop-off in the event of a build up of pressure.
However, always follow these safety precautions and use your common sense:
Never stand directly over the fermentor. In the event of an unsafe build up of pressure it is possible that the racking cane could be ejected from the assembly. Once the clamp is in place, never stand directly over the fermentor or ever point the top of the fermentor in an unsafe direction.
Do not use clamps on the tubing connections. This could result in an unsafe build up of pressure in the fermentor. Under normal use, all the pressure should escape through the blow-off port, however, should the blow-off tubing become clogged, then the unclamped tubing connections should just come apart.
If you are going to clean or sanitize your keg by placing it on a burner, you should drill a few small holes in the skirt of the keg to prevent an unsafe pressure build up in the keg skirt.
USE THIS DEVICE ENTIRELY AT YOUR OWN RISK!!! This device has been entirely safe with the kegs I've tested it on. I have no control over the condition or quality of the kegs that are available out there and there could be inconsistencies in those products that could possible cause an unsafe situation. USE YOUR COMMON SENSE! IF YOU THINK THERE IS A PROBLEM OR YOU ARE NOT CERTAIN OF WHAT YOU'RE DOING, DON'T USE THE fermentor CONVERSION KIT!
Unpack the Sanke Fermentor Conversion Kit
When your kit arrives, check the packaging very carefully. We've stuffed parts in every crevice we can to keep them safe. Your package should contain the following:
1 - Fermentor Cap with compression nut.
1 - Racking Cane with sanitation cap
1 - Blow-off tube with vinyl tubing to attach it to the Cap.
1 - Tri-Clover Clamp
1 - Cap O-Ring
2 - Racking Cane O-Rings
After you've unpacked everything, give it a good cleaning. There will be polishing compound and machining oils on everything. Plain dish soap and a little elbow grease should remove everything. Clean the racking cane and blow-off tube inside and out. Bar Keeper's Friend can be used as well but stay away from abrasive cleaners as they will dull the high-polish finish on the high-polished parts.
Assemble the Fermentor Cap
Remove the compression nut from the fermentor cap. Slide the compression nut onto the racking cane followed by both racking cane o-rings. Insert the racking cane into the fermentor cap and finger tighten the compression nut. The purpose of the compression nut and fitting is just to hold the racking cane in position, finger tight is more than enough. Tighten it just enough so the racking cane stays where you want it.
Sanitize Your Sanke Keg Fermentor
To Sanitize the fermentor, we recommend boiling a few gallons of water in the keg. Most brewer's have a burner for their hot liquor tank. Once you've run off all your wort into your boil kettle and you're done with your HLT, throw your fermentor up on that burner with a few gallons of water in it and bring it to a boil for 15 minutes WITHOUT THE fermentor CAP INSTALLED. The boiling and steam will be a very effective sanitizer. Once the keg is cool enough to touch, dump the water and either place a foil cap over the opening or move on to install the fermentor Cap. DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, PLACE THE KEG ON A BURNER WITH THE FERMENTOR CAP INSTALLED! Boiling water in the keg with the fermentor cap installed could cause unsafe pressure to build in the keg/fermentor. Sanitize the fermentor cap and racking cane with Star San or Iodophor in a spray bottle.
Assemble the Sanke Keg Fermentor Kit
Place the large silicone o-ring over the thermowell (if equipped) and racking cane and press it into the groove on the fermentor cap. Hold the o-ring in position as you thread the racking cane and thermowell into the keg. Give everything one last quick spray with sanitizer and then set it in place. Make sure the o-ring didn't slide out of position and then use the clamp to lock the cap onto the fermentor. Loosen the compression nut and slide the racking cane in as far as it will go. This will keep as much of the racking cane sanitary as possible.
Using the included piece of 1/2" tubing, you can either attach the stainless steel blow off tube or you may choose to just install a 3-piece type airlock. If you anticipate a vigorous fermentation, then the blow-off tube is recommended. Attach another length of 1/2" tubing to the stainless bend and insert the opposite end into a jar of sanitizer. Once primary fermentation has slowed down, it's recommended that you replace the blow-off tube with a 3-piece airlock. The taper on most 3-piece airlocks will fit the 1/2" tubing.
Cleaning the Sanke Keg Fermentor Kit
Cleaning the Sanke Keg Fermentor is best done using Powdered Brewery Wash (PBW), Oxyclean or an equivalent cleaner and hot water. The easiest way to do this is to mix a few gallons of cleaner in the keg and put it up on a burner. Be sure the opening is not obstructed (remove the Sanke Fermentor Conversion Kit completely) and bring the solution to a boil. Shut off the flame and allow the keg to cool back down. Once it is cool, you can roll the keg on the ground and/or us a carboy brush to reach the inside of the top. The steam will have loosened the kreusen ring and the PBW solution should take care of the rest. Rinse your fermentor well and and turn it upside down to drain.