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Kegs for Alcohol Storage?


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I am looking into purchasing tanks for my alcohol storage (foreshots, heads, tails, low-wines, spirits, etc) and a friend asked why I don't just use beer kegs, and then compressed air to pump out the liquids. Smaller "Corny Kegs / Soda kegs" actually have lids making them easier to clean.. Instead of buying an alcohol pump we can just move liquids with regulated and filtered compressed air at 10psi..

I knew brewers/bars use CO2 for kegs as oxygen screw up beer, but would there be any concern with pressurizing alcohol with regular compressed air? The tanks would only need to be pressurized for short periods of time when actually transferring (pump low wines back up and into still, pump spirits into bottling / mixing tank, etc.) and would normally be stored not under pressure.

Anyone already doing this?

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Well, thanks for sending me off into a 30 minute google exploration of vapor pressures, NPSH and all sorts of organic chemistry stuff!

And to top it off, I never determined if it was a) feasible and B) safe! Since alcohol is a high vapor pressure liquid - that happens to be highly flamable - I'd want to do some significant research before putting this in place.

Makes sense in theory though with proper precautions.

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I recommend the 5 gal soda kegs for alcohol storage, just be sure to thoroughly clean them prior to use, including discarding all rubber components and replacing them with new ones. One of the great things about these containers is that they are a convenient size for carrying by hand, including pouring by hand. In my experience, even when dispensing small amounts from one of these kegs, it has been simpler to just pour the contents out than to rig up some dispensing system. I have yet to see a small scale application utilize a cheaper and safer alcohol "pump" than gravity, despite all of the clever people that try to find one.


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I use corny kegs and 1/2 bbl kegs extensively in our setup.

The best are the 1/2 bbl kegs that are set up as "yeast brinks." The sankey fitting has been cut out of a Franke keg, and replaced with a 4" triclamp fitting. Then the fitting that goes on is a 4" plate with a CO2 inlet. On the top is a standard 1.5" triclamp that a dip tube goes on. Then I just hook up CO2 and push the alcohol out of the keg. No problem with flammability and CO2, and a 20 lb tank lasts me about 6 months (call it 500 transfers?) I have 4 of those. http://www.gwkent.com/keg-for-yeast-propagation.html mine look like this but lack the valve fitting at the bottom.

I also use standard beer kegs that I have removed the spears from. Make sure you vent the kegs properly before fiddling with the spear. I made a venturi CO2 pump for those, with an old spear. It works, but uses way more CO2 than the brinks.

The corny kegs work great, and I use them for heads and tails. My runs are generally too big for them, and I don't like swapping so many kegs out, so I tend to use the brinks for hearts.

I have to admit, I use a siphon an awful lot as well. But a corny keg is a great way to top up a barrel in the stack.

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Here's a pic of the type of keg I use. The bottom pic shows the spear that fits on. Very handy, since even though I can lift a full keg, sliding them around and pushing the booze out with CO2 suits me much better!



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