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Does anyone use kegs for aging wine?

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Jim Welch

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i am a home brewer who has dabbled in winemaking. I made two batches several years ago and put both in cornice kegs to bulk age sealing them with argon so the wouldn’t carbonate. They turned out pretty good. I’ve purchased several kits and am going to try this again.
I’m wondering if anyone else here ages wine in a stainless keg?
 

CDrew

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Yes. Not Corny kegs though. They don't seal well at low pressure so not ideal for wine.

Sanke type kegs though, are GREAT in wine making applications. Once you take out the spear and sanitize they are ideal 15.5 gallon storage tanks. There are some adaptations to the outlet that are useful to adapt to standard sanitary fittings.

If you look at my post in this thread, there's some good info:
https://www.winemakingtalk.com/threads/bulk-aging-and-barrel-topping-with-a-sanke-keg.64866/#post-711900
 

Jim Welch

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Thank you for sharing that info CDrew, when I brew beer I make 14 gallon batches and ferment in Sanke half kegs. They are ideal for that, when making batches of that size. I also have that racking fitting from brewershardware linked to in the other post of yours and it is very handy.
For the time being the corny kegs work better since I am starting with 6 gallon batches.
At the time I did that I had a bottle of argon and sealed the cornies with 10 psi or so of argon, iirc. I am a welder and happened to have a small bottle handy and I had read at the time that argon will not go into solution and it seemed to work well.
Since then I have switched to using nitrogen for pressure racking my beer and anticipated using it to seal the cornie kegs when filled with wine.
You mention that cornies aren’t suitable at low pressure and I’m wondering if I dodged a bullet when I did what I did. Since I only bulk aged two batches, one a 6 g. Kit wine and the other a 6 g. Banana wine, I don’t have a lot of experience doing this with wine.
Would you care to elaborate on the pressure comment. I’m worried I’m missing something. Also, now that I think about it I’m wondering if nitrogen is suitable for sealing the kegs without going into solution.
 

CDrew

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Would you care to elaborate on the pressure comment. I’m worried I’m missing something. Also, now that I think about it I’m wondering if nitrogen is suitable for sealing the kegs without going into solution.
I used to use Corny kegs too, and it was difficult to get the big O-ring under the main cap to seal if there was no pressure in the beer. You could work around by pressurizing, or letting the beer naturally carbonate *after* you pressurized with some external CO2.

The beauty of the Sanke kegs is their adaptability to sanitary fittings. They seal up perfectly every time and no gas pressure needed.

You probably know this but there are 5 and 6 gallon Sanke kegs out there too. A lot of micro brew comes in those and I've seen a bunch on Craig's list.

I very much like the Sanke kegs for wine making, and with the proper fittings, can be used for almost perfect storage vessels.
 

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