Brewhemoth Pressurized Ferment questions
So finally, after about a year of planning, saving, comparing and shopping I pulled the trigger on a brewhemoth with immersion chiller and a spunding valve right before the new years. So I should have it by the end of the month and
I'm planning ahead for my first batch when I realized I'm likely going to have to make some process adjustments for pressurized fermenting and yeast harvesting from a conical.
I had planned on pumping wort from the kettle to the brewhemoth and putting on the spunding valve (As I do 6 and soon 12 gal batches I don't expect to need a blowoff) let everything settle and then do a quick dump of any trub from the kettle (whirfloc & pellet hops). Then pitch yeast and set spunding valve to 5-7psi. After 2-3 days do an inital yeast/trub dump and then a couple days later harvest the middle desirable layer of yeast
Now I've read that a sudden depressurization can cause damage to yeast cells so when harvesting from a pressurized conical should I first depressurize the conical, then harvest then reset the psi back?
My pressurization plan for fermentation was 5-7psi for the majority of fermentation and then ramp it up to carbonation psi when it's within 2-3 degress plato.
I also like the idea of transferring to keg under pressure. I was thinking to accomplish this I would remove the sample valve and replace it with something like this http://www.brewershardware.com/1-1.5...Hose-Barb.html connected to beverage tubing down to a MFL liquid ball lock connector. Then transfer it to a pressurized corny and determine fill level by weight. Is that how most people xfer under pressure, or is there a better way to do this?
Also, how do most people handle things like dry hopping, fining (gelatin/isinglass) once they move to pressurized fermentations? I've been dry hopping with pellet hops in a bag in the keg and leaving it in there until I tap the keg, but I'm open to other ideas. I dry hop with pellet hops so my only concern would loose hopping in the conical would be the hop bits making it into the keg.
Also, usually a handful of times a year I make a fruit beer or another style that has until now required use of a secondary. With better bottles I've always just put fruit or adjunct in the secondary and racked the finished beer onto them. Does anyone do fruit beers in their conical or should I continue using external secondaries?
This will be my first foray into tri clamp fittings.. does the list below look reasonably complete, any suggestions for changes?
Well, here's what I do:
1.Pump hot wort through my plate chiller and into my Brewhemoth
2. Attach spunding valve and set halfway.
3. Pitch yeast.
4. Monitor the pressure inside the conical during fermentation.
I actually ferment at around 12+psi with no problems. If I want to save the yeast, I'll bleed off the pressure in order to get a better dump.
The spunding valve is great at alloing for natural carbonation and pressurized transfers, but (at least in my experiences) the adjuster knob is totally inaccurate.setting it for 5 psi will not result in 5-7 psi on the gauge--you'll have to set it higher. I made that mistake during my first Brewhemoth brew.
I have this from which I both sample and connect tubing + corny keg QD for transfers. It's pretty awesome.
Congrats on the Brewhemoth. Great fermenters.
Regarding depressurizing yeast, as long as you're capturing your yeast to repitch at around the 5psi mark, there should be no issues. I definitely wouldn't catch the remaining yeast after your higher carbing pressure.
I was going to go the same route as you for filling my kegs, but I ended up going with something else. I've basically put a corny liquid fitting on the racking port, and a corny gas fitting on the 1" port on the top.
Here are the parts:
-1" TC fitting with 1/4"female NPT:
-1/4" corny plug adapter:
-Corny liquid and gas fittings, with poppets:
The above is a little more $, but very convenient. just use a corny liquid\liquid fitting transfer hose from the fermenter to the keg.
The corny gas fitting is clamped to the top 1" port, and a gas\liquid transfer hose attaches it to a corny keg for potential blow off material.
The other fitting on the corny catch keg goes to an inline CO2 regulator which I use to bleed off excess pressure, just like a spunding valve, only much more precice.
So with the gas port on the top, I can pressurise the fermenter either from that port, or from the port on the corny catch keg.
I'm still on the fense about dry hopping in the fermenter, but until I figure something out, I'll continue to use finings and dry hop in my serving keg. I add gelatin, and a hop bag into my serving keg, fill the keg, let it set for 24-48 hours, then pour off the first beer or so to get the gelatin out, and you have clear beer.
Now for fruit beers, I would suggest making a fruit puree, adding it to an empty keg, purge with co2, pump up to a couple of PSI more than your fermenter, then attach the liquid port to the liquid port of the fermenter (with parts suggested above), and the positive pressure will serve the pureed fruit into your fermenter. Done. A little bit of extra cleaning, but hey, it's all under pressure and naturally carbonated.
your parts list looks pretty good...I would suggest getting 10 1" clamps with gaskets, and another 5-10 gaskets.
hope that helps.
just a rule of thumb I use. I was told that yeast under high pressure becomes less viable...and when depressurized quickly tends to kill the yeast.
I could be completely off, but that's what I've been following and no issues so far.
I was looking at that strainer too, but considered it for a kettle. Did you see the filter test? http://www.brewershardware.com/FILTER1-Testing.html
Looks pretty promising for filtering hops and trub.
I wonder how well this filter would work if you filled it with hops and ran your beer through it while filling kegs? not sure if there is enough contact time to make a difference, but would be interesting.
While we're on the subject of parts, I was considering this for catching yeast from the dump valve to repitch:
Not exactly sure the sight glass has enough volume to catch enough yeast to repitch into a 20GAL batch or not though.
Also because he did these tests with water, there's none of the typical break material or whirlfloc trub present.
20 gal of 1.060 needs about 400ml of slurry, and 1.048 would need about 330ml of slurry going by the figures from mr malty.
I haven't done a batch in my conical but I'm betting that a 14+ gal batch in a conical would generate more than 400ml of the good middle layer of yeast. I'm just not sure there's any single sight glass that would give enough yeast to directly repitch a 20 gal batch.
If you had enough height you could always chain two of them together. I'm guessing that breweries probably harvest in stainless steel buckets and repitch by weight.
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