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Old 06-30-2013, 12:35 PM   #1
jono1492
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Default Anyone tried 'sous vide brewing'?

Might be a strange one, but this has crossed my mind a few times now and thought I'd see if anyone else has had a similar thought or tried it.

If you're not familiar, sous vide('under vacuum') is a method of cookery where you vaccume seal food in a bag and cook the food in a water bath, generally at a lower temperature for longer periods.

Anyway, I was thinking, what if you applied this technology/procedures to brewing? What if you were to take your unhopped extract and infused it via sous vide, I figure you can leave it for a long period, without risking losing volume, getting extra colour ect. And infusing a **** ton more more flavour then with traditional methods? Sous vide also allows you to have 'to the degree' control, absolutely no chance of the contents of the bag exceeding the temperature you've set on the machine.

I may be able to get a hold of the equipment to try this, but thought I'd ask some opinions first, before I waste my time/money or have completely missed a reason why this wouldn't work.

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Old 06-30-2013, 12:44 PM   #2
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Overkill IMHO. The more you add on to the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain. You might be able to get away with it for small batch brewing but to find an immersion sous vide unit that can handle a five to ten gallon batch of wort would be expensive. It's far easier to just use a calibrated thermometer IMHO.

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Old 07-03-2013, 03:29 PM   #3
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would not boil off dms. Sous Vide is a great tool, don't think it has much application in brewing.

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Old 07-06-2013, 10:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramitt
would not boil off dms. Sous Vide is a great tool, don't think it has much application in brewing.
+1, doesn't seem very practical for brewing purposes.

However, I'm thinking I might be able to use my HERMS for sous vide cooking. I had a pork belly cooked that way once and it was pretty incredible.
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:08 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by microbusbrewery View Post
+1, doesn't seem very practical for brewing purposes.

However, I'm thinking I might be able to use my HERMS for sous vide cooking. I had a pork belly cooked that way once and it was pretty incredible.
I would think that would work. Long term I plan to build an eHLT to double as a water oven.
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:19 PM   #6
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You also need a long, vigorous boil in order get the bittering compounds from hops into your beer.

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Old 07-08-2013, 02:11 AM   #7
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Sweet, this is what I was after. But I was also thinking, what if you were brewing from extract and first infused the extract, with say fruit peel or spices for a long period(say 12 hours); then used that extract and brewed as normal?

Surely there would be a considerable amount of flavour left at the completion if brewing?

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Old 07-08-2013, 03:44 AM   #8
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Sweet, this is what I was after. But I was also thinking, what if you were brewing from extract and first infused the extract, with say fruit peel or spices for a long period(say 12 hours); then used that extract and brewed as normal?

Surely there would be a considerable amount of flavour left at the completion if brewing?

It might be worth experimenting, but my hunch is you'll lose a lot when you go to boil. Fruit and spice compounds are typically fairly volatile, that's why they're usually added at the very end of the boil or post-boil.
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Old 07-08-2013, 04:17 AM   #9
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I work as a chef and own the PolyScience Sous-Vide Professional immersion circulator.
For those that aren't familiar, it's a PID, a heating element, and an impeller in one waterproof unit that attaches to the side of a pot or vessel and maintains a precise temperature between room temp and 200° F to a tenth of a degree.
I cook a lot of things sous vide in vacuum bags, but just this past weekend used it for my mash.
I put my grain into a few muslin bags and a nylon hop bag around the circulator and executed a beautiful stepped mash for a scotch ale. It took less than five minutes to get four gallons from 120 to 140, and three minutes to get from 142 to 152.
My immersion circulator retails for $800 new at Williams Sonoma, I got mine for almost half that after industry discounts.
I briefly considered mashing grains in water vacuumed into bags, but one thing sous vide cooking is definitely not is a green practice. It's a lot of plastic bags and a lot of water. It requires almost 3:1 waterbath to product by weight and when that product also contains water, well, that's a lot of water.
I would like to try it once with a small batch, but this is only possible because I also own a vacuum chamber which maintains even chamber pressure without sucking all the liquid out of the bag in the vacuuming process. A countertop FoodSaver won't get the job done.
I would like to do a variety of 1 gallon batches though.

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Old 07-09-2013, 02:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by technicoloraudio View Post
I work as a chef and own the PolyScience Sous-Vide Professional immersion circulator.
For those that aren't familiar, it's a PID, a heating element, and an impeller in one waterproof unit that attaches to the side of a pot or vessel and maintains a precise temperature between room temp and 200° F to a tenth of a degree.
I cook a lot of things sous vide in vacuum bags, but just this past weekend used it for my mash.
I put my grain into a few muslin bags and a nylon hop bag around the circulator and executed a beautiful stepped mash for a scotch ale. It took less than five minutes to get four gallons from 120 to 140, and three minutes to get from 142 to 152.
My immersion circulator retails for $800 new at Williams Sonoma, I got mine for almost half that after industry discounts.
I briefly considered mashing grains in water vacuumed into bags, but one thing sous vide cooking is definitely not is a green practice. It's a lot of plastic bags and a lot of water. It requires almost 3:1 waterbath to product by weight and when that product also contains water, well, that's a lot of water.
I would like to try it once with a small batch, but this is only possible because I also own a vacuum chamber which maintains even chamber pressure without sucking all the liquid out of the bag in the vacuuming process. A countertop FoodSaver won't get the job done.
I would like to do a variety of 1 gallon batches though.

Thanks for the input dude! I'm a chef also, and just couldn't help but think immersion circulators MAY somehow have a place in brewing. What you did sounds like a good, practical way to apply the technology. Will definetly look into it further!

Cheers
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