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View Poll Results: What do you guys think about pressure fermentations? Time for a poll.
I've done it and I liked it just fine! 82 11.33%
I've done it, nothing wrong with it, but prefer normal fermentation techniques. 20 2.76%
I've done it, hate it, and never will do it again! 4 0.55%
I've never done it, but it is on my list! 539 74.45%
I've never done anything. I only brew beer in my mind. 79 10.91%
Voters: 724. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-06-2011, 02:09 AM   #1131
kpr121
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Wow that is asking alot. I'm not going to say that it can't be done because I've seen some people do some crazy things on here.

Silicon probably won't work. Use regular beerline (vinyl).

Yeast washing shouldn't be a problem. You can push sterile water into a kicked keg and then pull yeast slurry out.

Cleaning and sanitizing is where I thing it gets tricky. It will be nearly impossible to clean by simply pumping pbw in and out. Or at least it would take a whole bunch of rinsing.

Another issue that is worth mentioning is that you will be limited to you're brew selection, ie no dryhop no secondary additions, you would basically need to make only simple beers that are to be drank fairly quickly (don't want the beer sitting on trunk for a year) .

With all that being said, I would love to see you make this happen. (With pics) !

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Old 12-06-2011, 03:22 AM   #1132
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Help me think this through...

I just moved into a house, and previously have been doing everything in an apartment. I have been brewing large batches and keep about 35-40 gallons of beer fermenting or kegged at all times. In the past, I have fermented in carboys, buckets, and corny and 1/6 kegs because of limited space.

I am now able to get 3-4 sanky 1/2 kegs and have an idea for using a 7' tall crawl space under house to ferment.

The interesting thing is that it seems that the original entrance to the crawl space was sealed, and now there is only a small hatch in a closet to enter and exit.

There is enough room to get a keg down, and a window ac unit however.

I am thinking about building a foam insulated box that will hold 2-3 kegs and hook the ac unit up and a light bulb on a temp controller so that I can control the temp to 62-65 year round for fermenting ales. If this system worked, I would consider building another small chamber for lagering.

I would pump wort down to a clean fermenter through the beer out side. The gas in would be open to allow air to escape and beer enter. A spunding valve would then be attached to allow pressurized fermentation and so that the beer would be naturally carbed before serving.

After fermentation, I could transfer to another keg through the beer out using co2 to push.

I would catch the first 1/2 gallon in a gallon carboy for later yeast washing and trub removal. After the first gallon, I would use a filter to filter the beer before entering the second keg which would now become the serving vessel.

Next I suppose that I would pump 15 gallons of oxyclean down to keg, let it sit over night, and then flush with 8-10 gallons of water before filling with a sanitizer to be ready for the next batch.

1)Could i use the sanke adapted tap with a remote spunding valve for this?

2)Will the 3 stage cleaning do an adequate job for an unobserved and stationary clean?

3)Will catching a 1/2 gallon of the wort first, get the cake and trub to be saved for yeast washing?

4)Can u hook up a spunding valve 8 feet above keg to adjust and monitor?

5)What other issues and ideas can you add?

Knowing my curious nature, I expect that I will go down and check on it monthly, but over time maybe less...

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Old 12-07-2011, 10:40 PM   #1133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benbradford
I am thinking about building a foam insulated box that will hold 2-3 kegs and hook the ac unit up and a light bulb on a temp controller so that I can control the temp to 62-65 year round for fermenting ales. If this system worked, I would consider building another small chamber for lagering.

I would pump wort down to a clean fermenter through the beer out side. The gas in would be open to allow air to escape and beer enter. A spunding valve would then be attached to allow pressurized fermentation and so that the beer would be naturally carbed before serving.

After fermentation, I could transfer to another keg through the beer out using co2 to push.

I would catch the first 1/2 gallon in a gallon carboy for later yeast washing and trub removal. After the first gallon, I would use a filter to filter the beer before entering the second keg which would now become the serving vessel.

Next I suppose that I would pump 15 gallons of oxyclean down to keg, let it sit over night, and then flush with 8-10 gallons of water before filling with a sanitizer to be ready for the next batch.
I don't believe this to be a good idea... with the exception of if you could remove empty kegs for proper cleaning. Also that sounds like a lot of bent over work, but that is more of a "it's your preference" sort of thing. Let me address your following questions with a bit more detail on my opinions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by benbradford
1)Could i use the sanke adapted tap with a remote spunding valve for this?

2)Will the 3 stage cleaning do an adequate job for an unobserved and stationary clean?

3)Will catching a 1/2 gallon of the wort first, get the cake and trub to be saved for yeast washing?

4)Can u hook up a spunding valve 8 feet above keg to adjust and monitor?

5)What other issues and ideas can you add?

Knowing my curious nature, I expect that I will go down and check on it monthly, but over time maybe less...
1) A remote spunding valve is completely doable. I feel a length of hose from your tap connector to the spunding valve is completely OK.

2) No, Cleaning the way you described will not work. The way the kegs are shaped they can only be cleaned by taking them apart, unless you are the brewery with a keg washer. Then the keg would be cleaned and filled upside-down, which is the only way to get everything out of the keg (gas port is below the top of the keg when upside-down). Cleaning as you mentioned will leave you with a dirty keg.

3) No, it will get the little bit of yeast around the end of the dip-tube and any yeast/trub that gets stirred up during the transfer. You are better off transferring the whole thing through your filter and then washing the fermentor after the beer is gone for your yeast. Another good reason to have the keg removable so you can shake it up good after adding your wash water.

4) Yes

5) I think I would not do this, but if you do... I would make the kegs removable. I would fill them in place, transfer them to a floor level keg with a filter, and then I would remove the fermentor keg as stated before.
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:42 PM   #1134
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I would definitely build a way to easily get down there if it were me. Great place to store/age your beer.

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Old 12-08-2011, 12:53 AM   #1135
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Thanks Wortmonger.

I was hoping that you would reply and kind of just thought about "pm"ing you to get your insight.


Ya, I went down there last night and it is only about 5 feet tall, and kind od a pain in the a$$ to move around with a bad entrance... It really is the keg washing that is the issue I suppose...

What if i were to put a bulkhead in bottom of keg to drain from and wash from top through the bottom?

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Old 12-08-2011, 01:22 AM   #1136
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benbradford View Post
.

What if i were to put a bulkhead in bottom of keg to drain from and wash from top through the bottom?
to me that would be adding another point of failure. if the bulkhead isn't pressure rated and it fails you have beer everywhere
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Old 12-08-2011, 01:30 AM   #1137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mysticmead View Post
to me that would be adding another point of failure. if the bulkhead isn't pressure rated and it fails you have beer everywhere
^^This!^^

To me, it sounds like you have a really great place to age beer/wine/mead in smaller containers, but I would leave the bulky fermentors and things on ground level. It will just be easier that way. I like your idea about the a/c unit and the foam walls for down there though. Maybe you could put a serving station above and close to your stored beer underneath and make it a storage/serving cellar. You could always throw some washed and sanitized kegs down there to transfer into from the ground floor and really have a cellar.
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Old 12-08-2011, 02:30 AM   #1138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WortMonger View Post
^^This!^^

To me, it sounds like you have a really great place to age beer/wine/mead in smaller containers, but I would leave the bulky fermentors and things on ground level. It will just be easier that way. I like your idea about the a/c unit and the foam walls for down there though. Maybe you could put a serving station above and close to your stored beer underneath and make it a storage/serving cellar. You could always throw some washed and sanitized kegs down there to transfer into from the ground floor and really have a cellar.
Ya, I guessed that much about the pressure rating on another opening in keg.

So your idea is to ferment at ground level and then filter and push beer below to secondary keg for aging? I could then push it back up for transferring into serving kegs.

Or, are you saying that my three tap kegerator could be pulled apart to serve three kegs that are kept below? Could I just flush these kegs out without pulling apart to clean?

The idea sounds great. Brew, transfer to keg (probably fit in my current kegerator and be temp controlled) and ferment for 10-15 days under pressure before moving to keg in basement through filter and serving from there after it ages for whatever time chosen?
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Old 12-10-2011, 02:27 PM   #1139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benbradford
So your idea is to ferment at ground level and then filter and push beer below to secondary keg for aging? I could then push it back up for transferring into serving kegs.
Yes, exactly! If it were possible to have your serving faucets close enough to where you store the beer in the floor, then I would utilize the space as a true cellar and serve from there as well. This might mean more compartments or etc in your crawlspace to get you cellaring temperatures and serving temperatures, but that could be as simple as having the air conditioner in the serving chamber and a temperature controlled fan port into the cellaring chamber (ie computer fan hooked to a thermostat). Little more work, but how cool would it be to have all that stuff in the floor and utilize the topside for fermentation and cleaning.
Quote:
Or, are you saying that my three tap kegerator could be pulled apart to serve three kegs that are kept below? Could I just flush these kegs out without pulling apart to clean?
You could use your kegerator with as many taps as you had kegs to serve below. I would pull and clean every keg, every time. I know you are looking at it from a point of view of thinking it easier to leave the kegs down there, but to get the kegs truly clean they need to be on the floor level. I fill my kegs a little past the halfway point with oxy or PBW and let it sit upside-down for a time determined by just how dirty it was from fermentation. Sometimes it is a whole day, then I flip it right-side-up for another day. Serving kegs, I let sit an hour each side and flip.

I always rinse with regular water immediately after emptying the cleaner and then follow that rinse with a vinegar water rinse. Then I rinse with regular water, fill with about a gallon of Star-San solution, and seal everything up. I then purge with CO2, tap the keg with a unmodified tap connector, and serve the Star-San into a container to use later or another keg. There is always a little pressure left so I untap, flip the keg upside-down, let it sit a while to drain everything towards the top of the keg, then retap (this time with a modified tap connector; gas check valve removed and spigot attached to sanitize it while draining the dip tube clean of any remaining sanitizer) to sneeze the remaining sanitizer out of the keg and dip tube.
Quote:
The idea sounds great. Brew, transfer to keg (probably fit in my current kegerator and be temp controlled) and ferment for 10-15 days under pressure before moving to keg in basement through filter and serving from there after it ages for whatever time chosen?
I think this is a great idea. You can then use your kegerator as a fermentation chamber, run your serving lines from the crawlspace to the kegerator, and still serve from it. I would wrap the serving lines with insulation so they will be at the cooler temps of the serving chamber in the crawlspace as they run through the fermentation temperatures of the kegerator. Then, like I said before, you can have as many lines as you need running from the crawlspace to your taps. Talk about uni-tasking! Or, you could make a nice serving cabinet and have the kegerator completely empty to use for more fermentation space. The possibilities are endless.
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Old 12-12-2011, 01:55 AM   #1140
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I just won the grand prize in the raffle at the St Louis Brews Holiday Homebrew Competition. It was a Brewhemoth with all the bells and whistles (tri-clamps, pressurizer, chiller coil, even valves for a ready-to-go rig). Thanks to Josh and Dale for the fantastic donation.

I plan to install a spunding valve and run some pressurized fermentations, I am really intrigued by the method and am hoping it will give me results more like commercial craft brews that have excellent malt flavor. My only indecision is whether to make the adjustable spunding valve with gauge, or simply replace the 50psi relief valve on the pressurizer with 15psi relief valve.

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