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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 11.34%
I've done it, nothing wrong with it, but prefer normal fermentation techniques. 20 2.77%
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! 538 74.41%
I've never done anything. I only brew beer in my mind. 79 10.93%
Voters: 723. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-07-2012, 11:39 AM   #1561
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First and foremost, props to Wortmonger. It took me days to get through this thread. I am amazed by the positive comments that abound through all one hundred some pages. I have never seen a thread, of any kind anywhere, with so much enthusiasm and lack of rants anywhere. The energy here, all focused on a common goal of great beer, is just awesome! The ingenuity, ideas, and more than anything, positive reinforcement is just touching. (no, I'm not crying nor am I drunk... A little buzzed? Yes)

As for myself, I built three spunding valves and plan to start this once I get a couple more couplers and kegs. Exciting! Keep up the good work!

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Old 09-08-2012, 11:20 AM   #1562
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Thanks, your response is exactly how I wanted the thread to be taken and continued. I am just so happy it is still going on after the years, and seems to be well received by the majority. Keep up the information coming in guys. We want even more people to try this and contribute to our knowledge-base.

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Old 09-08-2012, 11:23 AM   #1563
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MalFet

Great! Just did a traditional English IPA (with dry hopping) in a corny. I'm probably twelve batches in and I see no reason to go back. I've been using a mass flow controller to automate and measure, which has been fun too!

Thanks for your work on this WortMonger!
Tell us more about the mass flow controller please, we want to know more about all the gadgets being used.
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Old 09-08-2012, 12:08 PM   #1564
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WortMonger View Post
Tell us more about the mass flow controller please, we want to know more about all the gadgets being used.
Of course!

It's a relatively simple device, and with a bit of vigilance you can get them used on eBay for less than $100. It's a gas flow meter tied to a proportional valve that allows you to precisely control the rate at which gas flows out of a system. If you pair it up with a pressure sensor and a controller of some sort, it works exactly like a spunding valve.

Definitely an over-engineered solution, and I'd only recommend it for people who like playing with this stuff. But, there are a couple of interesting perks:

1) By watching the rate of gas flow, you can see when exactly the fermentation starts slowing down and when it stops. My only regret in moving to pressurized fermentations is that I miss watching the bubbles in the airlock. This is a nice (and more precise) proxy for that.

2) With a bit of programming, you can automate the process. After I pitch my yeast, I pressurize my corny to a few PSI with oxygen to make sure the lid has seated properly. Then, I let it rise to 5 PSI once fermentation has started and vent the excess. But, once the fermentation starts slowing down, my fermentor controller automatically raises the temperature a couple of degrees and ramps the pressure up to whatever my carbonation target is.

3) I'm just starting to play around with this, but in theory it should be possible to calculate a beer's current gravity by tracking the total CO2 released. There are a few assumptions that go into math (the same ones used to estimate ABV from gravity readings), and I'm still looking at the data to see if this will work reliably. Initial results are promising though!
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Old 09-08-2012, 12:41 PM   #1565
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OMG that is the stuff we need to read about and see pictures of here! Too cool! Now I have to go research all the crud you just talked about to see if I need it too,

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Old 09-08-2012, 12:43 PM   #1566
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Quote:
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OMG that is the stuff we need to read about and see pictures of here! Too cool! Now I have to go research all the crud you just talked about to see if I need it too,
I'm going to do a full write-up once I get all the rough edges sanded off. In the meantime, I'm happy to answer any questions I can!
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Old 09-08-2012, 02:43 PM   #1567
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Thanks, and please post a link once you do. Interesting stuff there.

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Old 09-09-2012, 09:18 AM   #1568
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hi, awesome thread. i haven't even read a fraction of it yet, hopefully i will find the time soon. it's a bit odd sticking my project right after malfet's awesome write-up about calculating fermentation based on co2 output, but here goes. i'm looking for suggestions / critique. i have never done a pressurized ferment. my father and i were recently making a stand-alone peltier based temp control for fermenting in cornys (which looks horrific but works a treat):
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/my-ugly-peltier-temp-control-junk-350722/
and i mentioned making a spunding valve. he can't resist a challenge, and has a metal/plastic lathe, so he made this thing out of the existing pressure relief valve of a corny lid. it uses the existing plug and spring, with a metal collar to loosen the tension on the spring, all encased in a plastic collar that screws into the corny lid, and then has a screw that adjusts the tension of the spring. i tested it once on a pressurized keg, i could dial down to a set PSI, release the pressure, and when i re-pressurized it, it would return to the same psi. is this gonna work?? i also have a pressure gauge permanently fixed to a keg post, so i would ferment with the 'out' dip tube in place and the pressure gauge on the 'in' post. i guess that after cold crashing i would have to release pressure and swap out the pressure valve post for a regular in post for pushing the beer to the serving keg? not sure yet... if anyone has knocked together something similar could someone please point me in the right direction? i hate to post without first reading the whole thread but i don't have the time at the moment! and thanks in advance for any suggestions, or if you predict any problems or snags. (all photos f/1.8)

dsc_9176.jpg   dsc_9178.jpg   dsc_9179.jpg   dsc_9180.jpg   dsc_9181.jpg  

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Old 09-09-2012, 03:31 PM   #1569
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Nice DIY work! For your pressure gauge, you could connect it via a short piece of tubing to a regular Corney quick connect, that way you wouldn't have do any hardware reconfiguration when it's time to dispense.

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Old 09-09-2012, 05:35 PM   #1570
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Yep, gas is gas no matter the direction it is flowing. The gauge would not interfere with incoming CO2 and would even be neat to have right there in the keg during transfer.

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