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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Closed-system pressurized fermentation technique!
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! 83 11.16%
I've done it, nothing wrong with it, but prefer normal fermentation techniques. 21 2.82%
I've done it, hate it, and never will do it again! 4 0.54%
I've never done it, but it is on my list! 556 74.73%
I've never done anything. I only brew beer in my mind. 80 10.75%
Voters: 744. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-10-2013, 07:54 AM   #1791
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Originally Posted by Borgstrom View Post
I've read through most of this thread over the past few months and decided to give this approach a try on my next brew day. I've got one question (probably more later) on the process: what's the most effective way of pitching yeast? I've seen two approaches mentioned here:

1. Remove spear, transfer wort to keg/fermenter, pitch yeast, re-insert spear. Issue with this is you are not purely closed-system from kettle to fermenter; plus dealing with a sanke keg spear is a big unknown for me so I'm not sure if it will cause issues when trying to close it back up. Not sure if either is really an issue.

2. Pitch yeast into chilled wort in brew kettle (I use an immersion chiller), then transfer to keg/fermenter through tap's beer-out port. Issue with this is I'll be using a hop filter on the kettle output; I'm thinking the filter might block some yeast, especially if gummed up with hop & break.

I'm still in system-testing mode; my spunding valve seems to be controlling pressure nicely:
Spears are easy to remove and reinstall after you've done it a few times. I wouldn't pitch into the BK, but that's just me. If you really want to keep it a closed system starting at the BK for some reason, you could transfer, oxygenate, and pitch all through the coupler (with check valves removed). I don't really see an advantage to this, but it certainly can be done.

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Originally Posted by haeffnkr View Post
Hi All,

I have read through this thread and the majority of the people do not cut the dip tubes, but I dont understand why?

I have about 1 to 1 1/2" of yeast and trub in my 6.5 gallon fermenters.
I usually scale up my recipes to finish at 6.75 gallons of wort in the kettle so that end up with 5 gallons of clear beer in my serving keg.

So with this pressurized system if I dont cut the sanke spear short I will get pint(s) of sludge any time I try to get a sample or when I transfer.

Please help me understand this process.

thanks Kevin
I don't take samples, but if I did I suppose that could be a little bit of a pain. As far as sludge during transfer, it's only the tiny portion of the yeast cake close to the diptube that gets sucked in, and then it runs clear. Depending on how flocculent the yeast is, how long the fermentation was, and whether or not I cold crash, I only get 2-6 oz of yeasty beer before it runs clear. I start out with my outgoing hose stuck in an empty jar or bottle, open the valve to let the yeasty stuff drain into that, and then close the valve and connect to my serving keg as soon as it starts running clear. The last few ounces in the keg will also be yeasty. I just watch the transfer tubing, and disconnect it as soon as it turns cloudy. If I'm paying close attention, hardly any yeast makes it into the serving keg. And as mentioned above, if some yeast does get by, it's not the end of the world.

As for reasons not to cut the spear, the ones mentioned above pretty much cover everything.
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Old 07-26-2013, 11:17 PM   #1792
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So I have read a bunch of the stuff here and am getting ready to start pressure brewing. But I have one question how long do you let the beer sit after primary fermentation for carbonation.

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Old 07-27-2013, 03:18 PM   #1793
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You could always hit it with the FiZZ GiZ 'n enjoy it right away.

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Old 07-30-2013, 12:40 PM   #1794
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Originally Posted by mchase79
So I have read a bunch of the stuff here and am getting ready to start pressure brewing. But I have one question how long do you let the beer sit after primary fermentation for carbonation.
Mine sits after primary for as long as is necessary to fall clear. I'm carbonated during the tail end of primary and usually have to let pressure out during the crash cool.
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:29 AM   #1795
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2 questions please -

People have no issues with a picnic tap and the 30 ish pounds pressure created with this process, when the picnic tap is used to sample the beer/fermentation?
I saw one post where a guy lost his whole batch to a failed picnic tap and 20 pounds of pressure.

Next question-
When transferring out of the sanke I will draw off the yeast/beer until it runs clear ....then put it in the serving corny kegs.
Then what?
Do you stop right before you empty the fermenter in order to not blow the remaining yeast back into the serving keg or is that not an issue like when you empty a serving keg...I assume it is?

thanks Kevin

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Old 08-05-2013, 06:32 AM   #1796
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haeffnkr
2 questions please -

People have no issues with a picnic tap and the 30 ish pounds pressure created with this process, when the picnic tap is used to sample the beer/fermentation?
I saw one post where a guy lost his whole batch to a failed picnic tap and 20 pounds of pressure.

Next question-
When transferring out of the sanke I will draw off the yeast/beer until it runs clear ....then put it in the serving corny kegs.
Then what?
Do you stop right before you empty the fermenter in order to not blow the remaining yeast back into the serving keg or is that not an issue like when you empty a serving keg...I assume it is?

thanks Kevin
1. No problems with the picnic tap (but I do put hose clamps on them to be safe). I brewed a saison a few weeks a go, it sat at 45psi at 85*F for three weeks until I was ready to keg it with out issue. The sankey tap has a pressure release that will blow excess pressure at 55psi as a fail safe.

2. Yes. I usually only have to pour off about half a glass. / Brew a batch larger then your kegs and then you stop when the keg is full and don't reach the sediment (then drink the rest right out of the fermenter or bottle it with a BMBF). Even if you reach the yeast, only a little will actually get picked up. It won't blow the whole cake because it is compacted, especially if you cold crash.
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:28 AM   #1797
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New to forum, so forgive me if I immediately broke every form of forum etiquette. I decided to take the plunge into pressure fermentation. I made a fancy contraption that my friends said I would be greedy not to share with the world. My setup might be pretty straight forward, but I haven't seen many people sharing the whole rig in action.

20130806_212931.jpg

20130806_212917.jpg

-It's a typical pin lock 5 gal keg, full length dip tube.
-Stubby cobra tap for taking gravity readings. Yadda yadda...

So coming from the gas out:

-Gas connection leading to more than enough hosing.
-Connects to a pool filter with a spare piece of 1/2" silicon tubing.
-Homemade spunding valve made from cross fitting, pressure gauge and adjustable release valve.
-The 4th connection on the cross leads to a shutoff/check valve that connects to a hose and gas connection.
Why the second gas connection you ask? WHY NOT. No it's so I can carbonate a second keg with the pressure if I wanted. I haven't tried it, but it'll work in theory right??? I don't plan on fully carbonating with it, but I suppose anything helps.

The whole thing was pretty straight forward to construct. The few problems I ran into were:
-I used an oil filled gauge, which is excessive and I suspect is giving me incorrect readings.
-The pool filter is plastic so I used extreme care when threading onto it.
-The check/shutoff valve had issues threading onto the brass cross. Is there something I don't know? I noticed the system had a leak and so I submerged the thing under water and looked for the bubbles. BAM, it was the damn check valve, I added more tape and cranked down on it. Fixed.

The hoses are all barbed to the standard flare thread, easy cleaning. The pool filter conveniently uses NPT for the two connections and has a nice little ring mount for the filter that the 1/2" tubing fits snuggly into. The silicon tubing isn't really necessary, or even at all. But I had less than a foot of expensive 1/2" silicon tubing I couldn't bring myself to toss out. I also could fill it with liquid and use it as an airlock?


First run. I brewed a batch smaller than normal and filled the keg to a few inches below the gas tube. I've encountered almost no blow off. The only blowoff material I saw was when I was skeptical that it was even fermenting so I cranked up the pressure. Built to nearly 20PSI, I panicked and released it down to about 5psi, in the process it spat some foam out the gas tube, oops but no big deal. I think the next I'll be less conservative with headspace.

Questions I have:
-I've seen a handful of pressures and regimes that people use. Input?
-I've seen people increase pressure as fermentation progressed. Should I change pressure in proportion to gravity changes?
-If it gets hotter, should I compensate with more pressure?
-Is there such a thing as too much pressure? Physical limitations aside.

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Old 08-07-2013, 07:28 AM   #1798
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toastadidaly View Post
Why the second gas connection you ask? WHY NOT. No it's so I can carbonate a second keg with the pressure if I wanted. I haven't tried it, but it'll work in theory right??? I don't plan on fully carbonating with it, but I suppose anything helps.

-I've seen people increase pressure as fermentation progressed. Should I change pressure in proportion to gravity changes?
-If it gets hotter, should I compensate with more pressure?
-Is there such a thing as too much pressure? Physical limitations aside.
Nice setup!

In order:

I wouldn't use the CO2 produced from the most active stages of fermentation to carbonate other beer. It contains a lot of volatiles and other things that can contribute to off flavors. Even if you wanted to do that, that setup wouldn't work very well, since you'd need the spunding valve (or an additional spunding valve) to be on the exit side of the keg you're trying to carbonate. Simply hooking it up to the line you have now could easily result in dangerous pressures building up in both kegs. If you want to carbonate naturally using the CO2 produced from fermentation, simply crank the spunding valve up to the appropriate pressure once fermentation is winding down.

The only times I increase the pressure is when I want to carbonate the beer using the tail end of fermentation.

I'd work on getting good temperature control rather than trying to compensate for poor temp control in other ways. Fermenting under pressure can reduce some of the off flavors associated with higher temps, but it's very strain dependent, and too much pressure will cause other off flavors.

Yes. Higher pressures during the most active parts of fermentation can stress the yeast and cause them to produce off flavors. Most breweries that ferment under pressure keep things under 15 psi for the first few days of active fermentation. I've also read that it's important to keep the pressure under 35 psi at all times if you plan on harvesting/washing yeast, since the higher pressures can cause unwanted mutations. I've never tested that theory myself, so I'm not sure how much truth there is to it.
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Old 08-07-2013, 04:09 PM   #1799
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I'm on day 3 of my first pressurized fermentation; everything seems to be going well so far. The Sanke keg spear removal/replacement was kind of a pain but manageable. I've got the spunding valve set at 4psi.

What is the consensus on pressure profiles? I've heard some say to ramp up pressure a few PSI per day, others say keep it low until you want to carbonate, others say to reduce pressure when you cold crash. I plan to carbonate in the keg, and then transfer to serving keg and/or bottle with counter-pressure filler after cold crashing.

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Old 08-08-2013, 04:02 AM   #1800
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So if I am understanding this correctly, if you find a way to cold crash your whole conical you can drink fresh carbonated beer straight from your conical!?!?! Here is what I am thinking:

If you have a conical that can pressure ferment such as the Brewhemoth, then why cant you dump the yeast regularly to avoid the packed yeast cake, cold crash the conical, attach your tap to the racking port, and dispense your fresh beer? (This is all after the proper fermentation periods of course). I mean how cool would it be to drink fresh carbonated beer right from your sexy conical?!?!


The Brewhemoth with its spunding valve will allow the brew to self carbonate as it ferments so all that is needed then is to cool the brew and serve right?

I am taking this idea from the Williams Warn Personal Brewery as this is generally how their product works.

What are your thoughts? Has anyone tried this?

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