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Old 12-30-2009, 04:29 AM   #1
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Default Pressurized Fermentation Near Disaster

So I brewed a 10 gallon batch of APA on Sunday. All in all things went pretty well. This is my second batch of pressurized fermentation, and have been reading the thread on it which is awesome. Anyway

Day 1, Irish Red that I brewed was chugging along as expected but the pressure gauge still read 0

Day 2, Still read 0 in the morning which I though was really weird

This evening I went down it it was still at 0 so i started searching around and realized that I never put the sanke lever down and all the pressure was trapped inside the keg. I immediately put the lever down and the picnic tap turned into a foam fountain and had to pinch the line to make it stop.

Bottom line is that the gauge still read over 60 PSI after I let a lot of pressure out of it. At what point would this have become a bomb?

Also, it's going to be interesting to see if the beer turns out OK. Supposedly pressures over 14 PSI produce diacetyl and more green apple? If so this should turn out terrible. Also I may have killed all the yeast with the pressure drop. Anyway, could make for a very interesting experiment. If people are interested I'll update the thread with the results. I pull a sample that is very carbonated at the moment for a gravity reading.

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Old 12-30-2009, 03:30 PM   #2
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You said this is a Sanke correct??? You better keep venting off that pressure... Supposedly the max recommended pressure on a Sankey is 60PSI...

I think you are going to definitely produce a ton of Diacetyl in this beer, but keep going full term with it... if you don't you'll never know... keep us updated for sure.

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Old 12-30-2009, 04:05 PM   #3
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The outcome of this could be very interesting; I will be following this one.

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Old 12-30-2009, 04:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aarondrich View Post
Bottom line is that the gauge read over 60 PSI after I let a lot of pressure out of it.
I'm just glad the valve didn't fail and launch the spear through your ceiling. High pressure is no joke!

At over 4 bar of top pressure and after such a rapid depressurization, consider it a learning experience. At this point, I would slowly lower the pressure over a few hours and see if the fermentation is still active. If not, pitch new yeast.

Edit: I added a warning to the pressurized fermentation thread.
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Last edited by lamarguy; 12-30-2009 at 04:38 PM. Reason: Added warning.
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Old 12-30-2009, 04:33 PM   #5
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I imagine that you are probably within 1.024-1.032 range... hopefully the rapid depressurization did not kill the yeast, but if it did try pitching in an active starter and cross your fingers...

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Old 12-30-2009, 05:43 PM   #6
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i've often worried about this. as for forgetting to do stuff, i forgot to put the little ball back into the tap to prevent beer from flowing back into the fermenter. Not dangerous like your mistake, but important IMO to not contaminate your beer with beer that you've pumped out through the tap for samples/gravity readings. I guess ultimately this method involves more that can be overlooked.

Nice save, hope it turns out drinkable.

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Old 12-31-2009, 01:23 AM   #7
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Yep, you have to release the pressure or you get a bomb! In my trials with this technique I let the pressure ramp up uncontrolled... once!!! After that, the only time I am not controlling pressure is when I want to carbonate. Always have the pressure venting from the get go! Glad you weren't hurt. I did talk about this in the thread, but I am sure accidents are gonna happen. In reality, the pressure would have been excepted into the beer and yeast would die before it exploded, but 60 psi is still really high for a Sanke. 60 psi was the head pressure, not the carbonated beer and head pressure. Still, you will probably have very untasty beer, but check it to see.

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Old 12-31-2009, 02:17 PM   #8
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Wortmonger, do you have any idea as to what off flavors would be in the beer? Sounds like you did this once, what does untasty mean?

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Old 12-31-2009, 02:34 PM   #9
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Why not use a calibrated pressure relief valve? My father in-law uses a 1.5 bar relief valve in his fermenter. However that fermenter is 150L.

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Old 12-31-2009, 03:04 PM   #10
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That's affectively what I am using, I just didn't correctly hook it up

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