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-   -   4 day old Wheat beer on tap! - without lots of yeast! (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/4-day-old-wheat-beer-tap-without-lots-yeast-180979/)

pjj2ba 06-04-2010 04:18 PM

4 day old Wheat beer on tap! - without lots of yeast!
Lately I've been thinking about quick, fresh beers, partly inspired by the Vietnamese Bai Hoi. I like to experiment. Well I just brewed a wheat beer on Sunday, and tapped it last night, after just 4 days. I am very pleased. I have some photos, and will take some more and upload later.

The main stumbling block to me with brewing a quick beer is how to deal with all of the yeast. There is an awfull lot of suspended yeast in a young beer, especially a wheat. This could lead to some gasy situations. Apparently for the Bai Hoi, they do filter it. That is not an option for me (right now). Well being a biologist and having acess to science "stuff" a came up with an idea and am pleased to report that so far it appears to have worked. I won't know all of the details until I kick the keg (2.5 gal) and can look inside.

First off, I fermented this beer in the keg and served from the same keg. NO transfers. I brewed 7 gal of wheat on Sunday, and 5 went into a carboy and 2 went into the keg. The gravity was a little high, so I diluted the keg version with a little distilled water. Unfortunately we had family over for the Holidays and I was cooking too, so I didn't get a gravity reading of the diluted wort. The main batch was 1.054, I'm guessing the gravity was probably around 1.048.

The keg was sealed up. The next morning I lifted the relief valve and got a nice little hiss. My plan was to ferment under pressure, but my relief valves hadn't arrived yet. Every so often on Memorial day, I would relieve the pressure. I left the valve open overnight and during the next day. After work (Tues.) my valves had arrived so I put the 5 psi valve on. The beer is fermenting at 64 F. Late Wed. evening, I took the 5 psi valve off, and put a 15 psi valve on. Thursday morning I put the keg in my kegerator. Thurs. night I come home, hooked up the tap, and poured a nice tasting pint of 96 hr old beer! Extremely refreshing! Very well carbed. I quick bottled up 3 swing tops and took them to dinner at a BYOB place.

Oh yeah, how did I deal with all of that yeast? The 5 gal in the carboy is milky white with yeast, but this looked like a typical "aged" wheat. I cheated and used my science "stuff", which is in fact - dialysis tubing. This is commonly used in labs during protein purification. Say your protein is in a buffer solution with high salt, and you want it in a buffer with low salt. The cure for this is to dialyze it. Dialysis tube is semi-permeable. Large molecules, like proteins (and yeast) cannot pass through the membrane, but salts and water (and sugars as well). Put the hight salt protein solution in the tubing and seal it up and then place it in a large volume of low salt buffer. Eventually it will come to equilibrium with the external buffer. So I took about 3 ft of some dialysis tubing (~ 1 in. dia.), rinsed it in Starsan, tied off the bottom, filled it halfway with distilled water, added a packet of Safale 05 (for 2 gal.!) and tied the other end off. I sloshed it around a bit, and tossed it into the keg!

One reason to fill with distilled water is that typically the high salt (or sugar) is inside the tubing, and after dialyzing, the tubes can swell a little. since I had yeast inside that would be multiplying I wanted to make sure there was plenty of room and it wouldn't swell up and burst. That being said, a little of yeast may have gotten out at the end when putting it in the tubing. It is slippery stuff to work with. I say this because I haven't been able to get a good hydrometer reading yet. It is too bubbly. I let a sample sit out while at dinner to degas, but it was still too bubbly when we got home. Even this morning it was too bubbly, which suggests to me that some yeast has gotten out (or was never in). Best guess is the OG is around 1.012 - but evolving. I'll have to wait until the keg is kicked to see the status of the tubing and whether it is intact or not. I think it is intact because the was not enough yeast in the beers I've poured, especially compared to how the 5 gal batch looks (have pictures).

One possible side benefit to this, is that if one allows enough room to the yeast to grow, than conceivibly, one could simply lift the tubing out, and put it into a fresh batch of wort - no trub! I may try this next weekend and do another 7 gal. batch - probably a pale ale this time.

Now not everyone has some dialysis tubing around so I've been looking around for a more common substitute. After a few more batches this way, I want to try a fiborous sausage casing - the kind for a summer sausage. A collagen or natural casing, like for a typical, brat won't be strong enough I think. I did a little looking and the fibrous casing might be semi permeable enough. If someone happens to have a casing and could test this that would be great. To test this, fill it partly with some very salt water, remove as much air as possible and tie it up. Now put it in a large pot of tap water. If the casing is semi-permeable, then the casing will swell as water moves into the casing. Also the water in the pot should then also get salty. This might take overnight though. If this is a go, then we have to hope that the pores are too small for the yeast to pass

maskednegator 06-04-2010 04:46 PM

That is fantastic.

jrfuda 06-04-2010 06:12 PM

Wow! Sugar goes in the yeast-filled tubing, alcohol comes out and th @#&$@ stays in the tubing. You were really thinking outside the box. All y'all HBS owners need to start sourcing this stuff!

weirdboy 06-04-2010 06:32 PM

Wow I just started looking up prices for dialysis tubing, and holy crap is that stuff expensive.

MgMt_Home_Brew 06-04-2010 06:49 PM

this is really interesting stuff.

weirdboy 06-04-2010 07:22 PM

OK, so after looking at what the dialysis membrane does and how it works, could one hack a RO filter to do the same thing?

pjj2ba 06-04-2010 07:42 PM

I'm not sure. I'm not real up on RO filters. I know they have the filter portion and the ion-exchange canisters but I'm not sure how it all ordered. Obviously you want some stuff to pass through.

I "inherited" my tubing after my father-in-law died a couple years ago and we cleaned out his office and lab.

I am intrigued with the possibility that a FIBROUS sausage casing might work. I'm concerned that it might not be permeable enough. The real dialysis tubing is pretty tough stuff.

There might be some other stuff out there, that while not able to totally block yeast movement, might block most of it.

Back when I was doing more plant protein extractions, rather than using filter paper and squeezing that (which often broke) to get the "juice" out. A colleague was into sailing and gave me an ~16"X16" piece of sailcloth made out of some kind of synthetic material. Worked fabolously for this. I could squeeze like a som-b***h and it would keep most of the cell debris contained. Maybe something like this would work. Once could sew up (folded seams) some kind of pouch.

jrfuda 06-04-2010 07:49 PM

Good thought on the sausage casing, I think it's made from cellulose, which is the same as the Dialysis tubing.. might work and it's pretty cheap too.

weirdboy 06-04-2010 07:52 PM

OK the sailcloth comment gave me another idea....NYLON STOCKINGS.

pjj2ba 06-04-2010 08:15 PM

I'd be afraid the pore size of a some nylons would be too big. It is worth a shot though

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