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Old 09-25-2010, 10:14 PM   #1
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Default Rapid Fermentation, and better Taste?

I was reading the following Article from the American Society for Microbiology, (http://aem.asm.org/cgi/reprint/30/6/970.pdf)
for everyone who doesn't feel like reading the whole article, it basically states that through using a giant Stir Plate and stir bar rotating at 160rpm, they were able to reduce fermenting time from 7 Days to 4 Days. (see fig. 1)



This is what the study says about taste:

Quote:
"Flavor evaluations were conducted with a taste panel of five members by comparing the test brew with a control, which was stationary microbrew. Two taste tests were run on separate days."

"The aroma and taste of the rapidly microbrewed beer were judged as acceptable or better than those of the stationary, microbrewed,control beer."
So according to this study it reduced fermenting time and produced a better tasting beer...

If this is true then why isn't everyone using a stir plate during fermentation?

Did anyone try this before? What were your results?
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Old 09-25-2010, 10:20 PM   #2
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For me, I don't brew to get beer as fast as possible. I brew as a hobby and hobbies are supposed to kill time. However in the same amount of time I could develop my skills faster...

The one thing that turns me off is a large enough stir bar would most likely gouge plastice pales leaving nice homes for bacteria and other infectious microbe.

Same with a carboy...I can't imagine how much force that large of a stirbar requires to swirl, but I think if it ever got thrown it could turn a carboy into a pipe bomb.

Also I am curious to see how much power it would take (electrically) to turn a stir bar in a 5 gallon batch...I assume it is more than a <20 A circuit can provide

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Old 09-25-2010, 11:35 PM   #3
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I'm inclined to view this with skepticism, except as something that might be applied to commercial brewing. As the previous post said, I'm just not in that much of a hurry. It's all too American to want to get things done in a hurry, in the most expeditious manner possible. This may be fine & dandy in a business or work setting, but brewing isn't work to me, and the day it becomes that way, I'll have done my last batch.

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Old 09-26-2010, 12:27 AM   #4
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So, one thing to remember is different yeast strains like to do different things--some like to sink, some like to flocculate, some like to stay immersed, etc. Forcing a yeast in to suspension as a stir plate would do will change the cogengers, esters, and profile depending on the yeast. So, if the experiment used Notty (Go Team Nottingham Yeast!) it would probably create a more neutral, better tasting brew--cause when I use Notty that's what I want, a more rapid, less estery fermentation. If I was gonna use say a Belgian yeast, having a more rapid fermentation may not create those Belgian flavors.

TL;DR: it depends on your yeast.

ps Germelli1 all my stir bars are teflon coated, they couldn't scratch warm butter. And I really, really doubt it would even take 100 watts, since my 2000+ gallon per hour magnetic pond pump takes less than 500 watts.

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Old 09-26-2010, 12:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by japhroaig View Post

ps Germelli1 all my stir bars are teflon coated, they couldn't scratch warm butter. And I really, really doubt it would even take 100 watts, since my 2000+ gallon per hour magnetic pond pump takes less than 500 watts.
Those are good points you bring up. Thanks for the info on my questions!
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Old 09-26-2010, 04:32 AM   #6
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Sounds like its time for an experiment. I have a lab stir plate and a 1.5 inch stir bar. I've used it in a 1 gallon jug. It got a vortex going. It took a little more time to get started, but the momentum built up and the little air tornado appeared.

I'm on a 20# lift limit now. I should be off of it in a few days. Then I can move the carboys around.

Jason

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Old 09-26-2010, 05:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason.mundy View Post
Sounds like its time for an experiment. I have a lab stir plate and a 1.5 inch stir bar. I've used it in a 1 gallon jug. It got a vortex going. It took a little more time to get started, but the momentum built up and the little air tornado appeared.

I'm on a 20# lift limit now. I should be off of it in a few days. Then I can move the carboys around.

Jason
Just make sure not to oxydize yer wort, that *will* make it taste bad. I didn't read the entire paper to see how they kept their wort under inert gas, but I think that really is the only fair way to do it. Then again, maybe the gas from the wort keeps it sealed enough, even with a stirrer. Then again, maybe the slight oxidation found in English ales benefited the agitated sample...

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Old 09-26-2010, 11:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by japhroaig View Post
Just make sure not to oxydize yer wort, that *will* make it taste bad. I didn't read the entire paper to see how they kept their wort under inert gas, but I think that really is the only fair way to do it. Then again, maybe the gas from the wort keeps it sealed enough, even with a stirrer. Then again, maybe the slight oxidation found in English ales benefited the agitated sample...

Scientists, prepare to deploy Experiments!
I think that the whole point of a stir plate is to allow more oxygen to contact the wort. Isn't it the increased oxygen that is needed to increase yeast production?
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Old 09-26-2010, 01:20 PM   #9
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Thanks for posting this very interesting article. It was done with one specific strain of yeast that they fermented at 12C (53.6F), however at the end of the article they state that there was another similar experiment with a different strain of yeast fermenting at 18C (64.4F) that produced similar results.

I would bet my next paycheck that many commercial brewers are following these experiments closely. I hope that someone on this forum does their own experiment brewing the same recipe, stirring one during fermentation, and letting the other ferment normally. It would be interesting to see the result.

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Old 09-26-2010, 01:43 PM   #10
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I read the article. The one thing that disturbs me is the increase in diacetyl. Maybe they didn't give the yeast time to clean up their mess after the fermentation was complete.

Another is that the tests were using 100ml and 2.4L volumes. The largest test they performed was in a container about the size of a growler.

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