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Old 06-08-2012, 02:08 PM   #11
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Fantastic!

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Old 06-08-2012, 02:16 PM   #12
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I would recommend pressurizing the keg (or other fermentation vessel) manually when you attach the valve. Setting the blowoff point immediately rather than allowing the keg to come up on it's own. The reason being that if you should miss your window things can get ugly. Worse case scenario being someone getting hurt, but even apart from that it can be difficult to establish the equilibrium afterwords... You end up having to blow it down manually, etc. I would further recommend checking it with EVERY use. These things are temperamental and require precise calibration to function properly. Any little knock or bump or flap of a butterfly's wings can change the set point when it is not under pressure.

I know that sounds kind of like I am poo-pooing the thing, PLEASE don't take it that way! I love it! Now, it is true that by adding a little pressure when capping your fermentor that you are going against the rheinheitsgebot, which is surely why you don't see the method I mentioned being championed by German purists, but it really does work better (IMO). The little bit of CO2 that is added is going to be the first to be blown off anyway, so that which is actually carbonating the beer will be entirely or almost entirely from the yeast activity anyway.

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Old 06-08-2012, 02:37 PM   #13
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Right - that is why I said watch it like a newborn. I would never pressurize anything without watching it at least a couple times a day. Usually you have a few days before you come up to ideal pressure in the fermenter. I don't spund in a keg so I imagine that's probably a different story.

If you're not following the RHGB - then using CO2 is just fine. I am trying to follow it. The new revisions say you're allowed to top off but not use external CO2 for primary carbonation.

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Old 06-13-2012, 12:03 AM   #14
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Anyone thought of a digitally controllable valve? Cheap? No, but there's got to be something out there that would work. I'm thinking of something on the lines of an Asco solenoid valve that could be monitored and controlled remotely.

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Old 06-13-2012, 12:17 AM   #15
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You could probably automate it with a digital pressure sensor and a stepper motor controlled by an Arduino. The stepper motor can turn the knob to adjust the pressure. Sounds like a fun project.

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Old 06-13-2012, 12:20 AM   #16
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You could always install a safety relief valve with a tee. Or you just use the relief valve on the keg but I think they start to vent at about 100 psi. Which at that point the beer would be extremely carbonated and I would think that most of the beer would blow off.

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Old 06-13-2012, 12:20 AM   #17
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I don't think it would be particularly difficult but I question about how smart it would be. There are some things that probably shouldn't be automated and it's debatable if this is one of them. At least if you're going to do it better put a safety valve somewhere.

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Old 06-13-2012, 02:16 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcaudill View Post
I don't think it would be particularly difficult but I question about how smart it would be. There are some things that probably shouldn't be automated and it's debatable if this is one of them. At least if you're going to do it better put a safety valve somewhere.
I was about to say something of this effect. Electronic stuff does fail sometimes, and if it did in a case like this... well, the results could be fatal. No thanks.
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:28 PM   #19
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With the spunding valve you'd still need to have a regulator for each keg in your set up just to prevent a constant ventilation of CO2 for brews that want lower than your primary regulator is set for, correct?

Or am I not correctly understanding what this is for? Is it used more like an airlock on a carboy?

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Old 06-13-2012, 04:34 PM   #20
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If you're spunding, your regulator is not hooked up. Fermentation is taking care of co2. The valve is the regulator.

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