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Old 01-30-2010, 01:35 AM   #1
IceFisherChris
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Mar 2009
Menomonie, WI
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Has anyone tested the effects of using a pressure cooker for beer brewing?
For instance, boiling your beer at 240 degrees (or whatever they run) to test for different hop utilization, flavors, etc. I'm not really interested in trying any of this, but I am just curious if anyone has ever experimented with using the higher temps of a pressure cooker.

I know about sanitation of equipment so that is insignificant to this thread.

 
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Old 01-30-2010, 04:00 PM   #2
jimwormold
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Apr 2009
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Coincidentally I have just made a Young's Special using a pressure cooker for boiling the hops. My motivation was to try and reduce the energy consumption of my brewing. I pressure cooked the hops for 40 minutes instead of the usual 90. It looked and tasted good afterwards, but I'll try to remember to update this thread when I've tried the finished product.

Fingers crossed!

 
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Old 01-31-2010, 02:02 AM   #3
RJSkypala
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Jun 2008
Philadelphia, PA
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This is very interesting, I have never thought of this...I guess you would only really be able to do bittering additions under pressure.

If this did work it might be interesting to pressure cook a bittering addition for 30 minutes and then relieve pressure and remove the top to proceed with a 60 minute boil, a kind of supercharged 90 minute hop schedule.

I am wondering if the temperature would bring out any undesireable compounds from the wort though.

 
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Old 01-31-2010, 02:11 AM   #4
jmp138
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Dec 2008
Pittsboro, NC
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It seems like you may have an issue with DMS brewing with the lid on at a high pressure. If you are using light grains like Pilsner, a 60 minute boil isn't really sufficient to drive off DMS anyways, so a 40 minute boil certainly wouldn't do it. Also boiling with the lid on allows the steam that you are creating to collect on the lid and recirculate into the boiling wort. This condensation contains DMS and its precursors which are not particularly good for your beer and would, I believe lend a sulfur quality to your brew.

But then there are some who say that issues with DMS are just way to overplayed and the homebrewer shouldn't be worried about it. I would just take issue with the lid being on.

 
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Old 01-31-2010, 02:50 AM   #5
smiths9312
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Jun 2009
raleigh
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DMS wouldnt' be a problem if using extract But if all grain, a longer boil and uncovered pot would promote better beer.

 
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:26 PM   #6
jkpq45
 
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Mar 2009
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NO!

Pressure cookers work by building up pressure and letting steam out of a safety overflow valve. Hi protein/sugar content foods (like beer) can foam up, clog the output and cause ther pressure cooker to explode in a million pieces of shrapnel.

Bad news, trust me.
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Old 02-02-2010, 03:28 PM   #7
jimwormold
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Apr 2009
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Thanks for the safety concerns - very well worth taking on board. Pressure cookers are scary things when you think about them.

I don't think the high sugar/protein is an issue in my case. I tend to do late addition DME brews so only add a very small amount of malt (3-4 tablespoonfuls in ~3 litres of water which I have heard helps with hop utilization) by the time I am pressure cooking the hops.

I agree that for those boiling thicker brews, a pressure cooker should definitely NOT be used.

 
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Old 02-02-2010, 05:12 PM   #8
Nyxator
 
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Eh. Pressure cookers these days have multiple safety valves and interlocks to make sure you don't open them prematurely. I doubt very much that a homebrewer could make one explode. I still think DMS would be a concern, though.
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Old 01-25-2011, 03:40 AM   #9
ultravista
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I have been thinking / wondering about a pressure cooker for mashing. Wonder what, if anything positive or negative, a pressure cooker would do for the mashing process.

 
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:11 PM   #10
jimwormold
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Apr 2009
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Using a pressure boiler effects the speed of the chemical/physical reaction by increasing the boiling point of the liquid inside it. A higher temperature means (usually a faster reaction). I have used it for what I presume to be an isomerizing reaction - conversion of alpha to beta acids with a fair bit of success - it has cut down my brewing time significantly on extract brews in which the hop boil has the longest duration. (I keep meaning to add my process to this page)

Enzymes require a relatively narrow temperature range to work optimally. Because mashing uses the enzymes present in the grain, it has to be carried out under controlled temperature conditions e.g. between 63-68 deg centigrade. So in this case, I don't think a pressure cooker would be helpful for speeding up the mash and in fact would render the mash useless due to the higher temperatures involved.

This is all off the top of my head, so I could well be wrong. Let us know if you find anything else out.

 
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