Hazy serve from fermzilla narrative

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rmchair

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I haven’t seen a lot of info about serving a hazy ipa from the fermentor, or specifically the fermzilla. As of late ive scaled back my usage and although ive got conicals, kegs, and keezers galore, i wanted to try simplification with the added benefits of easy cold crash and less chance for oxygen.

So after long periods of eyeballing, i bought the fermzilla with pressure kit, as i previously had acquired a spunding valve.

After assembling the unit with keg lube to help and a water pressure test, i brewed up my ipa, and cooled it with plate chiller. I got it to 79 degrees. I opened the valve on the collection cup. The wort went in along with my blue tilt (pressure capable), and i thought, where the heck am i putting this? My normal upright freezer ferm-chamber was being used as a supply chain hedge of sorts and loaded with necessities like frozen plantains and white castle sliders.

I realized i could fit it barely into my size 7 chest kegerator (with collar). But full of wort i needed a step stool and still wasnt sure i could get it over the collar myself without getting Shezilla involved.

Luckily i had a homemade pvc fastfermenter stand. I used that as a placeholder on the outside and the fermzilla stand on the inside and hefted the fermizilla over the collar as the wife peered skeptically from behind the safety of her teen romance novel.

After cooling the beer down i opted to pour the dry new england yeast through the cap hole on the fermzilla. With decent head space, i opted for the normal airlock.

After 3 days i was a few points from finishing. I hoisted the fermenter back out onto the exterior stand. I dumped the yeast, rinsed and sanitized the collection cup. Then i filled it with my dry hops. It easily held 9 ozs. Normally i like to do two additions but i couldnt work out how i wanted this to go yet. At this point i couldve purged the ball with C02 but i still had some fermentation left to go so i figured a id let the yeast breath a little. When i opened the valve the wort flooded in and the hops pushed topside.

I put the airlock back on for a bit, hoisted her back over and then changed the cap from airlock to ball lock. It took me bit to figure out the spunding valve. I over-anticipated how long it would take pressure to build up. Ultimately, i gave it a shot of CO2 so i could be sure everything was holding and the spunding was set properly. I had about 8 psi.

After three more days i cold crashed, keeping an eye on the resulting pressure drop. Then i took the fermenter back out, removed the collection cup full of hops. I cranked up CO2 to 20. After one day i got impatient and raised it to 30 PSI for the next day. I decided to draw a sample and lucky i did, it was foamy and going to be over carbed if i waited any longer. After dropping it back to serving pressure and another day to settle the beer was perfect.

I think the larger surface area of the fermenter allowed it to carb up more quickly but certainly the few days under low pressure contributed as well. I imagine there is a little trub and hop matter at the very bottom but as i am pulling from the top the beer is hazy clear. It was very nice avoiding the need for a keg transfer and having to sanitize, flush and then clean a keg. Likewise, there was no more hops clogging up diptubes absent a transfer.

Also, i did not have to worry about the suck back when i cold crashed or fitting up any party balloons. I enjoyed seeing the beer thru the process so i knew what was going on.

As i am pulling these beers, there is no difference between keg or coming straight out of fermzilla. The only down side is that the fermenter is tied up, but ive got lots of vessels. I see a lot of people complain about leaking issues, but i had no issues, though i did bring a lot of leak-stopping experience from the fast fermenter world and the key is using the lube and not over-tightening.
Apparently there is a new model coming out with tri clamp fittings that is easier to work with. I will probably use the Fermzilla exclusively for hazy ipa going forward.
 
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IslandLizard

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I love your narration! ^

This scenario almost made me spray a mouthful of coffee onto the keyboard and screen:
[...] and hefted the fermizilla over the collar as the wife peered skeptically from behind the safety of her teen romance novel.

I see no issues with serving beer directly from your Fermzilla. I'm known, during my early brewing days, to have sucked beer directly from carboys, until bottling the remainder became futile.
 
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