Pitching and bottom-up transfert to fermenter

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Feb 20, 2020
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Dear brewers,

I have been looking at several places but cannot find any reliable info on this specific topic.

With some friends, we bought a SS brewtech chronical fermenter. As mentioned in many textbooks and in the user manual, the best is to fill the fermenter by the bottom, in order to lower the risk of contamination (the fermenter is cleaned and sealed, ready to be filled, as i understand). So you do that with a "tee" connection between the kettle and the fermenter.

So if I do that, how and where do I aerate the wort with the aeration stone and where do I pitch the beer with the yeast ? In the kettle itself ? or have I missed some steps ?

Thanks a lot for your advises !

Seems like you are overthinking it. I'm not sure what you mean by a tee connection, but if your kettle has a ball valve and you can drain it into the fermenter with gravity, then do it. It's just easier than lifting and dumping. It really doesn't have anything to do with contamination. Better yet, if you have a pump attached to the ball valve, just pump it into the fermenter.

Pitch the yeast and aerate in the fermenter and close it up with an air lock or blowoff tube.

If you chilled as quickly as possible and pitch yeast as soon as possible and close it up, you are minimizing contamination risk as long as the fermenter and anything else that will touch the wort is clean and sanitized. The yeast take over and overwhelm anything else that may have found it's way in there, if anything.
I have never used a conical fermenter so I'm giving you my thoughts not experience, take it with a grain of salt and listen to anyone else who's actually done this instead of me.

That said I see how adding from the bottom would lower the risk of contamination. I see no reason you couldn't aerate and pitch before you send them in to your fermenter. You could do this in the kettle but this may mean kicking up more of the stuff you are trying to leave in the kettle, alternatively you could transfer everything to another vessel and do it there but that is more work and may add additional risk to of contamination. The only other options I see would be adding the yeast to the wort as it's going into the fermenter, using the T, and possibly aerating with some kind of in-line device but I have no idea how practical that would be.
I have the spike CF5 . I've never filled from the bottom. I fill with Star San when I'm about 20 min left in the boil . Drain then the chilled wort gets pumped in through the top . I aerate via plastic spoon , pitch yeast and close her up.
Thanks guys for the fast replies.

I also believe we are overthinking it ! We have just started in the home brewery world, so still a lot to learn ;)

However, both user manuals from SS brewtech Chronical and spike CF suggest to fill their fermenters from the bottom (e.g. here : Spike CF) So I am still confused when they mention : "Once you are ready to fill the conical"--> this suggests the wort is already aerated and pitched, but where ?

If anyone has any thoughts on this, you are welcome !


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I pump cooled wort into conical though one of the tri clamp fittings on it, either the bottom, or the racking port above it. Racking port is better if using previous yeast cake.

I made a short line with a quick connect for tubing on one end, and a tri clamp fitting on the other.

Fermentor is sanitized and sealed, unless pumping onto yeast cake from prior batch. Blow off hole in top of fermentor left open, so air can escape as wort is pumped in.

I have been oxygenating with a sanitized stone and O2 though blow off hole before pitching, but I just ordered a oxygen injector that goes on tri clamp fitting, this should be a little more elegant.

Yeast pitched though blow off hole after oxygenating.
I can see that keeping the top closed is more sanitary I guess but you must have a stone or some way to aerate the wort if you do it this way. I would never aerate and pitch in my kettle because I use a cfc so the wort in the kettle is too warm plus it would kick up all the sediment defeating the purpose .
I've had 2 SS Brewtech conicals for years and always fill them from the top using gravity. I put my brew kettle on a milk crate on top of table and run a short hose to my conical. This lets me splash the wort to help aerate it going in. The only infected batches I've ever had were caused by my failure to clean my boil kettle ball valve, not from transferring wort to the fermenters. I've since switched out my boil kettle ball valve with a Brewers Hardware quick clean ball valve and no more infections. My philosophy is to keep it simple and not over complicate the process.
Thanks guys for those precious advices ! I think I will transfer the cooled wort in the fermenter (from bottom or top), aerated it with the stone and pitch it in the fermenter itself, then properly seal it.