Pressure ferm. Vs traditional Lager test brew

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Hello all,
I've been researching the process of pressure fermenting lager"ish" beers for several months now, and have been intrigued enough to try it for myself. I Plan on brewing the same 10 gallon recipe & separating the batch between 2 corny kegs, one will be lagered in my temp controlled keezer in the traditional manner, the other will be pressure fermented using a spunding valve set @ 12 PSI and then performing a closed transfer to a serving keg after a brief cold crash. I'm anxious to see how this experiment stacks up against all the info I've been reading/watching. Anyone tried this before?
 

Gusso

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Nope. Ive only done pressurized as I never had temp control. I always stayed away from lagers in my 15 years doing Homebrewing until I had the SPUNDit. I've done about 8-10 lagers since. All excellent to my taste. Also, to date, all lager brews were done with a single pack of 34/70 (or a yeast cake from previous batch).
 
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Nice. So no overpitching yeast, and no noticable adverse effects? Maybe I should just pressure ferment the whole 10 gallons. I have two kegs set up with floating dip tubes & two spunding valves as well...
 
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RockyMtnRedBrew
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I've done traditional lagers in my temp controlled keezer several times, but upon learning about the magic of pressure fermenting lager recipes at ale temps I've been curious to try it out. My basement brewery stays consistently between 65°-68° all year long. It just seems too good to be true, ester suppression, faster turn around time, no temp control needed. I suppose I'm just a little hesitant to do it for the fear of possibly wasting an entire 10 gallon batch.
 

deuc224

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Ill dive in with you man, im ordering some stuff to give it a try myself. Ordered a spunding valve . gonna get a 3 way TC valve and a bunch of clamps to do it in my spikes fermenter. Should have all the stuff in about 2 weeks but until then im gonna get everything ready.
 
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It sure sounds good to turn around a batch of "lager" in two weeks versus 10. And not taking up precious space in my keezer
 

DuncB

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I have had great success with opshaug kveik, fermented at about 30 celsius, put spund on straightway set to 15 psi l let it rise to that rather than injecting CO2.
Then as ferment is finishing ( noted curve on ispindel ) i then turn the pressure up to aim for 2.7 vols at the temp it's at. Usually temp falling by this time so about 35 psi at 25 celsius.
I let the ferment finish whilst also purging the keg of starsan and also let that pressure to the same pressure. Once the keg is purged and pressured I disconnect it.
Cold crash for a few days and then gas from keg back into fermenter, disconnect gas and then attach beer line ( purged) little vent on keg and then it will closed fill, reconnect the gas line from keg to fermenter to balance the system when the flow slows.

You should easily turn around a " lager " in 14 days or less if you can closed inject some finings.

Taste test this week at brewclub to compare the kveik lager with same batch Czech budejovice yeast. I've been drinking the kveik lager for ages whilst the czech lagered.

The kveik is clearer with no chill haze.
 

Gusso

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Nice. So no overpitching yeast, and no noticable adverse effects? Maybe I should just pressure ferment the whole 10 gallons. I have two kegs set up with floating dip tubes & two spunding valves as well...
My pressurized lagers with one pack of 34/70 have had no difficulty in reaching approximately 1.007. When reusing the yeast cake in my 10 G Torpedo, I typically do 3 batches without doing anything. Just empty and refill the fermenter. Also, with lagers, I crank up the psi on my SPUNDit to 30 from the start.
 
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My pressurized lagers with one pack of 34/70 have had no difficulty in reaching approximately 1.007. When reusing the yeast cake in my 10 G Torpedo, I typically do 3 batches without doing anything. Just empty and refill the fermenter. Also, with lagers, I crank up the psi on my SPUNDit to 30 from the start.
Interesting, this is why I'm thankful for being able to communicate with folks who've already done this. 30PSI sounds like a high number but if it works 👍👌🍻
 

deuc224

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Well my stuff will all b here wednesday so this weekend ill try and get some lager yeast and get to it. All i have is wlp San Francisco lager yeast. Wanna fetment it at 68 at 15 psi, all my spikes can handle.
 

SanPancho

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My pressurized lagers with one pack of 34/70 have had no difficulty in reaching approximately 1.007. When reusing the yeast cake in my 10 G Torpedo, I typically do 3 batches without doing anything. Just empty and refill the fermenter. Also, with lagers, I crank up the psi on my SPUNDit to 30 from the start.
so you let the yeast raise the pressure on its own? i.e. the ferment starts at zero psi/ambient inside the vessel. or do you put a little top pressure on before you seal it up?
 

DuncB

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I normally just let the pressure rise on it's own, but sometimes do test the seal on the fermenter by cranking it up as did have the seal fail on a batch or two in fermentasaurus at well over 20 psi. Mostly I let it go up on it's own. Gives the yeast a bit of a chance to breathe but not get expressive.
 

Gusso

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so you let the yeast raise the pressure on its own? i.e. the ferment starts at zero psi/ambient inside the vessel. or do you put a little top pressure on before you seal it up?
Yes, I don't pressurize it at all when starting out. My Torpedo seals great without hitting it with co2.
 

foles

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It sure sounds good to turn around a batch of "lager" in two weeks versus 10. And not taking up precious space in my keezer
You don't need 10 weeks to turn around a cold fermented lager. Pitch 2 sachets at 10C, after a couple days, ramp to 12C, few more days 15C, then 20C to finish.
 
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**UPDATE**
So I decided to brew a 5 gallon batch and just go for it on Saturday. I brewed an extremely simple American Lager piss beer recipe, figuring that any off flavor would immediately show itself against the blank canvas of an MGD clone.

After chilling the wort, I took a gravity reading which was perfectly at my target OG of 1.045, transferred it to a sanitized corny keg & oxygenated by shaking vigorously with the lid on. I pitched one package of dry California Lager yeast (HBS did not have 34/70), set the lid with 10PSI from my CO2 bottle, attached the spunding valve set to 15PSI & said a Lil prayer.

Within hours, the spunding valve was hissing away, indicating that active fermentation had begun. I monitored the corny frequently during the first 24 hrs for signs of blowoff and to my delight, there was no issues! I was nervous because I had forgotten to use Fermcap as I originally intended and I also didn't scale back the recipe so my corny was quite full with minimal headspace.

Today, 3 days later I attached a picnic tap to the liquid out post and drew a sample to check the gravity. I almost couldn't believe the hydrometer reading of 1.011 indicating that I had hit my FG in JUST 3 DAYS!!! I performed a closed transfer to a purged & sanitized corny keg which is currently cold crashing in my keezer which I plan to fine with gelatin after 24hrs.

At this rate, I should be drinking this batch this weekend making a total of 7 days from grain to glass. Hydrometer sample tasted spot on with a typical American Lager piss beer, so we'll see once it's carbonated & conditioned for a few days just how close it came. Next I intend to brew an actual tasty lager recipe I can be proud of!!!
 

deuc224

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This gives me a lot of hope with pressure fermenting. Gonna put this bad boy thru the ringer, was WAY bigger than i thought.
 

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or small hand!
It's a piece of kit that looks like it could be on a 500 litre fermenter.

Not sure how much better than a spundit from kegland it is but will await your reports.
 

monkeymath

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You don't need 10 weeks to turn around a cold fermented lager. Pitch 2 sachets at 10C, after a couple days, ramp to 12C, few more days 15C, then 20C to finish.
Sure you can do that, but that's not really a traditional cold fermentation.
 

deuc224

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or small hand!
It's a piece of kit that looks like it could be on a 500 litre fermenter.

Not sure how much better than a spundit from kegland it is but will await your reports.
LMAO i knew that was coming, if this hefe is dome in time this week ill do a simple recipe to try the pressure ferm lager, that way i dont blow thru some actual grains i wanna use for a good recipe build, ill take a reading of the hefe tonight and if its close to the FG, ill move it to kegs and clean the fermenter and have it ready for a recipe sunday. Will keep you all updated.
 

deuc224

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@deuc224
My Hefe at 1019 at the moment so don't think my fermenting fridge will be free this weekend.
DuncB, how is the Budejovice yeast? They have some at the LHBS and I was thinking of picking it up but dont see too much about it. My hefe is just about done so cleaning it is gonna be fun lol.
 

DuncB

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I thought it went well, I normal temp fermented that ie cool lager regime . Some at brew club liked the kveik version and others the budejovice version. I'm going to have another go with it though same regime in a month or so. I tend to grab the unusual yeasts when they are available and then grow them up if out of date.
 

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**UPDATE**
So I decided to brew a 5 gallon batch and just go for it on Saturday. I brewed an extremely simple American Lager piss beer recipe, figuring that any off flavor would immediately show itself against the blank canvas of an MGD clone.

After chilling the wort, I took a gravity reading which was perfectly at my target OG of 1.045, transferred it to a sanitized corny keg & oxygenated by shaking vigorously with the lid on. I pitched one package of dry California Lager yeast (HBS did not have 34/70), set the lid with 10PSI from my CO2 bottle, attached the spunding valve set to 15PSI & said a Lil prayer.

Within hours, the spunding valve was hissing away, indicating that active fermentation had begun. I monitored the corny frequently during the first 24 hrs for signs of blowoff and to my delight, there was no issues! I was nervous because I had forgotten to use Fermcap as I originally intended and I also didn't scale back the recipe so my corny was quite full with minimal headspace.

Today, 3 days later I attached a picnic tap to the liquid out post and drew a sample to check the gravity. I almost couldn't believe the hydrometer reading of 1.011 indicating that I had hit my FG in JUST 3 DAYS!!! I performed a closed transfer to a purged & sanitized corny keg which is currently cold crashing in my keezer which I plan to fine with gelatin after 24hrs.

At this rate, I should be drinking this batch this weekend making a total of 7 days from grain to glass. Hydrometer sample tasted spot on with a typical American Lager piss beer, so we'll see once it's carbonated & conditioned for a few days just how close it came. Next I intend to brew an actual tasty lager recipe I can be proud of!!!

Thanks for sharing your results!
I have plenty of five gallon kegs, and have been brewing smaller batches lately. You've given me something to think about as a next step.
 

jdauria

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Interesting results, have never pressure fermented may have to give it a try. What I do now, and I make a lot of lagers, is ferment real cold at 48, pitch a huge starter, using 2M/ml/°P pitch rate. The cold ferment and large pitch prevent the precursor to diacetyl from forming, so no diacetyl rest is needed. Then when I am 4-6 points from final gravity, which is usually by day 5 or 6, I will transfer to keg and put spunding valve on and put keg back in 48° fridge and it naturally carbonates itself. Then when done, will transfer to serving keg and put it aside to lager for at least a month.
 
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