Pressure ferment/transfer

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MrFancyPlants

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I am getting the parts ready to start moving away from the glass carboy. Floating dip tube.. ball lock to ball lock liquid and gas lines spunding valve with pressure gauge. I’ll probably wing it on the gravity/hydrometer.

Anything I should pick up.

Can I dry hop loose in the keg with the floating dip tube?

Any trick for dryhopping without opening up the corny fermenter?

How do you manage cleaning/storing the lines?
 

Rogue_Atom87

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I have been down this road before and ill share my experience fermenting in Corny keg. First what size batch you doing?

if you dont have float dip tube there is no need to buy. Cut few inches off liquid out to keep above trub level. I had a 300micron tube around mine that filtered a lot of crap out. As far as dry hop without opening lid you will need to install a 1.5” valve somewhere. I tried with 1” and didnt work. May be able to weld in a 1.5” tri clamp fitting and attach a site glass to butterfly valve. Personally if I did it again I wouldnt bother with hop dump. Put gas on at low psi and dump thru lid then close

any temperature control needs to be a hose type device attached to outside. Coil thru the lid is a major PIA to get right

you can use line cleaner or mild soap. I run warm soapy water thru lines followed by star san then let air dry. I flush out and use star san again before using
 
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MrFancyPlants

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I just filled a 13.2G sankey from carboys with a variation of my house ale and plan to use that as sort of a solera/ brightening tank. Transferring 2.5 or 5G to serving keg, and transferring 4G back in from a fermenter 5G fermenter corny.
 
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MrFancyPlants

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First pressure ferment with the floating dip tube worked out well despite the chunk of oak I threw in there. Although the flavor is a bit heavy on oak, that is the price of experimentation. I am not getting a ton of hop smell, but I purged the serving keg instead of dry hopping. Next time through I’ll put the dry hops in empty serving and spund through the serving keg.
No clogs and minimal fine particulates using the torpedo floating dip with screen. DME to glass in a week putting the Kveik keg next to the woodstove for a couple nights.
 

apache_brew

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You could pick up a filter screen for your floating dip tube. Check out the thread in my signature line. I’ve had some pretty good luck fermenting in sankeys.
 
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MrFancyPlants

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Yes I have the filter screen, and it is working quite well considering the amount of hops I put in after the boil. I just didn’t want to open it up and dump in more hops given how many other variables I had going on. I just picked up a 1.6G torpedo serving keg so that I can keep it in the fridge when the weather gets warmer.
I was able to get at least a couple more pints off of the pressure ferment. A few nights at around 0C have nicely dropped out the over powering oak character. I was blending in the glass with some coffee because I thought some roast would help balance, but I’ll have to try straight up tonight. I was worried it was too oaky to blend in with the rest of my batch, but maybe I should have waited at least 10 days since brew day. I have a full 3G corny of “Andrew Oakenshield’s folly”, and I’ll just have to think and sip on it a few more times before I commit to the blend.
The sankey coupler and ball-lock conversion pieces have been leaking a bit, so I wrote Santa for a 15G torpedo, so then the transfers should become real straight forward. I’ll pick up one more used 5G corny for fermenting, and I should be set.
I’m not married to the kveik although it was super convenient to rush the ferment next to the woodstove. I’d like to get some Pac-Man to try out on low and slow. I am thinking back a few years to my first toyings with a spunding valve, and the only time I was able to get super pineapple out of orval brett, was while conditioning under pressure a super harsh saison with too much honey thrown in.
There are a long list of experiments I’d like to muck up, like:

an all Brett ferment under pressure,

fireside saison under pressure,

hot no pressure saison transferred into pressure while still Krausening, dry hopped and Bretted.


One question after lots of rambling, but does anyone regularly spund at 30 psi? I can’t really see a downside to more pressure and am feeling limited by my 15 psi spunding setup.
 

apache_brew

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For less than the cost of a 15 gallon torpedo keg, you can pick up the 2” tri clamp parts (tee or cross, end caps with ball lock connectors, butterfly valve, sight glass, etc..) and have the purged hop dropping feature like you inquired about.
 

Dr_Jeff

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Anyone do 30psi ferments or more?
I have.

I have been fermenting under pressure for several years.
I will start fermentation in the low 60's and at ~10psi or so, after two or three days start raising the pressure and temperature to insure it finishes and to carbonate the beer. I will let it get to 30-35psi, occasionally higher, keep it there for several days, then drop it close to freezing for 3-4 days, most of the CO2 will go into solution, and the fermenter will often times be at 8psi of so. I then transfer under high pressure the the serving kegs using the spunding valve to control flow rate via pressure. The high pressure transfer minimizes foaming and gets the job done faster. I would typically brew 10 gallon batches and have two kegs jumpered together and sometimes a third to control the flow rate to act as a buffer so to speak, sometimes the batch would be a bit over ten gallons and the third keg would catch the excess. I would put it online and it would usually be gone quickly. It does waste a bit of CO2 doing high pressure transfers, but so what, CO2 is cheap enough, as to not to worry about it.

I was fermenting in sanke kegs, I now have a kegmenter, but haven't had time to use it with the new job role that I currently have (gone 9 weeks and home for 4 weeks, then do it again). I'll most likely get a second kegmenter when I actually have time to brew again.
I'll most likely sell of a bunch of the equipment that I have collected for the sanke kegs, transfer rigs, ball lock triclover fittings, the seals, clamps and whatever else that I'm not using and don't feel like I will use moving forward.
 
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MrFancyPlants

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I have.

I have been fermenting under pressure for several years.
I will start fermentation in the low 60's and at ~10psi or so, after two or three days start raising the pressure and temperature to insure it finishes and to carbonate the beer. I will let it get to 30-35psi, occasionally higher, keep it there for several days, then drop it close to freezing for 3-4 days, most of the CO2 will go into solution, and the fermenter will often times be at 8psi of so. I then transfer under high pressure the the serving kegs using the spunding valve to control flow rate via pressure. The high pressure transfer minimizes foaming and gets the job done faster. I would typically brew 10 gallon batches and have two kegs jumpered together and sometimes a third to control the flow rate to act as a buffer so to speak, sometimes the batch would be a bit over ten gallons and the third keg would catch the excess. I would put it online and it would usually be gone quickly. It does waste a bit of CO2 doing high pressure transfers, but so what, CO2 is cheap enough, as to not to worry about it.

I was fermenting in sanke kegs, I now have a kegmenter, but haven't had time to use it with the new job role that I currently have (gone 9 weeks and home for 4 weeks, then do it again). I'll most likely get a second kegmenter when I actually have time to brew again.
I'll most likely sell of a bunch of the equipment that I have collected for the sanke kegs, transfer rigs, ball lock triclover fittings, the seals, clamps and whatever else that I'm not using and don't feel like I will use moving forward.
Great info, thanks. I am curious what you mean by high pressure transfer to minimize foaming. Do you equalize between fermenter, cranked up to 30 psi or so? Then spund the serving keg at 28 or something like that?

I had been keeping my fermenting pesssure.. probably around 20 psi, connecting the liquid jumper, and then pulling the release on the serving keg. That seems to work alright although my sankey coupler to balllock adapter would foam (and probably let O2 in) unless I hold the jumper tight and put my weight on it.

Also when going ball-lock to ball lock, I thought I could jumper air and liquid and let gravity do the work, but that didn’t seem to work very well.. not sure if I didn’t complete the siphon or if it was just too slow.
 

McKnuckle

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What he said is that he first puts the 30 psi keg at near freezing temps for a few days. That causes gas in the headspace to go into solution, equalizing to a much lower (but still positive) pressure in the headspace, ~8 psi in this case.

He would then attach a spunding valve to the destination keg, and pressurize it to 8 psi which roughly equalizes pressure between the two vessels. Hook up the liquid lines, release a little pressure on the destination keg, transfer starts.
 
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MrFancyPlants

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What he said is that he first puts the 30 psi keg at near freezing temps for a few days. That causes gas in the headspace to go into solution, equalizing to a much lower (but still positive) pressure in the headspace, ~8 psi in this case.

He would then attach a spunding valve to the destination keg, and pressurize it to 8 psi which roughly equalizes pressure between the two vessels. Hook up the liquid lines, release a little pressure on the destination keg, transfer starts.
Gotcha, that makes sense.. I think I might not have been getting full serving kegs due to foam from the release valve instead of the spund.. solid tip there.
 
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MrFancyPlants

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If you gas’s jumpered first you could save a little co2, although I’m trying to get in the habit of filling the jumpers with starsan and then purging w co2, but Still trying to find the balance between meticulous and efficient (usually ending up with neither). I do like my new 1.6gal serving keg as even if I froth and oxygenate it, I can drink it before it is too far gone, and try again.
 

Dr_Jeff

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What I do when it is time to transfer, is, I will have all of the destination kegs pressurized to 30+ psi. Three kegs jumpered together with a spunding valve on the last keg, I use it to regulate flow. Then pressurize the fermenter to 35-40 psi and transfer to the destination kegs. Using the high pressure keeps the CO2 in solution and speeds up the transfer process and eliminates foaming. But, . . . one has to keep a close eye on the transfer line from the fermenter to the first keg and pull the disconnect as soon as one sees a bit of air in the line. I usually have more than ten gallons in the batch and the third keg catches the excess. I used to just transfer ten gallons and toss whatever was left in the fermenter, but it seemed that I was tossing too much, so I started using the third keg. Sometimes, I get a gallon or more, sometimes less.
 

Jim R

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What I do when it is time to transfer, is, I will have all of the destination kegs pressurized to 30+ psi.
I use a similar technique but there is no need to use such high pressures. As long as there is minimal difference between the fermenter pressure and the transfer keg pressure, I never have any problems with foaming. I usually use about 10 psi in both. I also made a cheap makeshift sounding-like valve like in this video to make sure I don't get any beer in my regular Spundit 2.0 spending valve.

 

Wolffie

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I am getting the parts ready to start moving away from the glass carboy. Floating dip tube.. ball lock to ball lock liquid and gas lines spunding valve with pressure gauge. I’ll probably wing it on the gravity/hydrometer.

Anything I should pick up.

Can I dry hop loose in the keg with the floating dip tube?

Any trick for dryhopping without opening up the corny fermenter?

How do you manage cleaning/storing the lines?
Glad you brought this up I just bought all the stuff for that with my new FermZilla 27L

what do you mean? Very important ?? hydrometer and a Refractometer
I’ll probably wing it on the gravity/hydrometer
Looking forward to all the knowledge to follow Thanks
 

Wolffie

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What he said is that he first puts the 30 psi keg at near freezing temps for a few days. That causes gas in the headspace to go into solution, equalizing to a much lower (but still positive) pressure in the headspace, ~8 psi in this case.

He would then attach a spunding valve to the destination keg, and pressurize it to 8 psi which roughly equalizes pressure between the two vessels. Hook up the liquid lines, release a little pressure on the destination keg, transfer starts.
I like the plain understandable talk even I understand that now! Milk stout You helped me with came out very good. little light on alcohol as you figured, but good aroma and body. now kegged and carbonated . Thanks again McKnuckle
 

apache_brew

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What I do when it is time to transfer, is, I will have all of the destination kegs pressurized to 30+ psi. Three kegs jumpered together with a spunding valve on the last keg, I use it to regulate flow. Then pressurize the fermenter to 35-40 psi and transfer to the destination kegs. Using the high pressure keeps the CO2 in solution and speeds up the transfer process and eliminates foaming. But, . . . one has to keep a close eye on the transfer line from the fermenter to the first keg and pull the disconnect as soon as one sees a bit of air in the line. I usually have more than ten gallons in the batch and the third keg catches the excess. I used to just transfer ten gallons and toss whatever was left in the fermenter, but it seemed that I was tossing too much, so I started using the third keg. Sometimes, I get a gallon or more, sometimes less.
This sounds slick. I’m fermenting 11-12 gallon batches in 1/2 bbl kegs and just started kegging with 1/6 bbl sankeys. I’ve had trouble with excessive foaming by the time the second keg is full, but now using a full size 3rd keg (or even 2 gallon ball lock) should eliminate that and catch the excess foam and 1 to 2 gallons I normally catch in a pitcher and drink by myself after kegging, haha. A longer line from the fermenter to first keg and pulling the connector or slamming the inlet valve shut sounds key to sucking up any yeast cake/hops.
 
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MrFancyPlants

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Thank you everyone for the support. Pressure fermenting is fun and easy. For my next (DME) batch I am making “You are not my foeder!!” Fireside Kveik ale with an oak stave in the fermenter. This is the second batch using the same stave, so hopefully the oak character will be more mild. I just used the pale DME, but I gave it a strong boil on a woodstove and it seems to have darkened up some. In the process. I am fermenting next to the indoor woodstove at a lower psi(5) this time. And when it is done I will dry-hop and top off with:

1. 2 Starbucks Nitro cold brew (black).
2. Distilled water.
3. Just enough sanitized DME to bring the carb up to a target of 30 psi.

Some questions:
do you think any nitro character will make it into the beer? I kind of doubt, but figured I’d give it a shot

How much DME should I add to get from 5psi to 30 psi for the 5 gal batch?

Should I boil the distilled and or purge small headspace after topping off to exclude oxygen? Since I won’t be spunding at that point, does the O2 get scavenged in a closed system?
 

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