Re: Lager under pressure - beer spitting out from spunding valve

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m3B.eer

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Hi everyone,

So now that my spunding valve is working, and fermentation has begun, I was able to see the pressure increase. I'm fermentation a lager in a keg in an environment of about 18-19C.

I want to set it between 10 and 15 psi. At that level, it seems beer is literally being spit (or some yeast) through the spunding valve's airways.

When there is high activity, is that always the case? beer making a mess?

My head space is pretty small, as expected when doing a fermentation under pressure, so far from what I've read. Does this behavior indicates that the pressure is not reducing the Krausen?
 

Elric

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Just because you are brewing under pressure does not mean you should have small headspace, you should never really have small headspace or you run into the type of issue you are now seeing. You will need to give your spunding valve a very thorough clean when you are done. I would even recommend taking the whole spunding setup off once the spitting stops to do a thorough clean before stuff dries out and runs a risk of clogging the spunding valve.
 
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m3B.eer

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I read one of the advantages of fermenting under pressure is that you can ferment with an almost full to the rim fermenter and limit Krausen.
 

doug293cz

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I read one of the advantages of fermenting under pressure is that you can ferment with an almost full to the rim fermenter and limit Krausen.
Unfortunately, no. You don't need as much headspace, but you still need to allow for some krausen space.

Brew on :mug:
 

Elric

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I read one of the advantages of fermenting under pressure is that you can ferment with an almost full to the rim fermenter and limit Krausen.
I ferment under pressure in a clear fermenter. I can tell you that my beers still have plenty of krausen. It may partially reduce krausen but it definitely doesn't eliminate it, and in a keg you have such a small surface area so the krausen has nowhere to go but up!
 

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By the way, you probably know that but just in case: if you already have beer coming out the spunding valve, do not relieve pressure or you will have a pretty good cleanup to do.

The gas dissolved would leave the beer and create bubbles. I've been there, I had 1/3 of my fermenter as headspace and that was not enough to contain the bubbles at 12psi...
 
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m3B.eer

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I've had a lot of cleanup to do already... cleaning the spunding valve will be a piece of cake.

So what, leave it build pressure, and it will eventually calm down? The gauge shows me it can sometimes go up to 20psi... wonder if I should bleed it a bit sometimes or not. I have lost quite a bit.

My thought is because maybe right after pitching the yeast my spunding valve was not usable, and I had to do quite some play around with the fittings and all, the exposure to air might have affected the whole process.
 

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Never trust the trickster yeasties, they can sense things. If you use a blow off tube and surround the fermenter with plastic sheeting, they will hardly climb the walls of the fermenter. Turn your back on the little devils, thinking "oh I'll just set up a blow off tube tomorrow morning it will be fine" well, then, you've almost guaranteed to turn your fermentation space, walls, ceiling, casual passers by, and neighborhood animals into a Jackson Pollock mural.
 

Plop

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As long as the pressure does not present any safety risk I would leave everything in place. If the spunding valve gets clogged though I assume that the pressure might become an issue for your safety. That being said the max pressure for your keg is most likely 60psi which would leave you with some wiggle room.
 

Brooothru

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As long as the pressure does not present any safety risk I would leave everything in place. If the spunding valve gets clogged though I assume that the pressure might become an issue for your safety. That being said the max pressure for your keg is most likely 60psi which would leave you with some wiggle room.
Fluids under pressure ALWAYS present a potential safety risk. If your only pressure regulation/relief is via a spunding valve that's already spitting yeast, you've got a safety risk. If you are fermenting in a keg with a built-in PRV you still could have an even more dangerous situation. If the krausen has already reached the poppet in the Gas In post and is climbing thru a spunding valve, it has also reached the base of the PRV and may be blocking it from performing the ultimate safety check on your system.

Krausen spitting out of your spunding valve is reason for concern. If it suddenly STOPS spitting out the spund, it could be a reason for panic.
 

marc1

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I've had a lot of cleanup to do already... cleaning the spunding valve will be a piece of cake.

So what, leave it build pressure, and it will eventually calm down? The gauge shows me it can sometimes go up to 20psi... wonder if I should bleed it a bit sometimes or not. I have lost quite a bit.

My thought is because maybe right after pitching the yeast my spunding valve was not usable, and I had to do quite some play around with the fittings and all, the exposure to air might have affected the whole process.

Antifoam will help, too.

Why was the spunding valve not usable at the start? Also, why is the pressure changing so much? You said you set it to 10 or 15, how is it getting to 20?

I jump my fermenter to my serving kegs, and then put the spunding valve on one of them. That way my kegs get purged and my valve won't get messy even if there is some overflow. I have had some overflow into the jumper once or twice, but it didn't make it to the keg. I usually have 1-2 gallons of headspace, and I use antifoam.

I usually leave the pressure set low for most of the fermentation, enough to ensure that keg lids are seated. Then at the very end I can increase it to help build some carbonation.
 
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m3B.eer

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Why was the spunding valve not usable at the start?
See : Lager under-pressure - still no sign of activity. How long?

For the first almost 48h, I didn't realize my post was missing an o-ring and that missing this part wouldn't allow to gas disconnect to fit properly. So gas was never going through the valve.

In what vessel do you ferment?

My pressure changes because I think it could have been clogged, but never for too long. I make sure that it does not. And my gauge and PRV on it have big ranges, so less accurate.

I would live to jump to other kegs and purge them with CO2, but don't think I can do it with my current spunding valve. Or maybe possible to just do it without spunding valve...? But making sure you have enough of room for the krausen ^^'.

But I'm quite disappointed indeed. I've read quite a few times that pressure-fermenting would reduce krausen thus in fermenting in kegs made sense to fill it more. I'll try one more time next time with the set-up ready to work from the start.
 

Elric

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Even under pressure fermentation you really should give a minimum of a half gallon of head space, but safer at a gallon, especially with how narrow a keg is. Also be aware that if you ever need to depressurize for any reason it will foam up and expand in a matter of seconds Which can also be quite catastrophic when you have filled to the top. Most people that I see pressure fermenting in a keg are doing 4 gallon or smaller batches in a 5 gallon keg, and those wanting a 5 gallon finished product are looking to 6~7 gallon specialty kegs.
 

marc1

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See : Lager under-pressure - still no sign of activity. How long?

For the first almost 48h, I didn't realize my post was missing an o-ring and that missing this part wouldn't allow to gas disconnect to fit properly. So gas was never going through the valve.

In what vessel do you ferment?

My pressure changes because I think it could have been clogged, but never for too long. I make sure that it does not. And my gauge and PRV on it have big ranges, so less accurate.

I would live to jump to other kegs and purge them with CO2, but don't think I can do it with my current spunding valve. Or maybe possible to just do it without spunding valve...? But making sure you have enough of room for the krausen ^^'.

But I'm quite disappointed indeed. I've read quite a few times that pressure-fermenting would reduce krausen thus in fermenting in kegs made sense to fill it more. I'll try one more time next time with the set-up ready to work from the start.

I've got the 13.2 gallon kegmenter. IIRC when I fermented in a 5 gallon keg I only filled with ~4 gallons.

If you can put a spunding valve on your current keg that you are fermenting in, you should be able to put it on your serving keg while purging, no?

Jump the gas post on your fermenter to liquid on your serving, then the spunding valve goes on the gas post of your serving keg.
 
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m3B.eer

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I've got the 13.2 gallon kegmenter. IIRC when I fermented in a 5 gallon keg I only filled with ~4 gallons.

If you can put a spunding valve on your current keg that you are fermenting in, you should be able to put it on your serving keg while purging, no?

Jump the gas post on your fermenter to liquid on your serving, then the spunding valve goes on the gas post of your serving keg.
So connect your gas disconnect on your fermenter to the liquid disconnect on your serving keg? I was imagining pushing Sani out of the serving keg + purging with CO2. But with my spunding valve I won't be able to do both of this at the same time. Just purging CO2... I can see that! I should try
 

marc1

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So connect your gas disconnect on your fermenter to the liquid disconnect on your serving keg? I was imagining pushing Sani out of the serving keg + purging with CO2. But with my spunding valve I won't be able to do both of this at the same time. Just purging CO2... I can see that! I should try

Exactly.

You don't need to push sanitizer out if you are purging with the CO2 from the whole ferment.
 

LloydGM

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To help with krausen control, here are my notes for the Birko non-silicone based anti-foaming oil. It's good for yeast starters, boiling, and fermenting. I refuse to use anything inorganic in my beer (e.g. Fermcap which is silicone-based). I use 1 drop* of high quality olive in my starters and Birko for boiling and fermenting. (And yes, it works well for both.)

Birko Patco 376, organic foam control (gallon): Confessions of a Homebrewing Chemical Salesman | Birko Corp
https://atpgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/PATCO-376.pdf
“Add Patco 376 to raw or cooked material under continuous agitation for maximum dispersion and effect. For kettle defoaming, add ½ (0.5) oz. per bbl. before the wort comes to a rigorous boil. Be sure to add Patco 376 at the beginning of the boil, before foam is a problem. Add more Patco 376 during the boil if needed. For fermentation defoaming, use 12-25 ml. per bbl depending on the style of beer being produced and the type of yeast being used.”
Buy in little bottles : Foam Control
or by the gallon: Birko Patco 376 Defoamer - Ferm-Solutions

* I once read of someone doing lab-type of experimentation with starters and they said just a tiny fraction of a drop is all you need. Since I find that kind of micro-measuring a royal PITA, I still use 1 drop and it works extremely well.
 

MHBT

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You use a blow tie? Can attach a blow off to that, this is out of my element so i cant help ya, i only spund to carbonate
 

Broken Crow

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Can some one fill me in on this?.. I have a kegland spunding valve, but have only used it for transfers so far. I'll be trying the room-temp lager under pressure eventually, but in reading many posts about it I've been left with the impression that you should wait, with a blow-off tube, until the volcanic part is over and then plug the spunding valve in. Is this correct, or is it one of those highly-debatable things?
 

bracconiere

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Never trust the trickster yeasties, they can sense things.


i've been recetly watching them move around under a video microscope! you speak the truth! weird to see them activley swimming looking for food! (at least that's what it looks like! you think they're stupid, but why do plants have thorns?) :mug:
 

bracconiere

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Can some one fill me in on this?.. I have a kegland spunding valve, but have only used it for transfers so far. I'll be trying the room-temp lager under pressure eventually, but in reading many posts about it I've been left with the impression that you should wait, with a blow-off tube, until the volcanic part is over and then plug the spunding valve in. Is this correct, or is it one of those highly-debatable things?


there would be plenty of head space in this?

 

bracconiere

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oh, and back on topic...exactly how little head space did you have? the gas post has a dip tube too? albeit shorter it's still there....
 

odie

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What yeast are you using?

hmmm...I ferment in cornies...a full 5 gal of wort goes in and I've never had anything but CO2 come out the spunding valve.

I do lagers under pressure immediately, about 10 PSI, and nothing has ever come out. I use 34/70.

Ales I use a blow off tube for the first couple/few days and rarely get anything but co2 in the water bucket. Then I spund around 5 PSI.

A 5 gal conry keg holds a little over 5.5 gal total volume. The gas posts are often longer than needed. You could try cutting it shorter. I believe it only serves to retain the o-ring and support the poppet spring.

A hefe is the only thing I've done under pressure that has ever been an issue with krausen/foam...I will not do that again.
 

LloydGM

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I just started 6gal of Scottish ale, not under pressure, and used a double yeast starter: 1000ml on day 1, added a 2nd 1000ml the next day, that's like 4x the yeasties going into the fermenter, OG of 1.051. Krausen formed in 2 hours, airlock bubbling like mad an hour later, slowed down to almost-normal by the next evening, krausen never got higher than 1" in the fermenter. I used 6 drops of Birko 5 mins before finishing the boil, that's all.

I'm about to try pressure fermenting in a couple weeks. I've heard that the higher the pressure, the less krausen is produced, though it also depends on the yeast strain and OG. Still, a bit of foam control and pressure, I'm expecting a pretty big difference, and I'll see that difference because I'll be using a FermZilla which is clear.
 
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