Spunding valve confusion

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Sadu

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I have just ordered myself a Fermentasaurus, which is a PET pressure fermentor. Kegging and CO2 stuff is all completely new to me.

I'd like to ferment under pressure so I don't have to wait for bottles to carbonate and don't have to spend CO2 force carbonating.

I ordered a spunding valve from here...
https://www.kegresources.co.nz/onli...pment/adjustable-pressure-relief-valve-detail

The idea being that this connects to the gas line and while it's fermenting it releases any CO2 past whatever point I specified.

Today I do some more reading and playing with the calculators and it seems that for a lager fermenting at 50f that would need 17 PSI for 2.5 volumes of CO2. And an ale in the 60s it would need a lot more, as much as 30 PSI.

This spunding valve only goes up to 15 PSI. Have I bought the wrong product or am I reading something incorrectly?

I don't really want to have the beer half-carb naturally and me have to force-carb the rest of the way - that kinda defeats the purpose.

Appreciate any advice, or tips for what pressure people ferment under.
 

oujens

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I recently built a spunding valve. I have a different PRV, but I think all you Need to do is swap out the gauge with one that has a higher PSI reading. Hopefully you can find one and reconfigure easily.
 

casualbrewer

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Just looked up the fermentasaurus and it looks pretty sweet! Can the be ordered in to the US?
 
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Sadu

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I'm not sure. Its an Aussie product that has just appeared in New Zealand and seems pretty great for the price. Cutting out the whole bottle conditioning stage is pretty exciting, plus being 35 liters capacity means it should be good for 30 liter brews instead of 24 which is perfect for my system.
 

DemonsRun

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Today I do some more reading and playing with the calculators and it seems that for a lager fermenting at 50f that would need 17 PSI for 2.5 volumes of CO2. And an ale in the 60s it would need a lot more, as much as 30 PSI.
What calculators are you using? those pressures seem high. 30PSI would over carbonate the beer.

I am just finishing up a Lager fermenting under pressure with WLP925 High Pressure Lager yeast. After speaking with White labs at the Craft Brewers Conference I fermented at 64F @10PSI. then Lager the beer at 35°F, 15 PSI, for 3-5 days. WL suggested not going higher so the yeast would not get stressed and I could repitch on the yeast cake.

Also Brulosophy did an exBEERiment at only 4-6PSI
http://brulosophy.com/2015/04/27/under-pressure-the-impact-of-higher-psi-fermentations-exbeeriment-results-2/
 
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Sadu

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https://www.brewersfriend.com/keg-carbonation-calculator/ was one of the resources, but other tables were showing similar numbers. I am totally new to bulk carbonation so I'm looking for advice on what sort of pressure schedule to use that ends with carbed beer. It sounds like the pressures in that calculator are for force carbing rather than fermentation pressure, maybe that is why the difference?
 

DemonsRun

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yea that is for force carbonating. If you fermented for 1-2 weeks at 30PSI your beer would be way over carbonated and the yeast stressed. A lot of people are experimenting with fermenting under pressure and the PSI ranges tend to be between 4-14PSI.

4-6 PSI simulates the natural pressure that occurs toward the bottom of a large 16bbl fermenter
10-14 PSI would carbonate the beer as it ferments.

The advantages reported by fermenting under pressure also include fewer Off flavors and esters being produced. This allows Lagers yeast to ferment at ale temps and much quicker.

This is my first time Fermenting under pressure, But I will say it did not prevent the Sulfur being produced, so I have off gassed as few times and just re-pressurized. I took the valve off to lager for a week in the kegerator, and moved the valve to a NE IPA I just started dry hopping at day 3. we'll see how that turns out.

The PicoBrew Pico uses Fermenting under pressure to shorten ferment times at higher temps and people are reporting mixed results but the majority are good, however many of those users are also first time homebrewers.

Edit: Also under pressure I don't need as much head room, I fermented just over 4 gallons in a 5 gallon keg.
 

kiwirevo

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Sadu, I'm hoping to get the fermentasaurus for my birthday at the end of the month and am looking to do the same as you, ferment under pressure, then bottle directly from the fermentasaurus as I can't afford & don't have space to keg.
I was thinking about getting a bottling gun and a Co2 bottle/reg. for the bottling part but the whole bottling whilst warm thing has me concerned. hopefully it works.
Let us know how yours works out.
 
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Sadu

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Sadu, I'm hoping to get the fermentasaurus for my birthday at the end of the month and am looking to do the same as you, ferment under pressure, then bottle directly from the fermentasaurus as I can't afford & don't have space to keg.
Nice one! My fermentasaurus arrived so I'll be brewing on the weekend with it.

The fermenting under pressure idea has me sold - not having to wait on beers to bottle condition is awesome, but also not having the sediment layer at the bottom of the bottle. I give a lot of beer away and most people suck at pouring homebrew - it breaks my heart to see my crystal clear finely crafted lagers turn into hefeweizens due to crappy pour technique.

The pressure bottling thing is going to be new to me. I have a dedicated fridge for the fermentasaurus so I can crash cool before bottling. I was going to try the "we don't need no stinking beer gun" technique first and see how that goes. If that sucks I'll either get a carbonation cap and bottle in plastic, otherwise save up for a beer gun. Aliexpress has them a lot cheaper than NZ retailers but hard to know if the quality is any good.

I got a corny keg at the same time, will get a second when I can afford to - I figured if I'm spending the cash on the regulator and CO2 I might as well have a keg for my own supply and I'll bottle the rest of the batch to give away. Getting to a point where I'm sick of dealing with bottles and I have the fridge space so it makes sense.
 

bolt1987

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Nice one! My fermentasaurus arrived so I'll be brewing on the weekend with it.

The fermenting under pressure idea has me sold - not having to wait on beers to bottle condition is awesome, but also not having the sediment layer at the bottom of the bottle. I give a lot of beer away and most people suck at pouring homebrew - it breaks my heart to see my crystal clear finely crafted lagers turn into hefeweizens due to crappy pour technique.

The pressure bottling thing is going to be new to me. I have a dedicated fridge for the fermentasaurus so I can crash cool before bottling. I was going to try the "we don't need no stinking beer gun" technique first and see how that goes. If that sucks I'll either get a carbonation cap and bottle in plastic, otherwise save up for a beer gun. Aliexpress has them a lot cheaper than NZ retailers but hard to know if the quality is any good.

I got a corny keg at the same time, will get a second when I can afford to - I figured if I'm spending the cash on the regulator and CO2 I might as well have a keg for my own supply and I'll bottle the rest of the batch to give away. Getting to a point where I'm sick of dealing with bottles and I have the fridge space so it makes sense.
I know it's been a long time since you posted that :D but I'm super-curious to find out how it went. Planning to do the same, fermentation under pressure in my fermentasaurus, cold crashing and the bottling without the counter-pressure gun.
 
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Sadu

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I know it's been a long time since you posted that :D but I'm super-curious to find out how it went. Planning to do the same, fermentation under pressure in my fermentasaurus, cold crashing and the bottling without the counter-pressure gun.
I'm still using it, would have put it through well over 50 brews I guess.

I really like it. Definitely had a few ups and downs with it over the years, but I know it well enough now to be able to work around it's quirks and produce great beer with it.

Since I posted this, there has been a few more similar alternatives like the Fermzilla and new version Fermentasaurus, so I'd definitely look to get one of those if I was buying again. These have been specifically designed to address some of the complaints about the v1 that I have.

The good:
- You can see inside and know exactly where your ferment is at
- Cold crashing is super easy, because it's already pressurised there's no suckback
- Pressure fermenting produces clean beers. You can ferment a bit warmer if you want.
- Save on CO2 and time since the beer is carbed at the end of fermentation
- Easy enough to clean, just you can't use hot/boiling water
- Closed transfers to keg
- Really great value for the price
- You can dry hop with no oxygen intake if you know the process

The bad:
- Top lid needs to be screwed down super tight to seal properly
- collection bottle hole is a bit small - it will jam up easily
- It's big and won't fit in all fridges (Fermzilla is smaller)
- No spunding valve included
- Floating dip tube sometimes gets stuck on the sides and needs a bump
- Transfers sometimes get blocked up
- No-oxygen dry hopping is hard work

My main bit of advice with this thing is that you need to put clean wort into it. Leave all your hops and trub in the kettle. If you don't do this then you end up constantly swapping the collection bottle and wasting beer. However if you let your wort sit / whirlpool for 30 mins before transferring, then most brews produce 1 collection bottle of very clean yeast which can be harvested. I tend to let the yeast drop, remove the bottle and save the yeast, then reconnect the bottle with the dry hop and turn upside down to mix.

Let me know if you have any other specific questions.
 

bolt1987

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I'm still using it, would have put it through well over 50 brews I guess.

I really like it. Definitely had a few ups and downs with it over the years, but I know it well enough now to be able to work around it's quirks and produce great beer with it.

Since I posted this, there has been a few more similar alternatives like the Fermzilla and new version Fermentasaurus, so I'd definitely look to get one of those if I was buying again. These have been specifically designed to address some of the complaints about the v1 that I have.

The good:
- You can see inside and know exactly where your ferment is at
- Cold crashing is super easy, because it's already pressurised there's no suckback
- Pressure fermenting produces clean beers. You can ferment a bit warmer if you want.
- Save on CO2 and time since the beer is carbed at the end of fermentation
- Easy enough to clean, just you can't use hot/boiling water
- Closed transfers to keg
- Really great value for the price
- You can dry hop with no oxygen intake if you know the process

The bad:
- Top lid needs to be screwed down super tight to seal properly
- collection bottle hole is a bit small - it will jam up easily
- It's big and won't fit in all fridges (Fermzilla is smaller)
- No spunding valve included
- Floating dip tube sometimes gets stuck on the sides and needs a bump
- Transfers sometimes get blocked up
- No-oxygen dry hopping is hard work

My main bit of advice with this thing is that you need to put clean wort into it. Leave all your hops and trub in the kettle. If you don't do this then you end up constantly swapping the collection bottle and wasting beer. However if you let your wort sit / whirlpool for 30 mins before transferring, then most brews produce 1 collection bottle of very clean yeast which can be harvested. I tend to let the yeast drop, remove the bottle and save the yeast, then reconnect the bottle with the dry hop and turn upside down to mix.

Let me know if you have any other specific questions.
Thanks for the comprehensive response.
Cheers!
 
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