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Steam Beer-style Fermentation in Flat Pans

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Titan88

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I was looking at experimenting with fermentation techniques, and I began wondering about fermenting in flat, open (kind of) containers.

Anchor Brewing Co. successfully ferments their Anchor Steam beer this way. So, it got me wondering:

Has anyone here tried fermenting beer in flat, stainless steel pans? A 24"x12"x6" pan could hold 7.5 gallons of wort, filled to the top. Leaving an inch or two for krausen, it could still hold over 6 gallons. You could even cover it with cheese cloth to keep bugs out.

Has anyone tried this before? If not, I'd be interested in giving it a go and see what the results are.
 
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Titan88

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Northern_Brewer

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I've heard of that as a Belgian method of some sort too.
The lambic breweries are doing something a bit different with superficially similar equipment. The point of a koelschip is to allow "foreign" microorganisms into the beer, whereas in a Yorkshire square you're using particular kinds of Saccharomyces that are so vigorously top-fermenting that they effectively seal off the beer from the environment, as you can see in those videos. You might get the odd microorganism making it in, but it's not really the point of the square system which is all about encouraging esters and allowing lots of aeration. De Dolle is an example of a non-lambic brewery in Belgium whose brewing is more like Yorkshire than the rest of Belgium.
 
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Titan88

Titan88

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The lambic breweries are doing something a bit different with superficially similar equipment. The point of a koelschip is to allow "foreign" microorganisms into the beer, whereas in a Yorkshire square you're using particular kinds of Saccharomyces that are so vigorously top-fermenting that they effectively seal off the beer from the environment, as you can see in those videos. You might get the odd microorganism making it in, but it's not really the point of the square system which is all about encouraging esters and allowing lots of aeration. De Dolle is an example of a non-lambic brewery in Belgium whose brewing is more like Yorkshire than the rest of Belgium.
That's a lot of great info. Well, it seems no one here has done it on a homebrew scale. So, I think I'll give this a try.
 

Vale71

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As NB pointed out, the point of using flat fermenters is to increase ester production. Since you'll be fermenting lagers at ale temps you will already have to deal with excessive ester production because of the temperature. If your goal is to actually increase ester production then go for it, if not then you might find the result disappointing.
 
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Titan88

Titan88

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As NB pointed out, the point of using flat fermenters is to increase ester production. Since you'll be fermenting lagers at ale temps you will already have to deal with excessive ester production because of the temperature. If your goal is to actually increase ester production then go for it, if not then you might find the result disappointing.
I didn't really have a goal. It was more out of curiosity. Besides, if you used ale yeast instead, wouldn't it still help with fermentation temps?
 

Vale71

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Yes, of course. The main difference being that with ales one usually wishes the yeast would produce more esters, at least with some styles/strains. If I were you I would try this with an ale recipe and see how it goes, the risk you'll make good beer is higher... ;)
 
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Titan88

Titan88

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Just use the anchor yeast.. it’s the Cali common yeast. Can you fermented in a room with sterile filtered air?
I can ferment it in sterile air, but using the Cali Common yeast takes the fun out of it! Haha. I want to try something funky.
 
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