Transferring to pressure barrel

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Borbus

New Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2009
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Hello,
I started my first homebrew on Friday. I got a strong dark ale kit from a local brewery (it came with just a thick liquid that was a bit like treacle with malt) and I've mixed it all up and it's fermenting away nicely in my fermentation bucket. I forgot to get an air lock on the first day, so I don't know how much it was working during the first 12 hours, but when I got an air lock and put it on it was bubbling away a lot as soon as I put it on. Now it is the third day and it is still bubbling but not so much.

So, my plan at the moment is to wait a few more days until it looks like the bubbling has stopped and then start testing the gravity until it is constant. Then when it is constant I will transfer the whole lot to my pressure barrel for secondary fermentation/conditioning and eventually drink it out of this barrel, which as I understand is the Real Ale way.

I have a couple of questions about that stage, though:
The kit instructed to add half a teaspoon of sugar per pint (there is 40 (UK) pints/~23L), this is obviously the food for the yeast for the secondary fermentation. What type of sugar do I use? Can I just use a bag of ordinary cane sugar? Or should it be Dextrose or something else?

When I do the transfer, I will be siphoning it from the top of the fermentation bucket, should I mix it up to get any sediment in the pressure barrel as well and then let it settle in the bottom of the pressure barrel?

Thanks!
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2005
Messages
7,732
Reaction score
75
Location
Nanaimo, BC
It can be any type of sugar. some will argue that you can get a cidery taste from cane sugar but really IMO that is a myth.

There are calculators online that will allow you to calculate how much sugar to add for x volumes of co2 (which is style specific). Beersmith brewing software will also do this for you.

Boil some water, add the sugar, stir. Dump into keg, rack beer into keg. Stir.

What are you using as a "pressure vessel"? A corny keg? If so purge with co2 to get the o2 out of the head space. You can then shake the keg up a bit to mix the sugar instead of stirring with a sanitized spoon.

I'd let it sit in the primary longer to clear out more yeast. When you add the priming sugar the yeast will gobble up the sugar, carbing your beer, and will eventiually settle to the bottom of the keg. (Even if the beer looks clear when you rack).
 

Cheeto

Born again N00b
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 29, 2008
Messages
7,611
Reaction score
436
Location
Spokane
Welcome to Homebrewing !!!!!!

Transfering to a keg is a great Idea, but I think you would benefit from letting that brew you have sit longer than a week in the fermentation bucket. I would wait at least 2 weeks, waiting longer would be better, by waiting you will have a clearer and cleaner brew.


The sugar(dextrose) neded to carb up about 5 US gallons is around 4 oz. Dextrose is the sugar of choice by many! You can use other sugars but it may take longer for your brew to carb up. With your pressure barrel(keg) idea, your first few glasses may be that sediment, and NO!!! don't mix up that brew before transfering it to the Keg, let that stuff on the bottom stay there !


again Welcome to HomeBrewtalk

-Jason
 
OP
B

Borbus

New Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2009
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
I'm trying this post for the third time... I'm not sure why it didn't work before, I hope it doesn't suddenly appear 3 times!

Thanks for the replies! I was actually planning to go away for a few weeks and leave the beer in the pressure barrel where it (hopefully) won't need any maintenance until I drink it. In future I could wait longer to transfer, but I think this time I will transfer it sooner if the hydrometer says I can...

I will just use a bag of cane (or beet) sugar then to keep it cheaper. I'm not sure where to get dextrose from... I think I need to find a good home brewing shop, I got my current equipment from a supermarket which has a rather nice little home brewing equipment section, but no ingredients (apart from kits).

Are you saying that I should make a syrup with boiling water and the sugar? I guess I should use as little water for the syrup as possible since I didn't allow for any extra water when I topped it up to the recommended amount.

So, the sediment that forms at the bottom, is that dead yeast? When I transfer, will there still be yeast floating around in the liquid which will get into the pressure barrel for the secondary fermentation?

The pressure barrel I am using, by the way, is a plastic 5 gallon barrel with a tap, this one to be specific: Young's Brew Pressure Barrel 5 Gallon at Wilkinson Plus My friend had some success using this pressure barrel, although he had to unscrew the cap towards the end to keep the flow going.
 

willangus

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2009
Messages
23
Reaction score
0
Location
England
Make sure you dissolve the sugar in boiling water, and let this cool before adding it to the pressure barrel. Otherwise you'll struggle to dissolve it all.

One other thing - don't add too much sugar because the pressure barrel tap will leak if the pressure inside is too great. The little air release valve on the top is rubbish.

I only used mine for about two brews before moving on to better things because I wasn't impressed.
 

RobinGB

New Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2009
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Location
England
Hi Willangus and all,

Willangus, please say what you moved on to?

All - I am looking at buying a secondary fermention pressure barrel for my Elderflower champagne which is 1 day in to its first fermentation. I welcome any suggestions for a good quality pressure barrel.

Thanks,
RobinGB
 

ajf

Senior Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Oct 29, 2005
Messages
4,648
Reaction score
119
Location
Long Island
I'd leave the beer alone in the fermenter for at least 2 weeks before even thinking about taking a hydrometer reading. In the early stages of fermentation, the yeasts produce some rather unpleasant tasting by-products. As the fermentation progresses, the yeasts clean up these by-products, leaving you with good tasting beer. If you put it in the pressure barrel too early, you won't have enough yeast left to perform the clean up. I (and many others) like to leave the beer in the fermenter for at least 3 weeks before bottling/kegging, by which time the FG has usually been reached. If you are going away, I would rather leave the beer in the fermenter for up to 5 weeks, rather than transferring it to the pressure barrel too early.
Table sugar (cane or beet) is fine for priming. It can cause a cidery taste if you use a large amount, but you won't use anything like enough for priming to run into this problem.
Most people boil the priming sugar in some water for two reasons:
1. It kills any nasties in the sugar, and prevents them spoiling the beer. (This is very unlikely to be a problem with packaged sugar, but could be a problem if the sugar has been left exposed to the air for some time.)
2. It allows the sugar solution to be evenly mixed with the beer. This is important when bottling where if the sugar is not mixed evenly you can get a large amount of sugar is some bottles, and not enough in others. This isn't an issue when using a pressure barrel.
When transferring to the pressure barrel, leave as much of the trub (sediment) behind as possible. Do not stir the fermenter, and be careful not to splash. There will be plenty of yeast in the beer to carbonate the beer.

Hope this helps

-a.
 

willangus

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2009
Messages
23
Reaction score
0
Location
England
Hi Willangus and all,

Willangus, please say what you moved on to?

All - I am looking at buying a secondary fermention pressure barrel for my Elderflower champagne which is 1 day in to its first fermentation. I welcome any suggestions for a good quality pressure barrel.

Thanks,
RobinGB
I've moved on to bottling. My pressure barrel leaked, and I don't really have the funds to move up to kegging just yet, but I will eventually.
 

Latest posts

Top