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Pressure ferment at ambient temps?


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Every time I think I get on top of things, I get pushed back by the small amount of beers in kegs ūüôā¬†I had 3 kegs blow last week and am now facing another beer crisis. I have one pilly going in the keg tomorrow and in its stead, I will ferment an Aussie lager I still have sitting in a cube. The other fridge currently contains the barley wine and this will be followed by a wheat wine to be brewed on Monday. Both will be bottled and aren't considered "drinking" beers. I can't change plans as I have the starters ready to rumble.¬†

In order to get through this, I was thinking of a quick and dirty pseudo lager made with M54. As I do not have a 3rd fridge, I was hoping to utilise the FermZilla I have sitting there, which I always plan to use but never do. I know it is possible to ferment at higher temperatures without the side effects if the pressure is high enough. It is not why I bought the FermZilla but if I can put it to use to help me out of the beer shortage, I will certainly make use of the option.

Now since I know bugger all about pressure fermenting and the few Videos I have watched don't tell me what I need to know. I know some of you are using pressure fermenters all the time and hopefully can tell me what I need to know. 

Current daytime temps are still in the high 20s, trying hard to peek across the 30 mark and nighttime temps currently range from 18-20C. If I were to go down this path, what pressure would I have to aim for to get a pseudo lager fermented without throwing esters I don't want? I think for "normal" fermentation in a controlled environment 5psi seems to be the go but what if I need to ferment higher? 10psi? 15? I suppose I will have to use a gas bottle to build up the pressure as the fermentation likely won't create much more than that. 

Also, pitching the yeast. Is that done directly through the top as per normal or should I put the yeast into the yeast container at the bottom and then open the valve to let the wort flow in? I suppose if I want to harvest the yeast, I close the valve before cold crashing to keep the dropped out debris out of the yeast, right? 

Tips and tricks would be highly appreciated. 

 

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7 hours ago, Aussiekraut said:

Every time I think I get on top of things, I get pushed back by the small amount of beers in kegs ūüôā¬†I had 3 kegs blow last week and am now facing another beer crisis. I have one pilly going in the keg tomorrow and in its stead, I will ferment an Aussie lager I still have sitting in a cube. The other fridge currently contains the barley wine and this will be followed by a wheat wine to be brewed on Monday. Both will be bottled and aren't considered "drinking" beers. I can't change plans as I have the starters ready to rumble.¬†

In order to get through this, I was thinking of a quick and dirty pseudo lager made with M54. As I do not have a 3rd fridge, I was hoping to utilise the FermZilla I have sitting there, which I always plan to use but never do. I know it is possible to ferment at higher temperatures without the side effects if the pressure is high enough. It is not why I bought the FermZilla but if I can put it to use to help me out of the beer shortage, I will certainly make use of the option.

Now since I know bugger all about pressure fermenting and the few Videos I have watched don't tell me what I need to know. I know some of you are using pressure fermenters all the time and hopefully can tell me what I need to know. 

Current daytime temps are still in the high 20s, trying hard to peek across the 30 mark and nighttime temps currently range from 18-20C. If I were to go down this path, what pressure would I have to aim for to get a pseudo lager fermented without throwing esters I don't want? I think for "normal" fermentation in a controlled environment 5psi seems to be the go but what if I need to ferment higher? 10psi? 15? I suppose I will have to use a gas bottle to build up the pressure as the fermentation likely won't create much more than that. 

Also, pitching the yeast. Is that done directly through the top as per normal or should I put the yeast into the yeast container at the bottom and then open the valve to let the wort flow in? I suppose if I want to harvest the yeast, I close the valve before cold crashing to keep the dropped out debris out of the yeast, right? 

Tips and tricks would be highly appreciated. 

 

@Aussiekraut , sorry about late reply.  Been busy getting my off-road caravan ready for its next big sortie, a Burke and Wills trip from Melbourne up to the gulf.

I pressure ferment most of the time now days.  When I do a lager say with DL yeast which has the normal temp range of 10 - 15 C I start if off at 18 C and at 12 p.s.i.  I use my CO2 bottle to pressurise the fermenting vessel immediately after I pitch the yeast, which is just sprinkled on top of the wort before sealing the FV up.  I set the spunding valve to release at 15 p.s.i. so it does not get any higher pressure than that.  If you do not or forget to do this the pressure will build up enormously and the Fermzilla's prv will poo its pants and let you know.

With Ales it's a different strategy.  Pitch the yeast and seal up the fermenter but do not apply any pressure at all.  This way the good things that we look for in ales have a chance to generate what you want before the pressure builds up and pretty much stops that process.

When, I use my Fermzilla, I make sure everything is sanitised to within an inch of its life, do this with the bottom valve open and slosh it all around then drain well.  Close off the bottom valve and proceed to add your wort then aerate it.  Once that is done, add the yeast by sprinkling on top of the wort and seal the Fermzilla up.  Once the Fermzilla in in position in your FV fridge (if using) and the yeast has rehydrated somewhat and started to sink from the surface of the wort, then open the bottom valve which will aerate the wort a bit more with the big bubbles and mix the yeast throughout.

At the end of the ferment and all though cold crashing, leave the bottom valve open.  Once cold crash is completed you can collect some yeast from the side port of the collection jar (I will see if I can find you my pic of this).  You will need to have a ball lock connector on your collection jar, initially I used a red plastic one but now I use a SS one and just leave the black Coke cola lid cap on the other side.  By using a small hose with an inline tap, I can then collect the amount of yeast I require.  The yeast and the rest of the trub or dry hop matter form layers so it's easy to just take the yeast part.  See pics now attached.

Yeast and hop matter fairly well seperated resized.jpg

Yeast harvest complete note no mess resized.jpg

Edited by iBooz2
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7 hours ago, Aussiekraut said:

Every time I think I get on top of things, I get pushed back by the small amount of beers in kegs ūüôā¬†I had 3 kegs blow last week and am now facing another beer crisis. I have one pilly going in the keg tomorrow and in its stead, I will ferment an Aussie lager I still have sitting in a cube. The other fridge currently contains the barley wine and this will be followed by a wheat wine to be brewed on Monday. Both will be bottled and aren't considered "drinking" beers. I can't change plans as I have the starters ready to rumble.¬†

In order to get through this, I was thinking of a quick and dirty pseudo lager made with M54. As I do not have a 3rd fridge, I was hoping to utilise the FermZilla I have sitting there, which I always plan to use but never do. I know it is possible to ferment at higher temperatures without the side effects if the pressure is high enough. It is not why I bought the FermZilla but if I can put it to use to help me out of the beer shortage, I will certainly make use of the option.

Now since I know bugger all about pressure fermenting and the few Videos I have watched don't tell me what I need to know. I know some of you are using pressure fermenters all the time and hopefully can tell me what I need to know. 

Current daytime temps are still in the high 20s, trying hard to peek across the 30 mark and nighttime temps currently range from 18-20C. If I were to go down this path, what pressure would I have to aim for to get a pseudo lager fermented without throwing esters I don't want? I think for "normal" fermentation in a controlled environment 5psi seems to be the go but what if I need to ferment higher? 10psi? 15? I suppose I will have to use a gas bottle to build up the pressure as the fermentation likely won't create much more than that. 

Also, pitching the yeast. Is that done directly through the top as per normal or should I put the yeast into the yeast container at the bottom and then open the valve to let the wort flow in? I suppose if I want to harvest the yeast, I close the valve before cold crashing to keep the dropped out debris out of the yeast, right? 

Tips and tricks would be highly appreciated. 

 

I am far from any expert on the subject of pressure fermenting.¬† Nevertheless, I have done a few lagers recently at 20¬įC and 15psi.¬† These all seem to taste fine with no hints of unwanted esters.¬† I have just been using the Coopers German Lager yeast I got with the Coopers Australian Lager Recipe of the Month and dirty batched the last 3 brews.

Using M54, which does not mind getting a bit warmer, perhaps the 5psi you mentioned might be enough.  But I would go with 10psi, especially as your ambient temps are reasonably high.

I use the Snub Nose and Fermenter King Juniors from Keg King, which do not have a dump valve/collection bottle arrangement, so I cannot help with those queries.  But I reckon just pitch the yeast like usual.

As @iBooz2 said, be careful with pressure.  It will build up high enough to break the seal on your PRV.  If there is any issue with your PRV, it could end in disaster.

I use a blow-off tube into a jug of sanitiser in case the ferment is too vigorous and overflows the fermenter.

I pressurise the fermenter a little above the intended pressure.  Before fitting the sounding valve, I tighten the adjusting tap a few turns more than needed.  Once fitted, I ease back the adjustment until pressure is gradually released and the gauge reads the target pressure.

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@Aussiekraut , your ambient temperatures may be a bridge too far for the M64 at high 20's C so if you go for it then I suggest a higher pressure say 15 psi but not less and no more than that.

Give it a go and report back please.

Also, another tip is to make sure you have a few MT and clean kegs so you can harvest the blow off tube pressure to push a keg full of sanitiser through the lot in order to CO2 purge all your MT kegs ready for the big "fill with beer day".  I can CO2 purge more than six kegs from my 58 L SS Kegmenter batches with ease.  I reckon if you time the process right you could do four kegs easy with the Fermzilla.

Edited by iBooz2
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46 minutes ago, iBooz2 said:

@Aussiekraut , your ambient temperatures may be a bridge too far for the M64 at high 20's C so if you go for it then I suggest a higher pressure say 15 psi but not less and no more than that.

Give it a go and report back please.

Also, another tip is to make sure you have a few MT and clean kegs so you can harvest the blow off tube pressure to push a keg full of sanitiser through the lot in order to CO2 purge all your MT kegs ready for the big "fill with beer day".  I can CO2 purge more than six kegs from my 58 L SS Kegmenter batches with ease.  I reckon if you time the process right you could do four kegs easy with the Fermzilla.

That's a good point.  I will be using tomorrow's Mexican Cerveza fermentation to purge a keg full of sanitiser.  I have a few purged kegs already waiting for their next beer.  I can also fill them up with CO2 at 15psi for purging other kegs.  It is basically free CO2.

Edited by Shamus O'Sean
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22 hours ago, Shamus O'Sean said:

That's a good point.  I will be using tomorrow's Mexican Cerveza fermentation to purge a keg full of sanitiser.  I have a few purged kegs already waiting for their next beer.  I can also fill them up with CO2 at 15psi for purging other kegs.  It is basically free CO2.

@Aussiekraut and @iBooz2, I purged a keg full of sanitiser today with the CO2 produced from my fermenting Mexican Cerveza.

Picture is right at the end of the purging.  CO2 bubbles have started to flow out of the keg into the plastic fermenter where I store the purged sanitiser.

IMG_4331.JPG.5f93d85c9cf8f7786184aacf625125bf.JPG

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23 hours ago, iBooz2 said:

@Aussiekraut , your ambient temperatures may be a bridge too far for the M64 at high 20's C so if you go for it then I suggest a higher pressure say 15 psi but not less and no more than that.

Give it a go and report back please.

Also, another tip is to make sure you have a few MT and clean kegs so you can harvest the blow off tube pressure to push a keg full of sanitiser through the lot in order to CO2 purge all your MT kegs ready for the big "fill with beer day".  I can CO2 purge more than six kegs from my 58 L SS Kegmenter batches with ease.  I reckon if you time the process right you could do four kegs easy with the Fermzilla.

@Aussiekraut and @iBooz2, after purging my recently cleaned keg, I had a go at Al's suggestion of daisy chaining a few clean kegs to the blow-off tube from my fermenting Mexican Cerveza.  The photo shows 5 kegs daisy chained.  Blow-off tube into the beer post of the keg on the left.  Spunding valve on the gas post of right most keg, set at 15psi.  It took about 3 hours to fill all of these kegs with 15psi CO2.  Then I did the same with four more kegs.  So a total of 9 kegs pressurised to 15psi from one afternoon of fermenting wort.  AK, you wondered how much CO2 comes from a fermentation  Is it as simple as saying 9 x 15 = 135psi generated in about 5 hours.  Imagine if you forgot to fit your spunding valve to your pressure fermenter or if your PRV got blocked.

Oh, I also used one of the first 5 kegs to purge another keg I cleaned during the afternoon.  The 15psi was not quite enough to purge the keg, but only by about 100ml of sanitiser.  This keg, and the one I cleaned, were 2 of the 4 I hooked up the second time.

A couple of different views so you get the whole picture

IMG_4336.JPG.875a07b0a55e101b566a8a675828348b.JPG

IMG_4335.thumb.JPG.fdaf44f5ffe35595a92b8b1189c52d51.JPG

IMG_4333.thumb.JPG.0fe6d7c1e03dfda12490120de74e9e5e.JPG

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On 3/31/2024 at 9:09 PM, Shamus O'Sean said:

@Aussiekraut and @iBooz2, after purging my recently cleaned keg, I had a go at Al's suggestion of daisy chaining a few clean kegs to the blow-off tube from my fermenting Mexican Cerveza.  The photo shows 5 kegs daisy chained.  Blow-off tube into the beer post of the keg on the left.  Spunding valve on the gas post of right most keg, set at 15psi.  It took about 3 hours to fill all of these kegs with 15psi CO2.  Then I did the same with four more kegs.  So a total of 9 kegs pressurised to 15psi from one afternoon of fermenting wort.  AK, you wondered how much CO2 comes from a fermentation  Is it as simple as saying 9 x 15 = 135psi generated in about 5 hours.  Imagine if you forgot to fit your spunding valve to your pressure fermenter or if your PRV got blocked.

Oh, I also used one of the first 5 kegs to purge another keg I cleaned during the afternoon.  The 15psi was not quite enough to purge the keg, but only by about 100ml of sanitiser.  This keg, and the one I cleaned, were 2 of the 4 I hooked up the second time.

A couple of different views so you get the whole picture

IMG_4336.JPG.875a07b0a55e101b566a8a675828348b.JPG

IMG_4335.thumb.JPG.fdaf44f5ffe35595a92b8b1189c52d51.JPG

IMG_4333.thumb.JPG.0fe6d7c1e03dfda12490120de74e9e5e.JPG

I have a problem understanding the physics. If I have one keg filled with a sanitiser solution and 4 without, how can the remaining kegs be completely sanitised and flushed? The first keg is brim full and gas goes in, pushing the liquid out and replacing it with CO2. So far, so good. But you wouldn't fill the 2nd keg up completely as it would immediately start pushing its contents to the next keg and so on. So you would not fill another keg up completely before its contents get passed on to the next one. Or am I missing a point here? 

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29 minutes ago, Aussiekraut said:

I have a problem understanding the physics. If I have one keg filled with a sanitiser solution and 4 without, how can the remaining kegs be completely sanitised and flushed? The first keg is brim full and gas goes in, pushing the liquid out and replacing it with CO2. So far, so good. But you wouldn't fill the 2nd keg up completely as it would immediately start pushing its contents to the next keg and so on. So you would not fill another keg up completely before its contents get passed on to the next one. Or am I missing a point here? 

Yeah, Nar.  You have got it right.  I can only purge one keg at a time of sanitiser.  The set-up in the photo is just pushing CO2 through all five kegs until they hold 15psi each.  You cannot do that with sanitiser.

IMG_4336.JPG.875a07b0a55e101b566a8a675828348b.JPG

The photo below was purging a keg of sanitiser.  The cleverest it can get is pushing the sanitiser into a another stainless keg instead of the PET keg.  Then you have to fit the keg lid on the second keg and switch the gas "in" disconnect and the beer "out" disconnect to the second keg and you can purge it into a third keg.

IMG_4331.JPG.5f93d85c9cf8f7786184aacf625125bf.JPG

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46 minutes ago, Aussiekraut said:

I have a problem understanding the physics. If I have one keg filled with a sanitiser solution and 4 without, how can the remaining kegs be completely sanitised and flushed? The first keg is brim full and gas goes in, pushing the liquid out and replacing it with CO2. So far, so good. But you wouldn't fill the 2nd keg up completely as it would immediately start pushing its contents to the next keg and so on. So you would not fill another keg up completely before its contents get passed on to the next one. Or am I missing a point here? 

@Aussiekraut, I think you need to refer to my original post to @Shamus O'Sean on how to do this.  I don't have time tonight to find it and link it for you (looking after my 9 yr old grandson whilst he is on school holidays - what a job that is), so perhaps someone with more time can help locate my technique on multi-keg CO2 sanitise / purge post.

Edited by iBooz2
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11 minutes ago, Shamus O'Sean said:

You cannot do that with sanitiser.

I do and do it often.  Now where is that post of mine that confused the reader at the time?

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4 minutes ago, iBooz2 said:

I do and do it often.  Now where is that post of mine that confused the reader at the time?

I do not know where it is.  But I do not think you can hook up 5 kegs in a row and set and forget until the sanitiser has moved through all 5 kegs.

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