Quick Keg Carbonation (split from Classifieds post)

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Quick Keg Carbonation (split from Classifieds post)

Postby bwarbiany on Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:44 am

I generally don't ever do the "shake" method. I've read that some of the compounds in beer foam only form once, and that the shake method can cause you to have major head retention issues.

That said, I will usually set at 30-40 psi for 24 hours (completely un-agitated), then just set at serving pressure. That makes it slightly undercarbed after 24 hours, but it is up to good carb levels within the next 2-3 days.
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Re: Blichmann Engineering QuickCarb

Postby brahn on Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:50 pm

bwarbiany wrote:I generally don't ever do the "shake" method. I've read that some of the compounds in beer foam only form once, and that the shake method can cause you to have major head retention issues.


I've done the shake method many times and have never seen any issues with head retention.

The last few batches I've been fermenting under pressure. That's been awesome. The beer is already naturally carbonated when it goes into the keg. Since I cold crash before kegging it's pretty much ready to drink as quickly as I can get the keg into the kegerator.
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Re: Blichmann Engineering QuickCarb

Postby Reid on Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:15 pm

When you ferment under pressure do you have a spunding / pressure release valve? How do you regulate pressure or do you just let it go. I can't imagine that yeast in secondary are going to put out more than a keg can handle but would it affect the quality of the fermentation?
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Re: Blichmann Engineering QuickCarb

Postby bwarbiany on Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:19 pm

brahn wrote:The last few batches I've been fermenting under pressure. That's been awesome. The beer is already naturally carbonated when it goes into the keg. Since I cold crash before kegging it's pretty much ready to drink as quickly as I can get the keg into the kegerator.


Are there any advantages to fermenting under pressure beyond having quicker carbonation?
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Re: Blichmann Engineering QuickCarb

Postby brahn on Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:40 pm

Yes, I'm using a spunding valve and keep the fermentation at about 1 bar / 15 psi. I'm doing this in the primary, not a secondary.

It is supposed to limit ester formation, allowing you to ferment at a warmer temp which should yield shorter fermentation times.

So far, I have fermented at warmer temperatures with no ill effects but I can't really say if it's reaching FG any faster. Part of that is that until recently I didn't have any way to know when it hit FG. I may play with going even warmer to see if that speeds things up and see how the ester profile changes.

You can see my last two batches:
https://www.brewstat.us/share/512/hoppy-wheat-1704
https://www.brewstat.us/share/439/stout-1703

I think the difference in time to reach FG is due to the different yeasts.
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Re: Blichmann Engineering QuickCarb

Postby Reid on Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:38 am

Brahn- did you make or purchase your spunding valve?
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Re: Blichmann Engineering QuickCarb

Postby brahn on Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:00 am

I bought it at Windsor, it was configured to go on a ball lock keg. Since I'm not using it on a ball lock keg the only parts I'm still using at this point are the gauge and the PRV itself.
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Re: Quick Keg Carbonation (split from Classifieds post)

Postby ctninh on Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:02 pm

I cannot find date on pressurized fermentations. But here are some things I would consider:

I heard that higher pressures helps drop yeast from suspension quicker. Good for end of fermentation, bad for everything else before that since yeast needs to swim in beer. It may be a practice for breweries to bung the fermenter near the end of fermentation to get some CO2 and help drop the yeast from suspension.

A higher pressure keeps more aromatic compounds in solution. That is a consideration for use when dry hopping, adding spices, adding fruit, ect. However, I would think that it will also keep in off-flavors that need to be blown off during fermentation such as DMS and SO2.

It helps carbonate beer faster since CO2 is kept in solution. Also, consider CO2 is toxic for yeast, so it may affect fermentation performance. The higher pressure adds a different form of stress.

Combining a high pressure with a high temperature fermentation will affect flavor and aroma profiles. Inhibiting higher alcohols and esters is great for clean beers. It's doesn't seem good with Belgian styles, German hefeweizens, and other "yeast dependent" styles.

I think it would reduce the size of the krausen. That may help in foam retention since those molecules stay in solution rather than bubble out early.
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Re: Quick Keg Carbonation (split from Classifieds post)

Postby Reid on Fri Apr 14, 2017 2:35 pm

Calvin dropping knowledge.

I'm sure many breweries follow suit, but I do know that Anchor Brewing kräusens under pressure in their tanks.
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Re: Quick Keg Carbonation (split from Classifieds post)

Postby brahn on Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:21 pm

There are a lot of variables involved, certainly. I read a number of things online before trying it out myself and so far I've brewed three batches under pressure. All of them aiming for a relatively clean fermentation profile: a hoppy Kolsch-style beer (K-97), oatmeal stout (S-04) and a hoppy wheat (US-05). The hoppy wheat is still in the fermenter but I have readings from my Tilt to go on for now.

The attenuation for the beers has been roughly 80% / 70% / 80%. The Oatmeal Stout is a beer I've brewed before and also got 70% apparent attenuation when not fermenting under pressure. So far, for my fermenter and these yeast I have not seen any problems with incomplete fermentation or yeast dropping out early.

The two beers I've tasted have been clean, and similar to other beers I've brewed with similar recipes in the past but fermented several degrees cooler. The kolsch-y beer is basically all pilsner malt and I don't detect any DMS or sulfur aroma.

I have dry hops in the fermenter currently for the hoppy wheat, so it will be interesting to see how the pressurized fermentation impacts those flavors. I also added the hops near the end of primary fermentation so that any o2 that was introduced would be consumed by the yeast and the yeast would continue to pressurize the vessel after it was opened to add the hops. That's another variable that will also impact the dry hop character.

It will be interesting to see how the technique works with more yeast dependent styles. I've read some articles suggesting the Dupont saison yeast does not like pressure and works better in an open fermentation, so I'm not sure if I'll use that yeast and be ready with a backup or just stick to a different yeast. Saison is the most likely yeast forward beer to come out of my brewery.
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Re: Quick Keg Carbonation (split from Classifieds post)

Postby ctninh on Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:43 pm

Nice to read a bit on what happens with some brews fermented under pressure. Glad the brews came out good.

The biggest thing I keep in mind is that commercial fermenters act differently than 5 gallon buckets or other things we have at home. As a rule of thumb, bioreactors are thought to behave very differently with a 10% change in volume. Characteristics may not scale up or down directly. That's why I keep hearing competition winners who brew their winning beer on a commercial system say the beer is a bit off from their homebrew.
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