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Crown Urn (BIAB) and Keg Ferment Q's

Discussion in 'Gear and Equipment' started by Schikitar, 29/11/18.

 

  1. Schikitar

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    Posted 29/11/18
    Hi guys,

    So I'm looking to change a couple of things in my setup, just looking for final words of advice etc.,

    First thing I'm doing is removing the sight glass and replacing the tap on my Crown 40L urn. I've already removed the (useless) sight glass and original tap, I'm about to order a SS 1/2" ball valve (hopefully will fit the 22?mm hole okay), not too worried about that. However, the removal of the sight glass has left me with a 10mm hole just above the tap which I need to plug and I'm not sure what the best approach might be (would love some input as this is my main issue right now)!?

    Next up is the replacement of my plastic fermenters, I've been wanting to replace them with some sort of SS/PET closed system for pressure fermenting etc., for a while but I'm not currently in a position to jump to a Kegmenter or FS2 just yet and was looking to do a smaller ferment test in one of my three corny kegs. Think I've got it all worked out but just wondering if I'd be better off shortening the liquid dip tube (by 20mm?) or using a floating diptube when it comes to transferring to serving keg? If fermenting under pressure what sort of volume should I target.. I was thinking about 17L?

    Well they are just a few quick immediate questions that come to mind, if there's any advice, hints or tricks then I'd love to hear your thoughts! Cheers in advance!
     
  2. altone

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    Posted 29/11/18
    The sight glass hole, maybe a suitable ss bolt and nut with an o ring or home made silicon ring.
    The sight glass hole on my old urn HLT is just filled with silicon sealer - works but not exactly elegant.
    I used this one as I had it and should be safe:
    https://www.bunnings.com.au/selleys-310g-glass-silicone_p1234951

    With the corny kegmenter I cut off about 20mm of the liquid tube to avoid blockages.
    I normally do approx 19l as there is little to no krausen under pressure.
    Although even with a blowoff tube to start I don't get a lot of krausen spurting out. I guess it would depend on yeast and temperature.
    I start ales at 18C and only increase temp and let pressure build up after a couple of days.
     
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  3. Lionman

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    Posted 29/11/18
    You could put a thermowell in the 10mm hole, or a thermometer.

    I have fermented in cornies under pressure quite a few times. Just bend the dip tube slightly, that way you can bend it back again later. Floating dip tube works pretty well in my 50L kegmenter but not sure it would be worth it for a cornie.
     
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  4. altone

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    Posted 29/11/18
    Oh yes bending up would be fine too. I cut 2 of my kegs liquid tubes as I only ever intend using them for fermenting. I can always buy a new dip tube if I change my mind. :)
     
  5. Schikitar

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    Posted 29/11/18
    That's a pretty great idea, I've been looking around online but I don't know if I can find anything that will natively fit the 10mm hole, looks like most of them need a 22.5mm hole.. okay, I'll keep thinking, but everything else sounds good, I'll try bending the dip tube instead of cutting (although I did order a spare just incase).. thanks!
     
  6. Schikitar

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    Posted 30/11/18
    I'm now thinking up some other questions with relation to the keg ferment, I'm going to be doing a few pales to start with, mostly using S04 and temp controlling..
    • What sort of pressure(s) should I be applying at the various stages?
    • Do I leave the CO2 cylinder permanently connected via the liquid out post (spunding valve on the gas out)?
    • Given that the beer will be semi-gassed at various levels how do you go about measuring FG (or even pull a sample)?
    • Tied in with that, how long roughly should I leave primary ferment for? I believe pressure fermenting speeds up the process, is that correct?
    That's it for now but I'm sure it won't be the last! ;D
     
  7. altone

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    Posted 30/11/18
    Hmm question 1 is a bit tricky, are you planning on using higher than normal temps or just normal?
    For ales I normally leave them no pressure for 3 days then slowly raise up to 10psi fermenting at normal temps
    If you're trying to speed things up and using higher temps you may want to raise that quicker and higher.
    Others will likely use differing methods.

    CO2 not connected. The ferment is generating the CO2
    Gravity checks - take sample, pour it between flasks/glasses etc. to get rid of some gas then leave it to go flat before checking gravity
    Pressure ferment only really speeds up the process if you also use higher than normal temps.

    I'll try and find a link re suggested pressures/temps when I'm back at home.
    Here's something to look at in the meantime:

    A lager in 3 days
     
  8. Schikitar

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    Posted 30/11/18
    Cool, thanks @altone - I was just going to ferment at normal temps and I'm in no way in any rush, my primary mission is to simply keep oxygen out (and I'm also testing to see if an identical-but-worsening off flavour I've been getting is from my plastic fermenters).

    So here's what I was thinking;
    1. Either; pitch and leave PRV open for 2-3 days OR pitch and connect spunding valve set to about 12psi, temp at around 18deg
    2. Add dry hop on day 3 or 4, attach spunding valve and re-pressurise to 12psi
    3. Leave for a week (bump temps up slowly to 21deg) - attach picnic tap to draw sample?
    4. Crash chill for 2-3 days (not sure what to do here, I assume the headspace will shrink so I would need the CO2 connected to maintain pressure?)
    5. Transfer to purged serving keg
    I don't like making sh!t up on the day and I also can't afford to make any mistakes, so I'm just wanting to be organised ahead of time! :)
     
  9. Lionman

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    Posted 30/11/18
    I do 15psi from the start. Pitch yeast, chucking dry hops and connect spunding valve. You need to check the valve every now and then as they are generally not the most accurate of devices and drift a bit.

    Ferment at 20c and transfer to serving keg after 7 days. Let it sit at fermentation temps for another week with the spunding valve off before chilling and serving.
     
  10. wide eyed and legless

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    Posted 30/11/18
    When using Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and as altone suggested leave open for 2-3 days before applying any pressure, the yeast will not thank you for increased dissolved co2 in the wort.
    Making a faux lager using white labs high pressure WLP925 you can go as high as 1 bar and 18 to 20 C
    but you will tell the difference.
     
  11. Schikitar

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    Posted 30/11/18
    Cool, and when chilling will the shrinking headspace cause an issue (keg inner wall collapse) or should I have the gas on it for carbing at that point? I also thought I'd chill before transfer to condense the yeast cake and drop yeast out of suspension, you suggesting I not bother? I've done crash chill and no crash chill with my reg fermenters and haven't yet formed an opinion..

    Yeah okay - just for the record, I won't be making any lagers, can't stand them! ;)
     
  12. Lionman

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    Posted 3/12/18
    I have just done 5 double batches in a row with Nottingham and they all fermented very well.

    What is meant to go wrong when pressurising from the start?
     
  13. Schikitar

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    Posted 10/12/18 at 1:28 AM
    Hi guys,

    Got my brew done yesterday, everything went well! Got about 17L (about an inch short of the seam at the top) into the keg and it's already bubbling away with a gas disconnect and some line running into a bottle of sanitiser solution. I'll check it this arvo and if there's no kraussen trying to make an escape through the gas post then I think I'll just whack the spunding valve on.

    New tap etc., all fitted to my Crown urn, no leaks, all good! One remaining problem is the intensity of the boil, I was averaging about 1.5L boil off per 40 minutes, so I ended up needing to do nearly a 2 hour boil to get to the correct volume and OG. I guess I could fit an element through the side wall but I can see that being a pain to work around inside the kettle.. not sure..

    Anyway, all good, thanks for all the advice etc., hopefully this goes well and then I'll move to a Kegmenter or FS2..

    Cheers!
     
  14. wide eyed and legless

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    Posted 10/12/18 at 2:24 AM
    What happens is under pressure the sulphur compounds are not getting released with the co2, and the dissolved co2 which is not escaping is killing the yeast cells. With the ale yeast strains the esters are diminished under pressure.
    Here is a blog I have put up before, but it is worthwhile following up the scientific information also from Wiley online or Herriot Watt.
    https://www.brewshop.co.nz/blog/fermenting-under-pressure/
     
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  15. Maheel

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    Posted 10/12/18 at 10:49 AM
    wrap your urn in a blanket / yoga mat / insulation and float a small dish on top to increase boil vigor

    if it's a concealed element don't wrap the base area (IMO) as it will overheat the element and wiring

    my current run of PV fermented beer has been very good :) happy days
     
  16. Schikitar

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    Posted 10/12/18 at 11:32 PM
    I did have a yoga mat on it but it got a bit gross so I threw it out and haven't replaced it, I'll get another one. Not heard the "small dish" trick before though..?!

    Currently got the keg set to 1 bar, it's been fermenting away like a beast (using M36). Nearly 2 days from pitching and still active but starting to slow, smelling great so far, quite fruity! When I popped the spunding valve on yesterday I thought I'd chuck in my dry hops (get a bit of biotransformation going on), had a sneaky peak to see where the kraussen had worked it's way to. It was pretty contained, that is until I took the keg lid off and then suddenly it started to foam up and out of the keg, I threw my hop sock in quickly and fumbled to get the lid back on.. made a small mess through my fridge and all over the heat belt etc., lesson learnt!
     

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