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Ferment in a Kettle (FIAK)

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bloodygoose

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I’m relatively new to home brewing (about a year or so) and want to keep my all grain brewing as simple and time efficient as possible.

So far I’ve been brewing BIAB recipes using the Digiboil kettle, transferring the wort overnight into a no chill container, ferment for a few weeks in a Fermentasaurus, and then transfer into a 19l corny keg to store and condition under pressure for up to six months. And when it’s ready to drink I put the keg into the Kegerator.

I want to ditch the messy bag for a malt pipe so I will need to replace the Digiboil with a Guten/Brewzilla/Grainfather. And as I’m moving to a smaller house, and I only brew every 3-4 weeks, I’ve been reading up on the Ferment in a Kettle (FIAK) process. I‘m hoping I can adapt the kettle to seal the lid and add a pressure relief valve. i can remove the hops by using a hop sack during the boil, chill the wort in the kettle, throw in the yeast and ferment in the (temperature controlled) kettle. That takes out two steps and uses far less gear.

I’d love to hear comments and advice on whether this can work?

thanks
 

kadmium

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So i'm just trying to get this right, you want to ditch your pressure fermenter and start fermenting in a Guten / Robobrew?

You condition kegs of beer at room temp for 6 months?

You want to somehow pressurise a guten/robobrew using a lid and prv?

How will the kettle be temp controlled?
 
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I’m relatively new to home brewing (about a year or so) and want to keep my all grain brewing as simple and time efficient as possible.

So far I’ve been brewing BIAB recipes using the Digiboil kettle, transferring the wort overnight into a no chill container, ferment for a few weeks in a Fermentasaurus, and then transfer into a 19l corny keg to store and condition under pressure for up to six months. And when it’s ready to drink I put the keg into the Kegerator.

I want to ditch the messy bag for a malt pipe so I will need to replace the Digiboil with a Guten/Brewzilla/Grainfather. And as I’m moving to a smaller house, and I only brew every 3-4 weeks, I’ve been reading up on the Ferment in a Kettle (FIAK) process. I‘m hoping I can adapt the kettle to seal the lid and add a pressure relief valve. i can remove the hops by using a hop sack during the boil, chill the wort in the kettle, throw in the yeast and ferment in the (temperature controlled) kettle. That takes out two steps and uses far less gear.

I’d love to hear comments and advice on whether this can work?

thanks
Yes you can, though it is going to cost you and to be honest not worth the money.
There is a mash tun, kettle, fermenter on the market. But just not worth the money, if space is a problem transfer to fermenter, clean SVB and store away. A Guten or BrewZilla and a Snubnose is all you will need. You could ferment in the vessels mentioned but you would have to dump the trub and not be able to pressure ferment.
So my advice is get two vessels a fermenter and SVB or fork out for a more expensive unit which will be tied up until fermentation is finished.
 

MHB

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Fermenting on the trub is a really bad idea!
Unless you have some way to remove the trub and leave the wort in the kettle just don't do it.

Here is a little introductory piece on why we boil a wort, getting hop products into the wort is only one of the reasons. One of the other major ones is to reduce high molecular weight proteins (hot break). If you ferment on the break material it will be reabsorbed and you have just undone one of the reasons for doing what is often the most expensive and time consuming parts of brewing.
Mark
 

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bloodygoose

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Thanks everyone. Is it possible to dump the trub using the valve at the bottom of the kettle?

Looks like a Guten/Snubnose could be a way to go.
 

Markbeer

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I have thought about conducting the boil in a stainless conical fermenter with OTS elements to do this.

Chill, dump trub, pitch yeast.

Then dump yeast, pressurise, carb and serve.

One vessel brewing.

Only thinking stage.

I have seen similar such as the williamswarn. But let's not go there.



Thanks everyone. Is it possible to dump the trub using the valve at the bottom of the kettle?

Looks like a Guten/Snubnose could be a way to go.
 

bloodygoose

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I have thought about conducting the boil in a stainless conical fermenter with OTS elements to do this.

Chill, dump trub, pitch yeast.

Then dump yeast, pressurise, carb and serve.

One vessel brewing.

Only thinking stage.

I have seen similar such as the williamswarn. But let's not go there.
Yes, exactly. I’ve read posts from people who say they have built DIY Brew in a Conical systems but no details about how it was done and what works well.
 
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bloodygoose

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The Brewha looks awesome but is beyond my budget. If anyone has used a heat sick in stainless conical fermenter (a or kettle) with a temperature controller, I’d love to hear from you.
 

Grmblz

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The Brewha looks awesome but is beyond my budget. If anyone has used a heat sick in stainless conical fermenter (a or kettle) with a temperature controller, I’d love to hear from you.
The problem with heat sticks is their watt density, essentially they tend to get too hot and you can very easily scorch your wort.
Look for ULWD (ultra low watt density) elements, fwiw I've never found one in a heat stick configuration.
Thermostats tend to be on/off, so full noise or nothing, and at full noise you'll get scorching.
A work around is to power your element with a voltage reducing heat controller, use an SSR, then use your thermostat to switch the controller, but it's a lot of faffing around.
 

Standard

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The problem with heat sticks is their watt density, essentially they tend to get too hot and you can very easily scorch your wort.
Look for ULWD (ultra low watt density) elements, fwiw I've never found one in a heat stick configuration.
Thermostats tend to be on/off, so full noise or nothing, and at full noise you'll get scorching.
A work around is to power your element with a voltage reducing heat controller, use an SSR, then use your thermostat to switch the controller, but it's a lot of faffing around.
You could make one of these if you handy using a ULWD element.
 

Grmblz

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Have been thinking about this over dinner, yeh I'm a sad bastard, over the years I've struggled with scorched worts and washes, and now use SSRs' to drop the voltage where the size of an ULWD element is too long, also ULWD elements tend to be quite expensive. Light bulb moment Ta Daa, maybe.


These things are high watt density BUT! 380v, my rudimentary electrical knowledge suggests putting 220v through them will result in a LWD/ULWD element?
IF! this is the case I could ditch my SSRs'
Any thoughts from those with greater knowledge of sparks?
 

GrumpyPaul

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Id be wary buying anything from wish. I don't think I've heard a good story ever about anyone buying from them.
 

Grmblz

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Yep agreed, was just using it as an example of the elements, Bang good or Ali is my go to, for Chinese stuff., but buyer beware as always.
 

Sjek

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Fermenting on the trub is a really bad idea!
Unless you have some way to remove the trub and leave the wort in the kettle just don't do it.

Here is a little introductory piece on why we boil a wort, getting hop products into the wort is only one of the reasons. One of the other major ones is to reduce high molecular weight proteins (hot break). If you ferment on the break material it will be reabsorbed and you have just undone one of the reasons for doing what is often the most expensive and time consuming parts of brewing.
Mark
How do the no chill people do it? Don’t they transfer hot break in their fermenter too?

I’ve never done no chill but I guess if you transfer straight after boil into a cube you don’t have a cold break and you’re going to transfer trub into the cube. When you then transfer into a fermenter it’d be hard to seperate the trub that’s settled on the bottom of the cube unless you use a siphon. And as far as I know 90% of no chillers tip the lot straight into the fermenter?
 

Joshed1

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Look I'm going to go against the grain here and say this actually one of my lazy day process's when i have limited time to brew and do not want to clean multiple vessels. I brew in an stainless steel urn, seal the top and no chill overnight, put hops and yeast in the next day then transfer into a purged keg from the tap after fermentation. Wouldn't say this is good practice but I do this with heavy hopped quick turn around pales. The beauty of it is I get one to two day turn arounds on fermentation by using Kveik and temperature controlling via the urn at around 36 degrees (depending on strain). There are a lot of benefits for me brewing like this when short on time, but also a number of negatives. I also toyed with turning the urn into a low pressure fermenter as well but I don't think it is possible nor worth the effort personally.
 
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MHB

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How do the no chill people do it? Don’t they transfer hot break in their fermenter too?

I’ve never done no chill but I guess if you transfer straight after boil into a cube you don’t have a cold break and you’re going to transfer trub into the cube. When you then transfer into a fermenter it’d be hard to seperate the trub that’s settled on the bottom of the cube unless you use a siphon. And as far as I know 90% of no chillers tip the lot straight into the fermenter?
I no-chill most of my home brewed beers and don't transfer the hot break, it stays in the kettle where it belongs.
Its just the same as if we were transferring the beer from the kettle to a fermenter.

Its really important to differentiate between Hot and Cold break. The Trub in the bottom of the kettle is a mixture of lots of stuff, none of which is in any way beneficial (in fact its harmful) to the fermenting beer. Kettle trubs main constituents are going to be: -
Hop Debris- Basically benign in terms of flavour, if present in the fermenter it can cause some problems as do any chunky bits (like dry hops), will attract some Iso-Alpha acid reducing bitterness a bit, may entrap some yeast reducing fermentation performance. These days with the amount of cube/dry hops going into beer it is probably unimportant. Mechanically it will add to the amount of trub in the fermenter and can increase losses.
Hot Break-
HMW Protein- One of the main reasons we boil for 60+ minutes is to reduce High Molecular Weight Protein. HMWP is a major contributor to the staling of beer, many higher alcohols (fusels) are split from HMWP when they are metabolised. Leads to premature haze formation.
Fining Material- this is linked to HMW protein. we use various products to help the wort clarify, primarily Carrageenan from Irish Moss (seaweed) Carrageenan attracts HMWP by having an electrostatic charge the opposite to the HMWP so they stick together and settle out. As the ferment progresses the pH falls, the attraction between proteins and finings is very pH dependent, as the pH falls the fining will release the HMWP and start attracting the MWP (medium) that is one of the major contributors to head formation, reduced head is likely.
Polyphenols- Commonly called Tannins, these are preferentially attracted to HMWP, if the HMWP/Polyphenol is the classic hot break we see in the boil, released back into the beer it will contribute to harsh astringent flavours.
Lipids- Something like 70% of the lipids (fats and oils) will be found in the hot break, these are something we really want to remove from beer, some is consumed by yeast during its reproduction, but in general the lipids precipitated in the kettle aren't wanted in the ferment. Lipids are one of the fastest ways to initiate staling, reduce head, encourage Oxidisation through enzymic pathways (O2 free oxidisation or autoxidation). The old cardboard staling flavour (T2N) is a sure sign of lipids screwing your beer.
Lots More- but I CAB go and read the link I put in above or do some more research

Seriously, wort boiling is one of the most expensive and time consuming parts of brewing, its really important to making good tasting consistent beer. Brewing on or leaving the wort in contact with break material isn't going to help you make better beer. Getting the wort off the break takes a few minutes (No-Chill) and you get better beer.

Cold Break is another matter, its been talked to death over the years , it isn't a matter of major concern but some people see reducing it as being beneficial, no-chill make this easy, as would doing a cone dump 24 hours (or so) into the ferment in a CCV (conical).
Mark
 
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Sjek

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Thank you Mark, very interesting.

Pardon my ignorance, but it’s still not clear how hot break is removed when people do no chill brewing. It ends up in the trub after brewing doesn’t it? And from what I’ve seen most no chill people go straight from boil into the cube and don’t siphon out of their cube into the fermenter. 🤨
 
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