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First ever brew in the Fermentasaurus, do I cold crash and next steps

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jollster101

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Hi all

I have my first ever brew (New World Ale FWK) of any kind in my Fermentasaurus. It is day 4 of the ferment and where it started with OG of 1040 and is down now to 1020. The temperature has been sat at around 18.5C since I kicked it off thanks to the STC-1000. Its using a pressure kit on the fermenter but isn't under gas.

From speaking to my LHBS they reckon the final gravity should be somewhere around 1012. Question I am trying to understand is when it gets there what is next. From what I have read I should look to wind the temperature down to around 2C and then crash chill for a period of time to clear the beer.

Is this correct? For how many days should I do this if that is the correct next step?

Once the overall process is finished I plan to transfer to a keg via closed loop. I have a couple of kegs, gas bottle, regulator etc ready to go. Is there anything specific I should know here?

Is it actually even worth it for this first beer or should I maybe just hook up gas to the fermenter and enjoy my first brew from there.

Sorry for the basic q's but its taken quite some time to get to this point and so I want to have an informed idea as to what I should do next rather than just blindly muddle my way through it.

Thanks
 

mongey

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I usually crash for 5 or 6 days . takes my crappy fridge 3 days to get the fermenter down to 2 degrees. so its only half that at 2 . cant help on the kegging . but if the fermenter is full of beer you cant put your next one on

keeping production rotating is key ,well it is for me anyway
 

Schikitar

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It is day 4 of the ferment and where it started with OG of 1040 and is down now to 1020. The temperature has been sat at around 18.5C since I kicked it off thanks to the STC-1000. Its using a pressure kit on the fermenter but isn't under gas.
With an OG of 1.040 you've still got some points to drop, what yeast did you use? Do you know what sort of pressure it is under? I've just done a pressure ferment in a keg but have a spunding valve set to 1bar/15psi - didn't really want the pressure climbing much higher than that.

You could afford to bump the temp, probably at about day 5 start ramping it to ~21 degrees. At around day 10 you could look at crashing for 2-3 days, get it down close to zero if you can. How's the sediment bottle looking? Are you planning to dry hop?
 
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jollster101

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With an OG of 1.040 you've still got some points to drop, what yeast did you use? Do you know what sort of pressure it is under? I've just done a pressure ferment in a keg but have a spunding valve set to 1bar/15psi - didn't really want the pressure climbing much higher than that.

You could afford to bump the temp, probably at about day 5 start ramping it to ~21 degrees. At around day 10 you could look at crashing for 2-3 days, get it down close to zero if you can. How's the sediment bottle looking? Are you planning to dry hop?
Thanks for the reply.

It started at 1.040 and the guys at my LHBS reckon it will finish at around 1.012 and last night it was at 1.020. The yeast was a Safale US-05 as recommended by the guys at the shop.

As for pressure I am not sure. I don't have it hooked up to gas and have no spunding valve attached to the pressure kit.

Tomorrow is day 5 so I can look to increase temp. What effect will increasing the temp have? Not sure of all the best practices and cause and effect on things at the moment.

Sediment bottle didn't really appear to have a great deal in it at all which got me wondering whether things were progressing, but the OG has dropped about 60% so something must be. For this first brew I am not looking to dry hop. I just want to be successful first time around before I start getting adventurous.
 

jollster101

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I usually crash for 5 or 6 days . takes my crappy fridge 3 days to get the fermenter down to 2 degrees. so its only half that at 2 . cant help on the kegging . but if the fermenter is full of beer you cant put your next one on

keeping production rotating is key ,well it is for me anyway
That's a very valid point re rotation. At the end of the day it's all about the drinking at the end.
 

Schikitar

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What effect will increasing the temp have?
To be fair it's more important when lagering I believe, it's called a diacetyl rest, check out this thread - https://aussiehomebrewer.com/threads/diacetyl-rest.82340/ - in your case it might just provoke the yeast into getting you a few more points down, US-05 should be fine at the temp you've done but I normally hit 19 degrees, the pressure ferment I just did was 21.5 degrees throughout..

the guys at my LHBS reckon it will finish at around 1.012
Yeah, you should easily hit that depending on some of your mash stats (grain bill and mash temps)..

As for pressure I am not sure. I don't have it hooked up to gas and have no spunding valve attached to the pressure kit.
I would look at addressing this, a lot of pressure can build up - even when I had mine set to 1 bar the amount of CO2 coming out the spunding valve was rapid for nearly seven days, if the pressure got too high that could have an adverse affect potentially, as WEAL says here in my Q&A thread - https://aussiehomebrewer.com/threads/crown-urn-biab-and-keg-ferment-qs.99610/#post-1525579

Not sure of all the best practices and cause and effect on things at the moment.
That's all good, don't introduce too much at this stage then, maybe leave things as they are, come back around day 8 and take another gravity reading and see where it's at.. whilst you're waiting do some more reading etc., :D
 
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At 1,020 jollster I would be inclined to cap it, provided you have pitched enough yeast to take you to 1,012, don't worry about not having a spunding valve attached, your beer will carb up some what from capping. Either drink it direct from the fermenter, if you can do that with the fermentasaurus, plan your next brew and read the Fermenting under pressure thread.
 

brewermp

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Hey Jollster,

Are you using brewing software like brewers friend or beersmith?

If not that could help you with your calcs.
 

Aletheist

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When you say ‘not under gas’ do you mean it is venting or you simply haven’t hooked up a gas bottle? If the latter, by now it would have built up a considerable amount of pressure on its own.

I’d definitely release some pressure now if it has been closed the whole time without a spunding valve, then as weal said, can cap it and let it carb up a little if you desire. Shouldnt be an issue with a closed loop transfer.

As mentioned above, a temp rise of 2-3 deg C will aid in finishing it off and help the yeasties clean up after themselves a little. If you are dry hopping I like to add the hops around four days in, in order for the yeast to scavenge any Oxygen I let in.

Once I’ve had a steady fg reading for 2-3 days I cold crash for a day or so, add gelatine once it is cool (crazy good at clearing beer) and let it sit for another day or two, then transfer to keg under pressure.
 

jollster101

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Hi all

Apologies for the exceptionally tardy response since I first posted this. The wheels fell off various things and its taken a while to find the right glue to get them back on but they are and were off and running again.

So I completed the first brew and it turned out great as far as I can tell. I am enjoying drinking it and it looks a great colour so for me I'm happy.

I ran a second brew in the Fermentasaurus but the second one I decided to use the standard 3 piece airlock that came with the unit. When I cold crashed that one the sides of the FV collapsed in a bit due to the change in pressure. How do you prevent that? I presume if I took the airlock out then that would cause an issue with oxygen being sucked back in and potentially producing some unwanted side effects.

The other thing I wonder if I did right or wrong was to crank the temp down to 2C which the fridge got to in about 12 hours. Should I have done this more gradually or does it not make much of a difference when it comes to clearing the beer?

I am wanting to try an improve further so I am interested in Aletheist's reference to Gelatin for clearing. How do you add that and at what point? Again I am conscious of adding oxygen into the mix when at the point of almost being ready to keg that's what you don't want to introduce.

So many q's......
 

Aletheist

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I’ve never had an issue with just setting and forgetting at 0C. (Actual temp usually only reaches 2ish). I’ve read somewhere about gradually lowering but in my experience a crash cool is fine.

As for 3 piece airlock, yes, you will get a skinny fermentasaurus. I’d either take it off and put some sanitized foil over the hole or use a 1 piece airlock, noting you likely suck back whatever is in your airlock. Unfortunately the associated suckback will draw in O2.. just the nature of the beast. (Although there are some pretty out there contraptions and methods with balloons etc to help counter this... I’d be keeping it to the KISS method when starting out!)

You could consider putting the pressure kit on prior to crashing.. about 10 psi positive pressure usually allows a crash cool without sucking in the walls.. sometimes I hit it with CO2 again a day or two later to make sure.

Re: Gelatin, I use the method at http://www.bertusbrewery.com/2012/06/how-to-clear-your-beer-with-gelatin.html

If I am using fermentasaurus I’ll pour the mixture in to a PET bottle with a carbonation cap, squeeze out as much air, then fill/purge with co2. Once I’ve done this I’ll pressurise the PET to a higher level than the unitank, connect it to the liquid out port and ‘Woompah’, gelatin is in the beer!

If standard fermenting I’ll just crack the lid and pour into the cool beer (whilst gelatin mixture is hot is fine), or add to keg when transferring.
 

mc666

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airlock fits a treat in the pressure release valve location of the fermentasaurus
 

mc666

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I ferment with the pressure kit and airlock then cap near the end to carb then transfer
 

jollster101

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Thanks Aletheist,

I think what I will do is to throw the pressure kit on at the time of crashing. I can always purge when I swap the lid over to try and reduce oxygen getting in and once purged I can pressurise to 10PSI and then start the crash.

Going forward I think I may start to use the pressure kit and ferment with it on. I am not looking at doing anything fancy with it but its maybe just easier given I have the kit and also a spunding valve (not used that yet).

What is the carbonation cap you refer to?
 

Aletheist

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I have PM'd you a link. They're available from a number of sellers.

It fits both gas and liquid disconnects. You can use it for quick carbonation of small amounts of beverage in a PET bottle, or for cleaning lines (with cleaning solution in the bottle).. or for adding stuff (like gelatin) to fermenters/kegs etc. It is a very handy bit of kit to have with multiple uses.
 

Lachie

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Put the pressure kit on at the start but unscrew the red PSV and push in your 3 piece air lock. When beer is finished fermenting swap out air lock for red PSV and then cold crash. It will suck the sides in but no oxygen will get in, then you just plug in your CO2 bottle and pump in some CO2 and then you can also transfer under pressure etc.

Cheers Lachie
 

jollster101

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airlock fits a treat in the pressure release valve location of the fermentasaurus
So you just replace the airlock with the PRV at the relevant time and away you go? Interesting.....
 

jollster101

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I have PM'd you a link. They're available from a number of sellers.

It fits both gas and liquid disconnects. You can use it for quick carbonation of small amounts of beverage in a PET bottle, or for cleaning lines (with cleaning solution in the bottle).. or for adding stuff (like gelatin) to fermenters/kegs etc. It is a very handy bit of kit to have with multiple uses.
Awesome, thanks, will take a look.
 

jollster101

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Put the pressure kit on at the start but unscrew the red PSV and push in your 3 piece air lock. When beer is finished fermenting swap out air lock for red PSV and then cold crash. It will suck the sides in but no oxygen will get in, then you just plug in your CO2 bottle and pump in some CO2 and then you can also transfer under pressure etc.

Cheers Lachie
Similar to mc666 then. Aletheist mentioned that if you added CO2 to around 10 psi then just as you start the crash then it may not suck the sides in....or at the very least reduce it a bit.

All great tips.
 
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