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Pressure Fermenting Ales Questions

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Holden4th

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I've decided to try pressure fermentation and have done a bit of reading both here and on other sites. The FWK I have ready to go is a Chris' British Ale. I've brewed it before and really like it.

With all the reading I've done I'm getting conflicting messages about pressure fermentation of ales.

The following has been suggested

  • Don't pressure ferment ales, it hurts the yeast and affects the flavour
  • Allow most of the fermentation to happen and then ferment at about 10 psi for natural carbonation
  • Use pressure for the whole process but not too high

It seems as if all three ideas have worked for various brewers. I'm cautiously leaning towards starting with open fermentation then using a spunding valve set to about 10 psi after about day 4 so I get natural carbonation. I'll ferment at about 19 degrees in my FV.

I'm happy to hear from anyone who has done this differently and successfully.

I'll try a lager after the ale.
 

MHB

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Apart from you choice of ridiculous units (psi, FFS I remember the change from LS&P to dollars and cents, and non systematic Imperial to Metric and think very highly of the changes).
I would avoid pressure early in an Ale ferment and have no problems with Bunging or Spunding to get condition so would probably make a similar choice, nothing early and bung later.

Exactly when to bung is a pretty well understood process and Kai at Braukaiser covers several approaches very well in the Fermentation section. Gives you control over the amount of fizz in your beer.
Rather than bunging on a given day, its way better to know where your beer is going to finish (fast ferment test to determine FG) and then you can calculate the right gravity to close off the fermenter.
Mark

PS
Looked a bit low, so a glance at the carbonation tables (link above)
At 70kPa and 19oC you are only getting 2.9g/L of dissolved CO2, that's right at the bottom of the range for UK style Ales (really about Cask Ale sort of CO2 content) I suggest you go a bit higher. Maybe as high as 130kPa depending on how spritzy you like your beer.
M
 
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neal32

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This is something I've played around with.

For ales. I'll ferment at the lower range of the yeast specs and leave the lid cracked on the keg that's attached to my kegmenter for blowoff. After 72 hours or so, I'll seal it up and let it go to 15psi. It's half carbed that way. Playing around with this variable will get you yeast derived esters, important for 3068 and all the british yeasts. Even 1318 for a NEIPA, otherwise, IMO, ales taste muted. YMMV

For Lagers, i'll ferment under pressure the whole time in the middle of the recommended yeast range.

For all beers I'll bump it up to the high end of the yeast range to help it finish off.
 

Danscraftbeer

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Not always, but I often charge the kegmenter filled with fresh wort with oxygen up to 10 psi. Roll shake the kegmenter for 1 minute or more to oxygenate. (There are safety precautions to take in the steps of doing this o2 injection)
Then, kegmenter into temp control and attach the (closed) spunding valve. Undo until you here the tiny hiss of releasing gas. Check the next day etc, adjust to 10-15 psi (sorry MHB) and leave it there through the entire ferment with the plan to finish at around 23 psi self carbonated. Transfer under pressure (warm) at around 28-30 psi. Chill and maybe release some pressure. It seems to me that after chilling the beer is at 15-18 psi. Then on tap at around 8 psi for serving.
This is for the higher fizzy beers like pale quaffers that you can have an enjoyable burp etc.,.

Best to avoid possible blow off brews, its a bugger cleaning out spunding valves. Or you need jumper lead to a mini keg as a blow off chamber with the spunding valve on that.
 
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Holden4th

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The blow off is my concern, especially as I'm using Nottingham yeast. I used it with this FWK last time and it really took off (I hadn't organised a blow off system). Based on this I might go with Neal32s method and see what happens.

So I'll buy the Fermenter King Junior and also get the Kegland Blowtie 2.
 
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The blow off is my concern, especially as I'm using Nottingham yeast. I used it with this FWK last time and it really took off (I hadn't organised a blow off system). Based on this I might go with Neal32s method and see what happens.

So I'll buy the Fermenter King Junior and also get the Kegland Blowtie 2.
If you are buying the FKJ buy 2, daisy chain them and put the blow tie on the second one. Using neal32 method you may have to buy the snub nose and one FKJ to allow for krausen depending on the volume being fermented.
 

Crusty

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I've decided to try pressure fermentation and have done a bit of reading both here and on other sites. The FWK I have ready to go is a Chris' British Ale. I've brewed it before and really like it.

With all the reading I've done I'm getting conflicting messages about pressure fermentation of ales.

The following has been suggested

  • Don't pressure ferment ales, it hurts the yeast and affects the flavour
  • Allow most of the fermentation to happen and then ferment at about 10 psi for natural carbonation
  • Use pressure for the whole process but not too high

It seems as if all three ideas have worked for various brewers. I'm cautiously leaning towards starting with open fermentation then using a spunding valve set to about 10 psi after about day 4 so I get natural carbonation. I'll ferment at about 19 degrees in my FV.

I'm happy to hear from anyone who has done this differently and successfully.

I'll try a lager after the ale.
The problem with pressure fermenting is the negative effects it has on yeast health, even at low psi. You really want to make sure you are pitching very healthy yeast & enough of it. Pressure fermenting on certain beers is not desirable as some of those esters are needed & perceived fruitiness in beers can be lost due to a pressurized ferment. I would look more at pressure being used to transfer & naturally carbonate the beer as opposed to pressurizing from the start. Crop your yeast a couple of points from final, close the tank ( Unitank if you have one ) & set your spunding to 10-14psi. Fully carbed in the fermenter ready to transfer. The smaller bubbles give the beer the ultimate commercial feel. So point 2 above is what I'd be doing & it's typical for all of the commercial brewers I'm in contact with.
 

Holden4th

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I've bitten the bullet and bought a Kegland Fermzilla All Rounder which should be delivered sometime this week. This will allow me to ferment the ale without pressure and maybe get some carbonation at the end of the process. I'll post for more advice when I go to brew. I appreciate all the advice I've been given.
 

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