Fermenting in a keg

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Fermenting in a keg

Postby rsc3da » Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:08 pm

The discussion about making beers cleaner in the Dusseldorf Alt thread has got me thinking about something. I have heard that one of the reasons commercial beer tends to be a bit cleaner compared to homebrew is at least partly because there is more hydrostatic pressure (compared to a 5 gallon carboy) exerted on the yeast, and this reduces the amount of esters that are produced.

Also there is a lot less surface in contact with the wort, so the surface area to volume ratio is less. Although I don't know how this would effect ester production but I think it would reduce the risk of off flavors being picked up from the surroundings.

This is a topic that I find interesting, how can fermenter geometry affect the finished product?

I was wondering if anyone has tried to ferment a batch of beer in a corny keg? You could crank the pressure up and see what happens. Maybe an idea for a future tech topic? Brew a 10 gallon batch of beer, split it up between a 5 gallon carboy and a corny keg. In the corny keg set the pressure at 10 psi or whatever. Apart from that there would be no differences. Same yeast and pitching rate, same amount of aeration, etc... then see the difference in the finished beer.
Kegged: CAH (Cider + Agave + Honey)
Lagering: -
Conditioning: RIS (BA Abraxas 2.0),Quad/Saison
Fermenting: Oktoberfest, Lambic
Plan: -
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Re: Fermenting in a keg

Postby JE » Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:59 am

Look up pressurized fermentation. This is not a new thing, necessarily, and has been happening in more frequency over the last couple years. You always want to start at zero PSI and work your way up - too much pressure will stress the yeast and cause worse off-flavors and poor performance. Most that practice this type of fermentation suggest not taking it over 15 PSI (toward the end of fermentation).

With the Brewhemoth, we sell a product called a Spunding Valve for use in pressurized fermentation.

I have never tried it, personally, so I cannot attest to the claims of less esters / off-flavors.
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