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A low-O2 idea...


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#1 ER Pemberton

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 07:51 AM

I was going through some of my hurdles with the low-O2 thing and a very helpful member over there mentioned an idea that sounds like a winner. The topic: How to get beer from fermenter to keg in a low-O2 way. There are a number of clear ways but I liked the sound of this. It could be done with a plastic primary but this brewer is using an SS fermentation bucket like the Anvil Fermenting Bucket. He gets his wort into the fermenter and starts his primary fermentation. Where you might insert an airlock, he inserts a length of tubing which runs to a QD to the liquid-out post of a keg. On the gas-in side, he connects a QD & a line which just runs to a mason jar. The CO2 created by the fermentation purges the keg and apparently there is so much CO2 created during the fermentation that it's way, way more than enough to completely purge a keg. When it comes time to transfer (at the end or close to the end so you can spund), he just connects the blowoff line to the port on the bucket and runs the beer into the keg. I did ask if he would then suck air into the fermenter and he said that it shouldn't be an issue but even if it was, he could take the line connected to the gas-in side and run it up to the top of the fermenter so that the beer in the fermenter was displaced with the CO2 from the keg. A closed gravity transfer that sounds very low-O2 and it even sounds like you could do it with a plastic bottling bucket which I might try because I'm not sure the Anvil will fit into my lager fridge. Thoughts?

#2 drez77

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 08:01 AM

Yes, I have seen this done as a way to transfer.  Seems like it would work just fine. 

 

I have looked at the anvil and may get one if I am not able to get another one like I have now.  I may seal off the valve though if I get one but that is just because of my process.


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#3 ER Pemberton

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 08:10 AM

This piece of the process (getting beer to a keg in a low-O2 fashion) was one of my big hurdles... possibly the biggest one. The fact that I thought I was "purging" the keg with CO2 by filling it and pulling the PRV was woefully insufficient.. plus I was doing an open transfer. This way you could clean and sanitize a keg the old-fashioned way and just drop the beer into the keg from the fermenter. I might try it with a bottling bucket that I have (that's just sitting around) just to see how it goes. I also have an email into a supplier asking for the dimensions of the body of the Anvil. I see it's 20" high and 16.5" wide from handle to handle... my fridge is 17" wide but only about 12" deep so I need that dimension. With this piece of information I think I'm ready to use all these pieces of low-O2 brewing on an upcoming batch.

#4 matt6150

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 04:21 AM

Yes, I have seen this done as a way to transfer. Seems like it would work just fine.

I have looked at the anvil and may get one if I am not able to get another one like I have now. I may seal off the valve though if I get one but that is just because of my process.

I saw that the Chapman's haven't been available for awhile now. But they appear to be now. I'm with you and would rather not have the valve one the bottom.
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#5 pickle_rick

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 04:36 AM

for you guys doing closed transfers - how do you avoid trub/yeast?  how to you pick up that last quart or so of beer that you can only get by tipping the fermentor ever so slightly?  these are things I can readily do b/c I'm doing an open transfer.

 

I really like the idea of purging the keg with the gases from fermentation and the SS fermentor and the ability to maybe pre-carb my beer a little bit.  but I'd really want to make sure I have some of these things worked out before dropping hundreds of dollars on a bunch of SS and fittings.


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#6 drez77

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 05:44 AM

for you guys doing closed transfers - how do you avoid trub/yeast?  how to you pick up that last quart or so of beer that you can only get by tipping the fermentor ever so slightly?  these are things I can readily do b/c I'm doing an open transfer.

 

I really like the idea of purging the keg with the gases from fermentation and the SS fermentor and the ability to maybe pre-carb my beer a little bit.  but I'd really want to make sure I have some of these things worked out before dropping hundreds of dollars on a bunch of SS and fittings.

 

I don't get that last little bit.  I plan to have 5.25+ g in the ferm for transfer so I do leave some beer behind.  I have my racking cane set so it is 1 inch above the bottom of the fermenter.  From experience, I have found this is a good level to have it at so that I do not pick up a bunch of crap especially if I have hopped in there.  I also have a modified corny lid that I use when i move really hoppy beers to the brite tank, it avoids the corny disconnect so that it avoids the poppet.


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#7 neddles

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 05:55 AM

for you guys doing closed transfers - how do you avoid trub/yeast?  how to you pick up that last quart or so of beer that you can only get by tipping the fermentor ever so slightly?  these are things I can readily do b/c I'm doing an open transfer.

 

I really like the idea of purging the keg with the gases from fermentation and the SS fermentor and the ability to maybe pre-carb my beer a little bit.  but I'd really want to make sure I have some of these things worked out before dropping hundreds of dollars on a bunch of SS and fittings.

 

I am probably one of the few still using a glass primary for fermentation so for me its pretty easy. I tip the carboy up and put a rolled up towel under one side ( or something else that won't slip ) Then I use a SS racking cane ( pushed trough a carboy cap ) out to a black QD on the out port of the corny. I can see the tip of the SS racking cane so I can slowly move it closer to the yeast cake as needed during the transfer. The flexibility of the carboy cap allows the SS cane to reach very close to the side of the carboy that is tipped down so I can take as much or as little beer as I want. 


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#8 ER Pemberton

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 08:16 AM

Also, If I use this plastic bottling bucket as a test (the low-O2 guys have mentioned that using plastic is no problem in the short-term and many of them use plastic) I would be able to use the port and also tip it just a bit to get most of the beer but the port is situated in a way where most of my yeast will be at the bottom so it doesn't end up in the keg (some yeast will end up in the keg, no question... but I'm going to spund so that's understood) and then I can harvest most of it for the next batch. Also... I have spent money on materials for my mash cap and also some ascorbic acid... otherwise I already had all of the equipment and materials to make some of these connections... practically ZERO dollars spent at this point.

#9 pickle_rick

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 08:22 AM

Also, If I use this plastic bottling bucket as a test (the low-O2 guys have mentioned that using plastic is no problem in the short-term and many of them use plastic) I would be able to use the port and also tip it just a bit to get most of the beer but the port is situated in a way where most of my yeast will be at the bottom so it doesn't end up in the keg (some yeast will end up in the keg, no question... but I'm going to spund so that's understood) and then I can harvest most of it for the next batch. Also... I have spent money on materials for my mash cap and also some ascorbic acid... otherwise I already had all of the equipment and materials to make some of these connections... practically ZERO dollars spent at this point.

 

of all the things they aren't concerned about plastic is it?  I'm surprised :P


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#10 ER Pemberton

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 08:36 AM

of all the things they aren't concerned about plastic is it?  I'm surprised :P

I thought they would be. I am trying to pivot my brain to think more along the low-O2 line. I mentioned plastics and many responded saying that there is nothing wrong with it in such short spurts and only after lengthy periods would it start allowing oxygen in.

In my above example where you purge the keg with CO2 from the fermentation, I asked the person who described it to me what happens when they drain the fermenter of beer into the keg... I asked, "Won't you suck O2 into the fermenter at that point or would you create a vacuum or something?" and I think I may have (may have... maybe not) uncovered something by focusing on that. He said that the O2 at that point would not be an issue because the beer was covered with a layer of CO2 but that's when he mentioned placing the gas-in line up to the top of the fermenter so he could displace beer with CO2. It seems like once your mind starts seeing things in low-O2 terms, these changes can be made without too much effort, time or dollars. This "trifecta-mix" is your insurance policy in case you're sloppy.

#11 pickle_rick

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 08:42 AM

I thought they would be. I am trying to pivot my brain to think more along the low-O2 line. I mentioned plastics and many responded saying that there is nothing wrong with it in such short spurts and only after lengthy periods would it start allowing oxygen in.

In my above example where you purge the keg with CO2 from the fermentation, I asked the person who described it to me what happens when they drain the fermenter of beer into the keg... I asked, "Won't you suck O2 into the fermenter at that point or would you create a vacuum or something?" and I think I may have (may have... maybe not) uncovered something by focusing on that. He said that the O2 at that point would not be an issue because the beer was covered with a layer of CO2 but that's when he mentioned placing the gas-in line up to the top of the fermenter so he could displace beer with CO2. It seems like once your mind starts seeing things in low-O2 terms, these changes can be made without too much effort, time or dollars. This "trifecta-mix" is your insurance policy in case you're sloppy.

 

I can't believe a low-O2 person would believe that a layer of CO2 (which I've now heard doesn't really happen) wouldn't be disturbed by you racking wort.  if you are serious about avoiding O2 you need to be replacing that beer with CO2 while racking.  I see no other way around it.


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#12 ER Pemberton

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 08:50 AM

I can't believe a low-O2 person would believe that a layer of CO2 (which I've now heard doesn't really happen) wouldn't be disturbed by you racking wort.  if you are serious about avoiding O2 you need to be replacing that beer with CO2 while racking.  I see no other way around it.

I mentioned something similar on that board yesterday... that I'm not sure when O2 is an issue and when it's not. The idea that filling a keg with CO2 is not enough to purge it was not something I would consider. Supposedly you have to fill a keg at high pressure (25-30psi) and then release the CO2 an unbelievable SIXTEEN times to get to zero O2. Someone also mentioned that the CO2 you create when you ferment is 100% pure CO2 so it's the best possible gas you could use to purge your keg. I really like this idea including the idea of just connecting a line to the port on the bucket and dropping the beer into a perfectly purged keg. Brilliant!

#13 pickle_rick

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 08:55 AM

I mentioned something similar on that board yesterday... that I'm not sure when O2 is an issue and when it's not. The idea that filling a keg with CO2 is not enough to purge it was not something I would consider. Supposedly you have to fill a keg at high pressure (25-30psi) and then release the CO2 an unbelievable SIXTEEN times to get to zero O2. Someone also mentioned that the CO2 you create when you ferment is 100% pure CO2 so it's the best possible gas you could use to purge your keg. I really like this idea including the idea of just connecting a line to the port on the bucket and dropping the beer into a perfectly purged keg. Brilliant!

 

judging by the fact that i can smell the fermentation going on in my chest freezer I don't think it's pure CO2 coming out of there.  but whatever is coming out is already in contact with the beer so I'd say you are still good.


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#14 pkrone

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 09:21 AM

I am probably one of the few still using a glass primary for fermentation so for me its pretty easy. I tip the carboy up and put a rolled up towel under one side ( or something else that won't slip ) Then I use a SS racking cane ( pushed trough a carboy cap ) out to a black QD on the out port of the corny. I can see the tip of the SS racking cane so I can slowly move it closer to the yeast cake as needed during the transfer. The flexibility of the carboy cap allows the SS cane to reach very close to the side of the carboy that is tipped down so I can take as much or as little beer as I want. 

 

I do the same method, except I switched to plastic carboys a couple of years ago.   I wish I would've gotten the ones with a spigot...


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#15 ER Pemberton

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 10:04 AM

I do the same method, except I switched to plastic carboys a couple of years ago.   I wish I would've gotten the ones with a spigot...

I have *ONE* plastic bottling bucket that's been sitting high on a shelf and filled with various brewing doo-dads for years. As soon as I got onto this subject I went and got it thinking it could be the perfect tool for this test. It's practically brand new and it's going to be used for my first low-O2 attempt.


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