Alright, I was just about to leave the office and I just can’t stop thinking about this new prototype keg/fermentor that we have here. I have a floating dip tube for this. I think it’s going to be just a super sweet setup. I just want to brew a beer for it so bad and I’m just going to go for it.
All right. Let’s answer the question that might be on some of your minds, and that is, what is pressure fermentation?
Pressurized fermentation is exactly what it sounds like. The fermentation process takes place in a pressurized vessel using a spunding or relief valve to regulate pressure.
Okay, but why ferment under pressure?
- First and foremost, fermenting under pressure can make better beer by suppressing unwanted flavor esters while simultaneously increasing hop aroma and flavor retention making for a cleaner, more flavorful beer.
- Second, it’s faster. Pressure fermentation allows for the fermentation process to be conducted at warmer temperatures, which speeds up the process. It also pre-carb’s your beer, which can shave time off the final carbonation process.
- Third, it’s cheaper being able to cleanly ferment at room temperature eliminates the need for expensive temperature control chambers. Also, you’ll need less CO2 for full carbonation so you may save some money there as well.
One quick note, both ale, and lager yeast can benefit from pressure fermentation, but in our opinion, it’s most useful for Lager beer because the goal of lager fermentation, in general, is to make clean, neutral beer and the pressure fermentation process is great for that.
Keep in mind that pressure fermentation isn’t ideal for all beers. In some cases, it will actually suppress flavor compounds that you want in the beer; for example, you wouldn’t likely want to use this method with a Bavarian Hefeweizen yeast.
So how do you pressure ferment beer?
Brew, aerate, and pitch yeast just like normal. But after that transfer to a keg for the fermentation process, add a pressure gauge and a spunding valve, set the spunding valve to about 15 PSI. Then just wait, the beer will be done for fermenting in a few days.
Once it’s finished cold crash, if you have the ability to do that, then transfer to a clean keg, add a bit more CO2 and enjoy that’s it.
Finally, here’s everything you’ll need to build a basic pressure fermentation system;
- a short gas hose
- a ball lock fitting
- a bras ‘T’
- a pressure gauge
- and lastly, an adjustable spending valve.
You can find this equipment on our website so check out the link below.
To assemble, attach the pressure gauge and the spunding valve to the gas hose, attach the other end to the ball lock fitting, and secure to the “IN” on the keg. We’re also using a floating dip tube here, which we’ve been experimenting with recently.
These can replace the stock tubes that come with kegs, which pull liquid from the bottom of the keg. In theory, floating tubes always pull beer from the top of the keg in practice, sometimes the floating dip tube works and other times it hasn’t.
We definitely recommend trying this yourself, but don’t expect it to work perfectly every time.
And as always make sure to clean your keg with PBW, rinse thoroughly with warm water and then sanitize with star san to make sure you get rid of any unwanted bugs that could potentially spoil your beer.
Lastly, once fermentation is finished and the beer is cold, pop a keg tap on the out, and you’re good to go.
So we about ready to add the work to commander. Basically just need to dump the yeast. We’re at exactly 70 degrees, exactly where I want to be.
This thing is done. It’s 1.009, Beer Smith is telling me that 1.009 is good. As according to Saflager, it might be able to go a little bit lower, but I’m guess with the pressure that we put on it potentially not because the, the pressure kind of mutes the beer.
So, what I’m going to do is add some Superclear here, it’s a two part clearing agent, two stage fining. And I am going to go ahead and put pressure back on this. I’m going to keep constant pressure on it. I’ve heard that that helps with hop aroma.
So this has been in here an hour actually which is what the directions say. I have one ounce of warm water here.
Okay. So now this needs to sit for 24 to 48 hours and I’m going to cold crash it as well. I’m going to pressurize it, but I’m also going to purge it.
You know, if this is a hazy New England IPA or something we were doing here, I wouldn’t do this. I’d just leave all the stuff in suspension because that’s what the beer’s supposed to look like.
But since I’m making light lager here, I’m figuring I’d go ahead and see if I can get it to clear up, we’ll see.
Welcome to the future. It’s been a couple weeks about to drink this beer. I’ve never fermented a beer like this before. So we’ll see if this keg of destiny will reveal transcendental truths.
Only the future will tell.
We’ll just unlock our Chi, will we feel tingling in our swimsuit areas? I think my beer chakra is vibrating.That’s not your beer chakra.
What? Oh, there it is. Perfect, you want that? Yeah. If you want 60% foam. Okay.
I knew it, look at that. Look at how clear that is. This is the magic. The future. Wow. I say alright. This is the true path.
I was half expecting an eye-roll-face-palm-shrug emoji out of this. I didn’t really know what to expet, but I’ll tell you what really what I’m getting is more of a folded spiritual hands emoji kind of vibe, feeling hashtag blessed right now.
You know, they say variety is the spice of life. But if this was like the last beer, if it was like, okay, this is the beer you get to drink from here on out. Right.
I’d be like, well that’s okay. Right. Fine. I accept. Fair enough.
Sometimes you get a green grass vibe on lager. Not so here it’s a real clean fermentation. Yeah.
Like I’m not getting no off flavors, no sulfur, no eggy lager, No diacetyl.
You know, when you’re mowing the lawn, when you get those stripes just perfect. And then, you get your neighbors over. You guys all have your pleated pants on your polos. Tucked in?
Tucked in, and you pull one of these out. That’s when you know you’ve done it right.
Dude, I’d re-pop my polo when that happens. I’d take my visor off, I’d flip it upside down, I’d put it on backwards and I’d pop the Oakleys right on.
It’s finished in three or four days. And then… Three, four days, Then you throw it a log tap. Yeah and then I just toss it in the old…
Is it under pressure then still? You know what I did is I put some super clear in it. Okay.
Which is why it’s pretty super clear. Yeah. And then tossed it in the old lager fridge. And it’s been sitting at three-three.
Dude, you could pick up like a dorm fridge or a Craigslist chest freezer for nothing these days on the internet.
You can just drive around and pick one up until you see one in an alley. You drive around untill you see open garage door. And just take their kegerator, Chest freezer. Boom.
I’m thinking normalize this beer, cancel all other beers. But really though, this is, and this is impressive. I’m impressed. I’d be hard pressed to go back to non-pressure fermented lagers.
Open your palette chakra and then you’re going to want to vibrate the beer through your pallet chakra into your concavity. Allow the essence of the lager to fill your concavity and re-pressurize your interior with positive vibrations.
Lead marketer, brewer, dad, and husband. Pretty much an all-round awesome guy. I’ve been homebrewing for +20 yrs, an aspiring pro-brewer and micro brewery owner!