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  • Pressurized Fermentation

    I am looking into all aspects of pressurized fermentation. I was interested if any brewpubs around the 5 BBL size use this process for carbonization or just force-carbonate in the serving tanks? From my point of view I see that their are possible financial savings in reusing the CO2 produced from fermentation instead of buying an outside source to force-carbonate. For a small brewpub, is it worth the money and eqiupment to go with pressurized fermentation? I will be running a 5 BBL system, and am looking (like a brewers) to increase the quality of the beer. Does this have an affect on the final taste and aroma characteristcs also? I hypothesis that it would.

  • #2
    For ales, the pressures you would have to hold to get a full carbonation would require much more expensive ASME rated tanks (over 15 psi).
    Linus Hall
    Yazoo Brewing
    Nashville, TN
    [url]www.yazoobrew.com[/url]

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    • #3
      Every batch of ale I make is finished under pressure--mainly for the CO2 savings, which are high here. It takes a bit more care to filter and prepare a receiving tank, but the efforts are worth it. The beer flavor is great, especially if you dry hop, as the aromas are kept in the beer and not scrubbed out with other volatiles. Some have argued that the flavor is not as fine because these other volatiles can contain high levels of undesireable aromas, but arguements can be made for just about every process. If I'm not mistaken, the Germans never force carbonate. Use a spunding valve, keep the naturally evolved CO2, and try it for yourself. Then you'll know for sure! Good luck!
      Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--

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      • #4
        Has there been any studies done on recycled co2 from primary fermentation being reused for force carbonation later? I seem to recall reading somewhere that naturally formed co2 has finer bubbles, I'd be interested to know if they make much of a differnce in taste. I think I read somewhere that Bridgeport uses this method.
        www.devilcraft.jp
        www.japanbeertimes.com

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        • #5
          pressure fermentation and ale carbonation

          I carbonate all my beer, including ales during fermentation.

          I use a primary fermenter that can be pressurised and sparged. After 2-3days at ca. 65-70 F the pressure in the fermenter is allowed to build up to ca. 10-16 psi. The green beer has about 0.35% CO2 at this stage.
          The green beer is then transferred with 1-2% fermentable sugar to a secondary pre-pressurised at ca. 2psi. Some of the CO2 is of course lost during transfer, but not as much as perhaps expected. The pressure is allowed to climb during transfer to the saturation point of the green beer. The escaping CO2 vents the secondary fermenter.
          The secondary fermentation is usually vigorous and the pressure in the tank climbs within 4 days to ca. 28psi at 65-68F. Final attenuation is reached not long after. Extra CO2 (depending on temp) can then be sparged out, giving a gas wash and at the same time aiding flocculation.

          I agree with previous posts - you need to take more care and you need more preparation but I am satisfied with the reults and quality of the ales.
          It isn't necessary to use the 2-Tank system, a single, pressurised, fermentation tank will also do. I use horizontal secondaries because I do not filter the beer or use finings. The horizontal secondaries are a definite plus for clarification.
          I am also aware of claims that naturally carbonated beer has finer lacing, tastes smoother etc. etc. Debatable sure, but I think it is so. One proposed reason is that the fine colliods in the conditioning beer help bind the CO2 more efficiently.

          P.S. Sure sometimes things go wrong and the beer ends up under carbonated. When this has happened I have boosted the carbonation In the tank once the beer has been cooled down.

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          • #6
            You have to get to about 500,000 bbls per year for CO2 reclimation to be cost effective.
            Larry Horwitz

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            • #7
              Any CO2 capture system must include sets of filters, dryers, and scrubbers to eliminate volatiles, aromas, and water vapor. If the CO2 is not purified, then the beers that contain the recycled CO2 will promote headaches, hangovers, and off-flavors. I do use CO2 from fermenting beers to purge tanks without issues, but I wouldn't carbonate with it.
              Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--

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              • #8
                How about location?

                Originally posted by Larry Horwitz
                You have to get to about 500,000 bbls per year for CO2 reclimation to be cost effective.
                Is Alaskan at 1/2 a million barels yet? Your blanket statement doesn't account for location and cost of delivering C02 to remote breweries.

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                • #9
                  ok, 99.9% of breweries won't recoup until 500,000. Who'd put a brewery in Alaska anyway....(lol)
                  Larry Horwitz

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