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Tag: fermenter (Page 2 of 2)

DampRid Product Review

DampRid Product Review

 

After adding new carboys to my fermentation freezer, I will typically get excess condensation buildup. If left unattended, the moisture can lead to mildew and mold growth in the freezer. To help reduce moisture, I will typically wipe the inside of the freezer down with a dry towel every couple of days and leave a container of DampRid inside. The DampRid does a good job of absorbing the excess moisture and keeps the freezer free of mold. It is relatively inexpensive and usually lasts for a couple of months.

 

It can be purchased here:

DampRid Moisture Remover

 

I rate DampRid at 4 out of 5 stars.

Use DampRid to remove moisture from your fermentation freezer or keezer

Use DampRid to remove moisture from your fermentation freezer or keezer

Sediment

Beer sediment is the collection of solids that fall out suspension of a fermenting or conditioning beer. Sediment is mostly comprised of yeast, grain solids, hop solids, and adjunct solids. As the beer ferments or conditions, the dense solids fall and settle to the floor of a fermenter, conditioning vessel, or bottle, in the case of a bottle conditioned beer. The sediment is typically discarded, but if the yeast is still healthy, it may be recycled from the sediment to be used to ferment future beers.

Primary Fermentation

Primary fermentation in beer brewing is the initial fermentation process where yeast will convert most or all of the wort sugars to alcohol and CO2 (carbon dioxide). After the yeast has been pitched into the wort, there is typically between 2 and 24 hour yeast lag time where the yeast acclimates to the fermentation environment and begins to replicate consuming sugars and the available oxygen in the wort; there is little alcohol conversion and CO2 generated during the lag phase.

Once the lag phase completes, a foamy head called a krausen begins to form in the fermentation vessel. The krausen is composed mostly of proteins, yeast, and the carbon dioxide that the yeast is rapidly producing. During primary fermentation the yeast is producing approximately equal parts of both alcohol and CO2. Depending on the style of beer, original gravity, quantity of yeast pitched, and fermentation temperature, the primary fermentation for an ale will last between 5-14 days, then it will then be transferred to a secondary fermentation vessel to allow the beer to condition and finish out its fermentation. In some cases only a primary fermentation is completed, and the beer may spending additional time in the primary fermenter or condition in the bottle, keg, or holding vessel.

 

Primary fermentation occurring two days after the yeast was pitched into an American Wheat style Hefeweizen. The krausen has formed and a great deal of alcohol and CO2 is being produced.

Primary Fermentation

Primary Fermentation

Keg

Kegs are cylindrical beer storage vessels that are typically constructed out of stainless steel or aluminum. They come in a variety of sizes from 2 gallons all the way up to a full size 1/2 barrel keg at 15.5 gallons.

I like to consider a keg to be a home brewer’s best friend. The primary benefit of a keg over bottles is the convenience. There is only one container to clean, sanitize, fill and carbonate; kegs are also very durable and allow you to modify your carbonation level if desired.

Most home brewers use a version of a 5 gallon keg known as a corny keg or Cornelius keg. Below is a photo of three varieties of 5 gallon kegs. On the left is a 5 gallon ball lock Cornelius keg, in the center is a 1/6th barrel keg (that you would typically receive from a large scale or craft brewery) and to the right is a pin lock conversion keg; all hold approximately 5 gallons of beer.

The ball lock kegs tend to be most common and prized by home brewers. I personally use both ball lock and pin lock kegs that have been converted to ball lock so that they are compatible with my CO2 system. I use my pin lock conversion kegs as fermentation vessels in my temperature controlled fermentation freezer. The pin lock kegs are shorter and wider which allows me to fit them in my fermentation freezer without the need of a collar extension for the freezer.

Special air locks are available for use with the keg-style fermenters; I only use them as a secondary fermenter due to the reduced head space available for the foam created during primary fermentation.

 

Below are three varieties of 5 gallon kegs.

Different Types of 5 Gallon Beer Kegs

Different types of 5 gallon beer kegs.

Airlock

An airlock or fermentation lock is a single direction sanitary valve used during fermentation. It allows the large quantities of carbon dioxide being produced by the yeast to escape while not permitting outside air\oxygen or contaminants to enter the fermentation chamber. This creates a sanitary seal on the fermenter and helps prevent the oxidization of the fermenting beer.

The airlock or fermentation lock typically contains a sanitizer to help maintain the integrity of the fermenter. Airlocks tend to be made of clear plastic or glass so that the CO2 bubbles passing through them can be monitored as a way of gauging how active the fermentation process is.

 

 

Below is an example of a three piece airlock, S shaped airlock, and a blowoff tube.

Example of different types of Airlocks \ Fermentation Locks and a  Blow Off Tube
Example of different types of airlocks/fermentation locks and a blowoff tube.

Fermentation Lock

An fermentation lock or airlock is a single direction sanitary valve used during fermentation. It allows the large quantities of carbon dioxide being produced by the yeast to escape while not permitting outside air\oxygen or contaminants to enter the fermentation chamber. This creates a sanitary seal on the fermenter and helps prevent the oxidization of the fermenting beer.

The airlock or fermentation lock typically contains a sanitizer to help maintain the integrity of the fermenter. Airlocks tend to be made of clear plastic or glass so that the CO2 bubbles passing through them can be monitored as a way of gauging how active the fermentation process is.

 

 

Below is an example of a three piece airlock, S shaped airlock, and a blowoff tube.

Example of different types of Airlocks \ Fermentation Locks and a  Blow Off Tube

Example of different types of airlocks/fermentation locks and a blowoff tube.

Cold Filtering

Cold filtering or cold crashing is a common method used to clarify beer. When a beer is cold filtered, it is chilled down to approximately 35° F and left for several days to weeks. During that time, yeast and other solids tend to clump together and fall to the bottom of the fermenter or holding vessel. The beer is then racked above the sediment layer and potentially passed through a filter if additional clarifying is desired. Cold filtering is not appropriate for some beer styles, such as hefeweizens or certain Belgian ales where a yeasty flavor or hazy beer is desired.

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