Picking up home fermentation/brewing

Rattus Suffocatus

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2019
1,061
Corona de Tucson, AZ
$350 probably isn't bad for that setup depending what brand this pump is, etc. I probably have $250 in my setup at least. As for force carbing.. you are correct that using a tank to do it is technically force carbing... but on the boards, etc. that is generally taken to do the "shake and bake method". I am the odd one who usually likes to sugar prime a keg. The reason why is that the yeast will "eat up" the remaining oxygen in the beer during this process. This is why I generally think the lodo guys are a little crazy, they will argue until they are blue in the face that it doesn't help at all when in fact it's about 1/3 of what they are doing overall. There are cases where this isn't practical or the beer sits too long (like a highly dry hopped IPA) and then going "artificial" is better. One other nice thing about sugar priming is that you use a lot less CO2 and don't need refills as often. Ultimately, you will "force carb" a little because in a keg you want to undershoot the volumes of CO2 a little and let the tank make up the difference for the same reason you don't want to overcarb when doing shake and bake... if you do it right you can drink right away but will make up the CO2 in a day or two for perfection.

Typically if I do a complete artificial carbonation, I will shake and bake a little in the beginning... and then I will hook up at pressure for a week. You can reverse the CO2 line in the keg like above, but I am lazy and that means you have to depressurize the keg at then end before serving which is messy. So alternatively, I'll shake it up a bit every day for that week or so and then at day 7 or 8 you are good to go...

The Mangrove Jacks M02 is going strong right now. It's behavior is odd compared to other yeasts I have used like D47, but as long as it cranks away... it cranks away. (I could have a leak somewhere on my fancy fermenter too but you don't worry about such things as long as it's going.) It seems to get good reviews. I will let you know. Though it looks like you will know anyway. I have been meaning to try that yeast since about 2015....

One thing that is nice about cider in 2020, is that almost all brands now are Pasteurized and it's now hard to find one with sulfates in it. It used to be the other way around, only a couple of years ago. Musselman's at $5 gallon used to be the only reliable way to go (it's still the best commercial mass produced cider though). If this works then two of those and four of the Walmart brand (3 qt) might be my new quick cider recipe.. That and a cup of sugar boiled in water.... That brings a batch down to $5/gal or so which is nice...
 
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jseyfert3

Bronze Supporter
Oct 20, 2017
838
South-Central WI
If you didn't realize I didn't know what yeasts to get so I just got all the yeasts you mentioned, plus one cider specific yeast I saw.

Well, my kreezer is done for now. Two taps, 4 shanks, a 6-way CO2 manifold. Just needs more kegs and two more faucets.

I have an extra hole on the left to route a future CO2 line out of the kreezer, for cleaning/sealing kegs and force carbing. That's why I went with a 6-way vs a 4 way. Plus I can fit 5 kegs so I could potentially add a 5th faucet at some point, but we will see.




 
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Rattus Suffocatus

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2019
1,061
Corona de Tucson, AZ
I mentioned yeasts that I wanted to try. The Mangrove Jack's is a bizarre yeast. It's working but man is it different than any beer or wine yeast I have ever used. I was lazy this time (as I often am with ciders) and didn't check OG. I wish I would have. I had the primary in at 68°F for a week and now it's out for cleanup at the about 85F the garage here is in the summer. But minimal airlock activity and the finest lees/trub I have ever seen m. Smells good though.

I never did liquid yeasts all that much because I had a hard time doing a starter on a stir plate exactly three days before a brew. So I used a lot of dry. For a lager it's hard to beat W34/70 dry anyway. For IPA and APA, I used to use a mix of US05 and K97. K97 is supposed to be a Kolsch yeast but most people use it for wheat beers but it is super clean at low temperatures. For darker "English" beers I use Nottingham because I don't like S-04. Here is where the liquid strains might be better. I am going to try the Voss kveik yeast because of the heat tolerance it is supposed to be super neutral. For most beers in your climate US-05 at about 65-70°F .
 

jseyfert3

Bronze Supporter
Oct 20, 2017
838
South-Central WI
Carbonation at room temp (~70 °F) at 28 psi worked well. I connected the kegs, shook for a while till the regulator stopped hissing, then left on the regulator for a few days. Once I got my kreezer working I bled off all the pressure in the headspace, connected both kegs to the manifold and adjusted the regulator to 12 psi, then turned the kreezer on and chilled the kegs, with the help of a fan for faster chilling. Less than 24 hours later and we had carbonation that was spot on.

So as I expected you can get great carbonation without worry of overcarb at ~28 psi at room temp. The key thing, and this is important, is to remember to bleed off the pressure in the headspace before chilling. Otherwise you'll chill and the pressure will be above 20 and the now chilled keg will absorb more CO2 and become overcarbed.

Having beer and cider on tap is amazing. Can't wait till the LHBS gets more kegs in stock, as soon as they do (Monday or Tuesday week after next) I'll be kegging a Summer Ale kit I brewed last weekend.
 
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