Is it worth doing closed pressure transfer

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by xx-griz-xx, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. xx-griz-xx

    xx-griz-xx New Member

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    Greetings. I was looking into upgrading some components and was thinking about doing closed pressure beer transfers from fermentation unit to keg. I have been brewing now for nearly 4 yrs and have always just gravity fed beer from carboy/fermentation unit to keg and have never had any oxygen issues affecting my beer. When my keg is filled, I add some c02 and and purge what oxygen is left.

    After researching this process, I have seen folks pressure the fermentation unit and just run a hose into the bottom of the keg and fill it that way. I have also seen where folks are hooking the beer line from the fermentation unit and attaching it to the out line on the keg to make it truly oxygen free transfer.

    That being said, and based on I have never had any issues with oxygen affecting my beer transferring the old fashion way, is it really necessary to utilize a true oxygen free pressure transfer system? Thanks for your time.
     
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  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I've thought about doing it myself too but I've been a little hesitant because I've seen all kinds of people having issues with sucking air or sanitizer back into the beer from the top of the carboy, then they have to come up with a gadget to keep air from getting back in. seems like more trouble than it's worth to me
     
  3. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    See answer in quote above.

    If it were necessary as you asked, we’d all be doing it and you wouldn’t have asked. ;)
     
  4. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    The short answer is yes, it's worth it. Pro's watch this like a hawk, o2 ingress has a big impact on beer quality.
    Well, how do you know that? Oxidation is usually describe as "cardboard" or "sherry like" flavors. These are examples of very prominent oxidation. What about when beer has a small amount of oxidation? This was the subject of a class given at the last AHA convention in Minneapolis by a brewer from New Belgian Brewery. He passed out samples of a IPA with no/low o2 ingress and one with slight o2 ingress. The difference between the 2 beers was very distinct. The beer with slight o2 ingress was duller, hop aroma was low, bitterness was sharp and harsh. The malt character had a strange sweetness. The no/low 02 beer was bright, crisp, cleaner. The aroma was way better than the other beer. The hop flavor was bright and the beer was not sweet at all. I was really surprised and thought, "Shit! Now I have to figure out how to do this without a lot of money or time."

    I close transfer now and the beers keep better. It didn't cost me much as far as money goes. I use a racking cane and one of those orange caps for carboys. I fill the keg with starsan and push it out with co2, then I put a slight amount of gas pressure on the elevated carboy and fill the keg through the out post with the relief valve open. I keep a small positive pressure on the carboy to replace the space voided by the beer with co2, gravity does most of the work. I just kegged 2 beers yesterday with this method. The down side is that it takes more time, which sucks, but I believe it's worth it.

    Here's a Brulosophy experiment that shows an example of cold side oxidation. I don't normally follow these guys too closely, but between the AHA class and this, I thought I would try it.

    http://brulosophy.com/2017/09/11/th...ation-on-new-england-ipa-exbeeriment-results/

    Do more research on the web, there is a lot of good information out there on this subject.
     
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  5. Beer_Pirate

    Beer_Pirate Active Member

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    Do you hook the CO2 to the other port on the orange cap to create that pressure on the carboy? (I'm assuming that the "orange caps" are universal for all of us and have one taller port in the center and a smaller one off to the side at about 45 degrees.)
     
  6. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    I've had experiences with those orange caps- and some of them leak. I had a wine in a carboy for about two months, and when I tasted it, it had oxidized. The carboy next to it (same wine) was fine. So be aware of that. I found that I can do a transfer with the orange cap by using rubber bands around the "lip" part to hold it in place but I wouldn't use those caps otherwise.

    Oxidation isn't necessarily "cardboard" or extreme as was mentioned. Especially in a young beer, it might just be a little less hoppy and not as bright at first. The #1 flaw that I've found in judging is oxidation- rarely extreme, but very often present.

    so the short answer to your question if it's worth it- is YES. Anything you can do to minimize oxygen uptake makes a huge difference.
     
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  7. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I don't go out of my way to protect myself but what I'll do is vent the keg once I've connected it to CO2 for a bit to try and clear off the last of it.
     
  8. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    if you have a closed system the only way I would do it is use C02 to push the beer out and fill the head space with a completely sealed system then you would open the bleed valve of the keg so you would be using more CO2 than normal

    so in my case I would be filling up and losing a 14 gallon fermenter with CO2
     
  9. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    Yes. I use the center port for the racking cane and inject co2 through smaller angled port. I had to modify the orange cap by cutting the center port down so I could get the cane through it. I can post some pictures later today to show my set up. It's kind of crude and cheap, but it works good.

    I think they all leak. I wouldn't use it for fermenting unless you have to for a thermal well. When I do this, I tape or tie wrap it on and before it's done fermenting I switch it to a universal bung on my carboy. Mostly I use the orange caps for transferring beer from one carboy to another if I plan on a longer lager or to the keg.

    If you purge your keg prior to kegging as opposed to filling the keg with starsan and push it out with co2, you will save quite a bit of co2. The carboy is slightly pressurized as to replace the exiting beer with co2 and a lot leaks by the cap. You will get some waste doing this, but I don't have any other solution that's better with using carboys.

    I'm trying to brew the finest beer under the crudest of circumstances. Doesn't always work out, but I try.
     
  10. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I use a 14 gallon plastic drum as a fermenter with a camlock elbow to a blow off tube, it is completely sealed and air tight now, brew hardware has the parts I need to hook a keg post to camlock for the gas in, I would have to add a weldless ball valve to the bottom of the drum and then build a custom line from the ball valve to the keg post, I realize that gravity would feed the beer fine but you would be pulling C02 or air back into the top of the fermenter,

    I see other people use a water filtration system with 2 jars
    http://www.norcalbrewingsolutions.com/store/CO2-Carbon-Dioxide-Harvester-Kit.html
    3210-Wide-Mouth-Canning-Jar-CO2-Harvester-Kit-Logo.jpg
     
  11. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    that's not meant for what I'm taking about but you get the point
     
  12. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    Lol. Comical. $50 jars not included.
     
  13. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    5D248C77-C6F6-4CE0-BE6A-C99196ACF774.jpeg
    This is how I transfer from a carboy. The gas tube is 3/8” ID that slips over the angled tube on the cap. A 1/4” ID gas line inserts inside the 3/8” ID tube. It’s pretty simple, cheap and it works well. You can’t pressurize the carboy too much, 1-2 psi at the most since it’s not made to be pressurized. So “pushing” the beer with gas pressure is out of the question, but you can use gravity and put a small positive pressure on the carboy to do a closed transfer.
     
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  14. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    yes I see my carboy is much bigger but I guess you could fill the top head pace with c02 and let gravity do the rest
     
  15. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I was just thinking like an engineer, what goes out must be filled with something coming in, if completely sealed it would stop at some point
     
  16. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    Right. Your either going to have let atmosphere in or put a slight positive pressure with co2 gas. When your done the carboy is empty of beer but filled with co2. Kind of crude, but what the heck, it works.
     
  17. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    That's exactly what I do. Beats the heck out of having to keep pumping an autosiphon
     
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  18. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Pump an auto siphon? What’s wrong with it? (Please tell me your “to” vessel isn’t at the same height as your “from” vessel)
     
  19. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member

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    I'm unclear on how this works. Is co2 going into the carboy just to start the siphon? Then gas off? And what about the beer into the keg ... do you connect to the beer out post on the keg? Anything special with the keg, or are you just letting the beer displace oxygen as the keg fills? Or is the keg given a blast of co2 so that as beer goes in it displaces mostly co2 with some o2?
     
  20. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    Yup, table height to floor. I think the rubber gasket got worn or something. Seemed to start off strong, then fizzle out after a little bit. And seemed to be picking up a lot of air at the same time, the hose was full of bubbles.
    Much better since I switched methods
     

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