Author Topic: Vacuum fermentation - any documented history?  (Read 1130 times)

Offline talotam

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Vacuum fermentation - any documented history?
« on: April 23, 2016, 03:48:48 PM »
Reading up on all the variables in effects on yeast fermentation, I see that internal pressure on a closed fermenter has a negative effect.  Has anyone done any studies, or experienced any studies, on subjecting a closed fermenter to negative pressures?

I have a 22-gallon Brewhemoth cylindriconical fermentor, and am interested in experimenting in this realm.  I am able to maintain fairly close temperature control, and I can keep other variables (colony size, oxygenation, OG, mash temperatures, etc.) stable through different trials.

Please let me know any documentation or experiences you may have.

Thanks,

Offline erockrph

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Re: Vacuum fermentation - any documented history?
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2016, 04:23:12 PM »
I would be careful in defining "negative effect". I think that is yeast-strain dependent, and depends on what effect you are looking for (more esters, less esters, attenuation, etc.).

If you are fermenting in a vacuum, how do you get oxygen to the yeast for replication?
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Vacuum fermentation - any documented history?
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2016, 04:57:40 PM »
In essence, brewing at high altitude is an example of this phenomena. Sean Terrell is the head brewer at the second highest commercial brewery in the country (2 Mile High Brewing). He has told me some of the activity he's seen. He says the beers do attenuate very well. Hopefully Sean will pipe up on this subject.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Vacuum fermentation - any documented history?
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2016, 05:25:56 PM »
In essence, brewing at high altitude is an example of this phenomena. Sean Terrell is the head brewer at the second highest commercial brewery in the country (2 Mile High Brewing). He has told me some of the activity he's seen. He says the beers do attenuate very well. Hopefully Sean will pipe up on this subject.

He has been doing his homebrew test batches. The bottle of his Belgian Pale was pretty nice, got that last Oct. when we drove thorough and met him for lunch. His page says he is not open yet, the final build out was to start when the weather breaks this spring.

It turns out another place has opened, looks to be one six blocks up the street. Periodic Brewing, the logo is "Pb". I get it! IIRC there was a nano in planning when we visited. Some friends from MI were just at Periodic.
https://www.facebook.com/periodicbrewing/


« Last Edit: April 23, 2016, 05:32:06 PM by hopfenundmalz »
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Vacuum fermentation - any documented history?
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2016, 07:03:19 PM »
It turns out another place has opened, looks to be one six blocks up the street. Periodic Brewing, the logo is "Pb". I get it! IIRC there was a nano in planning when we visited. Some friends from MI were just at Periodic.
https://www.facebook.com/periodicbrewing/
I appreciate the logo, but I am hesitant to consume anything produced by "Pb" brewery. Paint Chip Porter, anyone?
Eric B.

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Offline blair.streit

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Re: Vacuum fermentation - any documented history?
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2016, 07:21:25 PM »
It turns out another place has opened, looks to be one six blocks up the street. Periodic Brewing, the logo is "Pb". I get it! IIRC there was a nano in planning when we visited. Some friends from MI were just at Periodic.
https://www.facebook.com/periodicbrewing/
I appreciate the logo, but I am hesitant to consume anything produced by "Pb" brewery. Paint Chip Porter, anyone?
I guess I should withdraw my application for Lead Balloon Brewery?

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Vacuum fermentation - any documented history?
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2016, 01:03:24 AM »
It turns out another place has opened, looks to be one six blocks up the street. Periodic Brewing, the logo is "Pb". I get it! IIRC there was a nano in planning when we visited. Some friends from MI were just at Periodic.
https://www.facebook.com/periodicbrewing/
I appreciate the logo, but I am hesitant to consume anything produced by "Pb" brewery. Paint Chip Porter, anyone?
It is named Leadville for a reason. There was a big superfund site there to clean up the lead mine tailings in California Gultch near town. Maybe just stay away?

A long time ago I realized that there was a myth concerning the pure Colorado water. Mining left tens of thousands of shafts that leak toxic heavy metals into the streams.
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Offline talotam

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Re: Vacuum fermentation - any documented history?
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2016, 05:55:46 PM »
The mention of "negative effect" references higher levels of pressure in a closed fermentor.  Since this is deemed detrimental, I was curious about the opposite effect.

I would, of course, attempt a vacuum at low levels on the fermentor after 24 hours.  This should give the yeast ample time to finish the lag and enter the exponential phase of attenuation. 

My concern is with any damage to the yeast cell walls, or would the yeast react positively.  Potentially a higher attenuation?  Or a quicker finish? 

Offline Stevie

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Re: Vacuum fermentation - any documented history?
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2016, 09:41:11 PM »
Go for it. I know I've seen attachments for vacuum sealers designed to help degas wine. The hardest thing would be creating a steady vacuum that isn't so high it sucks all of be headspace out pulling wort and foam with it or collapsing/shattering the fermenter.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Vacuum fermentation - any documented history?
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2016, 01:25:08 AM »
One should make sure of the vacuum rating for the fermentation vessel. Some vessels are good in pressure, not so good in a vacuum load case.

http://discussions.probrewer.com/showthread.php?33925-Imploded-a-120BBl-tank-without-a-vacuum-relief-valve
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Offline talotam

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Re: Vacuum fermentation - any documented history?
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2016, 02:29:08 PM »
I will check vacuum rating on the Brewhemoth fermentor.

At this time, my thinking on vacuum fermentation is to assess the effects on attenuation (as already mentioned), yeast health, final flavors, and anything else I can categorize.  I am thinking about doing initial DOE using small batches split from an early primary fermentation. 

I have multiple vacuum generators which can be set at different negative pressures.  I can split into several 1-gallon or even 1/2 gallon glass jugs, and set pressures at atmospheric and below.  Being at an initial altitude of 880 MSL (mean sea level), I can even pressurize one at true 0 MSL and then reduce from there.

I will not venture to begin this DOE tomorrow, or even this Spring.  I need to find time and, hopefully, assistance from friends in the area.  Whatever I can discover, I will pass on.  Any hard data regarding setup and ongoing results will be also posted.

Wish me luck.

Offline yso191

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Re: Vacuum fermentation - any documented history?
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2016, 03:49:42 PM »
I recall something about macro-lager being fermented under a small amount of pressure.  The idea was that it helped speed fermentation.
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Offline denny

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Re: Vacuum fermentation - any documented history?
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2016, 03:52:59 PM »
I recall something about macro-lager being fermented under a small amount of pressure.  The idea was that it helped speed fermentation.

Yeah, that's correct.  This whole thing has made me wonder where the concept of negative pressure came from.
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Offline talotam

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Re: Vacuum fermentation - any documented history?
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2016, 10:22:10 PM »
For me, the concept is just a quick brain fart.  I understand about the problems with yeast functioning properly at higher pressures - especially in stronger brews.  I thought a lower pressure might prevent the alcohol from forcing itself so greatly on the yeast walls and thus penetrating and "stupefying" the yeast.

Wonder if they ever experimented on this stuff in the ISS way up above us.

Offline denny

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Re: Vacuum fermentation - any documented history?
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2016, 10:32:44 PM »
For me, the concept is just a quick brain fart.  I understand about the problems with yeast functioning properly at higher pressures - especially in stronger brews.  I thought a lower pressure might prevent the alcohol from forcing itself so greatly on the yeast walls and thus penetrating and "stupefying" the yeast.

Wonder if they ever experimented on this stuff in the ISS way up above us.

You may have a solution that's looking for a problem.
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