Author Topic: To spund or not to spund...that is the question  (Read 3438 times)

Offline Philbrew

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To spund or not to spund...that is the question
« on: January 27, 2017, 07:09:39 PM »
I was over on the "State of the Forum" thread and it started to derail on the topic of spunding.  I wanted to jump in but thought: Nooo...start a new topic.

Spund carbonating in the keg lets active yeast clean up any oxygen introduced during kegging.  I get that but timing is an issue for many brewers.  Why not let the beer go to FG then carefully keg with a sugar solution?

- Use a short hose and ball-lock to fill keg to top with StarSan thru beer out port and close lid (no air in keg).

- Blow StarSan back out with CO2 and pressurize to seal lid.  Keg now totally purged of air.  Vent pressure.

- Add sugar solution to keg thru the same hose and ball-lock connect on beer-out port.

- Install spare CO2-in connector to vent keg while filling keg thru beer out port.
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Offline beersk

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Re: To spund or not to spund...that is the question
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2017, 07:17:00 PM »
The way I do it is (in 2.5 gallon kegs) fill to brim with sanitizer, close lid, push out with 5 PSI, close-transfer beer with 4 points left (theoretically, usually around 1.014-1.016), let sit at fermentation temp for another week. Whole process is about 2 weeks.

However, my main issue with this right now is too much yeast in the serving keg. I try not to carry much over, but apparently it's still too much. I'm getting frustrated with it.
Also starting to feel it's not necessarily worth it for me if I'm drinking the beer in 2-4 weeks. Still not sure.
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Offline narcout

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Re: To spund or not to spund...that is the question
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2017, 07:24:38 PM »
Why not let the beer go to FG then carefully keg with a sugar solution?

I've been doing something similar to what you propose with good results (tasted 2 batches, third batch currently carbonating).

I think the potential down side is the yeast is less active and doesn't take up the O2 as quickly. 
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Offline narvin

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Re: To spund or not to spund...that is the question
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2017, 07:34:46 PM »
One of the issues with spunding is timing, and another I have is with beers I want to dry hop, but would rather not do in the keg.  An alternative is priming, but why not add the sugar before transferring to get more yeast action to be more like spunding?
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Offline Philbrew

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Re: To spund or not to spund...that is the question
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2017, 09:07:54 PM »
Why not let the beer go to FG then carefully keg with a sugar solution?

I've been doing something similar to what you propose with good results (tasted 2 batches, third batch currently carbonating).

I think the potential down side is the yeast is less active and doesn't take up the O2 as quickly.
It seems like there should be no O2 to take up.  Could that even possibly be a problem?  Do the yeast need a little O2 to get munching on the carbonation sugar?  This is way outside my knowledge level.
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Offline Stevie

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Re: To spund or not to spund...that is the question
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2017, 09:13:49 PM »
From what Bryan has stated spunding > keg priming > force carb. This makes sense logically if the goal is to minimize the effect of oxygen on the beer.

For me I think keg prime has the happy medium of ease and less o2, but I'm not too excited to wait longer than a couple of days for a keg to be near ready. For this reason I continue to force carb. If I had a more robust supply chain, the wait wouldn't be as big of an issue.

Offline Philbrew

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Re: To spund or not to spund...that is the question
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2017, 09:36:49 PM »
From what Bryan has stated spunding > keg priming > force carb. This makes sense logically if the goal is to minimize the effect of oxygen on the beer.

For me I think keg prime has the happy medium of ease and less o2, but I'm not too excited to wait longer than a couple of days for a keg to be near ready. For this reason I continue to force carb. If I had a more robust supply chain, the wait wouldn't be as big of an issue.
Yeah, I too think keg priming is a happy medium.  Though, if done carefully, it should be the theoretical equal of spunding, O2 wise.  And you don't need to buy spunding valves.
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Offline narcout

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Re: To spund or not to spund...that is the question
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2017, 09:55:56 PM »
It seems like there should be no O2 to take up.  Could that even possibly be a problem?

I guess you'd need a DO meter to know for sure.  I'm sure I'm introducing at least some air when I open the bale to add the priming solution (and there's probably at least some in the transfer hose, ball valve on my fermentor, in the receiving keg liquid disconnect, etc.).  I'm seriously considering buying a vacuum pump to vacuum/purge the keg several times after the priming sugar is added (would also be good for adding dry hops).

And you don't need to buy spunding valves.

The nice thing about the spunding valve is that you can monitor the pressure buildup even if you aren't using it to release pressure.  From my limited experience, it takes a full 3 weeks for the priming sugar to ferment out - though my latest batch, which I kegged a good 5 to 7 days earlier than my previous two, seems to be finishing up much more quickly. 
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Offline Phil_M

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Re: To spund or not to spund...that is the question
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2017, 11:49:38 PM »
Bryan's goals and mine are a little different, so I come at this from a different perspective. I'm after authentic Real Ale, slightly oxidized and nearly flat.

Here are my two spunding plans:

Plan A

Ferment to spunding point
Purge keg/do nothing for cask
Rack to keg/cask
purge with bottled CO2/roll cask around
spund/secondary fermentation
Push with gas/settle, vent, tap, serve.

Plan B
Ferment out entirely
Purge keg/do nothing for cask
Add primings to keg/cask. Either sugar, or fresh wort if available.
Rack to keg/cask
purge with bottled CO2/roll cask around
spund/secondary fermentation
Push with gas/settle, vent, tap, serve.
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Offline Philbrew

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Re: To spund or not to spund...that is the question
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2017, 02:05:15 AM »
It seems like there should be no O2 to take up.  Could that even possibly be a problem?

I guess you'd need a DO meter to know for sure.  I'm sure I'm introducing at least some air when I open the bale to add the priming solution
Don't open the bale to add priming solution...add it through the beer out post.

 "(and there's probably at least some in the transfer hose, ball valve on my fermentor, in the receiving keg liquid disconnect, etc.). "

 Shouldn't the yeast be able to scavenge that small amount of O2?  Percentage wise, it seems to be a lot less than in the headspace during bottle carbonation.
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Offline Stevie

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Re: To spund or not to spund...that is the question
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2017, 02:14:31 AM »
 I think the main difference is an actively fermenting beer will scrub faster as the yeast is active. It will also off gas co2 helping to purge on its own. The beer that has been sitting on a cake for a week past fermentation will not be able to react as quickly.

Would most people notice? Most likely not. Did I notice my pizza had one less pepperoni on it tonight? No, who the hell counts their pepperoni?

Side note. Is yeast in this case singular or plural? Is this a case for "is" or "are" as the indicative? Sorry, I've been drinking.

Offline Philbrew

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Re: To spund or not to spund...that is the question
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2017, 04:54:03 AM »
I think the main difference is an actively fermenting beer will scrub faster as the yeast is active. It will also off gas co2 helping to purge on its own. The beer that has been sitting on a cake for a week past fermentation will not be able to react as quickly.

Would most people notice? Most likely not. Did I notice my pizza had one less pepperoni on it tonight? No, who the hell counts their pepperoni?

Side note. Is yeast in this case singular or plural? Is this a case for "is" or "are" as the indicative? Sorry, I've been drinking.
Yup, I would agree that spunding is going to carbonate quicker and scrub stray O2 faster.  So that's in favor of spunding.
Is yeast singular or plural?  Hmmm...I dunno...I've been drinking too.   :-\
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Offline wobdee

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Re: To spund or not to spund...that is the question
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2017, 02:14:03 PM »
The way I do it is (in 2.5 gallon kegs) fill to brim with sanitizer, close lid, push out with 5 PSI, close-transfer beer with 4 points left (theoretically, usually around 1.014-1.016), let sit at fermentation temp for another week. Whole process is about 2 weeks.

However, my main issue with this right now is too much yeast in the serving keg. I try not to carry much over, but apparently it's still too much. I'm getting frustrated with it.
Also starting to feel it's not necessarily worth it for me if I'm drinking the beer in 2-4 weeks. Still not sure.

Same here, I don't need my 2.5 gal batches to last more than a month. I'm still debating wether spunding is worth it or not for me, so far I can't tell a difference between it and force carbing but im still experimenting.

Offline el_capitan

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Re: To spund or not to spund...that is the question
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2017, 05:35:07 PM »
Going back to your keg purge, one question that keeps nagging me is - aren't you always leaving at least some sanitizer behind in the keg?  Even my kegs with untrimmed dip tubes leave at least a few ounces of sludge when the keg kicks.  I know StarSan is not toxic, so you guys are simple rolling with it and incorporating some sanitizer into your beer?  I can see how it maybe wouldn't matter in a standard-size batch, but I would think it would make a difference with the small batch brewers. 

Offline Stevie

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Re: To spund or not to spund...that is the question
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2017, 05:38:51 PM »
I have less than an ounce left over in the keg. I'm confident enough to use iodophor at 12.5ppm over starsan. I would worry even less if it was starsan, I just don't want to deal with the foam and iodophor is dirt cheap.