Hi Guys and Gals,
In the middle of my second batch. My first was an Irish Red for guess what??? That's right St. Patties! (finished drinking the stuff way before the day tho...) Even 3D printed myself a Irish themed tap handle for the occasion! Like others I noticed even though I was set at 35 degrees, I could not get a pour under 50 degrees.
I decided to go with an IPA this time around requiring some dry hopping during secondary fermentation. Couple of questions..
1. Are we supposed to shut off the relief valve at some point? (I left it open 1st batch until I drank every last drop)
2. If I open to add hops for secondary, do I do the same steps with the relief valve as first fermentation (close, pressurize, open valve just enough) or close it completely or leave it be?
3. I also wasted a LOT of beer through purging the SRS (or maybe the bartender [ME] was just running the tap more often than I thought). The site glass for me seems to always look the same color (murky brown). What exactly does "clear" look like?
4. anyone used the bottler? Didn't turn out too well for me. Uncapping after a few days didn't give the telltale sound effect and puff of smoke of a nicely carbonated beer and no head when poured. Maybe there's a science to it? Very unimpressive result for me (is that a wet noodle in your pocket? grin) I mean how do you keep the 1-2 inches of CO2 in the bottle long enough to cap the thing once removed from the bottler?
Aren't 3D printers great!
With the relief valve, once the vessel tank pressure is lower than the set point of the valve, for all practically purposes the valve is seated and closed, and not letting pressure out anymore. With that said, as soon as the fermentation process is almost done, I close my valve all the way just because..
For dry hopping I released all the vessel pressure, took the lid off and dropped them in. Then I pumped the vessel back to 10 psi but then purged with the relief valve to push the oxygen out of the tank, just like I do with my kegging system, and then make sure you pump back up to 10 psi after that.
I thought the same with the SRS system, seems to purge a lot of beer...but my beer came out super clear. You can see a pic of a glass I posted a while ago. Looking at the beer threw the site glass is a bit tough to read, but you will see the beer clear up threw it, but mostly I just look to make sure no more trub is in there.
I didn't get the bottler so no input on that.
As a test, I'm going to measure the liquid lost when using the SRS just to see the overall loss. I know when I go from my primary carboys to a secondary, I lost a fair amount there but it did seem like my first batch of beer wasn't near 5 gallons when it was pouring time. The tank is big, I should probably up my recipes to bigger batches, like 6.5 gallons or something.