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Author Topic: sometimes I wanna see the bubbles  (Read 433 times)

Offline chinaski

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sometimes I wanna see the bubbles
« on: November 25, 2023, 03:47:56 pm »
I know that fermentation temperature control is the "proper" way of operating and I do it most of the time.  But for the batch I brewed today, I decided it's time to have the fermenter keg close at hand to see, hear, and smell the bubbles as it ferments.  Brings me back to a simpler time when I had carboys sitting around the house...

Offline erockrph

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Re: sometimes I wanna see the bubbles
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2023, 06:12:38 am »
For me, airlocks make me think of fruit flies floating in them, and that kills any nostalgia i might have for them. i've been fermenting in kegs for so long, that it's the faint hiss from my spunding valve that I associate with fermentation cruising along, rather than airlock bubbles.
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Offline BrewBama

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sometimes I wanna see the bubbles
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2023, 07:19:28 am »
I fill a keg with sanitizer and use the CO2 produced by fermentation to push it out. The discharge hose from the keg is in a 5 gal bucket. Instead of a steady CO2 bubbling, after the bucket is filled with sanitizer and fermenting continues, it accumulates CO2 and releases all at once in these huge blasts of CO2. It’s pretty cool to see and hear.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2023, 01:05:19 pm by BrewBama »

Offline Megary

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Re: sometimes I wanna see the bubbles
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2023, 12:11:31 pm »
Simple fermenter and airlock for me. Never seen a fruit fly, knock on wood. Bubbles are always a welcome sight.

Offline chinaski

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Re: sometimes I wanna see the bubbles
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2023, 05:10:13 pm »
I fill a keg with sanitizer and use the CO2 produced by fermentation to push it out. The discharge hose from the keg is in a 5 gal bucket. Instead of a steady CO2 bubbling, after the bucket is filled with sanitizer and fermenting continues, it accumulates CO2 and releases all at once in these huge blasts of CO2. It’s pretty cool to see and hear.
I've read about this and wondered how this doesn't cause a siphon from the sanitizer keg to the bucket?  Do you elevate the bucket so CO2 pressure has to push the sanitizer uphill a bit?

Offline BrewBama

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sometimes I wanna see the bubbles
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2023, 06:02:43 am »
No. It sits on the floor next to the keg.

I believe if it was syphoning it would fill the bucket in a matter of seconds/minutes once the flow begins and there’s no air in the line. However, this takes a cpl days to fill the bucket which indicates to me that no syphoning is taking place.

I’m not saying it’s not syphoning. But… If it is taking place it’s the slowest syphoning I’ve ever seen.

« Last Edit: November 28, 2023, 09:17:57 am by BrewBama »

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: sometimes I wanna see the bubbles
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2023, 02:43:42 pm »
I do the same as BrewBama, but my keg full of sanitizer is on a small stool and the outlet goes into a bucket on the floor with a clamp to hold the outlet hose in place in the bucket.  I give some head pressure start into the keg with a small dose of CO2 to create a positive pressure in the keg (a small siphon out may then be occurring, if at all, but it doesn't drain the keg by any means - just a little bit of sanitizer), then when the fermentation kicks off, the sanitizer flows to the bucket by CO2 pressure from the fermenter.  Since the keg is hooked up to the "in" post from the fermenter, there is no way the keg will siphon back into the fermenter (the "in post" doesn't reach any fluid at that point.)

I hope this helps explain a pretty standard procedure.  I have done this for years.  Also, for what it is worth, I disconnect the keg after it is emptied into the bucket, collecting a little pressure to seal it, then I disconnect the keg and put a spunding valve directly on the fermenter ("in" post, again) to initially carbonate the fermenting beer.  once done, I rack under pressure from the fermenter to a holding (bright/clearing tank) keg for dispensing.
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Offline chinaski

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Re: sometimes I wanna see the bubbles
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2023, 02:52:27 pm »
I do the same as BrewBama, but my keg full of sanitizer is on a small stool and the outlet goes into a bucket on the floor with a clamp to hold the outlet hose in place in the bucket.  I give some head pressure start into the keg with a small dose of CO2 to create a positive pressure in the keg (a small siphon out may then be occurring, if at all, but it doesn't drain the keg by any means - just a little bit of sanitizer), then when the fermentation kicks off, the sanitizer flows to the bucket by CO2 pressure from the fermenter.  Since the keg is hooked up to the "in" post from the fermenter, there is no way the keg will siphon back into the fermenter (the "in post" doesn't reach any fluid at that point.)

I hope this helps explain a pretty standard procedure.  I have done this for years.  Also, for what it is worth, I disconnect the keg after it is emptied into the bucket, collecting a little pressure to seal it, then I disconnect the keg and put a spunding valve directly on the fermenter ("in" post, again) to initially carbonate the fermenting beer.  once done, I rack under pressure from the fermenter to a holding (bright/clearing tank) keg for dispensing.
I think I get why it doesn't siphon- there is no place that air can replace the lost liquid from the sanitizer keg.  So only fermentation CO2 production can push liquid out.  Now I get it.  And I might try it myself.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: sometimes I wanna see the bubbles
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2023, 03:15:59 pm »
You got it.  Give it a try - it works pretty slickly in my experience.
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"