Closed Transfer Kegging

Closed Transfer

After 9 days in the primary fermenter, Philip and I did a closed transfer to a corny keg and stuck that bad boy in “Tortuga”, our home-made draft box/gas system.

Before we kegged, Philip took a post-fermentation sample to check gravity and pH. The pH was spot on – a value of 4.3 (finished ales should be ~ 4.0-4.4). Our final gravity was the more surprising value (keep reading to find out why!)

The next step was to clean and sanitize anything the beer was going to touch. This included the keg, transfer lines, carbonation stone, and container for the harvested yeast.

Once that was done, we hooked up the lines to do the closed transfer.

The lid set-up you see in the picture is something I rigged up specifically for doing closed transfers. I used a standard Brew Bucket lid with a 1.5′ TC going to a TC Extension Tube, and a Pressure Transfer Fitting.

The gas line going to the top of the fermenter is controlled with it’s own designated regulator – we only want about 2-3 psi going into the fermenter (Brew Buckets are NOT pressure tanks!). The pressure transfer fitting on top does have a pressure release valve in case the pressure goes too high in the fermenter. As the beer gravity feeds into the keg, the dead space in the fermenter is replaced by CO2 instead of air (Oxygen = bad!).

This set-up works great and really helps to keep oxidation at bay and prevent ambient yeast and bacteria from getting into the keg. Once the fermenter was empty, we simply mixed the yeast left in the cone and poured it into a jar for next brew!

AleProof Analysis

This last week has been exciting because it has given us a chance to test AleProof with real data and real scenarios. Needless to say, the list of bug fixes and GUI revisions is endless! But each day the program improves.

The screenshot below show the Batch Data Manager – this is how fermentation data is input into the program.

Batch Data Manager

The most surprising aspect we gathered from the Batch Analysis was the yeast attenuation. We used Wyeast 1056 American Ale and as you can see, Wyeast has an attenuation range of 73-77% listed. This batch had an OG of 1.046 and a FG of 1.002, that’s an attenuation of 96%!

Attenuation of 96%

This is not necessarily a bad thing – our beer will just be higher ABV and drier than we intended. But we wanted to know why, so we did a little more analysis.

One of the things that effects attenuation is temperature. Wyeast 1056 has a recommended temp range of 60-72°F. We flipped the Yeast Temp Range function on and you can see that the temperature rode the top of that range throughout primary fermentation.

The blue line is temperature and the light blue field is the temperature range for Wyeast 1056

On brew day, we had a fairly low mash temp which could also contribute to a more attenuable wort. However, AleProof currently does not take into account mash temp – but guess what? It will soon! The great thing about Danger Shed is that it is bringing to light all the things we’ve left out in AleProof.

Manufacturer FG Range

The screenshot above shows gravity in blue, and the yeast manufacturer FG range (Man FG) in the pink field. The Man FG is calculated using the OG of your batch and the attenuation range of the yeast given by the manufacturer. As you can see, our actual FG was far lower than the Man FG.

Style Ranges

The style of this beer is a Blonde Ale. The screenshot above shows the OG and FG ranges in pink for that style of beer. We were within the OG range but fell below the FG range.

What’s Next?

  • Thursday – Carbonate and clean draft lines
  • Saturday – Crawfish boil and serve the beer!

Keep Up With Danger Shed

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Brew Dangerously

Published by Danger Shed

Welcome to Danger Shed...a side project started by three bros in a backyard. Philip makes the mead, Patrick brews the beer, and John keeps things dangerous. It’s going to be a wild ride.

3 thoughts on “Closed Transfer Kegging

    1. It really has made a difference! And the Brew Buckets are great for everything except harvesting yeast – haven’t figured out a “safe” way to get the yeast out other than just dump it into a jar.

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      1. I have mainly moved to dry yeast because I like to brew on a whim. So I feel that there really is not point in harvesting yeast. But if I had a odd strain then I would totally do not.

        Like

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