Saturday, October 1, 2016

Fermenting in a bag

I've been doing this for quite a while, several years now, at least: fermenting in a bag. It's easy clean up, easy yeast harvesting, and it fits my little chest freezer. The pictures here are from a couple of different brew days to show the complete process.

I have two of these 13 gallon recycle bins, they are just the right size that two fit in my chest freezer. There is plenty of headspace for a 10 gallon batch, I've never had a a problem with a strong fermentation blowing over the top.

Here are the two recycle bins in the freezer. The one on the left has a Costco trash compactor bag in it. The bags are 18 gallons and are made of new material, not recycled plastic. Costco doesn't claim these are food grade bags, but then, they really aren't intended for this use. These are the bags I've been using for fermenting. The light bulb on the right is actually a terrarium heat bulb, no light, just heat. It's a 60W bulb and is enough to keep the beer at the right temperature even in the winter.

Filling the bag.

Temp is set at 66F. The controller is an Inkbird Itc-308 Digital Temperature Controller Outlet Thermostat, which is super simple to set up and it has controllers for both hot and cold.

A quart and a half of fresh yeast.

Different day, pumping the beer into a keg. Notice the kitchen size trash bag over the top.

Yeast is in a conical!

Saving the yeast.

Looks nice!

Batch 194, Smooth IPA

New recipe, sort of. I got about 5 lb of Chinook hops from some fresh bines recently, so I made an IPA out of them. This is basically the same recipe as St. Brigid Lake, but with all Chinook. It's almost a SMASH beer, but not quite.

10 gallon batch

25 lb 2-row
1.5 lb wheat

Mashed at 156F, it was cool today so the temp dropped to about 152 by the end of the mash.

0.5 oz Chinook, FWH
0.5 oz Chinook, 90 min
0.5 oz Chinook, 80 min
0.5 oz Chinook, 70 min
0.5 oz Chinook, 60 min
0.5 oz Chinook, 50 min
0.5 oz Chinook, 40 min
0.5 oz Chinook, 30 min
0.5 oz Chinook, 20 min
2 tsp Irish Moss, 15 min
0.5 oz Chinook, 10 min
0.5 oz Chinook, 5 min
1.0 oz Chinook, 0 min


Wyeast 1272, reused from previous batches.

OG: 1.056 actual, should have hit 1.061, not sure why the miss.

Update: So I was told these hops were Chinook, but that turns out to be wrong, they are Mosaic! The peach aroma is astounding! I've made a few more batches with these hops, plus with some fresh Mosaic hops harvested directly from a local hop farm, and those "Chinook" hops are definitely Mosaic. So good!