58L Sanke Keg Solera Project

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58L Sanke Keg Solera Project

Post by RubberToe » Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:12 pm

Hey guys and gals,

I haven't been brewing a whole lot lately but ever since the Brewnosers competition I've been thinking a lot about sour and funky beers and what I can produce. If you know me you know the gears are always churning (mad science!). So, here's what I'm going to do. Solera. 58L sanke keg.

In case you're unfamiliar with what a solera is, it's when you have a (large) fermentation vessel and after a period of time take a portion of fermented beer out and top it up with fresh wort or (patially) fermented beer. You then calculate the average age of the solera. It helps develop complex flavours and armoa, funkiness, sourness, etc. You can change the characteristics over time based on the organisms you introduce and your wort.

Here's some inspiration: http://www.themadfermentationist.com/20 ... arrel.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The author of that blog is also the author of the book American Sour Beers. I'm currently reading that and Wild Brews.

I'm going to brew 3 5 gallon batches into separate primary fermentors. The recipes, yeast, and bacteria are yet to be determined. I want to split them to develop complexity.

When I see fit, these will be transferred into a 58L sanke keg, probably with some additional brett and lactobacillus. It will stay untouched for 9 - 12 months.

This will be a special keg fermentor! I have designed a special apparatus in order to eliminate oxygen exposure when adding and removing beer. I really don't want much acetic acid character. This apparatus will have a ball lock port for CO2, a sanitary sample / transfer valve, and a blow off. The fermentor will be on a cart and hooked up to a temperature controller and heat belt. I'll post pics as I go.

After it's up and running my plan is to every so often remove about 5 gallons and replace it with fresh wort and micro-organisms. When I remove wort I'll decide what to do with it, maybe another fermentation on fruit, oak it, keg, or bottle it.

This is going to be a lot of fun. :rockin:

I'm looking forward to the results, sharing, and trading bottles.

Feedback welcome!

Oh, and I'm currently looking for some 1/2" straight stainless tubing.

-Rob
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Re: 58L Sanke Keg Solera Project

Post by GuingesRock » Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:25 pm

That's very interesting. I will follow this keenly. Proper Newcastle Brown Ale was made like this originally (a blend of aged and fresh). Isn't Guinness the same? I think the original porters too? Maybe you know something about that. I think a lot of the historical English beers. This could be a big thing! Go Rob! :rockin:
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Re: 58L Sanke Keg Solera Project

Post by RubberToe » Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:03 pm

Thanks!

Yeah, this isn't just a thing for sour beers. It can be done with pure sacc beers and is done with other things such as balsamic vinegar.

I hadn't considered doing this with another style of beer. I imagine it could make a decent barley wine or olde ale as well.
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On tap at RubberToe's:
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In the fermenter:
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Re: 58L Sanke Keg Solera Project

Post by MitchK » Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:17 pm

Hey, this was discussed at the last brewnosers meeting! I brought it up (having seen that same blog post about the idea) and am considering doing a lambic solera using those 14 gallon demijohns meant for large wine batches.

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Re: 58L Sanke Keg Solera Project

Post by RubberToe » Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:25 pm

MitchK wrote:Hey, this was discussed at the last brewnosers meeting! I brought it up (having seen that same blog post about the idea) and am considering doing a lambic solera using those 14 gallon demijohns meant for large wine batches.
Awesome, I'm sorry I wasn't there to discuss it with you! Tuesdays are a bad meeting night for me.

I'll probably do my initial brews before the end of December.
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On tap at RubberToe's:
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In the fermenter:
Lambic, An experiment

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Re: 58L Sanke Keg Solera Project

Post by MitchK » Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:44 pm

I'm afraid december is a moving month for me so you'll definitely start yours first.

I'm a little paranoid about autolysis. I guess I should probably do the first week of fermentation for each added batch in a separate vessel rather than just dump 5 gallons of completely unfermented wort into the demijohn every time - the yeast cake would eventually fill the whole vessel if I did that.

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Re: 58L Sanke Keg Solera Project

Post by RubberToe » Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:52 pm

Don't worry about autolysis so much. Brett will take advantage of it to produce some nice flavours. Source: some page before 70 in American Sour Beers.

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On tap at RubberToe's:
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In the fermenter:
Lambic, An experiment

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Re: 58L Sanke Keg Solera Project

Post by CartoonCod » Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:33 pm

You might want to think about letting some oxygen in. I think if it comes slow enough (read micro-oxygenation) it can add some nice complexity without adding acetic acid.

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Re: 58L Sanke Keg Solera Project

Post by CorneliusAlphonse » Fri Nov 20, 2015 3:34 am

I was thinking about doing this at one point using carboys - brew 20L, the next year bottle 10 liters, brew 30 and star a second carboy. Next year, take 10 from the oldest, brew 30 new, and Daisy chain it down.

I was too lazy. Sounds fun though Rob, good luck!
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Re: 58L Sanke Keg Solera Project

Post by MitchK » Fri Nov 20, 2015 6:52 am

yeah, I'm still on the fence between one larger vessel or multiple smaller ones. The fact that I can lift a 23 litre carboy without throwing my back out or enlisting help is a big plus for multiple vessels, but its also more complicated (which means more ways for things to go wrong)

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Re: 58L Sanke Keg Solera Project

Post by gm- » Fri Nov 20, 2015 7:13 am

I've been thinking about doing something similar, now that I got a grainfather and a big basement of an 100 year old house. I've been wondering about vessels, oak barrels are hard to get, but a 58L sanke might be a good alternative. How are you planning to transfer to it?

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Re: 58L Sanke Keg Solera Project

Post by RubberToe » Fri Nov 20, 2015 8:58 am

CartoonCod wrote:You might want to think about letting some oxygen in. I think if it comes slow enough (read micro-oxygenation) it can add some nice complexity without adding acetic acid.
Perhaps, at least this way I can control it. I may still keep the main vessel sealed but micro-oxygenate one of the incoming brews, aged in it's own vessel to gauge the developed character.

CorneliusAlphonse wrote:I was thinking about doing this at one point using carboys - brew 20L, the next year bottle 10 liters, brew 30 and star a second carboy. Next year, take 10 from the oldest, brew 30 new, and Daisy chain it down.
MitchK wrote:yeah, I'm still on the fence between one larger vessel or multiple smaller ones. The fact that I can lift a 23 litre carboy without throwing my back out or enlisting help is a big plus for multiple vessels, but its also more complicated (which means more ways for things to go wrong)
gm- wrote:I've been thinking about doing something similar, now that I got a grainfather and a big basement of an 100 year old house. I've been wondering about vessels, oak barrels are hard to get, but a 58L sanke might be a good alternative. How are you planning to transfer to it?
There's a guy on YouTube that's been using carboys to do this, just with smaller pulls. "Dan ABA" https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCF2Q1B ... Kd4hGr4mBg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I think a 50 or 60 gallon barrel is out of the question for most brewers. That's brewery or brew club project territory IMHO. I think one of these sankes is a good size for avid brewers that have a bit of space (basement, etc). I don't really want more than 5 gallons of sour every 9 - 12 months. The idea to use one of these popped into my head sometime this year and I'm kind of surprised I couldn't find many (any?) others using one for a solera. I'll have to search again.

I could also pull smaller amounts, say 1 gallon, and use that to kick off random batches. Once this is going I'm open to sharing in that manner as well.

As far as transfer goes, since my brew rig is indoors I'll be pumping fresh wort, siphoning or pressure transfer fermented brews. I'll be using the sample port to transfer in and out.
I'm pretty stoked about doing this now.
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On tap at RubberToe's:
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In the fermenter:
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Re: 58L Sanke Keg Solera Project

Post by RubberToe » Fri Nov 27, 2015 6:30 pm

Here's a mock up. All I need is a proper dip tube and to drill out the bottom compression fitting. This is just a few inch long piece for demo.

I'm showing a couple options for blow off. The S air lock is good for temperature swings but with the Barb and a blow off vessel I won't have to worry about it drying out.

Triclamp sample valve at the top. I was going to put a 90 degree bend in the dip tube but I like this.

Ball lock for CO2 purge and pressure transfers.
IMG_20151127_171719.jpg
IMG_20151127_171625.jpg
IMG_20151127_171636.jpg
IMG_20151127_171616.jpg
IMG_20151127_171556.jpg
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Electric Brewery Build
Sanke Keg Solera Project
Twitter | Flickr Photos (beer and peppers)
On tap at RubberToe's:
Munich Dunkel, Belgian Mild, Preachy Keen, Kombucha, Epic Lemonade
In the fermenter:
Lambic, An experiment

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Re: 58L Sanke Keg Solera Project

Post by MitchK » Fri Nov 27, 2015 6:33 pm

Holy crap. You might be my hero. That looks way better than my carboy plan.

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Re: 58L Sanke Keg Solera Project

Post by GAM » Fri Nov 27, 2015 7:24 pm

Rob, where did you get your parts?

S

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Re: 58L Sanke Keg Solera Project

Post by RubberToe » Fri Nov 27, 2015 7:30 pm

GAM wrote:Rob, where did you get your parts?
I had the 2" TC / mpt from my bottom drain keggle. I also had some of the other fittings collected over the years, the ball valve and sample valve came from OBK recently, same with the compression ones.

I also had some left over 1.5" TC gear from when I got my conical. Some of that came from Brewershardware, etc.
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Sanke Keg Solera Project
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On tap at RubberToe's:
Munich Dunkel, Belgian Mild, Preachy Keen, Kombucha, Epic Lemonade
In the fermenter:
Lambic, An experiment

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Re: 58L Sanke Keg Solera Project

Post by MitchK » Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:31 pm

do you have any plans for temp control of this sanke or just letting it ride? A 1/2 bbl ss brewtech conical would be pretty sweet for one of these but also a lot of money for a fermenter that will only be producing 5 gallons of beer a year.

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Re: 58L Sanke Keg Solera Project

Post by RubberToe » Tue Dec 22, 2015 10:03 pm

I don't think it will need cooling and I have 2 heater wraps I got from Dave, hooked up to a temp controller. If I need to move it into my ac area to cool I will.

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Electric Brewery Build
Sanke Keg Solera Project
Twitter | Flickr Photos (beer and peppers)
On tap at RubberToe's:
Munich Dunkel, Belgian Mild, Preachy Keen, Kombucha, Epic Lemonade
In the fermenter:
Lambic, An experiment

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Re: 58L Sanke Keg Solera Project

Post by gm- » Thu Jan 07, 2016 8:03 am

RubberToe wrote:Here's a mock up. All I need is a proper dip tube and to drill out the bottom compression fitting. This is just a few inch long piece for demo.

I'm showing a couple options for blow off. The S air lock is good for temperature swings but with the Barb and a blow off vessel I won't have to worry about it drying out.

Triclamp sample valve at the top. I was going to put a 90 degree bend in the dip tube but I like this.

Ball lock for CO2 purge and pressure transfers.
IMG_20151127_171719.jpg
IMG_20151127_171625.jpg
IMG_20151127_171636.jpg
IMG_20151127_171616.jpg
IMG_20151127_171556.jpg
Sent from the brew timer.
Looks great, could you pm me your parts list? I am looking for a Sanke right now, and hope to start my solera project this summer.

What bugs are you planning to add in the beginning? I was thinking about going with Roselare blend and amalgamation brett super blend.

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On tap: Nelson dry hopped Berliner/ Scottish Heavy 70-/ NE IPA

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Re: 58L Sanke Keg Solera Project

Post by mcgster » Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:45 pm

This is an awesome project and one I have wanted to do for awhile. I have many of the parts from my bottom drain kit for my sanke keg. It looks like the brewnosers may have multiple Soleras on the go shortly.


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Re: 58L Sanke Keg Solera Project

Post by RubberToe » Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:48 pm

I got some new parts in the mail, will update later tonight.

My first round will be Brett dominant, multiple strains, with some lacto.
Electric Brewery Build
Sanke Keg Solera Project
Twitter | Flickr Photos (beer and peppers)
On tap at RubberToe's:
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In the fermenter:
Lambic, An experiment

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Re: 58L Sanke Keg Solera Project

Post by Lucas » Thu Jan 07, 2016 6:44 pm

Not sure how I missed this thread when it was first posted. Looks awesome Rob, hopefully I will get to sample something out of it. Keep us updated!
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Re: 58L Sanke Keg Solera Project

Post by mcgster » Thu Jan 07, 2016 7:14 pm

I'm tempted to wait until you have yours chugging along to build mine so I can learn from your experience :)


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Re: 58L Sanke Keg Solera Project

Post by RubberToe » Thu Jan 07, 2016 7:44 pm

I got a new triclamp fitting with a thermowell from brewhardware.com along with custom bent tubing and bored out compression fitting. Here it is test assembled.
IMG_20160107_184238.jpg
IMG_20160107_184249.jpg
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Electric Brewery Build
Sanke Keg Solera Project
Twitter | Flickr Photos (beer and peppers)
On tap at RubberToe's:
Munich Dunkel, Belgian Mild, Preachy Keen, Kombucha, Epic Lemonade
In the fermenter:
Lambic, An experiment

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Re: 58L Sanke Keg Solera Project

Post by mcgster » Thu Jan 07, 2016 7:56 pm

That's amazing. Are you going to keep it upright or on its side? I was wondering if the dip tube would need to be shortened.


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