Brut IPA (V: Carbonation and Packaging)

This article has four sections preceding it — the concept of a brut IPA, the grist, and the mash, the enzyme used to make a highly fermentable wort, hopping and the boil, and fermentation.

German hefeweizen bottles are a great choice for packaging highly carbonated ales, like this one.

Brut IPA is meant to be fizzy. And, there are a couple ways you can accomplish this. As with any beer, you can force carbonate it in a keg, or bottle condition it. However, given the high level of carbonation desired, you will need to approach this differently, in some ways, from when producing a beer with an ordinary level of carbonation. 

How carbonated should a brut IPA be? Given that this type of beer currently only exists as a cluster of individual examples, you have some leeway to decide for yourself. The average level of carbonation in an ordinary craft beer or standard lager is 2.4–2.6 volumes of CO2. Anything over this should count as more highly carbonated. For reference, Belgian tripels and Belgian strong golden ales are often around 4.0 volumes of CO2, German wheat beers can have carbonation levels as high as 5.0 volumes of CO2, and Champagne is often around 6.0. [Read more…]

Kräusening (Part 3 of 3)


A pressure valve fitted to a gas in fitting for a Cornelius keg. If I added an overpressure valve to this, it would be a spunding valve. (It’s got a manual pressure release, so I supposed it could be thought of as a manual spunding valve, but man that could be dangerous if you capped the tank too early and forgot about it. Don’t do that.)

This is the third and final part of an article on kräusening

Kräusening is adding fermenting beer to a lager that has just finished primary fermentation. The active yeast in the fermenting wort help clean up diacetyl (and aldehydhes) before the beer is lagered. The yeast also produce carbon dioxide (CO2) and this gives brewers who kräusen an option to carbonate their beer by “capping the tank” — sealing the vessel that has fermenting kräusen beer in it to trap the CO2. Commercial brewers who do this have their tanks fitted with a spunding valve — a valve that holds pressure up to a certain point, and releases excess pressure above this level. If a tank can withstand 20 PSI, the beer can be carbonated to serving levels at lager fermentation temperatures. You can try this at home, if you make your own spunding valve.

[Read more…]