Bottling with Sugar cubes and Fermentasaurus (Mini review)!

 

Fermentasaurus with metal hop container inside! This is how I dry hop!
Sugar cubes “mini” weighting 2.1g.

Some time back I brought a Fermentasaurus mainly to be able to remove trub during initial fermentation and to re-use yeast. Secondly, I considered to bottle directly from it to save some time!

The Fermentasaurus do give a bit of advantages and one thing to understand is the removal of trub during fermentation and especially after a cold crash both removes unwanted flavors from the trub not going into the beer but also removes particles there sometimes can make life hard when opening high carbonated bottles. In general the more clear your wort is the better brew I seem to get. Partly also the reason I have vent the RIMS way!

I sterilize my bottles in oven at 110´C for 20min and let them cool and stand in the oven till I use them!

My understanding is that genrally for darker beers it doses not make sense to go to the extremes to remove trub, and please also consider there is good nutrients in the trub, but the lighter the beer is going over to lagers and light hoppy ales mis-flavors from the trub can often be detected as something sharp in the beer. And in that light the Fermentasaurus is great to both limited the contact of the trub towards the beer coz to the conical shape and secondly to be able continuous to remove the trub. Thous, just importantly to keep yeast for next brew. Liquid yeast is expensive and the Fermentasaurus fast earn the cost back.

I put sugar cubes in bottles with hands (washed in starsan solution) or use a weighting spoon of 3g for 50cl bottles!
Not the best picture, but tube is connected to bottle filler!

 

Sugar cubes and straight sugar direct into the bottle!

First, when I just got the Fermentasaurus I tried to strew a sugar-solution into the still green beer by using a large spoon, but as I have started brewing NEIPA and considering the fear of oxidizing I started using sugar cubes! And as I always let my beer finish ferment warm at around 20C for 5-7 days before eventually cold crash, hence, sugar cubes goes fine in hand with the following table:

 

Beer type Bottle Sieze Amount sugar g/L Vol at 20C Standard VOL for this type beer
Hoppy Ales, lagers, NEIPA, Brown ales, Porter, stout 33cl 1 cubes of 2,1g 6,3 g/L 2.425 Pale ales + lager = 2.2-2,7;

Porter/stout = 2.0-2.3

50cl 3g by weighting spoon 6 g/L 2.35
66cl 2 cubes of 2,1g 6,3 g/L 2.425
Wit 50cl 2 cubes of 2,1g 8,4 g/L 2.95 Around 3.0
Wheat 50cl 3 cubes of 2,1g 12,6 g/L 3.87 3.3 – 4.5

So by choosing the right bottles for the given style of beer it is possible to make use of straight sugar or sugar cubes to carbonate your brew. I also do this with regular fermenters there hold a valve, but with these fermenters I make sure it very well cold crashed and make sure not to move the ordinary  fermenter 48 hours prior to bottling to secure all trub is glued to the bottom. But please be clear, the possibility of the Fermentasaurus  to remove trub continuously is wort every penny. As always a good sanitization is needed including also your fingers for handling sugar cubes (I starsan and use ethanol for everything in contact; hands get starsan only when handling cubes). Pros and cons:

PROS:

  • Less steps
  • Less equipment
  • Less oxidation risk as no secondary transfer
  • Less infection risk as no secondary transfer
  • The sugar is more evenly distributed

CONS:

  • Still a lot of work
  • Risk of infection as handling the sugar (considered low)!

Verdict, Sugar cubes: A nice way to have control of carbonation, lower risk of oxidation, rather easy, but do not lower the workload.

Verdict, Fermentasaurus: A super tool for clearing the wort/green beer, easy to use, and foremost easy to re-use yeast! A nice catch is to see what goes on! Even the high price it is worth the cost!

Closing REMARK: For bottling NEIPA I guess this is the way to go, as there is less risk of oxidation coz to no secondary transfer. But you need to make sure the tubes is tightly connected so no air is dragged in during the bottling process and secondly hold the bottle high towards the Fermentasaurus so the flow is low at the start of filling, hence, to lower any splash=oxidation. Scientifically  the use of bottles, sugar and yeast to carbonate bottles should remove any introduced oxygen as the yeast yet again divides it cells and make use of the oxygen!  I have done 3 NEIPA in Fermentasaurus where 2 was bottled by sugar cubes, and one by spoon/sugar-solution….none showed any oxidation, so my conclusion is if you handle bottles carefully i is very much possible to bottle NEIPA´s!