08 October 2008

Life from Decay...

The process of fermentation is fascinating. What appears to be putrefication is also the process of purification. While something so young and full of virile potential, like a seed of barley is killed and its organs broken-down into their most fundamental components, a new life springs forth... a fungus. This fungus is different than most in that it has no mycelium and no multi-cellular body. This fungus is called "Saccharomyces cerevisiae" and grows in the form of a colony and without this colony of little workers, we would have no way of converting the sugars, starches and protein strains in the grain into alcohol and CO2. So it seems decay is essential for creating life. Here I think it is most appropriate to quote Grandaddy...

I'm okay with my decay
I have no choice
I have no voice
I have no say, in my decay

So here is my fermenter for Toledo Metal Spinning.





I had a threade nipple wleded onto the bottom so that I could attach a ball valve.





This allows me to purge the layer of dead yeast or "trub" from the bottom of the fermenter without losing any beer or transferring the beer to another vessel. The only problem is that while welding the nipple, there is some uneven welds on the inside that I am wondering if they will house bacteria between batches. We'll give it a try and soak it in bleach to see if that can be sterilized...




Here is the stand that Brian build for the "brewterus".