Skeptical?

If you’re skeptical about the One Pot Brewing system, you should be. Here are some questions and answers (or lack thereof), based mostly on experience and some knowledge.

You must make shitty beer, right?
That’s not an option for me. I love beer. If my beer didn’t taste really good, I wouldn’t brew. My goal is not only cheap and easy beer, but good beer. I hold my beers to the same standard as you do: commercial craft beer. Many times I prefer my IPA over theirs (of course I’m a little biased). I do not have a super refined, certified judge palate; but I know good beer when I taste it.

Oxidation!
Q: You ferment in a 7.5 gallon pot, with only 5.5 gallons of beer in it. Isn’t that a problem? Won’t that “oxidize” your beer?
Don’t think so. Here’s another problem: having to clean and sanitize yet another vessel, or cleaning up a huge mess when your fermenter has popped the top (be honest: it’s happened to you or someone you know). Or worrying about whether you need to hook up a blow tube or not. I don’t know the science, but I have heard that a layer of CO2 protects my beer against oxidation, which makes some sense to me. Secondly, I have heard that if the vessel is taller than it is wide, it’s all good. What really matters to me is taste: I don’t taste oxidation off-flavors in my beers (so far…that’s over 60 batches).

Oxidation, again!
Q: You bottle directly from a spigot attached to your pot. And you don’t use a bottling wand!
Yes, that’s true. I never have. And yes, some oxygen gets in while bottling. However, I drink my beer within a month or two. I believe that oxidation takes a little while to present itself (I could be wrong about that). Third, if you transfer your beer into different vessels (secondary, bottling bucket), you also have oxidation issues bro. But honestly I’m not super happy with my current spigot. I would prefer a spigot with a smaller opening, so that it could attach to a bottling wand. I simply cannot find one, anywhere. Let me know if you can.

You tie up your only brewing vessel vessel for weeks?
Yes, about 1.5 to 2 weeks while it ferments. How much do you brew? More than that? Holy shit: are you selling it? Are you a raging alcoholic? Are you doing all your brewing at once? Procrastinator!

Your beer tastes like Aluminum, right?
No. I was worried about this from the start, and I was worried for a second about my first batch, but it turns out that aluminum is a fine vessel for fermenting beer in. However, apparently you have to “break it in” so to speak, by boiling water in it first, which creates a protective layer between the aluminum and the beer. I don’t know the science that well, only that it works. Now, of course you could do One Pot Brewing with stainless steel. The pots are just more expensive and heavier. I like cheap and light.

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2 thoughts on “Skeptical?

  1. Jan says:

    Hi Matt,

    Much of your way of brewing makes sense for me. What I cannot follow is that you wrap alluminium foil arround
    Your pot and start the fermentation. How do you get rid of the CO2 without a waters!ot? Don’t you fear for O2 sneaking in while CO2 leaves your pot?

    I like your blog by the way. I’m a BIAB brewer from the Netherlands who also likes to keep things simple

    Liked by 1 person

  2. thanks. First, some large breweries don’t have tops or waterslots or airlocks on their fermenters – “open fermentation” – so I don’t think O2 sneaking in is a fundamental problem. I think fermentation creates a layer of CO2 on top of your fermenting beer. Basic Brewing radio has a episode on that, talking to someone from Arcadia Brewing (in Kalamazoo, U.S., where I live). I took a tour of that brewery.

    Second, I’m guessing that the CO2 doesn’t escape my aluminum foil top, it’s pretty air tight. But I don’t know for sure. I think the large amount of head space in my pot helps a lot here – the pressure doesn’t build as much.

    Third, very soon I will be experimenting with a pot that has a normal lid on it. So that will be interesting.

    Like

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