Drew, Marshall and Josh talk about the Randall F*cker
The Setup (aka Drew Talks)
If you listened to Episode 42 of the podcast, you know that Marhsall Schott (Brülosophy) and I wandered around the Southern California Homebrewers Festival interviewing various silly people and enjoying ourselves. We conducted our interview with Kevin Baranowski behind the Maltose Falcons' booth. We wandered out of the booth after the interview and were immediately confronted with a strange sight - a man funnelling beers into a metal gadget, closing valves, squeezing triggers and opening more valves to pour the beer.
Being armed with microphones and bellies full of bourbon espresso infused sweet stout, we naturally had to confront this hooligan. You can listen to our interview with said hooligan, Joshua Kunkle, in Episode 44 of the podcast (49:08). In the process of explaining his Randall F*cker, he really blew our minds with the creative re-use of gear to produce a different beery experience.
Much like Drew's beloved iSi Whipping Siphon trick, Josh's Randall uses the pressurizing effects of CO2 to rapidly infuse the oils and flavor compounds of a substrate (orange peels, herbs, spices, hops, etc) into the beer. He pours the beer via a funnel into a pressure chamber, hits it with CO2, and then after a few seconds opens a service valve to pour the beer into a waiting glass.
Josh reused a stainless steel filter he purchased from a defunct brewery to create the pressure chamber, but you can use whatever is handy and can hold pressure. (In theory, you could use a thick walled whole house filter, but remember those aren't meant to be a pressure device and we just saw what can happen with a plastic device under pressure - granted that was at a much higher pressure, but still.)
Homebrewers being homebrewers - y'all wanted to know how to build this - so here you go! I present Josh's guide to building your own Randall F*cker. Go forth and infuse your beers!
The cap of the infuser is the hardest part to assemble on account in includes the flow-in for both the CO2 and Liquid needed to create the infusion process. If you go with a filter housing, make sure to have the liquid flow in through the “In” side of the filter housing cap and the CO2 flow into the “Out” side of the cap. Since the CO2 side is pushing the pressure in, it doesn’t need a ball valve like the liquid side.
This infuser uses a trigger mechanism as seen below. This can usually be found at either a homebrew supply shop to help push corny kegs, or at a bicycle supply shop for blowing up one’s bike tire really fast. The threaded piece fits nicely over the male compression fitting on the filter housing cap
The filter housing chamber is where all the magic happens for this device. The chamber, as seen in the pic below, has two layers of a fine mesh screen to help filter out any big chunks of whatever fruit,
vegetable, or hop you put in the chamber itself to be infused. The screen came from cutting up one of those screens you find at restaurant supply shops that go over a pan being used for frying food.
The bottom of this particular filter housing had a means to attach a ball valve, which works great to release the infused liquid right into a cup when ready. For those that may go the plastic filter housing
route, you may need to drill this part out and attach your own ball valve in place for the same effect.
One thing that may be worth fixing on my design if you can do it is to create some sort of pressure release valve on the filter housing cap so that it releases pressure as the liquid flows into the chamber, which can speed up the flow into the chamber itself.
Best of luck, enjoy, and have fun!
[Ed. Note: See a Whole House Filter or keg for the kind of PRV Josh's talking about]
Using the Randall F*cker
Add your substrate to the chamber (Joshua was using orange peels in his demonstration at SCHF).
Seal the device
Open the input valve, pour in the beer.
Close the input valve, squeeze the CO2 injector trigger.
Wait 10 seconds, open the output valve and enjoy your infused beer.