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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Fermenter head space and blow off
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:38 PM   #1
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Default Fermenter head space and blow off

Hi Folks - I am still getting use to my new setup, and I haven't perfected the process to get the right amount of wort into the fermenter. Using BeerSmith and some trial and error I am getting close. However, I just brewed a batch this past weekend and ended up with about a half gallon more than I planned. As such, it almost filled the 6 gallon carboy, to the point where there was very little head space - maybe a quart? After a vigorous fermentation a LOT of kruesen (sp?) ended up going out the blow off tube and into the blow off bucket. Is this a problem for the beer? More specifically, is there too much of something necessary for the beer leaving the fermenter (yeast, etc.)? After 2 days it is still fermenting vigorously, although much less foam is going through the blow off tube. Everything else looks normal.

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Old 03-13-2012, 09:56 PM   #2
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You'll be fine.

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Old 03-14-2012, 06:50 PM   #3
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Thanks! It's good to know. I didn't think it would be a problem, and there isn't much I could do about it if it wasn't OK, but I was curious enough to ask.

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Old 03-14-2012, 07:06 PM   #4
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Get yourself a bigger carboy! I have a 12 gallon demijohn and I use it for my 6 gallon batches, works great. Just hope I never drop it while carrying to the basement!

If that isn't in the budget, try this stuff... I use it in the boil and it works great!

http://morebeer.com/view_product/154..._FermCapS_1_oz

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Old 03-14-2012, 07:30 PM   #5
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I use these 8 gallon buckets that most LHBS carry now (probably more like 9 gallons, similar to how the 6.5 g carboys are actually 7 g). They seal airtight and have plenty of head space. I actually don't think I have ever had a ridiculous blow off happen with them. They are nice too because you can bump recipes up a few gallons if you want.

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Old 03-14-2012, 08:24 PM   #6
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I have found that a little blow off is good, and that my beer actually tastes a little cleaner because of it (especially highly hopped beers). However, get too much blowoff, and you will be selecting against the yest that are most likely to remain in suspension the longest. This may result in a higher final gravity, as you blew out a lot of the population of yeast that stays in suspension and finishes the job.

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Old 03-15-2012, 12:20 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies, everyone. I get it about the bigger fermenter - I actually have a bigger one. At some point I will have a 14 gallon SS conical (or two). I just had this one prepared in anticipation of a smaller batch. However, my mash efficiency was great on this batch (a good thing), and I miscalculated my boil off (not so good). I had a decision to make - dump some of the wort, or fill 'er up and hope for the best. I don't know about you folks, but I have a mental block about dumping perfectly good wort. The decision was not hard for me.

I knew I would be losing more yeast than usual through the larger than normal blow off. What you say, Biobrewer, makes a lot of sense. However, I pitched a large starter (adding to my volume woes), so I hope it won't hurt the beer in the end. We'll see.

Thanks again for the help!!

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