I am hoping for a little insight from anyone who may have experienced this issue, or who anyone who just wants to throw their 2cents my way.
This past Saturday(09 Jul '11) I brewed a clone(my best guess) of Anchor's Liberty Ale. This was my fist time that I used a starter, instead of just Wyeast activator smack packs. Everything went fine until I transferred the 5gal. of wort into my 5gal. carboy. After oxygenating with an O2 system; between the foam and wort level there was VERY LITTLE headspace left for my 1.5L starter pitch(I know it sounds like a big starter for a 1.065 OG ale; but Jamil Zainasheff's pitching calculator [at www.mrmalty.com] told me to pitch a 2.3L starter...I figured 1.5L was a fair compromise). I managed to add 95% of the starter into the carboy before the liquid/foam level was up to the top of the neck of carboy(forcing some foam up into the funnel).
I then affixed a blow off tube to the carboy, as it was obvious that if I used my regular air lock I'd have kraeusen & what ever else bubbling up through it with in hours.
I noticed some activity that night, only a few hours after I pitched(the starter seemed to have worked well!). The next morning I went to check on it, and found the blow off tube, literally blown off the carboy(not a big surprise); and a pretty damn vigorous fermentation pouring a steady stream of kraeusen out of the top of the carboy. I was hesitant to re-affix the blow off tube, because I was sure the same thing would happen, and I had concerns of too much head pressure on the yeast. So I left it off.
I remember hearing on Brew Strong(a homebrew radio show on The Brewing Network I listen to), that infection/contamination is not too much of a concern in this phase of fermentation, as the kraeusen provides a protective barrier, and the constant push of CO2 off the beer also protects it.
I plan to affix a regular air lock once constant foaming out of the top subsides.
-What are the chances my beers already infected/contaminated?...I know they're probably pretty good
-What the repercussions of all of that kraeusen, NOT settling back into the beer? Will the it not "clean up" as nicely due the lose of yeast cells?
-Has anyone out there experienced anything like this? If so, how did that batch turn out?
Any feed back will be appreciated; even if you'd just like to call me an idiot for over filling the fermenter with wort