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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Taking the plunge. Open Fermentation. Yes I'm willing to dump a batch.

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Old 03-27-2012, 04:48 AM   #31
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On another board a member is trying this using WLP300 after watching a Brew TV episode, too. They claim the get MORE esters through an open fermentation but here's what I don't get:

We all know/agree that during primary fermentation that a layer of CO2 will form a protective barrier for the wort, keeping oxygen out. But the claim is that more oxygen is better for the yeast, they are less stressed and then produce more esters.

What I have trouble comprehending is how you can have it both ways? A protective barrier keeping the oxygen out AND having more oxygen for the yeast.

Somebody 'splain please.

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Old 03-27-2012, 05:29 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Kealia View Post
On another board a member is trying this using WLP300 after watching a Brew TV episode, too. They claim the get MORE esters through an open fermentation but here's what I don't get:

We all know/agree that during primary fermentation that a layer of CO2 will form a protective barrier for the wort, keeping oxygen out. But the claim is that more oxygen is better for the yeast, they are less stressed and then produce more esters.

What I have trouble comprehending is how you can have it both ways? A protective barrier keeping the oxygen out AND having more oxygen for the yeast.

Somebody 'splain please.
I'm perplexed by this myself.
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:46 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kealia View Post
On another board a member is trying this using WLP300 after watching a Brew TV episode, too. They claim the get MORE esters through an open fermentation but here's what I don't get:

We all know/agree that during primary fermentation that a layer of CO2 will form a protective barrier for the wort, keeping oxygen out. But the claim is that more oxygen is better for the yeast, they are less stressed and then produce more esters.

What I have trouble comprehending is how you can have it both ways? A protective barrier keeping the oxygen out AND having more oxygen for the yeast.

Somebody 'splain please.
I think this notion of a "protective layer" is something of a brewing urban legend. Certainly fermentation in containers sealed with a valve/airlock will displace the oxygen to create an (almost) pure CO2 headspace, but that doesn't apply in open containers. Open fermentation should give you plenty of oxygen.
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Old 03-27-2012, 06:13 PM   #34
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My uncle used to open ferment german lagers in his basement, in square terra cotta fermenters , covered with cheesecloth, set directly on the concrete floor. I don't think he had any issues with infection, but that's way back..a bit fuzzy.
A bit Fuzzy? Your memory or the beer?
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Old 03-27-2012, 06:15 PM   #35
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I dunno....I've played with my keg a bit by blasting it with CO2 and purging the air, then removing the top (with it empty, mind you) and the CO2 does sit nice and low and provide a barrier.

BUT, that's in a tall cylindrical environment so I assume a bucket/ale pale would be similar. In the video on Brewing TV (IIRC) they use a fish cleaning table that is flat and low so I wouldn't expect the same rules to apply there - but a bucket, yes.

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Old 03-27-2012, 06:44 PM   #36
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I dunno....I've played with my keg a bit by blasting it with CO2 and purging the air, then removing the top (with it empty, mind you) and the CO2 does sit nice and low and provide a barrier.

BUT, that's in a tall cylindrical environment so I assume a bucket/ale pale would be similar. In the video on Brewing TV (IIRC) they use a fish cleaning table that is flat and low so I wouldn't expect the same rules to apply there - but a bucket, yes.
How do you know the CO2 stayed put?
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Old 03-27-2012, 06:54 PM   #37
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Visually. There's a nice layer of gas visible even after taking off the lid and checking it much later.

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Old 03-27-2012, 07:10 PM   #38
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Visually. There's a nice layer of gas visible even after taking off the lid and checking it much later.
Hmm...carbon dioxide has always been very much invisible to my eye. What exactly are you seeing?
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:23 PM   #39
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Ummmm....gas.

All kidding aside, it's a grey-ish gas that hangs out at the bottom of the keg. Maybe it has something to do with the temp difference, the StarSan or something else but after hooking up an empty keg, blasting it with CO2, purging the air and then removing the lid it hangs out down at the bottom.

Or maybe I'm high....

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Old 03-27-2012, 07:26 PM   #40
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Ummmm....gas.

All kidding aside, it's a grey-ish gas that hangs out at the bottom of the keg. Maybe it has something to do with the temp difference, the StarSan or something else but after hooking up an empty keg, blasting it with CO2, purging the air and then removing the lid it hangs out down at the bottom.

Or maybe I'm high....
I get the same thing. I figure it's condensation from rapidly reducing the temp in the keg. My CO2 tank is in the beer fridge, and the empty kegs are at room temp.
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