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Old 07-31-2014, 04:50 AM   #1
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Default Too much krausen a bad thing?

Hey all.

I'm currently brewing my second beer ever. Needless to say, I'm not quite sure what is "normal" fermentation behavior and what isn't. My first beer was from a kit and had minimal krausen during fermentation. My new beer, however, is my own recipe and is brimming the top with krausen. I've attached a picture below.

Is this normal? If not, what can I do to mediate it? Are there any downsides to having too much krausen in the primary? What causes more/less krausen during fermentation?

I was considering opening the airlock and scooping some out but I don't want to risk contamination.

On a side note, how crucial is it to rack to a secondary? I know some people swear by it and others says its not necessary (FYI I'm brewing 1 gallon IPA batches).

Thanks for the help.

File Type: jpg krausen.jpg (25.0 KB, 131 views)
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Old 07-31-2014, 04:54 AM   #2
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Considering the lack of headspace that is not much of a krausen. You need a bigger fermenter or a smaller batch. Does that even have an airlock or blowoff on it?

I would recommend a blowoff tube due to the lack of headspace.

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Old 07-31-2014, 05:23 AM   #3
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There is an airlock on it right now. It was cutoff in the picture.

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Old 07-31-2014, 04:01 PM   #4
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I second a blow off tube. Last thing you want is yeast gumming up your airlock and blowing all over the place.

Krausen depends on many factors. Fermentability, temperature, aeration, yeast strain, etc. A good healthy, white krausen is desirable but, not necessary.

I have a saison blasting away right now and it has a tiny sliver of a krausen. I have also had certain recipes fill up 2 gallons of headspace and blow out the top with krausen!

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Old 07-31-2014, 04:29 PM   #5
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Agree you need more headspace as that is not excessive krausen at all. Blowoff tube is needed or it will blow your airlock out and beer on your ceiling.

There are some strains out there like WY3787 that top crop unbelievably, even with using Fermcap S to limit foam production. I've blown 2 bucket lids with it (you'd think I'd learn about the blowoff tube). But as far as impacts to the beer there are none.

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Old 07-31-2014, 11:25 PM   #6
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I probably should have mentioned I used a blow-off tube for the first four days. Airlock is on now and has been for 2 days. Minimal CO2 output. I seriously doubt it's going to blow the top off.

I'm still wondering whether or not I should/could scoop out the krausen with a sanitized spoon. I'm planning on dry-hopping so I don't want that stuff blocking my hops.

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Old 07-31-2014, 11:44 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by grggrrs176 View Post

I'm still wondering whether or not I should/could scoop out the krausen with a sanitized spoon. I'm planning on dry-hopping so I don't want that stuff blocking my hops.
No. Wait until the krausen falls, and then you can dryhop if you'd like.
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:31 PM   #8
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UPDATE: So I removed the airlock after a week in order to dry hop (as well as find out what's caked on the side of the primary).

Turns out it was hop residue. I'm guessing it was mixed in with the krausen and rose to the top and then got stuck.

Is there any reason why this might happen? Or is it a natural part of the process?

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Old 08-05-2014, 11:06 PM   #9
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Natural part of the process. You are good. Dry hop that sucka and enjoy soon.

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Old 08-05-2014, 11:11 PM   #10
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UPDATE: So I removed the airlock after a week in order to dry hop (as well as find out what's caked on the side of the primary).

Turns out it was hop residue. I'm guessing it was mixed in with the krausen and rose to the top and then got stuck.

Is there any reason why this might happen? Or is it a natural part of the process?
That is not just hop residue. It is the ring that is left behind after the krausen drops. Don't stir it into your beer, because that protein crud is supposed to be terribly bitter, not good bitter.
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