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Old 04-07-2008, 03:30 PM   #1
tomtom
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Default First Blow-Off Experience

Saturday afternoon I brewed my second batch ever. It's a NB Phat Tyre Ale that was supposed to have an OG of 1.052. Well I steeped my re-crushed grains, then made sure I squeezed as much wort from them as possible. I brought my wort up to a boil, then removed it from the heat to add my extract and DME. I made sure that not a drop of extract was left in the jug; rinsing it out well. I also made sure to dissolve the DME completely. I added both types of hops when I was supposed to , chilled, transferred to my 6.5 carboy, pitched, manually aerated and then checked the OG. Wow, it was 1.058/1.060. I stuck the airlock in at 4:00pm and left with my family for the evening.

At 10:30pm it was already fermenting like crazy with a 1" kreusen. No problem. I wake up Sunday morning to fing it blowing up through the airlock. I install the blow-off tube and it's going to town. Late last night it had settled down so I re-installed the cleaned-up airlock.

My question is should this be expected since the the OG was so much higher than was called for? And what should I expect down the road through secondary, bottling and ultimatly consumption? The yeast that was supplied with the kit was the Belgian Abbey II.

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Old 04-07-2008, 03:36 PM   #2
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You most likely recieved the extra gravity in teh extract kit do incomplete mixing of top off water and wort. it is very hard to get it perfectly mixed up. Usually when steeping grains in extract recipes they are not crushed. The grains in this case aren't used for sugar extraction but for color and flavor. I could be wrong. Sounds like your brew day went pretty well.
For the blow off, What kind of vessel were you using for your primary and waht was your final volume?

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Old 04-07-2008, 03:37 PM   #3
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OG has little to nothing to do with it, even if it is high. Blow off causes can be:

HUGE starter

High fermentation temps

Too little head space

Yeast on steroids

Yeast that are already active and warmed up (yeast cake)

.....that's all I've got right now.

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Old 04-07-2008, 04:24 PM   #4
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My volume was 5 gal. and the glass carboy fermenter is 6.5 gals. Temps is my shop where I keep my fermenter average low-mid 70's. The yeast was poured directly from a Wyeast smack-pack and the factory date was mid-late march '08 so it was fresh. The smack pack was swollen-up like a dead dog, so imy yeasties were rearing to go. I already had the water in my fermenter and after pouring in the wort I shook it like heck for several minutes. I feel it was mixed properly and in solution completely. The grains were cracked but I helped them out a bit with a roller gently before bagging and steeping them. I'm pleased with how it's goin' so far. Lot's o' fun.

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Old 04-07-2008, 06:05 PM   #5
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The yeasties were ready to go when you pitched and belgian strains work best at those low-mid 70's. I have also had blow off with a 6.5 gal carboy and 5 gal total volume. In addition, make sure your FG is reached per recipe regardless the OG (for a better brew). 3 beano tablets work great per 5 gal to restimulate yeast and acheive your FG if this is a problem.

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Old 04-07-2008, 06:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomtom
...then made sure I squeezed as much wort from them as possible. I brought my wort up to a boil...
I know it's not the question the OP asked, but I'm a little surprised no one else has commented on this. DO NOT squeeze the grain bag after steeping. You can extract unwanted tannins. If you want, you can steep with less water than your boil then "wash" the grain bag with hot water.
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Old 04-07-2008, 06:17 PM   #7
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I shall remember not to squeeze the grain next time. Maybe I should rephrase it, I squeezed it a bit with a pair of BBQ tongs, not much leverage on them, but I get your drift.

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Old 04-07-2008, 08:15 PM   #8
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I pitched my latest barleywine onto a US-05 cake last night, and it was blowing off within 3 hours- pretty wild! (this was the first time I got a really violent blow-off, I've had a few brews get into the tube or airlock a little before though.)

It blew off enough that I lost a noticable amount of liquid in the fermenter though, which kind of sucks. I may try one of those big 7.9gallon wine pails, the next time I make a really huge brew...

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Old 04-07-2008, 09:10 PM   #9
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I had something similar happen to me today. I got home from work today and went to check my beer. The bucket lid was bulging out, the airlock was bubbling furiously and kreusen was pouring out of it, but most alarmingly it was hissing. I quickly switched the airlock for a blow off valve. While pulling the airlock out there was a mini explosion of kreusen and some banana. Any idea what sort of harm this explosion may have caused to my beer?

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Old 04-07-2008, 09:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SewerRanger
I had something similar happen to me today. I got home from work today and went to check my beer. The bucket lid was bulging out, the airlock was bubbling furiously and kreusen was pouring out of it, but most alarmingly it was hissing. I quickly switched the airlock for a blow off valve. While pulling the airlock out there was a mini explosion of kreusen and some banana. Any idea what sort of harm this explosion may have caused to my beer?
no harm done! all of that vigorous fermentation (and blowoff/explosion/bukkake) means you have a bunch of Co2 sitting on top of your beer, protecting it from the outside world. Relax, don't worry, etc.
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