First Extract only batch - blow off issues
I have brewed a few batches before using kits from MidWest Supplies. So far, no problems.
For this batch, I wanted to create my own recipe for a Blueberry Ale. Here is a gist of the ingredients:
5lb Wheat DME
1 oz hops (I forget which kind)
1 packet American Yeast (I think it was 1010)
1lb frozen blueberries
So, on the brew day, we followed this process:
1) bring water to boil
2) add fermentables (not blueberries)
3) add 1/2oz of hops
4) boil for 45 min
5) add 1/2oz hops
6) boil for 10 min
7) add blueberries
8) boil for 5 minutes
9) cool and move to fermenter
So, that's what we have done so far. We usually have an air lock and that works fine. However, with this batch, we had a lot of blowoff and had to jerry-rig a blowoff tube. I think we have avoided any contamination issue, but it got me wondering... why did we need a blowoff tube THIS time, when we never did before?
I think there are 2 likely culprits:
1) the frozen blueberries caused it to foam up
2) this was the first time we used ONLY extract in brewing, maybe that causes more foam?
It's between a good yeast pitch & your ferment temps. You just got a vigorous fermentation going. No worries.
I'm not worried about the batch being ruined or anything like that. I'm just wondering if I should plan on this happening again? I may want to invest in a blowoff valve... or maybe not add fruit during the boil
Well, that's not a huge beer...but sometimes fermentation is a little bit aggressive. Probably due to the added sugars from the blueberries, but maybe you had a fresh batch of yeast, too.
For what it's worth, I use a blowoff tube all the time, every time. If I go bigger than 1.080, I use a 1" blowoff tube. After your first blown bucket and the clean up that ensues, you'll find a lot of value in a buck's worth of hose. :)
With the added sugars, the OG did get up to about 1.080
I don't want to risk blowing a lid, so I will be getting a blowoff valve
edit: the OG was 1.068
In my experiences,it's not the high OG that does it. It's just good temps & a healthy yeast pitch. Period. It really is just that simple. Fruit & added sugars have little to do with it. I've brewed batches with no fruit or added sugars with OG of 1.04X that blew a ton of krausen & co2 to the point where I had to change the blow off jug.
I think you want to avoid the boiling of the fruit to avoid releasing the pectins. I know, not related to your original question and it's been ages since I made a fruit beer, so I'm hardly an expert.
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