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Old 01-23-2013, 02:26 AM   #1
adamjackson
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Default I'm tired of losing a gallon of beer during fermentation!

Here's the order of events:

  • 5 Gallon Carboy + Airlock...explosion covering my ceiling
  • 5 Gallon Carboy + Blow off tube to bucket, lose 1.5 gallons of beer in the first 24 hours
  • 5 Gallon Carboy + under-pitched yeast (hoping to reduce the vigorous fermentation start…nope, 24 hours later I lose a gallon of beer into the blow off bucket
  • 6 Gallon Carboy, 5 gallon batch, blow off tube….I lose half a gallon of beer in first 24 hours

I'm tired of losing beer and I feel like no one else complains about this so it must be something I'm doing wrong. Most batches I lose beer on are 1.080 OG or higher, fermenting at 65 Degrees F and I always use a blow off tube for the first 72 hours and then switch to airlock. Bucket is usually water in a metal pot with a bit of star san in it.

I pitched 3724 + brett C into a 1.088 OG Saison...12 hours later, the 5 gallons of beer in a 6 gallon carboy is now close to 4 gallons of beer..technically, it's Wort still but you get the point.

anyway, I'm pissed. I'm sick of losing roughly 16 pints of beer with every batch I brew.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:27 AM   #2
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Thought I'd add..I finally bought a 6.5 gallon carboy and didn't lose a single ounce of beer in that fermentation. It was nice filling my corny keg all of the way to the top for once.

If there is some secret I'm missing where I don't lose 20% of my beer with every fermentation in a carboy 6 GAllons or less, I'm all ears. This is very frustrating!

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Old 01-23-2013, 02:30 AM   #3
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Are you opposed to using Fermcap-S?

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Old 01-23-2013, 02:31 AM   #4
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I may be new here, but the only common denominator I see is a carboy that is only 1 gallon larger then your brew.

If a carboy is a must for you, get a larger one.

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Old 01-23-2013, 02:32 AM   #5
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Plastic buckets work a little better at limiting blow off. 7 to 7.5 gal, and they do not concentrate at the top.

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Old 01-23-2013, 02:39 AM   #6
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I was going to say maybe a bigger fermenter but that seemed to have worked. Some people use anti foaming agents however I don't simply because I don't know what they are, maybe someone will fill in. In a thread I created about making mead with ale yeast someone told me to remove about 1/4 of the mead/wort and refridgerate it, then when krausen goes down add the rest in. This would work in your case the same as getting a bigger fermenter.

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Old 01-23-2013, 02:45 AM   #7
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I have glass 6.5g carboys and have only had a blow out on a RIS stout that was 1.100 and I actually ended up with more volume than planned.

Past that, never had an issue.

I'll do my 1.060 and under beers in the 6 gal better bottles and they get scary close, but never have blown out. I don't try to under or over pitch, and keep my temps in check like you, so..

I'd assume you are getting more volume that you think, and blowing it out, and that you see that a bigger fermenter will fix the problem.

Infact, I just finished a 1.081 DIPA, and actually had like 24ounces left in the carboy that wouldn't fit in the keg without going well over the the gas dip tube.

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Old 01-23-2013, 02:47 AM   #8
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A larger fermenting vessel definitely helps, but you found that out. I've only had 1 batch that even needed a blowoff in my 6.5 gallon carboy. I'm not sure if I'm full of it on this one, but I think high gravity batches tend to have very active fermentations as well. So part of it could be just brewing big beers.

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Old 01-23-2013, 02:47 AM   #9
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What temperature do you have at the height of fermentation. If you ferment at the lower end of the yeasts range I find that I get less blow off. I make 5.25 gallons in a 6 gallon better bottle and the least I ever got to the bottling bucket was just under 5 gallons. That one was the largest blow off combined with a larger than normal amount of trub.

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Old 01-23-2013, 02:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigcorona View Post
Plastic buckets work a little better at limiting blow off. 7 to 7.5 gal, and they do not concentrate at the top.
This, my LHBS sells 8 Gallon Brewcraft bucket fermenters. Can do huge beers or a hefe and not ever need to worry...never had to worry about blowoff tubes or anything of the like.

Carboys for me are only for secondary, which i dont really do much of now...so most are relegated to aging Barleywines/Ciders/RIS/etc that need to sit out of the way for 6+ months
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