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Old 07-11-2011, 10:10 PM   #1
May 2011
Doylestown, PA
Posts: 4

I am hoping for a little insight from anyone who may have experienced this issue, or who anyone who just wants to throw their 2cents my way.

This past Saturday(09 Jul '11) I brewed a clone(my best guess) of Anchor's Liberty Ale. This was my fist time that I used a starter, instead of just Wyeast activator smack packs. Everything went fine until I transferred the 5gal. of wort into my 5gal. carboy. After oxygenating with an O2 system; between the foam and wort level there was VERY LITTLE headspace left for my 1.5L starter pitch(I know it sounds like a big starter for a 1.065 OG ale; but Jamil Zainasheff's pitching calculator [at www.mrmalty.com] told me to pitch a 2.3L starter...I figured 1.5L was a fair compromise). I managed to add 95% of the starter into the carboy before the liquid/foam level was up to the top of the neck of carboy(forcing some foam up into the funnel).

I then affixed a blow off tube to the carboy, as it was obvious that if I used my regular air lock I'd have kraeusen & what ever else bubbling up through it with in hours.

I noticed some activity that night, only a few hours after I pitched(the starter seemed to have worked well!). The next morning I went to check on it, and found the blow off tube, literally blown off the carboy(not a big surprise); and a pretty damn vigorous fermentation pouring a steady stream of kraeusen out of the top of the carboy. I was hesitant to re-affix the blow off tube, because I was sure the same thing would happen, and I had concerns of too much head pressure on the yeast. So I left it off.

I remember hearing on Brew Strong(a homebrew radio show on The Brewing Network I listen to), that infection/contamination is not too much of a concern in this phase of fermentation, as the kraeusen provides a protective barrier, and the constant push of CO2 off the beer also protects it.

I plan to affix a regular air lock once constant foaming out of the top subsides.

-What are the chances my beers already infected/contaminated?...I know they're probably pretty good
-What the repercussions of all of that kraeusen, NOT settling back into the beer? Will the it not "clean up" as nicely due the lose of yeast cells?
-Has anyone out there experienced anything like this? If so, how did that batch turn out?

Any feed back will be appreciated; even if you'd just like to call me an idiot for over filling the fermenter with wort

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Old 07-11-2011, 11:27 PM   #2
944play's Avatar
Jul 2008
Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 2,726
Liked 46 Times on 41 Posts

Originally Posted by Lupzilla View Post
-What the repercussions of all of that kraeusen, NOT settling back into the beer? Will the it not "clean up" as nicely due the lose of yeast cells?
On the contrary, Kaiser likes to ferment in smallish vessels to blow out the braun hefe:

I would not worry about infection if the fermentation was as active as you imply.
OD: ?
Keg: Simple AIPA (2-row, Chinook, Cascade, WLP090)

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Old 07-12-2011, 01:03 AM   #3
Paul07293's Avatar
Apr 2011
, NY
Posts: 295
Liked 6 Times on 5 Posts

I'm sure you're fine.There are plenty of yeast cells in suspension to finish the beer cleanly. With the positive pressure of CO2 and krausen escaping from the fermenter there is a protective layer keeping out the nasties. For future beers I'd think about a 6.5 gal carboy for primary fermentation.
Beer, if drank with moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirit, and promotes health.
-Thomas Jefferson
"Give me a woman who truly loves beer and I will conquer the world." - Kaiser Wilhelm
"I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer."- Homer Simpson

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