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Old 12-01-2011, 02:20 AM   #11
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A few commercial breweries do exactly what you are talking about and ferment in an open vessel until the end of high krausen. They believe as long as C02 is escaping nothing can contaminate the beer. It is also believed that due to the active yeast volume and alcohol being created no rogue organisms can survive.

As true as this may be, I personally choose not to practice this method. Everything I do as far as brewing is done in a clean room and only closed fermentations and closed transfers take place.

I am very paranoid about an infected batch of beer, and so this has become my practice.

By the way when I say "infected" I am not referring to an awful unsinkable beer, but rather anything whether it be a faint odd smell or the slightest off flavor. Those two symptoms as well as what's often times referred to as a "house flavor" will usually result in a judge knocking down the score of one's beer due to an off flavor or infection.


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Old 12-01-2011, 02:21 AM   #12
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On this note, I'd imagine oxidation would become a concern if one were to leave the lid loose for extended periods of time. Anyone how long that would take? Weeks? Months?


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Old 12-01-2011, 02:33 AM   #13
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Thanks for the reply's from all. I did not think that I was the first Einstein to do this, but I had to check.

My future will probably involve getting a larger fermentation bucket, but for now I will do this. I really liked the idea of using plexiglass for a cover. I have easy access to a ton of that and it would be cool to watch the first day or so, then put the lid on with an airlock. I really kinda miss the days that I used to use a carboy and watch the action inside, but a bucked is so much easier to handle and clean.

Thanks to all,

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Old 12-01-2011, 02:36 AM   #14
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Right Brain uses plastic wrap to cover the fermentors? How weird. Then again, most of what they do is "weird" by most folk's standards! ;-)
Not Right Brain....North Peaks evidently.
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Old 12-01-2011, 02:39 AM   #15
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When I worked at Bell's (then known as Kalamazoo Brewing CO.) in '89-'90 or so, the tanks were what I would refer to as "semi-open"... basically, they had loose fitting, hinged lids. They had small vents, about 5" around that would allow the CO2 to escape, the vent hole would have a loose sheet of Saran wrap over it. We would open the lid to top crop the yeast for pitching into the the yeast propagation tanks, which would hold 1bbl. They were covered with Saran wrap. Worked like a champ.
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Old 12-01-2011, 02:46 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by mikebowman View Post
On this note, I'd imagine oxidation would become a concern if one were to leave the lid loose for extended periods of time. Anyone how long that would take? Weeks? Months?
I'd worry about it once fermentation has ceased, but not during. As a few people have said, CO2 outflow will keep anything from getting in, including O2.
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Old 12-01-2011, 02:42 PM   #17
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I'd worry about it once fermentation has ceased, but not during. As a few people have said, CO2 outflow will keep anything from getting in, including O2.
Yeah, that was my thinking too. Probably be fine until active fermentation stops, and allows the O2 to diffuse in. Probably a week or two at least
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Old 12-01-2011, 02:49 PM   #18
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With some yeast strains, it is purportedly beneficial to leave the lid open, like with ringwood. Apparently it performs better this way (?due to lowered pressures?). I've only used ringwood once and did so with the top loose. I got good results but I can't comment on how much of a difference it made.
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Old 12-01-2011, 02:49 PM   #19
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One concern is that, if your beer isn't cooled to room temperature when you put it in the fermenter, the process of cooling will result in unsanitary air from outside the fermenter being sucked in. I'd personally want to avoid that; maybe buy a larger fermenter, or make less beer in each batch. . .
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Old 12-01-2011, 03:05 PM   #20
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One concern is that, if your beer isn't cooled to room temperature when you put it in the fermenter, the process of cooling will result in unsanitary air from outside the fermenter being sucked in. I'd personally want to avoid that; maybe buy a larger fermenter, or make less beer in each batch. . .
More than likely if that were truly the case, as it cools it would more than likely form a tighter bond with the bucket...just like suckback from an airlock or a vacuum forming in canning as it cools, or doing no0chill brewing in an aquatainer. . Things don't expand when they cool, they contract, you would actually have a safer lid/bucket connection if that were the case.


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