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Old 06-16-2012, 04:18 PM   #1
sanibel14's Avatar
May 2010
sanibel, florida
Posts: 67
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Have any of you guys tried open fermentation with any of your batches? How did it work out? Saint Somewhere Brewing, a brewery that specializes in Belgian style Ales here in Florida, uses this method. It looks pretty cool but I dont understand how it works. How doesnt it get contaminated?

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Old 06-16-2012, 04:29 PM   #2
jmprdood's Avatar
Nov 2011
, Home is Spokane WA
Posts: 585
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I haven't snapped a lid on a fermenter in a long time and don't use an airlock. I just set the lid on the bucket and let it do its thing for a couple of weeks, never an issue. While this isn't truly "open" as I have it covered to keep the big stuff out and pitch my own yeast. The CO2 produced makes a protective layer on top of the fermenting beer, no worries about oxidation in the short time it is in primary. Beer is tougher than most give it credit for. So this is what you are seeing on a larger scale at the brewery. I'm pretty sure they pitch yeast and don't rely on the wild variety.

If you're stupid, you have to be tough.

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Old 06-16-2012, 04:30 PM   #3
Oct 2007
Posts: 158

I'm doing it right now. If you listen to the brewing network shows, a lot of brewers who do open fermentation still cover the fermenter, they just aren't using an airlock. I have my fermenter covered with aluminum foil. When that yeast is going nothin is going to fall in that fermenter.

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Old 06-16-2012, 04:38 PM   #4
Jun 2005
Eugene, OR
Posts: 4,928
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I've done open fermentation maybe 5 times. I didn't see any advantage to it, so I now use the traditional method.
Life begins at 60....1.060, that is! - "Homebrew All Stars" now shipping!

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Old 06-16-2012, 04:44 PM   #5
Jan 2012
Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 43
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My chimay blue clone was open top fermented. I just used some voile fabric to cover the bucket and a bungy cord to secure it. The CO2 and pelicle help protect the fermentation. Time will tell how it turns out

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Old 06-16-2012, 08:04 PM   #6
Jan 2012
Posts: 370
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My brew kettle doesn't fit in my compact fermenting fridge, but once the temperature is right so that I can ferment at ambient temperatures, I plan to pitch yeast straight into the brew kettle once the wort has cooled. I'll put the pot lid on and let it sit until it's done fermenting. I don't know why I've never done it that way before. I guess I just learned to brew one way and have stuck to that. I have left the lid resting on my bucket without snapping it on. All I do is plug up the the airlock hole. I've never been overly concerned about contamination. My 3 year old brewing buddy is very curious, so the hardest part is keeping his grimy hands out of the bucket. He may confuse krausen for bath time bubbles, so who's to know what he would do in there.

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Old 06-16-2012, 08:46 PM   #7
mux's Avatar
Sep 2011
Chicago, IL - Illinois
Posts: 1,875
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I did a ESB open. I think some wild yeast got in there.

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Old 12-06-2012, 11:20 PM   #8
Oct 2012
Cardiff, Wales
Posts: 2,141
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I've been reading Graham Wheeler's "Brew your own British real ale" and it recommends using open fermenters like commercial breweries do. It literally says that beer needs little protection if any, and that some yeasts won't perform very well if enclosed.

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