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Crazy fermentation

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zeg

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I don't have any real problems or questions, I just had to tell someone who'd appreciate this sort of thing. Sure, my wife and friends are supportive, but they just kind of smile politely and try to move on when I talk about this.

Over the weekend, I put together a 5.5 gallon batch of a partial mash Düsseldorf Altbier using a starter I'd made from some washed WLP029 that came out of my Kölsch the weekend before. This was the first time I'd tried reusing yeast and I made a couple little mistakes. It did a good job with its starter, though, so I went for it...

It started burping into through its blow-off tube about 3 hours after pitching. I pitched at 75°F and then stuck it in the fridge and it was down to about 64°F by this point. The next morning, a healthy, disgusting Krausen had formed on top and was reaching up to the top of my 6 gallon Better Bottle. A few hours later, the trub inside was churning like you wouldn't believe, swirling and eddying up and down. It was ALIVE... the burping was more of a continuous outgassing through the blow-off tube.

That night, foam was blowing off out the tube. Every few tens of seconds, a big pocket of gunk would get blown out, in some cases shaking the whole carboy with the force. :rockin: By morning, foam was burbling out the top of the blow-off jar and some beer had run down into the bottom of the fridge. Fortunately the Better Bottle bung was still sealed tightly, this was just blow-off from the blow-off collection jar.

Anyway, that's all. This is the most vigorous fermentation I've had, rivalling the Nottingham fermentation I ran on my first brew. That was a low-gravity (1.035 vs 1.051 for this one), but was two 11g packets of Nottingham. I guess the WLP029 really liked my wort (and maybe the nutrients I added, too).

Actually my one concern at this point is that, having been caught off guard by the absurd vigor of the fermentation, I didn't set the outlet timer I use to cycle my fridge to run often enough. The yeast were putting off so much heat that I probably needed to run it nearly continuously for the first 24 hours to keep it in the low 60s. It didn't get above 70°F, though, so I'm not too worried (and there's nothing to be done at this point anyway). Things have settled down and it's now running comfortably at about 64°F....

So... thanks for listening. :fro:
 

wherestheyeast

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I don't have any real problems or questions, I just had to tell someone who'd appreciate this sort of thing. Sure, my wife and friends are supportive, but they just kind of smile politely and try to move on when I talk about this.
Ha! My wife, bless her, tries to talk beer. But in the end she just smiles & nods. I need to find a homebrew club!

I don't know about you, but I'm sure glad I found these boards and learned about blow-off tubes -- imagine if you'd just had an airlock?!
 
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zeg

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I don't know about you, but I'm sure glad I found these boards and learned about blow-off tubes -- imagine if you'd just had an airlock?!
An airlock would have been a disaster. I have used a blow-off for primary on every fermentation I've done so far. I think I first read about it in Papazian and it just seemed like a good piece of insurance against a big mess. My cider and mead didn't really need it, but so much better safe than sorry.

Plus, it makes more exciting burps than an airlock. My daughter likes to go check on the "beerd" (her mix of the words "beer" and "mead," I think) and see whether it's still "bloop-blooping." She was concerned the last time when I swapped the blow-off for an airlock and it didn't have a bloop-bloop any more.
 
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