Shaking a fermenter

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Jtvann

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Wanted to check in with you guys about shaking or rocking the fermenter. Is there any harm in doing it? I have a tilt hydrometer. At times it reads off by a big amount. This I think Its due to krausen or other crap, stuck to the top of it. By shaking, I can rinse or splash the crap off it. Is this harmful in anyway throughout the process? No air is introduced during the shaking.
 

bronzdragon

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If it's in a glass carboy, I wouldn't shake too much or the hydrometer might break against the wall. I don't think a gentle sloshing would hurt though and is done once in awhile to rouse the yeast. /cheers
 

mredge73

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Be Gentle, very gentle.
It can blow up in your face like a coke bottle if you are violent.
 

cloudybrewer

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Be Gentle, very gentle.
It can blow up in your face like a coke bottle if you are violent.
And make sure your airlock isn't plugged. A friend of mine shook his carboy not knowing the airlock was plugged, and the carboy was pressurized. It blew up and sent glass chards across the basement. Luckily it waited a few seconds, long enough that he was walking away and his heavy hunting coat took the brunt of it.
 
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Jtvann

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So I guess I should throw in there, I’m not using glass. I ferment in a SS Brew Bucket. The blow off is not clogged either. Actually shaking produced a violent stream of bubbles, similar to a 3 year old child blowing bubbles in a soda.

Just making sure the disruption of the krausen layer on top while shaking wouldn’t produce negative results. Even if done violently ....
 

johnstod

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Does the tilt not get a ring of gunk on it from the krausen making it wrong anyway?
 
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Jtvann

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.... kinda the whole point of this thread. Shake the fermenter ... wash off the gunk. Tilt is accurate again.
 
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Jtvann

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Yep.

Ok so again, maybe I’m not being clear enough in my details here. I’m not talking about a gentle swishing around. I’m not talking about lightly rocking. I’m talking about shaking the ever living crap out of the fermenter, enough to cause tidal waves of splashing.

Any harm in that?
 

Yooper

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Yep.

Ok so again, maybe I’m not being clear enough in my details here. I’m not talking about a gentle swishing around. I’m not talking about lightly rocking. I’m talking about shaking the ever living crap out of the fermenter, enough to cause tidal waves of splashing.

Any harm in that?
Yes. The oxidation is a huge problem. During active fermentation, it’s not a huge risk, but once fermentation slows it can create oxidation problems.
 
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Jtvann

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I was curious about oxidation. Even after fermentation is complete, how can it get oxidized. I assumed that the production of CO2 during fermentation effectively scrubs all O2 out of the fermenter.

As long as the seal is air tight, is there any O2 to worry about?
 

AZCoolerBrewer

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My guess is you won’t have problems with that. The reason I say so is when I watch my beer fermenting it stirs itself as violently as I can shake it, maybe more violently. So as long as you keep air out and don’t break anything, I think you’re good.
 

65C

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I always give them a strong rock every couple of weeks - sometimes it seems to be needed to wake them up a bit with the heavy ferments - often they won't have bubbled for a couple of weeks but are active again for days

I don't use a hydrometer so never really know what's going on but I suspect some brews get into a slow ferment as everything settles down and churning it up gets the hungry yeast at bottom of cake back in to action

I move them to a warmer room later in ferment too which can kick them off again - I usually have taken them off the blowoff by then and put an airlock on
 

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