So I had my first blowout, well legitimate blowout I did have on with my first Carribou Slobber due to fermentation temps. Now that I have that under control trying to find out what would have caused it. The only factors I’m considering is either All-grain vs Extract fermentation, Higher OG than any beer I have done so far, or pitching onto the yeast cake (although I did this for my Dead Ringer with no problem). I’m using the American II strain and have the fermentation chamber at 64-65. It was bubbling just fine for 3 days and when I went to check that night it had a small blowout (only covered the side of the lid, wasn’t enough to go down the side). I’m using a 6 gallon bucket so had 1 gallon of head space. Considering the vigorous fermentation you get from a CS and my second kit didn’t blowout figured I didn’t need to use a blowoff tube. Should I have started fermenting this one at a lower temp say 62-63 then raised it? Any ideas will be appreciated.
High gravity brews do get more active and produce more foam when they get going. If the chamber was at 64-65F, then the beer was 3-8F higher, and as it was high OG, I’m guessing it was on the high end of that. If I was you, I’d plan on keeping the temperature lower next time. And you might want to get a 7 or 8 gallon bucket for those really big beers.
AG is probably not a factor. I haven’t had a blow-out since I switched to AG, but I also got my fermentation temperature under control around the same time, so hard for me to separate the two based on personal experience.
Makes sense thanks. I think my biggest before this was 1.057 and had no issues with the same temp didn’t think .01 increase would be that big a difference. Now I know.
Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple. The degree of fermentability can play a role, and the yeast strain will very definitely play a role, as will the level of any nutrients that might be present and the pH of the wort. Basically, anything that gets the wort closer to what the yeast would consider “ideal” will result in a more vigorous fermentation. Be careful not to confuse what is ideal for the yeast with what is ideal for the beer. It can differ.
I like your thinking rebuilt, yes there are some variables to keep notes on. I have found the biggest factor for me was the yeast… I can’t tell you ifn there was more yeast that was viable in the tube BEFORE I made my starter or if some are just have super powers. I haven’t got a microscope to look at the yeast and see what the count those little buggers have out of the vial…. everyone talks about yeast count to the liter and some equations you can find to determine how many cells your pitching and I believe it IS a close ball park number, yet, how close? Just my thoughts anyways. Yes using a starter has helped me and using a bigger fermenter…… haven’t had a airlock rocket launcher for many years now….Sneezles61 :cheers:
As RC pointed out, when you simply control the ambient temp of your chamber, your actual ferm temps can raise substantially over the ambient. The bigger the beer, the more swing. In addition, as the actual ferment temp increases, the yeast go into hyperdrive creating more heat which only increases their activity resulting in… you guessed it, more heat. Its cyclical and can easily lead to blowoff and off flavors.
Try to monitor the actual ferm temps. Attach the probe onto the side of the fermenter and insulate it from the ambient temps. This can be done with tape, but I used an ace bandage so it wouldn’t leave residue. If this can’t be done then adjust your ambient temps a few degrees lower.
I do have the probe taped to the side, might want to find some insulator to wrap around it like a small piece of Styrofoam. The two beers I mention used the same strain, so assumed similar results. Haven’t started checking ph or other factors wanted to do one thing at a time so I could see the improvement each provided, this was the EX to AG upgrade.
These guys know what they are talking about and offer excellent advice. From past experience, i know that there is a lot of yeast in a yeast cake from a previous brew and these can get up and running quickly and can add to blow out potential. If you pitch onto a complete yeast cake, you may need more head space in your fermenter.
Yeah last time I think I pitched on the cake was from the Kiwi Express and pitched the Dead Ringer. If I recall I missed the OG on the DR so it was low. Will probably look into a 7.9 gallon for my next high gravity was looking to get another fermenter anyways for long aging beers and if I want to try a cider or mead.