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Open Fermentaion (Now Wtth Pics)

Has anyone tried open fermentation? After watching the BTV episode on it I decided to try it out on a belgian dark ale. So far my results are lack luster to say the least. 26 hours after pitching, no where near the same Krausen as Mike. Oh well, we’ll see what happens in the next 10 hours.

So two hours after posting this it started going off great. Skimmed it off. Watched Hellraiser. Went back to check it out again. Wham! Had to skim it again. Ill post pics later.

What are you fermenting in? Glad to hear it took off, those Belgian yeasts are beasts when it comes to krausen.

26 hours

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057[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/79906623@N06/]cowstick
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28 and 30 hours

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058[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/79906623@N06/]cowstick
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39 hours

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059[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/79906623@N06/]cowstick
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Action Shot

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062[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/79906623@N06/]cowstick
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45 hours
Notice the change in color and texture of the foam. This is what you dont want to skim. Notice in the second pic above how creamy and dense the Krausen looks. Thats what you want. Notice in the Third pic above the nice rocky and dense Krausen that what you want. This Krausen is near its end of reproduction age and is in the conversion age. The dark stuff on top is hop resin and particulates that got sucked up from the brew kettle.

I hope this helps anyone wanting to do an open fermentation.

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066[/url] by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/79906623@N06/]cowstick
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That’s REALLY an open fermentation. From what I’ve seen, most people “open” ferment with a towel or something at least covering the opening of the bucket so nothing can fall in (bugs, dust, etc).

Good luck with it.

Nice pics, looks yummy. Do you at least cover with a cloth or something? I don’t know that there would be a difference between leaving the top off and having a lid that doesn’t hold pressure. This open ferm is supposed to give a fruitier result right?

I don’t cover it at all. I don’t want to inhibit what’s going on in the brew by covering it up. Also I don’t want the krausen touching anything that might contaminate it when it rises.

I took a hydro reading to see where it was at. I tasted it. HOLY CRAP BANANA!!! I love it. I really hope it retains that flavor. I think on gonna do all my Belgians this way from now on.

Open fermenting almost doubles the ester/phenol flavors. Since I’m brewing a Belgian with a trappist yeast I wanted to get as much as I could. I also just read Brew Like A Monk and got inspired.

Wait, you pitched yeast on it? I thought the point of open fermentation was to let wild yeast inoculate the brew?

In any case, the krausen looks crazy!

[quote=“ickyfoot”]Wait, you pitched yeast on it? I thought the point of open fermentation was to let wild yeast inoculate the brew?

In any case, the krausen looks crazy![/quote]
No, it’s one traditional way of fermenting. Many breweries do it that way. I assume they talk about that on the episode of BTV.

Check out the video of Sierra Nevada brewing Bigfoot in open fermenters

http://www.sierranevada.com/beers/bigfoot.html

This is really helpful. That episodes of BTV got me thinking in the same direction. Thanks for taking the plunge and sharing all that info. Enjoy the banana bread!

Am I the only one that sees a face with a funny crown or hat in pic #2. Maybe a clown :lol:

Maybe George Washington?

I think that I am only going to brew my Belgians this way. Im really excited about how this beer is going to finish. Ill keep everyone posted. Who knows, if youre in my hood I might be able to part with some.

[quote=“cowstick”]I don’t cover it at all. I don’t want to inhibit what’s going on in the brew by covering it up. Also I don’t want the krausen touching anything that might contaminate it when it rises.

I took a hydro reading to see where it was at. I tasted it. HOLY CRAP BANANA!!! I love it. I really hope it retains that flavor. I think on gonna do all my Belgians this way from now on.[/quote]
A towel isn’t going to inhibit anything, unless those yeasties like to be watched (kinky!). Not letting CO2 build up over the ferment is the only difference. I would assume that commercial outfits that do this have very controlled if not sterile environments.

Don’t count on your beer holding all the banana esters you get from a gravity sample, there is a lot of outgassing during fermentation.

I did the opposite of an open ferment recently with a hefeweizen. Pressurized fermentation at 7-10psi, its supposed to tame esters. Surprisingly the hefe came out as much of a banana bomb as usual. My only guess is that I didn’t control temp and let it go in the mid to upper sixties, that must have countered the pressure.

[quote=“tom sawyer”]
A towel isn’t going to inhibit anything, unless those yeasties like to be watched (kinky!). Not letting CO2 build up over the ferment is the only difference. I would assume that commercial outfits that do this have very controlled if not sterile environments.[/quote]

With that said, a well placed cheese cloth may be a better solution than a towel. I understand that a basement isn’t the cleanest of all places to do an open fermentation.

It was really interesting to see what it tasted like mid ferment. I guess Ill see what happens.

Here’s an open fermenter at York Brewery in England. There’s a window in between the beer and me. So controlled, but I wouldn’t say sterile.

From the basement of Pilsner Uquell. They keep brewing in the old ways downstairs to have a comparison for the new, automated way.

Cool pics!

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