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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: davidgzach on April 23, 2012, 05:56:23 am

Title: Zero Headspace in Carboy
Post by: davidgzach on April 23, 2012, 05:56:23 am
Brewed a Munich Helles this weekend.  I didn't stop the siphon at the right time and filled up my 5G carboy a little too much.  When I added my starter it filled it up right to the neck.  I expect basically all of the Krausen to blow off.

Should I remove some beer to create some headspace?  I'll definitely be removing some yeast as well.  Or just RDWHAHB and let it ride out?  The blow off is in a 2qt pitcher so I'm not particularly worried about a mess.

Dave
Title: Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
Post by: weithman5 on April 23, 2012, 07:22:32 am
let it roll
Title: Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
Post by: bluesman on April 23, 2012, 07:33:50 am
I would expect a significant amount of yeast to blow out of the carboy but it will make beer. You could have stirred in the yeast and removed a quart or two of wort but it will be okay as-is. Just leave it go and watch the fill level next time around.  :)
Title: Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
Post by: davidgzach on April 23, 2012, 07:36:53 am
I would expect a significant amount of yeast to blow out of the carboy but it will make beer. You could have stirred in the yeast and removed a quart or two of wort but it will be okay as-is. Just leave it go and watch the fill level next time around.  :)

I could give it a swirl now.....it's just starting to foam.

Edit:  Of course I want the best beer possible!
Title: Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
Post by: morticaixavier on April 23, 2012, 09:16:12 am
Well, Krausen is mostly yeast, fermenting wort is yeast/wort If you remove all the krausen you have significantly reduced the ratio of yeast to wort whereas if you pull a couple pints out now, before the krausen has formed you are pulling both and the ratio of yeast to wort has not changed. If you want the best beer possible I would pull some now.
Title: Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
Post by: a10t2 on April 23, 2012, 09:22:46 am
If you want the best beer possible I would pull some now.

+1. Pull off half a gallon or so and let it ferment in a separate fermenter.
Title: Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
Post by: davidgzach on April 23, 2012, 10:05:09 am
If you want the best beer possible I would pull some now.

+1. Pull off half a gallon or so and let it ferment in a separate fermenter.

You guys pushed me over the edge on that decision.  I figured it would be fine to let it ride but thought pulling would net the best product.  So I sanitized my siphon, took the cap off the bottom and siphoned off a half gallon of trub-filled wort.  It's in a gallon jug in my lagering fridge.  I plan to decant off the wort and use as my next starter.  Killed two birds with one stone!

Thanks to all, as always!

Dave
Title: Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
Post by: a10t2 on April 23, 2012, 11:01:14 am
I plan to decant off the wort and use as my next starter.

Hadn't you already pitched the yeast?
Title: Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
Post by: davidgzach on April 23, 2012, 11:07:06 am
I plan to decant off the wort and use as my next starter.

Hadn't you already pitched the yeast?

I did, but most looked to still be in suspension.  If I ended up with some yeast, I'll decant the wort off of it as well.
Title: Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
Post by: davidgzach on April 23, 2012, 11:12:55 am
OK, panic setting in.  Do you think I racked off too much yeast if I sucked it up from the bottom?  I thought it looked like they were in suspension but my gallon jug seems to be fermenting.  I think I'll decant and put back the trub.....
Title: Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
Post by: garc_mall on April 23, 2012, 11:29:22 am
OK, panic setting in.  Do you think I racked off too much yeast if I sucked it up from the bottom?  I thought it looked like they were in suspension but my gallon jug seems to be fermenting.  I think I'll decant and put back the trub.....

Once you pitched, and the yeast started multiplying, the yeast are everywhere. When you pulled the trub and beer from the bottom, you most definitely got yeast in there, hence the fermentation. There should be no issues, and your beer in the carboy should be fermenting as well on its own. I would let it ferment itself out, and then decant it back into the beer when you rack to secondary or a keg. It should be clean as long as you used good sanitation.

I plan to decant off the wort and use as my next starter.

Hadn't you already pitched the yeast?

When I read this first, I thought you were planning on using that as a starter of whatever yeast you originally used. But if you weren't, you aren't going to be able to use that for a starter, because as Sean said, its going to ferment because you already pitched the yeast.
Title: Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
Post by: davidgzach on April 23, 2012, 11:36:05 am
That's one problem with working from home.  You don't get to think things through before you do it.  I should have left well enough alone, but ran downstairs, sanitized a container, decanted the first pull and poured the trub back in to the primary.  It actually filled the headspace to a good level and I'm pretty sure about my sanitation so at this point I'm going to RDWHAHB, well at 5:00PM at least.....

I guess the container will keep fermenting a bit as I got some trub in there.  I'll burp it every hour or so until it gets to 34F and the yeast fall out.  I'll then decant that and use in my next starter.

Man, whenever you think you got this hobby figured out, in comes the curveball...... :o

Dave
Title: Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
Post by: a10t2 on April 23, 2012, 09:59:39 pm
I'll burp it every hour or so until it gets to 34F and the yeast fall out.  I'll then decant that and use in my next starter.

Personally, I wouldn't. No matter what you do (short of filtration), you'll never get all the yeast out. Then your next starter will no longer be a pure culture.

I suppose you could bring it back up to a boil to pasteurize it, though.
Title: Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
Post by: pyrite on April 23, 2012, 10:42:10 pm
Brewed a Munich Helles this weekend.  I didn't stop the siphon at the right time and filled up my 5G carboy a little too much.  When I added my starter it filled it up right to the neck.  I expect basically all of the Krausen to blow off.

Should I remove some beer to create some headspace?  I'll definitely be removing some yeast as well.  Or just RDWHAHB and let it ride out?  The blow off is in a 2qt pitcher so I'm not particularly worried about a mess.

Dave

Anheuser-Bush uses a similar technique.  Of course their techniuqe is a bit more sophisticated, but I would leave it as is.  This is actually good in lager fermenting.  Lagers have bottom fermenting yeast, and the active yeast will be insuspension. The blow-off is essentially trub and particulates, and as a result you will have a cleaner tasting Munich Helles. 
Title: Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
Post by: davidgzach on April 24, 2012, 05:25:46 am
Pyrite,

Where were you yesterday morning!!   :)

Well, next time I'll leave her go.  Now, she's krausening and happily percolating away just below the blowoff tube. 

Dave
Title: Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
Post by: davidgzach on April 24, 2012, 05:38:38 am
I'll burp it every hour or so until it gets to 34F and the yeast fall out.  I'll then decant that and use in my next starter.

Personally, I wouldn't. No matter what you do (short of filtration), you'll never get all the yeast out. Then your next starter will no longer be a pure culture.

I suppose you could bring it back up to a boil to pasteurize it, though.

Question now is what to do with the wort I pulled out.  I guess boil it would make the most sense.  I need to water it down a bit anyway as it's at 1.051. 

Dave
Title: Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
Post by: tschmidlin on April 24, 2012, 10:34:52 am
I'll burp it every hour or so until it gets to 34F and the yeast fall out.  I'll then decant that and use in my next starter.

Personally, I wouldn't. No matter what you do (short of filtration), you'll never get all the yeast out. Then your next starter will no longer be a pure culture.

I suppose you could bring it back up to a boil to pasteurize it, though.

Question now is what to do with the wort I pulled out.  I guess boil it would make the most sense.  I need to water it down a bit anyway as it's at 1.051. 

Dave
Why not just let it ferment and then drink it?  Have I missed something?
Title: Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
Post by: davidgzach on April 24, 2012, 10:41:36 am
There is only about 12-16 oz so I think I'll just use it for a starter in the near future.
Title: Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
Post by: tschmidlin on April 24, 2012, 10:43:37 am
There is only about 12-16 oz so I think I'll just use it for a starter in the near future.
12-16 oz?  I'd just toss it.  It's barely enough for a starter anyway, and it's partially fermented.
Title: Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
Post by: davidgzach on April 24, 2012, 10:45:41 am
It's hard to toss good wort...... :'(

May end up that way though......
Title: Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
Post by: Joe Sr. on April 24, 2012, 10:47:57 am
It's not wort anymore.  It's beer.
Title: Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
Post by: davidgzach on April 24, 2012, 10:51:06 am
It's not wort anymore.  It's beer.

It was only 'fermenting' for 12 hours at 52F.  I'll take a gravity reading.  Do you think it's not usable at this point?  Just toss it like Tom said?
Title: Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
Post by: morticaixavier on April 24, 2012, 10:55:56 am
It's not wort anymore.  It's beer.

It was only 'fermenting' for 12 hours at 52F.  I'll take a gravity reading.  Do you think it's not usable at this point?  Just toss it like Tom said?

I don't think it's a question of if it's usable. If your sanitation was good, and/or you boil it it will be fine. You could let it ferment out, decant, add more wort and you would have a start ready to go for you next batch.

I think Joe Sr. was refering to the idea that as soon as yeast hits the wort it becomes beer. Hence the saying that brewers make wort, yeast makes beer.
Title: Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
Post by: davidgzach on April 24, 2012, 11:02:10 am
Ah, yes.  The definition of beer is as such.

I have the pulled portion in my lagering fridge at 34F.  Was thinking about using it to wake up some 1056 slurry for my next Pale Ale.  I'm now really curious to see if it keeps fermenting and what the current gravity is after 12 hours.     

Title: Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
Post by: Joe Sr. on April 24, 2012, 11:39:13 am
I'm sure it will keep fermenting since it has yeast in it.  Unless you boil it and kill the yeast.

But if you're going to boil it, why not just boil some water and add a scoop of DME.  Then you have fresh wort to add to your slurry.

It seems like a lot of trouble to try to salvage 16oz of already fermenting wort.  As Mort noted, you could let that ferment out, decant and add more wort to build another starter.

I just don't see the point in trying to stop it from fermenting.
Title: Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
Post by: davidgzach on April 25, 2012, 06:21:57 am
I'm sure it will keep fermenting since it has yeast in it.  Unless you boil it and kill the yeast.

But if you're going to boil it, why not just boil some water and add a scoop of DME.  Then you have fresh wort to add to your slurry.

It seems like a lot of trouble to try to salvage 16oz of already fermenting wort.  As Mort noted, you could let that ferment out, decant and add more wort to build another starter.

I just don't see the point in trying to stop it from fermenting.

Took your advice and boiled it.  More as an experiment.  I froze it and will defrost and attempt to use as a starter for my next ale. 
Title: Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
Post by: tschmidlin on April 25, 2012, 11:16:06 am
I'm sure it will keep fermenting since it has yeast in it.  Unless you boil it and kill the yeast.

But if you're going to boil it, why not just boil some water and add a scoop of DME.  Then you have fresh wort to add to your slurry.

It seems like a lot of trouble to try to salvage 16oz of already fermenting wort.  As Mort noted, you could let that ferment out, decant and add more wort to build another starter.

I just don't see the point in trying to stop it from fermenting.

Took your advice and boiled it.  More as an experiment.  I froze it and will defrost and attempt to use as a starter for my next ale. 
As an experiment, cool.  As a practice, it seems like a lot of effort to go through to save 50 cents.  You've got ~2 oz of DME equivalent in there, and since you'll have to add more DME to make a decent sized starter I don't think you've saved yourself any time at all.
Title: Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
Post by: Joe Sr. on April 25, 2012, 12:28:07 pm
I agree with Tom.

If you want to save time, collect some wort from your next batch before you pitch yeast.

Freeze it and use that for starters.

I set my grain bags aside after rinsing them and collect what remainder drains from them over the course of the brew day.

Typically, I get around 20 oz. to freeze for starters.
Title: Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
Post by: davidgzach on April 25, 2012, 01:11:41 pm
I'm typically a DME guy for my starters.  I probably should have just left it alone to begin with, but after I pulled out what is actually about 25oz now that I've measured it, I wanted to put it to use instead of just tossing it.  The second mistake was not letting it ferment out in the original gallon jug and transferring to the container thinking it would settle out at 34F. 

Basically just a comedy of errors!   :-\

But, it's boiled and has some use in the future and I like the idea of collecting the drainings from my grain bags.  So, another technique learned in a roundabout way.....

Dave