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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: Jo Diesel on June 10, 2013, 05:22:00 PM

Title: How much head space in fermenter to much
Post by: Jo Diesel on June 10, 2013, 05:22:00 PM
Bought some new open top barrels and they were supposed to be 18 gal. I thought these would be perfect for fermenting 16 gallons with 15.5 finished. Turns out the barrels have 24 gal capacity so I have 8 gal head space. I even added 2 extra gallons into boil to end up with 18 gal and still leaves  6 gal head space.
Title: How much head space in fermenter to much
Post by: duboman on June 10, 2013, 05:34:29 PM
Unless you are planning on long conditioning there should be nonissue as the headspace will just fill up with CO2 and blanket the beer to protect it from getting oxidized.
Title: Re: How much head space in fermenter to much
Post by: a10t2 on June 10, 2013, 05:52:21 PM
Do you have some way to put an airlock on them? If so, it doesn't matter at all. An average-gravity fermentation produces about 20 volumes of CO2 per volume of beer.
Title: Re: How much head space in fermenter to much
Post by: bunderbunder on June 10, 2013, 06:06:53 PM
Speaking as a fan of many beers that happen to be open fermented, I'd say you should be fine up to ∞.  Just get it racked in to some other sort of container after active fermentation finishes.
Title: Re: How much head space in fermenter to much
Post by: ynotbrusum on June 10, 2013, 06:22:56 PM
This will sound silly, but I just brewed up an amber and didn't have a lot of primary space, so I have 5 gallons in a 6 gallon BB with air lock, 5 in a bucket with lid and airlock, and about 2.5 gallons in a 5 gallon bucket with just a boil kettle lid on it.  (My large fermenters are tied up with lagers; I thought I had one free, but didn't actually check before starting this brew.  So, I have my first truly open fermentation going on and will bottle as soon as terminal gravity is reached.  I think you and I will both be fine.  Good luck!
Title: Re: How much head space in fermenter to much
Post by: reverseapachemaster on June 11, 2013, 03:55:59 AM
I've fermented one gallon in a 7.9 gallon bucket. You'll be ok.
Title: Re: How much head space in fermenter to much
Post by: Jo Diesel on June 24, 2013, 08:03:53 PM
Kegged up the batch yesterday and came out fine. Started at 1.60 and finished at 1.05. Should make a descent IPA. Think I am going to start top cropping my yeast. Will be pretty easy.
Title: Re: How much head space in fermenter to much
Post by: hopfenundmalz on June 24, 2013, 09:33:23 PM
Speaking as a fan of many beers that happen to be open fermented, I'd say you should be fine up to ∞.  Just get it racked in to some other sort of container after active fermentation finishes.
That was my answer.
Title: Re: How much head space in fermenter to much
Post by: morticaixavier on June 24, 2013, 09:53:28 PM
Speaking as a fan of many beers that happen to be open fermented, I'd say you should be fine up to ∞.  Just get it racked in to some other sort of container after active fermentation finishes.
That was my answer.

like this you mean?

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8088/8482548149_ac0cfe2fb8.jpg)

That's at anchor brewery. there are three more like that in that room and another room with two more
Title: Re: Re: How much head space in fermenter to much
Post by: AmandaK on June 24, 2013, 10:07:21 PM

That's at anchor brewery. there are three more like that in that room and another room with two more

I'm glad I'm not the only one who snuck a picture on the tour!
Title: Re: Re: How much head space in fermenter to much
Post by: morticaixavier on June 24, 2013, 10:22:22 PM

That's at anchor brewery. there are three more like that in that room and another room with two more

I'm glad I'm not the only one who snuck a picture on the tour!

I have so many pics of that day. It was the California Homebrew Club of the year awards banquet. fun time!
Title: Re: How much head space in fermenter to much
Post by: hopfenundmalz on June 24, 2013, 11:20:34 PM
Speaking as a fan of many beers that happen to be open fermented, I'd say you should be fine up to ∞.  Just get it racked in to some other sort of container after active fermentation finishes.
That was my answer.

like this you mean?

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8088/8482548149_ac0cfe2fb8.jpg)

That's at anchor brewery. there are three more like that in that room and another room with two more
Sierra Nevada, New Glarus, and many Brewpubs do open Fermentation. The old Youngs brewery in Wandsworth had very large concrete fermenters with an interior coating. Most German wheat beer brewers have open fermenters.

I want to see these in operation someday.

http://www.mlive.com/entertainment/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2012/05/bells_to_use_100-year-old_wood.html
Title: Re: How much head space in fermenter to much
Post by: drjones on July 01, 2013, 05:21:03 PM
Quote
That's at anchor brewery. there are three more like that in that room and another room with two more
How do these large facilities manage C02 buildup? I suppose you just need a low fan to draw it off, but it seems like it could become an issue (in any large brewery, I guess).  One of the NHC talks on historical brewing this weekend mentioned 19th C. basement open fermenting vats that sometimes resulted in very dead brewers going down to check on their beer...
Title: Re: How much head space in fermenter to much
Post by: AmandaK on July 01, 2013, 05:32:04 PM
Quote
That's at anchor brewery. there are three more like that in that room and another room with two more
How do these large facilities manage C02 buildup? I suppose you just need a low fan to draw it off, but it seems like it could become an issue (in any large brewery, I guess).  One of the NHC talks on historical brewing this weekend mentioned 19th C. basement open fermenting vats that sometimes resulted in very dead brewers going down to check on their beer...

Modern HVAC systems deal with this quite easily, which is why I would imagine there would be a problem in 19th century England and not at Anchor Brewing.
Title: Re: How much head space in fermenter to much
Post by: hopfenundmalz on July 01, 2013, 05:38:22 PM
Modern rooms are at positive pressure with clean filtered air as the supply.
Title: Re: How much head space in fermenter to much
Post by: Jimmy K on July 01, 2013, 07:29:18 PM
Quote
That's at anchor brewery. there are three more like that in that room and another room with two more
How do these large facilities manage C02 buildup? I suppose you just need a low fan to draw it off, but it seems like it could become an issue (in any large brewery, I guess).  One of the NHC talks on historical brewing this weekend mentioned 19th C. basement open fermenting vats that sometimes resulted in very dead brewers going down to check on their beer...
Many (maybe most) closed fermenters vent into the room too. It doesn't really matter if it's opened or closed, you'd still need to ventilate the room.