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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: Pinski on March 28, 2011, 07:31:41 AM

Title: plastic fermentation vessels and oxygen
Post by: Pinski on March 28, 2011, 07:31:41 AM
I've always preferred to ferment in 6.5 glass carboys so I can see the action and I just prefer glass to plastic.  I also like to maximize my final product so i ferment a volume of 6.5+ gallons which generally results in significant blow off.  I've been reading lately and am becoming convinced that "blowing off" may compromise the finished libation of all the goodness originally intended. So, I'm considering doing some primary ferments in larger plastic buckets to avoid blow off.  With all the emphasis on avoiding oxygen contact post fermentation, I'm curious about methods folks use to avoid oxygenation when racking from a plastic bucket. Hope you all had a good weekend, I kegged my Billy Shakes Stout clone to make three in the keezer so far.  Brew on.
Title: Re: plastic fermentation vessels and oxygen
Post by: denny on March 28, 2011, 03:49:43 PM
With all the emphasis on avoiding oxygen contact post fermentation, I'm curious about methods folks use to avoid oxygenation when racking from a plastic bucket.

I use buckets for fermentation pretty much 90% of the time and do nothing different in racking than I do for any other container.  I guess I don't understand why you'd need to.
Title: Re: plastic fermentation vessels and oxygen
Post by: Pinski on March 28, 2011, 04:00:52 PM
It just seems like I keep hearing/reading about folks emphasizing not allowing oxygen come into contact with fermented beer. For example; using dual port carboy lids and and using CO2 to force the beer into a keg or another carboy that has been 'filled' with CO2. 
I'm just wondering how one could take a similar preventative measure when primary fermenting in plastic buckets and then transferring to a carboy for secondary.
Title: Re: plastic fermentation vessels and oxygen
Post by: denny on March 28, 2011, 04:09:37 PM
It just seems like I keep hearing/reading about folks emphasizing not allowing oxygen come into contact with fermented beer. For example; using dual port carboy lids and and using CO2 to force the beer into a keg or another carboy that has been 'filled' with CO2. 
I'm just wondering how one could take a similar preventative measure when primary fermenting in plastic buckets and then transferring to a carboy for secondary.

Ah, I see.  Personally, I think that's an overblown fear in that situation, so I simply ignore it!  ;)
Title: Re: plastic fermentation vessels and oxygen
Post by: Pinski on March 28, 2011, 04:15:49 PM
Yeah, I think I'll take the relaxed and unworried approach when I do a plastic primary and just be careful not to splash around. 
Title: Re: plastic fermentation vessels and oxygen
Post by: tom on March 28, 2011, 06:15:38 PM
  I've been reading lately and am becoming convinced that "blowing off" may compromise the finished libation of all the goodness originally intended.
I've never heard that. I have heard some suggest that blow-off improves the beer by getting rid of "bitter krauesen".
Title: Re: plastic fermentation vessels and oxygen
Post by: denny on March 28, 2011, 06:26:23 PM
He's from Oregon...we LIKE bitter here!   ;D
Title: Re: plastic fermentation vessels and oxygen
Post by: Pinski on March 28, 2011, 06:57:19 PM
He's from Oregon...we LIKE bitter here!   ;D

Indeed! But even more than the bitter, I really like a pungent aroma and assertive hoppy flavor... and it's hard to beat a good hop burp. I mean if you need to burp it may as well be an essense of hop burp... no?

But to the point; a respectable brewer (IMHO) made the valid point (AFAIK) that no commercial breweries use the blow off tactic. Further, it makes senset to me that an aggressive blow off could easily take with it some of the best yeast in an ale batch as well as those most prized essential hop aromas and flovors.  All I know is my blowoff hose smells awesome.  ;D
Title: Re: plastic fermentation vessels and oxygen
Post by: denny on March 28, 2011, 07:09:39 PM
But to the point; a respectable brewer (IMHO) made the valid point (AFAIK) that no commercial breweries use the blow off tactic.

Kai could speak to this better than I, but AFAIK blowing off braun hefe is pretty standard in German breweries.
Title: Re: plastic fermentation vessels and oxygen
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 28, 2011, 07:14:16 PM
But to the point; a respectable brewer (IMHO) made the valid point (AFAIK) that no commercial breweries use the blow off tactic.

Kai could speak to this better than I, but AFAIK blowing off braun hefe is pretty standard in German breweries.

Many have more head space in the conical fermenters, and the Braunhefe sticks to the sides and top.  Have read that it is standard practice to skim off the Braunhefe in the German open fermenter breweries, and then harvest the clean yeast after that.
Title: Re: plastic fermentation vessels and oxygen
Post by: johnf on March 28, 2011, 07:31:53 PM

But to the point; a respectable brewer (IMHO) made the valid point (AFAIK) that no commercial breweries use the blow off tactic.

That is a surprising conclusion to me as essentially every craft brewery I have toured has a scene like this:
(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_zI9wlHKrsU/TZBE4cEL8uI/AAAAAAAAAOs/IGOn_7ek5Cg/s640/20110224135430.jpg)

Either I have stupendous luck in going to the few breweries that do blow off or we are disagreeing about whether or not attaching a hose to the top of the fermentor, placing the other end in a bucket/trashcan and allow excess krausen to escape via the tube is blowing off.
Title: Re: plastic fermentation vessels and oxygen
Post by: denny on March 28, 2011, 07:34:49 PM
+1 johnf.
Title: Re: plastic fermentation vessels and oxygen
Post by: Pinski on March 28, 2011, 07:38:22 PM
Well I stand happily corrected! thanks for the photo! I wasn't really excited about switching primary fermentation to plastic as I like to see what's going on in there. I really just got the plastic for dry hopping and bottling and we're doing kegs now as well.  Seemed like a reasonable point so that's why I put it out here to you all. I knew I would likely get better information. Thank you all again.  I flippin' love this place.
Title: Re: plastic fermentation vessels and oxygen
Post by: Pinski on March 28, 2011, 07:43:19 PM
Ha, I just noticed my ironic avatar.  That's the blowoff from a carafoamy batch last weekend!
Title: Re: plastic fermentation vessels and oxygen
Post by: Kirk on March 28, 2011, 07:48:43 PM
This thread reminds me of a thought, but I don't want to change the subject, so I'll just take a cheap post  :), and start another thread.
Title: Re: plastic fermentation vessels and oxygen
Post by: gordonstrong on March 28, 2011, 07:55:34 PM

But to the point; a respectable brewer (IMHO) made the valid point (AFAIK) that no commercial breweries use the blow off tactic.

That is a surprising conclusion to me as essentially every craft brewery I have toured has a scene like this:


Especially the part with the guys hanging around with a pint in their hand...
Title: Re: plastic fermentation vessels and oxygen
Post by: johnf on March 28, 2011, 10:12:25 PM

But to the point; a respectable brewer (IMHO) made the valid point (AFAIK) that no commercial breweries use the blow off tactic.

That is a surprising conclusion to me as essentially every craft brewery I have toured has a scene like this:


Especially the part with the guys hanging around with a pint in their hand...

That's the part I try hardest to emulate at home.

ETA: Not really. I'm one of those wet blankets that brews sober.
Title: Re: plastic fermentation vessels and oxygen
Post by: luked23 on April 01, 2011, 02:49:45 AM
I flush the plastic bucket I am moving into for dry hopping with Co2. I won best of show with an IPA recently and do all of my fermenting and secondary with plastic buckets, seems to work for me. Cheers
Title: Re: plastic fermentation vessels and oxygen
Post by: Pinski on April 03, 2011, 04:48:47 PM
Well I'll give a plastic fermenter a shot at some point for comparison. It's going to be difficult to not be able to watch the action.
Title: Re: plastic fermentation vessels and oxygen
Post by: denny on April 03, 2011, 05:26:10 PM
It's going to be difficult to not be able to watch the action.

You'd be surprised how quickly you get over that.
Title: Re: plastic fermentation vessels and oxygen
Post by: jshark on April 06, 2011, 12:39:56 AM
I just switched from glass to plastic and life has gotten a whole lot simpler. Easier to clean and easier to transfer to secondary glass carboy. Just drill a hole (before you brew obviously) an 1.5" or so from bottom of bucket and add a ball valve, gravity does the work and little oxygen touches the beer.

Not blowing off the primary has had little effect on the taste of the beer, just a little more head ache the next morning.