Author Topic: Zero Headspace in Carboy  (Read 3521 times)

Offline davidgzach

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Zero Headspace in Carboy
« on: April 23, 2012, 04:56:23 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
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2012, 06:22:32 AM »
let it roll
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2012, 06:33:50 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.  :)
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2012, 06:36:53 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!
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2012, 08:16:12 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.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2012, 08:22:46 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.
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2012, 09:05:09 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
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2012, 10:01:14 AM »
I plan to decant off the wort and use as my next starter.

Hadn't you already pitched the yeast?
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2012, 10:07:06 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.
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2012, 10:12:55 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.....
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Offline garc_mall

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Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2012, 10:29:22 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.
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2012, 10:36:05 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
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Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2012, 08:59:39 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.
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Offline pyrite

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Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2012, 09:42:10 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. 
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Zero Headspace in Carboy
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2012, 04:25:46 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
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