Still Foaming

What went wrong? Was this supposed to happen? Should I throw it out? What do I do now?

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Still Foaming

Postby trussman » Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:17 am

I recently bought a conical fermentor and this is my first time to use it. I brewed an All Grain Pumkin Ale and pitched my yeast on Oct. 24th. My O.G. reading was 1.068 and now it is at 1.010. So far so good. When I opened up the little "prime hole" on top of the fermentor I still have alot of head on the beer. My question is- Should I go ahead and prime it, stirring up the head or alow it to settle out? I will list my Recipie if it will help.
10lbs 2 row
1lb light crystal
1lb candian honey malt
4oz oats
1lb turbinado sugar
2oz sterlings
2oz willamette
wyeast 1338 european ale
1 can pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon orange peel
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
the orange, cinnamon and 1/4 of the hops were all added dry in fermentor when I piched my yeast.
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foam

Postby slothrob » Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:53 pm

I think it's probably done after 3 weeks.

I've had a couple beers where the krausen just didn't fall when the beer was done. I suspect that's the case here. It wouldn't hurt to give it the rest of the week, though.
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Thanks Foam

Postby trussman » Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:28 am

That sounds good. In the event that it doesn't settle I will just stir it in. I thought about using the the "Carbonation Drops" and leaving the head in place. I have never used them. Anybody had any luck with them?
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foam

Postby slothrob » Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:51 pm

I wouldn't stir the foam in, you'll reintroduce material from the krausen that is usually left on the side of the carboy that has a bitter taste. You'll also stir up the yeast from the bottom of your carboy.

Instead, I'd rack the beer out from under the "head" to your bottling bucket with dissolved sugar, leaving the foam behind.

If you want you can use carbonation drops, they work fine, they're just more expensive than regular sugar.
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But this is a conical ...

Postby billvelek » Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:06 pm

Because 'trussman' is using a conical, I assume that ...
1. He will drain the trub and yeast from the bottle before stirring in the primer; and
2. That he wants to bottle directly from the conical, which is one of the advantages of using one, but that also requires stirring in the primer unless the bottles are individually primed, either with carbonation drops or equal amounts of primer (which would seem tedious to me).

I do agree with slothrob that it is best to not stir the krauesen into the beer, if it can be avoided, but it is probably possible to stir in the primer sufficiently without actually stirring in all of the krauesen, especially since you really shouldn't be stirring vigorously anyway because that will also cause aeration.

But here are some additional thoughts. I used a plastic conical for a few years, but the angle of the cone was not steep enough for me to effectively remove the trub, and so I ended up racking to a bottling bucket anyway ... and if you do that then you don't have a problem anymore because you'll prime the bucket. While draining a conical into a bucket is a little easier than racking with a cane used as a siphon, the latter is so easy to do with a siphon starter that I finally quite using my conical -- which has now been sitting in storage for years because I never got around to trying to adapt it like the 'V' Vessel, with a small container attached below the ball valve which is left open all during the fermentation to collect trub and flocculated yeast. So my recommendation is to drain your trub, and then ... during your very first batch ... skip the priming and stirring and just drain into a bottling bucket. This will enable you to look into the conical after it is drained to evaluate how much trub and yeast is still sticking to the bottom. Between that visual inspection and your evaluation of how clear your beer is after it's been bottled -- which should indicate if significant trub is draining into your bottling bucket -- you should be able to get a good idea of whether it will be safe to stir on your next batch, or whether there will be too much trub remaining even after you drain the trub. If you do have a problem, then I would suggest trying to adapt your conical to something like the 'V' Vessel, and that might cure the problem by collecting all trub and yeast before it can compact on the bottom. The 'V' Vessel can be seen here -- http://newstore.vvessel.com -- no affiliation with me.

If you do the latter, please post your results later so that I'll have an idea of whether it might work okay for me.

Cheers.

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conical

Postby slothrob » Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:13 pm

Thanks, Bill, I missed that it was a conical.
You make a lot of good points and make good suggestions.

I doubt stirring in the krausen will ruin the beer, it will just be better if you can avoid it. At worst, it will just have a harsh bitterness for a while and take a little longer to age smooth.
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