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Davz13

Very foamy during fermentation

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I am on my third attempt at Mr Beer.

The first 2 turned out kind of fruity tasting (Pilsner and Cerveza) and just seemed a little "off" to me.

This time I'm trying the winter lager, and I thought I'd put it in w room where the temperature would be a little warmer (the first batches i did were around 69 degrees. this batch is in a room at 72 degrees).

So, I check on this batch, which I started last night (so less than 24hours into fermentation process), and the top is almost overflowing with foam.

The previous 2 batches "bubbled" like the instructions said, but this one looks like foam and it reaches the top of the keg.

Is this the norm?

I'm hoping so, and that this batch will turn out better than my previous 2 attempts.

I know every brew can turn out different, but this is a totally different "reaction" than the other 2 batches had.

Thoughts?

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Sounds like a great brew!


Are you referring to the Craft Series Winter Dark Ale>, I hear that HME gets really foamy because it has a lot of fermentables. A lot of fermentables make the yeast really happy, so they party! The only problem is that the activity of the yeast partying will raise the temperature of the brew inside your fermenter (LittleBrownKeg). So while the room your fermenting in is 72F the brew and yeast themselves may be up at 75. I would put your keg back into the 69F room just to bring the temperature down a bit (it sounds like a great room for fermenting and conditioning).


A lot of foam is not a bad thing, in fact in my own opinion I think its a great thing and always hope for it, so long as it doesn't foam out through the top of the lid. Don't be worried if it does foam out through the top, a very small amount of liquid just kind of gurgles and runs down the side of the keg. It's happened to me a few times after getting carried away with malt additions.I would suggest placing the keg on a baking tray or more preferably in a cooler ice chest. If it is in a cooler or ice chest you can put a cold bottle of water in the ice chest beside the keg and this may help to keep the temp. from rising which will help to prevent the brew from foaming out the top. At the same time, make sure your temperature doesn't drop too low otherwise your yeast will fall asleep and stop fermenting the beer.


Hopefully, it doesn't foam out the top, but if it does, you can use a SANITIZED (emphasis on SANITIZED) paper towel to wipe off the inside of the lid and edges around the opening. But be careful that you do not let anything you've wiped fall back into the brew and be careful not to let anything else fall in or you'll risk infecting your beer, also try not to have the lid off for too long or let the lid touch anything other than your clean hands and sanitized towel. Mr.Beer recommends that we never open the top of the fermenter after pitching the yeast because it could risk infection. So my point is, don't open it if you don't have to, and if you do: Be Careful! I actually wear a hat whenever I brew just because I'm scared of my hair falling in the pot lol 

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yeah apparently the Winter Dark Ale does this. mine blewout on day 2 and bubbled all day. here is a video of the eruption when it first started. btw I double pitched the yeast on this batch. straight up HME can no adjuncts or other malts. after it died down I let the foam fall off and wiped the remaining crud away with sanitizer but I never opened it to clean the lid. I never opened it at all. I just now bottled it after 14 days fermenting. it tastes really good already, I even contemplated chilling one uncarbonated and drinking it but I didn't. I want to try all of the Mr Beers but I will definitely be back for more Winter Dark. the mild cleanup is going to be totally worth it. next time I will not fill the fermenter to the line, but maybe an inch below it. 

good luck on your brew, it smells really good while it is bubbling out. 

here is the inside of the lid after bottling. 

d6c9852d-8fa2-4db5-b9ac-a499e7623fa1.jpg

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Sounds like it is doing great. if you need to bring the temp down a little you can also put a fan blowing on the LBK. I did that last night with my sWheat honey BEEr I just brewed. the temp was up into 75-76F so I put the fan on it. I also took a small wet towel and draped it over the LBK with the fan going. brought the temp down to about 70-71F. now I just have the fan going on it.

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Nice video Jerry. It sure does look like some kind of horror movie monster. I bet if you fermented this stuff at a lower temp you wont have that problem.

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Good advice on the foaming. It is common with that HME. The other beers from what you described sounded like they need to condition for a little while longer. The general rule the more experienced brewers have said is to ferment for 3 weeks, carbonation/bottle condition at room temperature for 4 to 8 weeks (depending on beer brewed) then put only what you will drink into fridge for 3-4 days before drinking while leaving the rest to condition at room temp. The conditioning time mellows that cider taste.

Cheers!

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UpperKilt - Yes it is the Craft Series Winter Dark Ale. Thanks for all the pointers!

The room is actually a little cooler due to the fact that everything is dropping in temperature due to the tempeature outside (haha) so the room is like 68-69 now.

The foaming has gone down some.

I'll keep it in this room for now, and will crank the heat a bit if the temp drops more.

JerryLambert  - It Lives!!! Funny video. I'm glad mine didnt spill out. Hopefully it cleans off the inner lid okay. Thanks for sharing!

and thanks for the pointers raiderrob67 and Beer:30!

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Since we are on the topic of overflows I got a few pics to through into the mix, this one is from the Spring Seasonal with raspberries, pitched the yeast at night woke up in the morning to this! Blew the lid right off. It reached the top of the closet.

ee63cea8-f199-49cf-b3c2-4f9c2e6b2c32.jpg

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You were wanting to get those ties cleaned anyways. Right?

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the stuff on the inside of the lid was sort of like the gunk you get on the top of a really old box of ice cream. soaked it for a few minutes and it sprayed right of. mine didn't send projectiles like robert's did though, lol. fun with brewing science. 

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Wow!

I hope none of mine "explode" like that!

I blame the raspberries; not the Spring Seasonal! haha

My next attempt is going to be with a pumpkin, so I'll hope the fruit wont react too too much.

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Warning:  Fruit generally does that...  May want to put the LBK into a cooler or tupperware to be safe...  ;)

Here's my best one...

4993882989_1130732a15_z.jpg

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Well, I let it ferment and all for a little longer than the previous ones, and so far, this one has turned out the best out of the 3 I've made.

Yum!

Hoping my next one doesnt overflow like some of the pics you all shared with me.

Thanks!

David

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Thats Great Davz13! Glad it turned out. If you're interested, you could check out the fermentis dry ale yeasts that mr. beer offers. Its an extra cost but they're pretty durable. You don't have to worry about the temperature getting too low with the Fermentis yeasts unless its below 62F (*so long as fermentation has already begun*). That being said, I'm not sure how low Mr. Beer yeast can go, I've never risked it. I only know that Fermentis' Safale US-05 dry ale yeast can go as low as 64F because their spec.s indicate it and from my own experience.

And just a quick warning for your pumpkin ale:

I added WAY too much pumpkin to mine lol. Like two or three times the recommended amount by Mr. Beer. The pumpkin made its way into the bottles, which then over carbonated, and due to the carbonation I now have floating chunks of fermented pumpkin in my glass.... YUM :P

Hoppy Brewing!

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The Winter Dark Ale is one of the best HME offered by MB. It does seem to have a very aggressive fermentation at first. Give it the full three weeks fermenting and at least 6 weeks conditioning at room temperature.  It is worth the wait.

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Having not brewed the Winter Dark Ale yet I ask if after pitching the yeast would it be best to try and keep the temp down for the first two days to better control the over flows?

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I have not brewed it myself but that is what I have read here. keep the temp in the lower range for first 2-3 days to prevent blow out's.

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