Unsealed fermentation experience?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by AsharaDayne, May 25, 2018.

  1. AsharaDayne

    AsharaDayne Active Member

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    Anyone have experience with unsealed fermentation?
    I'm not referring to completely open or "wild" fermentation. Rather "open" as in this Brulosophy article, where they brewed as normal, only difference being they didn't isolate the beer from the environment completely but simply covered the fermentor with some cloth, sealing subsequently after high fermentation was done.

    The reported results - stronger attenuation and accentuated bitterness in the absence of adverse signs - had me an instant aficionado of the method.

    I've got my 2 last brews going with a similar method: plastic buckets with the lid on, unclipped, airlock hole covered with a bowl. They are still en route, so I can't report. But I'm curious whether anyone else tried this and how it went.
     
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  2. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Yep well i think so... i ferment in a HDPE cube sometimes with the screw lid on loose. My take on wild yeast are their airborne on dust particles and so forth and dont just crawl across a surface into your wort so cover any openings with a fine weave cloath alfoil clingwrap ect and youll be fine.
     
  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Yep. I did the fermentation in a bucket, unsealed. Someone even knocked the top a little off, letting air in for a few days. Results were beer, not vastly different from beer made in a carboy, or a Spidel fermenter, or a Brew Demon Big Conical. It's considerably easier than the other methods and I may try it with some other styles but only because if there's an easier way to a result, it's the way I want to use.
     
  4. Medarius

    Medarius Active Member

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    I open ferment my weizen beers , lid on but not tight, so I can skim the krausen after 24-36 hours. I do get around 80% attenuation. However, I do this to remove bitterness in my beers, not make it more pronounced. . Leftover hops and any husk that are in wort will rise to top at high krausen for easy removal
     
  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I don't understand the connection between open fermentation and bitterness - unless something dropped into the beer and began to produce bitter compounds. That's the risk in open fermentation - contamination - and it's why commercial breweries don't do it.
     
  6. Medarius

    Medarius Active Member

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    Commercial US breweries may not, but it is still common practice in some German breweries. i.e. Erdinger
     
  7. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I saw where some breweries in Germany like a horizontal shallow fermentation because the large cylinder one's we use create too much pressure and it causes some problems with the yeast, the open and shallow do not, I'm not really sure if the open has anything to do with it but the horizontal and shallow does
     
  8. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    There are commercial breweries that use open fermentation. If not mistaken, I think Sierra Nevada does on some of their beers still.
    Thought I heard that Russian River is adding some open vessels to their new brewery. Not 100% on that though.
     
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  9. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    #9 HighVoltageMan!, May 25, 2018
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
    Open fermentation is more common than one would realize. There are commercial fermentation vessels made for open fermentation. The fermentation is started in the open vessel and with 3-4 days of pitching is transfer to a conical to finish. It's used to brew Belgian style and it's said it increases yeast character. I've seen it used at Harriet Brewing in Minneapolis. The brewery is now closed, but the vessels were from Germany and I'm assuming being used somewhere else.

    English beers are also brewed in open vessels, Samual Smith out of Tadcaster is one them. They're brown ale is an example of open fermentation and it's a fantastic beer. Lots of fruity esters.
     
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  10. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    The lid for one of my Fermonsters doesn't seal well. Discovered while splash aerating a batch. Wort was oozing out from under the cap. I got a couple of new O rings, but haven't tried one yet. Only reason I care is wife gets pissed when I spill wort/beer on the carpet :) OUtside of the stain, I see no reason to seal a fermenter completely.
     
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  11. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I primarily use carboys cause I like watching the beer ferment to be honest. I used the big 40L or whatever fermentors you get for wine for a long time and still do if I am short carboys. My fermonster also doesn't seal so I don't worry about it.

    Eventually I would like to score some of those Anvil stainless fermentors but they're expensive and carboys are cheap. I use PET ones cause they're light and don't shatter if you drop one.
     
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  12. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    I figure the Fermonsters will outlast my brewing hobby at this point . Probably be taking up basket weaving by the time they give out :) How old is the oldest home brewer you know?.
     
  13. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure but I just hooked a guy I met through the homebrewers group up with 4 kegs and he's in his mid 60's. So I figure I got 30 years of brewing at least ahead of me.
     
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  14. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    Haha. They get so upset over the littlest things.
     
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  15. AsharaDayne

    AsharaDayne Active Member

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    Truer words... ^^
     
  16. AsharaDayne

    AsharaDayne Active Member

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    It's just a result from the Brulosophy experiment: the open beer was perceived as slightly more bitter, possibly in relation to the stronger attenuation.
     
  17. AsharaDayne

    AsharaDayne Active Member

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    Interesting, the Brulo guy also mentioned pressure.
     
  18. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I've read that too. Couldn't find any reference to how deep their fermentors are but our carboys can't be quite that deep, resulting in even less pressure on the yeast. I've read that pressure makes a difference and that brewers who change out their fermentors have to do several runs to dial their beer back in. And in looking, I found this gem:

    https://braumagazin.de/

    It's in German, though I did find an article or two in English from it.
     
  19. ChicoBrewer

    ChicoBrewer Well-Known Member

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    Hello to the forum. Sierra Nevada does indeed use open fermenters. I can smell it when I drive by :)

     
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  20. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    wow that looks like my fermentation with losing so much yeast off the top, I get a 4 to 6" kroesen in a 14" wide barrel
     

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