From the HBD Archive
From: (Alan Duester)
Subject: reply to "stuck" ferments, blowoff
Date: 1990-05-25 15:23:50 GMT

>I recently had an inadvertent experiment in blow-off brewing. I racked into
>the secondary a bit too soon and got about 2 cups of blow off through the
>fermentation lock and onto the basement floor. My question is, for anyone
>who converted from conventional to blow-off fermentation, did it make a really
>*BIG* difference in the quality of your brew? Cause this stuff I made is in
>the fridge now, and it's really good, and I'm wondering if a revision in my
>brewing techniques is called for.

I got a large improvement in flavor when I switched to blow-off
techniques. This subject is probably going to lead to flaming, as it's a
subject of great controversy. Your answer depends on your individual
tastes. I tried a batch a few months back the old way in a 7 gallon
plastic bucket letting the foam collapse back in - I didn't like the
result. However, the amount of improvement in my brew's flavor was more
noticeable with all the following switches I made over the past years.

1) Boiling all water, including water to chill in fridge to bring batch
to 5 gal. in carbuoy.

2) Switching to Leigh-williams stout yeast - mostly, I think, because of
enough of a volume of yeast into the starter so I usually get blowoff
within 2-4 hours of placing into primary, and completed primary ferment (no
secondary) within 5-6 days.

3) Switching from boiled water to filtered water - no chlorine in water
I start my grains in? I do grains and extract mixed.

4) Changing from canned malt extract to dried malt extract.


>From: gak@Sun.COM (Richard Stueven)
>Subject: Stuck Fermentation?
>"Gak & Gerry's Batch #3" is in the fermenter now. We brewed it on
>Sunday and pitched two packets of Red Star Ale Yeast. It bubbled
>Like Mad on Monday, but it was almost stopped by Tuesday night!
>Is this your basic "Stuck Fermentation"? What can be done about it?

See my #2 above. I pitched at Midnight Wed, and at 10 am Fri I had my
fermentation lock on & it was bubbling at 1 per 5 sec..

A) Do you have an inch or two of yeast on the bottom?
B) Does your hydrometer read a reasonable number (~25% of OG for regular
batches, ~33% for batches with lots of unfermentable dextrins like my brews

If so, you're golden. Don't be like the novice brewer we had here. After
tasting a sample bottle that he wanted us to analyze to figure out why his brew
was bad, we had to sadly inform him that he had poured 5 gallons of
perfectly fine brew down the drain due to excessive worry.....

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