bubbly brew

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when I rack my brew from carboy to the primary to mix it with the priming
sugar to bottle it, I am getting alot of foaming in the line, I'm using a
racking cane with the tip on it, and a siphon hose of the proper size. when
the brew comes up through the cane there is no bubbles in it, and where the
hose hooks onto the cane I make sure there is no airbubble there. but about
half way down the siphon line there is some bubbles forming. there is no
holes in the siphon hose.  but when I get all the brew into the primary,
there is probably 3 inches of foam on the top.  I'm worried that imp losing
alot of my beer fizz with this foaming, does any one have any ideas on how
to reduce this problem?  thanks



Re: bubbly brew
I don't have this problem, but I can make a few suggestions.

First, make sure you aren't carrying over too much trub or yeast; solid
particles like yeast etc. are nucleation sites for bubbles.  Also, the
protein in the trub will enhance foam formation.  Next, make sure your
fermentation has mostly finished.   This will give time for CO2 dissolved in
the new brew to come out of solution.  Depending on the yeast you use and
the fermentation temp. this time can vary quite a lot, but should be on the
order of a week or maybe less for ales.  Next, make certain that the fit
between the tube and the cane is good (you indicate you have already done
this).  If the fit is not good, the bubbles (which will be air instead of
CO2) will be very small where they enter the flow and get larger as they
progress, so it is not always obvious where the leak is.

I suspect the foam is CO2 outgassing from the new brew and forming foam in
protein in the brew.

Lastly, unless it is oxygen getting pulled into the beer, there is little
chance it will do any direct harm even if it foams.   Even if it is oxygen,
I don't think it will do much harm, except the priming sugar will go to CO2
instead of CO2 and ethanol.  There are some that will say oxidation is a
possible problem, but if the beer is not hot, I don't think there is likely
to be a problem with this.  Between the time you add the priming sugar and
the time you get it bottled (presuming you prime just before you bottle) a
negligible amount of the sugar will be fermented.  I used to put caps on the
bottles and not crimp them for a half hour or so to let CO2 formed push out
any oxygen because I had read in a book that this was a good idea.  One day
instead of a cap, I put an uninflated balloon on a bottle of just primed ale
to see how much CO2 was formed in a half hour.  The balloon did not inflate
at all.  Therefore, I reason that the amount of CO2 formed in a half hour or
so is trivial and you should get good carbonation even if the beer is dead
flat when you add it to the bottles.

The only possible significant negative in my opinion would be if the foam
indicates that there is too much protein left in the brew.  If so, you can
get "volcano beer" that starts foaming when you open a finished bottle and
doesn't stop until all the beer is foam.  A friend of mine had this problem.
It is funny to watch someone open one but the whole batch is a do-over.

Just my 2p.


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Re: bubbly brew
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You won't loose any fizz in your beer, beer fizz is due to fermentation of
the priming sugar in the bottle. If your fermentation is not finished at
this stage and bottle you are running after problems (volcano beer or even
exploding ones). Here are a few thing you can check:

1. Make sure that both ends of your siphon are well under the beer level
exept when you start your siphon (the lower end of the siphon can not be
immersed yet since it's empty).

2. You can try to put some vaseline where the racking cane meet the tube to
be sure it's airthigth.

3. Make sure the tube is clean and have no deposit inside, better to pay for
a new tube than risking infection (air bubble need microscopic surface
asperity to grow).

4. Make sure that the difference of level between your carboy and bottling
vessel is big enough. For my first brew i put the carboy on a chair and the
pail on the floor and i had lots of bubbles. When i put my carboy on a table
i had no more problems.

5. Let your carboy rest on the trable for at least an hour before starting
to siphon to be sure that the turb had settled down (this is not related to
foam but it will make cleared beer).

6. Make sure your fermentation is finished before bottling (3 days with the
same FG). Remember that there is no harm in letting your beer in the carboy
a few days more. On the other side bottling a few days sooner than you
should is the best way to get glass shards planted in your ceiling.
--
Altair (:-o)>=
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