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> Head space requirements and Primary aging
manplant
post Jan 20 2013, 11:50 AM
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Ive transitioned to larger batches in the 15-18 gal range. Ive noticed that in my 20 gallon fermenter when I go 18 gal I have enough head space to keep Kraeusen inside the ferm, but aging seems to be incomplete. Just finished an 18 gal IPA that was in there 3 weeks and its way green, but no other off flavors. OG's are finishing where called for, but very green and yeast in susp.

Qualitatively, when I run the same recipes in the 20 gal ferm in 15 gal batch size, they come out glorious and ready to keg after 2 weeks.

Does anyone have data on desired head space % for US05 for American IPA's and Wy 3787 for Belgians? Obviously Im cutting it tight given the above scenario.
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pilsenhammer
post Jan 22 2013, 05:28 PM
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I don't know what would cause a difference other than did you increase your yeast pitch rate for the extra 3 gal? I could see under pitching perhaps cause the problems you mentioned.
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KeystoneHomebrew
post Feb 15 2013, 03:53 PM
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It does sound on the surface as a pitching issue. After primary, are you aging in one vessel, or splitting into carboys?

To expand on that. The healthiest yeast gets blown out first. So it's possible that given the tight head space, your best yeast never gets to have much contact time with the beer before it leaves through the blow off.

This post has been edited by KeystoneHomebrew: Feb 15 2013, 03:57 PM
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manplant
post Feb 16 2013, 11:37 AM
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I pitched as if it were a 20gal. No yeast came out of airlock.

This post has been edited by manplant: Feb 16 2013, 11:39 AM
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Dean Palmer
post Feb 27 2013, 03:40 PM
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The yeast doesn't know anything about headspace so focus on process variables not fermenter volume.
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