Thursday 25 January 2018

FV2 foam party

We're pretty lucky with our fermenters..  well, apart from them being right awkward to clean, they're in amazingly good nick for 40+ year old dairy tanks and we rarely have any issues with them or anything connected to them.

We brewed Waen Pamplemousse into FV2 the other week, 2400 litres of it, and everything was going to plan until Gav dry-hopped it with 5kg each of Citra and Cascade... it suddenly went mad and frothed up everywhere!  And, because our FVs are upstairs on the mezz, said froth went cascading down onto the floor below... and all over the steel table which is used for everything from saccharometers to glasses to RJT connectors to connectors to tubes to.. well, just about everything else.  And what a mess it caused!

This happens occasionally in the CTs when we dry hop, and there seems no rhyme nor reason for it happening in there... obviously it's too much dissolved Co2 in the beer and so the pellets, once they break down into ickle hop bits, form nucleation points which attracts the Co2 resulting in lots of foam!  But we've only ever had it happen once in an FV and that was the infamous incident with brew 1 of Snowball and the sugar addition.... 

My theory is that, as Sue's beers are fermented warmer than ours, this higher temperature means the beer can hold less Co2 in saturation so maybe this meant that more came out due to the nucleation points than is normal?  hey, I'm not a scientist so don't know, I'm just bringing my limited experience of "what happens" to the table...

Anyhow, this resultant foam party meant the dry hop charge ended up partly all over the floor and stuck all inside the top of the fermenter necessitating what's trendily called a "deep clean" but in reality meant me getting in to scrub the underside of the FV and getting caustic all over my head and arse.... yeah, cheers then, if more were needed yet another confirmation that brewing isn't the glamorous profession people make out!

Me, in a (now) very shiny FV2

What I base my rather flimsy theory on!

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