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Krausen: to blow-off or not to blow-off?

With a large krausen (foamy head) in a fermentation vessel (FV), often the best remedy is to use a blow-off tube into a bottle of sanitizer.

Question: Would it be better to have a sufficient amount of head-space, so that nothing is lost from the FV, allowing all the yeast, wort, flavour, and hops to remain inside the FV? Has anyone noticed any loss of flavour with excessive blow-off, such as the loss of hop profile?

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Here's a clever contraption for capturing blow-off if you want to go a step further or make top-cropping yeast really easy – Scott Jan 16 '14 at 20:46
up vote 1 down vote accepted

That's a question that's been debated with no definitive answer. Some say it's better to blow off the braun hefe becasue of the bitterness it might contribute. Others say it's better to use a larger fermenter so you don't lose yeast. There really is no right or wrong answer other than "try it each way and decide for yourself".

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A blowoff tube, if left long enough, with a tight seal, can also create a vacuum and suck a bit of sanitizer back into your carboy. – Wyrmwood Jan 21 '14 at 1:35

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