PSA - How NOT to add lactose to a brew.

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PSA - How NOT to add lactose to a brew.

Postby yeastmeister » Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:23 pm

Ok, so I brewed a Milk Stout 2 days ago, Decided I didn't get enough residual sweetness from the lactose last time I did it, so I decided to add it to the fermenter. Fermenter was going strong for 2 days. This morning it was slowing down, so I decided to add the lactose.

I attempted to make a simple syrup with the lactose, but I couldn't get it to dissolve quite like table sugar, it was in solution, but the solution was cloudy. Oh well, its sterile and I let it cool covered all day.

I get home this evening, spray everything on the conical with star san, pull the thermowell, put in a sanitized funnel, and poured the lactose in.

To say I was unprepared for what happened next would be an understatement. FOAM! Lots and lots of foam, think shaking shaking up a bottle of soda and opening it. I reach down and retrieve the thermowell, thinking that I will blow the foam into my blowoff jar. I plug it in. Everything is working for 2 seconds, foam going into the jar, then suddenly foam starts to pour from around the edges of my sealed conical lid, all around!

I give a futile attempt to tighten the lid, then I just stand back, and wait for it to stop, nothing else to do.

In the end, it was entirely foam, lots and lots of foam, but I probably lost about 2 quarts of wort.

What happened? Nucleation sites. The small amount of residual undisolved lactose provided the equivalent of adding a Menthos to a diet coke.

Note to self, Next time I want to add lactose to the fermenter, do it immediately, before co2 has a chance to saturate the solution.

Hopefully this will help someone out some day.
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Postby Wombatpix » Wed Jan 19, 2011 5:10 pm

Hopefully, you cleaned up after yourself....
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Postby yeastmeister » Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:35 pm

Yep, all cleaned before you got home. Sorry guys, happened so fast I couldn't record it. Would have won money on video.
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Postby jimmiec » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:33 am

Why put the lactose into the fermenter and not the boil? Heat and yeast are not suppose to be able to break the lactose down into other digestible sugars.
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Postby yeastmeister » Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:32 am

Because the last time I used it, I put it into the boil. I found that a portion of it had not actually dissolved, and was left in the boil kettle. So I figured I would do the same thing that I do with chocolate, and put it in the fermenter. Its still something I would do, but I would do it at the beginning of fermentation instead of waiting 2 days.
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Postby triple-oh_six » Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:05 pm

Don't fear the foam....

Don't cry over a little spilt milk stout

lol :P

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Postby thebuddrik » Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:56 am

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Postby aleguy » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:18 am

Odd, I never had any left in the BK. Or maybe I just couldn't see it with all the hop residue and cold break. Either way, if it won't dissolve, it won't end up in the beer anyway.
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