Saturday, November 30, 2013

Pic(k) of the Week: High Krausen at Bluejacket

Bluejacket krausen

A brewer's-eye view of beer, in an open fermenter, at high kräusen: that is, yeast in fine fettle!
Top fermentation, generally associated with ales, is a mode of fermentation in which the flocculating yeast rises to the surface of the fermenting wort, rendering it possible to 'skim' the crop of yeast from the top of the vessel, ready for transfer to the next batch of wort. <...> High kräusen is a German term, also widely used in English, which refers to the large, billowing, unkempt head of foam that forms on the surface of beer at the peak of fermentation. <...> In a traditional fermentation cellar, beer ferments in open vessels that allow the brewer to visually control different stages of fermentation.
The Oxford Companion to Beer

This is a fermentation panorama that most American 'craft' brewers don't often see, because most do not ferment their beers in open fermenters. Nor do they experience the full redolence of yeasty aromas which waft from open fermenters.

But the brewers at Bluejacket —a brewery and restaurant, newly opened in Washington, D.C.— do.

The photo is courtesy of Bobby Bump, lead brewer at Bluejacket, who posted it to Twitter, 23 November 2013. The beer will become a Belgian-style blond ale, yet unnamed.

  • Pronounce kräusen somewhat like 'KROY sin.'
  • More about Bluejacket, via YFGF.
  • Bluejacket ferments its beers in closed fermenters, as well as the one open. In the mid-Atlantic region, there is another brewery which almost exclusively ferments in open fermenters: Oliver Ales, at the Pratt Street Alehouse, in Baltimore, Maryland.
  • Pic(k) of the Week: one in a weekly series of personal photos, often posted on Saturdays, and often, but not always, with a good fermentable as a subject.
  • Commercial reproduction requires explicit permission, as per Creative Commons.


  1. Oh wow! They DO brew their own beer here. *wink wink*

  2. The comment above is a reference to this humorously inane review of Bluejacket placed to Yelp: "I am not a a beer cicerone and am only an enthusiast, but i know enough about breweries to know the following about BlueJacket: they clearly are NOT brewing there. the visible equipment shows no signs of use and the lack of the smell of a boil is completely absent." [Typos left intact.]


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