Barm vs Krausen

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Barm vs Krausen

Post by peteturbo » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:47 am


We all seem to use Krausen for the stuff on the top of the fermenter. eg high Krausen.


Its always struck me as a horrible strange word. And its meaning is variously given as 'to add newly fermenting wort...' or 'fermenting wort' (merriam webster)..

And from German..'to add herbs to brewing beer.... from ' curl back from the edge..'

All a bit spurious and iffy.

AND we appear to have a perfectly good english word; Barm.

from same dictionary; 'yeast formed on fermenting malt liquors'. Use 'from before the 12th century'. from middle english 'berme', from old english 'beorma',

So why dont we use a perfectly good, nice sounding, old historic english word instead of some ugly foreign nonsense?

High Barm for me for now on!!!


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Re: Barm vs Krausen

Post by Meatymc » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:09 pm

Interesting. Wonder if that has anything to do with the expression barmpot up here in the North? A barmpot being an idiot or nutcase?

Makes some sort of sense if said nutter has had his head in the fermenter :wink:

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Re: Barm vs Krausen

Post by peteturbo » Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:34 pm

Is that where barmaid / barman comes from then? must have lost the extra m?
barmpot might as well be the overflowed heads in the troughs under the taps - all poured into a barmpot

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Re: Barm vs Krausen

Post by MTW » Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:39 am

Never heard of it, but it's now barm for me too then!
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Re: Barm vs Krausen

Post by McMullan » Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:59 pm

'Barm' is a mixture of green ale and yeast harvested for re-pitching. It's not really describing the 'cauliflower', 'rocky' or 'yeast' head, also known commonly as the 'krausen'. Others use the phrase 'yeast cap'.

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Re: Barm vs Krausen

Post by Kev888 » Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:46 pm

The Burton union system pushes a worty/beery/yeasty mixture into a collection trough; several times I've heard or seen this mixture referred to as Barm in reasonably historic references. But I haven't as yet run across the term used to describe the foam head in a fermenter, whilst Krausen seems to have been adopted internationally to describe exactly this. I can't claim to have thought about it much before so this is an interesting thread, but yes - the two terms do seem to be describing something a little different, rather than being interchangeable.

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Re: Barm vs Krausen

Post by PhilB » Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:36 pm


It was my understanding that barm was the term for the collected "worty/beery/yeasty mixture", particularly when collected for use in baking bread, rather than the stuff when it's sat on the top of fermenting ale :? ... you know, like when the wood is still part of a tree in the forest it's a 'branch' or 'trunk', but when the tree's been cut up and the wood is stacked in the wood store the same bit of wood has become a 'log' :? ... it's worth having a look at John Downes' description of the use of barm for baking bread over on the wiki page about barm cakes(link), to get an idea of how it was used and why it would be collected.

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Re: Barm vs Krausen

Post by WalesAles » Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:33 pm



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