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On the Care and Feeding of Foeders

They don’t just look impressive and produce some unique beers, but they’re also relatively inexpensive and easy to maintain. Might a foeder be a good fit for your cellar?

Don Tse Mar 20, 2023 - 11 min read

On the Care and Feeding of Foeders Primary Image

The foeders at Jester King in Austin. Photo: Ash Patino/Generic Brand Human

“We learned the hard way,” says Jeff Stuffings, founder of the farmhouse-inspired Jester King Brewery in Austin. When filling a foeder for primary fermentation, be sure to leave room for the kräusen—or else expect a mess to ensue.

On the other hand, if you’re adding fruit to a foeder for secondary fermentation, fill it completely to reduce oxygen exposure. At Jester King, they use a stainless-steel paddle to occasionally push the fruit down into the beer—a winemaking technique called a “punch down”—but only while there is still enough refermentation activity to create carbon dioxide, which pushes out any ambient air. Jester King's foeders came from a winery, so they were made for handling fruit.

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Don Tse is an internationally recognized beer writer and beer judge, working from his home base in the middle of North America’s barley belt.