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Old 01-18-2005, 11:47 AM   #1
jeffrideal
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Default Frementer Lock Explosion!!!

Need help, the head of the beer has come through the fermenter and lots of it. What should I do?

Thanks
Jeff

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Old 01-18-2005, 12:25 PM   #2
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You do NOT want the lock to get plugged up if it is fermenting that vigorously, replace it wih a blow off tube. If the lock plugs and the pressure keeps building inside you could end up mopping the ceiling.

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Old 01-18-2005, 12:26 PM   #3
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I took out the fermenter lock and installed a blow-off tube. The beer exploded through the fermenter lock all night, so now I am worried about contamination. The gas blow-off smells a bit vinegary now almost suphur/eggy. Hopefully it will be alright.

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Old 01-18-2005, 02:58 PM   #4
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Well, it's gonna smell like that because the stuff that escaped almost certainly *is* "infected". After all, it's out in the great wide world.

Your beer in the fermentor should have no problems, since none of that foam went back into the fermentor.

No worries. As long as you were clean, it won't get infected because of blow-off. It's possible to successfully ferment in an open-topped primary if you want and some of the world's great breweries do that. The outflow of CO2 tends to keep the nasties at bay.

Janx

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Old 01-18-2005, 03:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janx
Well, it's gonna smell like that because the stuff that escaped almost certainly *is* "infected". After all, it's out in the great wide world.

Your beer in the fermentor should have no problems, since none of that foam went back into the fermentor.

No worries. As long as you were clean, it won't get infected because of blow-off. It's possible to successfully ferment in an open-topped primary if you want and some of the world's great breweries do that. The outflow of CO2 tends to keep the nasties at bay.

Janx
This happend to me the other day for the first time. Thats why I would like to have a bigger primary, and a conicle one day, but anyway I caught it as it was happening I was able to remove the airlock and sanitize it and place it back in but I did not stick the airlock as far into the rubber stopper, and I got lucky this time. I refilled the airlock and I used a started for the first time which could have contributed. It was ferminting so vigourously, I had to fill the airlock twice. But anyway I cleaned up the mess, and its in the secondary now, has been for about 4 days, and no signs of contamination....Good luck If your not familiar with a blow off tube, just run a tube from your rubber stopper into a container with water. It will be fine.
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Old 01-18-2005, 04:21 PM   #6
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Default funny that......

This samething happened to a batch I started on Sunday......I have beer suds coming out of my airlock, but haven't done anything with it yet. Mostly because it's in my electric "wine-cellar" which I attacked with the clorox before I put my carboy in. Right now I think I am more likely to introduce something nasty opening the door than just waiting for the suds to subside.

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Old 01-18-2005, 04:42 PM   #7
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Again, you are no more likely to introduce nasties just because foam is coming out of the airlock. I'ts coming out, remember. Once it's out, it doesn't go back in. This sort of thing happens all the time. We had a batch make a mess a few weeks back. Other than the mess, it's no big deal.

And when beer is fermenting that vigorously, it's pretty unlikely anything will infect it anyway.

You're safe opening your chamber to clean it up. I recommend cleaning and sanitizing the airlock or replacing with a blowoff tube until the ferment slows.

Janx

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Old 01-18-2005, 05:22 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone. The gas coming out of the blow-off tube smells like rotten eggs. I am doing a Hefe, anyone have similar smells with their hefe? This is my second batch. The first one's gas, an IPA, smells like an Ale, and no off smell.

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Old 01-18-2005, 05:53 PM   #9
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Different yeasts can definitely make different smells, and they're not all pleasant, even when all is well.

Once you have smelled a few different kinds of infections, you'll be able to smell those a mile away.

I assume you used a different yeast on the Hefe as opposed to the IPA? I'd say you're probably OK as long as you kept everything clean.

Janx

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Old 01-18-2005, 06:19 PM   #10
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I got home and discovered that it had blown the stopper out of my carboy.....so when I get home tonight from work I have a fair amount of cleaning to do.....though it's really impressive how thick the head is on the foam that's coming out of the carboy.

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