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Old 11-08-2011, 12:04 PM   #1
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Default using a trash bag on my primary

so i brewed up what will hopefully be a delicious imperial stout this last sunday. my wife's step-dad has been homebrewing for about 15 years. i knew fermentation was going to be strong and i didn't want my primary buckets lid to shoot off like it did a few years ago when i did a big stout. i've gotten in the habit of using a blow off tube which always does the trick. well, he told me that he didn't think a blow off tube would be able to sustain the fermentation with this one so he told me to throw a trash bag over the top of the bucket and put a rubber band around it (not too tight so gas could escape). i don't normally doubt what he says but i feel ill about this. i know the krausen has to be touching the top of the bag. am i looking at a good chance of having an infected beer when all is said and done?

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Old 11-08-2011, 12:07 PM   #2
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You could sanitize the bag.

Really, I don't understand all these blowoff issues. If you are having blowoff, it sounds to me like you need a bigger fermenter. I never understood people who use blowoff hoses and routinely get massive blowoff. It's such a mess. Usually it's people fermenting 5 gallon batches in 6 gallon carboys. I ferment 4.5 gallon batches in an 8 gallon bucket and I've never had to use anything but an airlock on even the most vigorous fermentation.

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Old 11-08-2011, 02:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
am i looking at a good chance of having an infected beer when all is said and done?
if you used proper sanitation, then its possible that the beer will be fine. you can make decent beer using a lot of... "uncommon" techniques. i would not get in the habbit of regularly using garbage bags though.

you probably would have been fine with a regular blow off tube.
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:44 PM   #4
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How could a blowoff tube not "contain" it? I've used only siphon tubing as a blowoff with very vigorous fermentations, (for example, 5 gal wort in a 5 gal corny, fermenting STRONG), without issue...

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Old 11-08-2011, 03:58 PM   #5
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IMO, if you're getting a very vigorous fermentation, you're fermenting too warm.

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Old 11-08-2011, 04:07 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
I ferment 4.5 gallon batches in an 8 gallon bucket and I've never had to use anything but an airlock on even the most vigorous fermentation.
I don't understand people who would take the time to brew and not make enough to fill a keg. That being said, I control my fermentation temps and ferment 5.5 gallons in a 6.5 gallon carboy, I rarely get blowoff, and if I do it's a very small amount.

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Old 11-08-2011, 05:20 PM   #7
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I don't keg; I bottle, and my kettle is only 7.5 gallons so 4.5 gallon batches work out perfectly for me.

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Old 11-08-2011, 05:38 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
Really, I don't understand all these blowoff issues. If you are having blowoff, it sounds to me like you need a bigger fermenter. I never understood people who use blowoff hoses and routinely get massive blowoff. It's such a mess. Usually it's people fermenting 5 gallon batches in 6 gallon carboys. I ferment 4.5 gallon batches in an 8 gallon bucket and I've never had to use anything but an airlock on even the most vigorous fermentation.
I get blow off regularly and yes it's probably because I fill my carboys and buckets too full. Is it an issue? Not at all when you plan for it and take the necessary precautions, i.e., use a blowoff tube.

Just because it hasn't happened to you (yet) doesn't mean it won't ever happen to you.

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I don't keg; I bottle, and my kettle is only 7.5 gallons so 4.5 gallon batches work out perfectly for me.
Brew 5 or 5.5 gallon batches and you'll get some blowoff one day for sure.
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Old 11-08-2011, 05:50 PM   #9
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RDWHAHB.

As long as you practiced basic sanitation (and probably even if you didn't) you should be fine. Bacteria and such don't have legs, and the bag will do a good job of keep dust out.

Beer is remarkably resilient.

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Old 11-08-2011, 06:04 PM   #10
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Don't people worry about what effect blowoff is having on the beer, though? I always assumed that the beer is supposed to stay in the fermenter. Does th stuff thst blows off into the catch jar just not matter in terms of taste or anything?

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