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Old 08-19-2012, 05:29 PM   #1
jesseroberge
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I have set my carboy and blowoff tube in my closet last week and everything seems fine and dandy but the tube is resting in a pitcher of water that is now VERY dirty and STINKY... I have reason to believe that the water/wort/yeast head crap is rotting in the pitcher... My question is, could the bacteria affect the beer in the carboy ? Should I tend to this problem ??

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Old 08-19-2012, 06:10 PM   #2
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Your beer is not in danger. There is a continuous flow of gas out of the blow-off tube, so nothing airborne is going to make its way up. Nothing is going to crawl up, so don't worry about that.

However, as a matter of general good practice, I would highly recommend you swap out your blow-off pitcher and scrub it and disinfect very well. I usually have to do this if I leave a blow-off in place for longer than a week. I usually try to switch it for an airlock after 3-4 days to avoid the nasty rot.

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Old 08-19-2012, 08:38 PM   #3
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I've been throwing in about 10MLs of StarSan in my gallon stove pot half full of water and make sure the blow off hose submerges completely in it curling around at least once to ensure any blow-back that ocurrs will just be starsan. It's not a log but that water is sanitized even after it becomes brown.

Better safe than sorry on the pot santization...i usually only use blow off tube for first 72 hours then I switch it out for an airlock full of vodka.

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Old 08-19-2012, 09:36 PM   #4
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So if my beer has been in the fermenter for more than a week now, I could switch to an airlock... The foam head will never come back inside the carboy ??

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Old 08-19-2012, 09:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesseroberge View Post
So if my beer has been in the fermenter for more than a week now, I could switch to an airlock... The foam head will never come back inside the carboy ??
blow-back is far less common than blow-off. There are far more qualified people here to answer your question directly but, in my experience, once the crazy fermentation slows down *usuaully at 72 hours* you can switch to an airlock and no meaningful amount of what was blown out will go back into your carboy. You also wouldn't really want it to. It's been exposed to open air + potential bacteria for the last week..dumping it back in the carboy is a no no.

I just pour the blow-off into the sink and switch to an airlock.
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Old 08-19-2012, 10:36 PM   #6
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Once the krausen falls you can switch to an airlock. Suck back won't occur unless it gets colder than it is now, and even then if its still spewing co2 its not likely.

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Old 08-19-2012, 11:48 PM   #7
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It's been 8 days since I pitched my Wyeast American Ale II smack pack, the top of the carboy looks as it the head has not died down, unless i'm mistaken by some crud on the glass here is a photo of what the carboy looks like...

You guys be the judge and see if I can switch to an airlock ...

image-3695960170.jpg  
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Old 08-19-2012, 11:56 PM   #8
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Totally fine now. That brown stuck will be there long after fermentation is done. You'll need a carboy cleaning brush to get the stuff off the edges. It's stuck until you clean it. What you want to look for is the head space below the brown stuff. See the half an inch gap where it's just big bubbles?

That's your beer minus Krausen. That brown stuff is just residues left over. You're fine to go airlock now.

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Old 08-20-2012, 12:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamjackson
I just pour the blow-off into the sink and switch to an airlock.
+1 ditto : your beer is fine...
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Old 08-20-2012, 03:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamjackson View Post
I've been throwing in about 10MLs of StarSan in my gallon stove pot half full of water and make sure the blow off hose submerges completely in it curling around at least once to ensure any blow-back that ocurrs will just be starsan. It's not a log but that water is sanitized even after it becomes brown.
I wouldn't assume that it's still sanitized, I've had gunk growing in it when I've had particularly large blow-offs. I think I've even had fermentation going on. I only use about a pint of sanitizer solution, though, so a bigger fraction of the jug is wort.

And to the OP, you are safe to go ahead with the airlock. Unless you add a large volume of fresh fermentables, you're extremely unlikely to see a second active fermentation take off.
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