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Old 04-09-2012, 02:52 PM   #1
Gilbey
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Default Death of a Good Batch of Beer :(

I don't post all that much here, but I love the site and get great info all the time. I thought some of you might commiserate with my story.

I have three 7 gallon carboys that I use for primary. All three were full, and but I wanted to brew last Thursday. So I brewed up an AG Wit with wheat, pale malt, orange peal, coriander, a little black pepper....perfect for the upcoming warm weather. I figured I would try to squeeze it into one of my 5 gallon carboys, no problem. I brewed, pitched a heathly started, and let nature take it's course. All was well....beautiful white, creamy krausen within 10 hours, good fermentation activity after 24 hours. On Saturday I peeked into the brew closet and noticed that some of the krausen was pushing out of the airlock....nope, no blow off tube installed. No problem. The airlock was still bubbling. So I cleaned and sanitized a new stopper and airlock. Since the current lock was still bubbling I didn't figure there would be any presure built up.

Then things went horribly wrong. I twisted off the stopper and it popped off like a cannon. The force into the carboy erupted the wort up out of the carboy like Old Faithful. The plume was so high that it hit the 7 foot ceiling in the closet. There was no stopping it. Beer EVERYWHERE!!! I had krausen in my ear and nose. Wort was stuck to the ceiling, the walls and three gallons spewed onto the floor.

I scrubbed and mopped and cleaned. And then I aired it out all weekend, and it still smells like a college frat house. The sad part is I can still make out the aroma of the coriander and orange . And I guess i was fortunate that it happened to be one of my really old carboys with extra thick walls, so it didn't shatter.

Live and learn. At least i get to brew again this weekend. SWMBO didn't even make me sleep on the couch!!

Alan

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Old 04-09-2012, 03:00 PM   #2
stratslinger
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Wait - I'm not seeing the death part here... I've had a similar eruption myself - but there was still a good 4 1/2 gallons or so left in the carboy that came out just fine in the end (actually, just scored pretty well in my first homebrew competition!). So you lost some of your beer - you couldn't have lost all of it, could you?

Sorry for your troubles though - the cleanup definitely sucks!

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Old 04-09-2012, 03:03 PM   #3
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Sadly it was all ditched. There was maybe a gallon of liquid left in the carboy .

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Old 04-09-2012, 03:09 PM   #4
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I'm going through a build up my self. Thanks for the story. I WILL NOT BE TAKING MY AIRLOCK OUT TO CLEAN IT.

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