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Old 05-16-2009, 08:52 AM   #1
bluedragoon85
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Default What just happened !?

So, I had a beautiful 5 gallon batch in my fridge, ready to keg. So I decided to crash cool it before hand and this morning I set the temp to about 45 F. I had a blow of connected to the fermenter which I had the end of the hose in a jar with a star san solution (This stuff has been in there ever since the begining of march). I looked to see how it was doing and I noticed there was a cloudy layer of liquid at the top of my batch. I looked at the jar, and to my suprise it was empty! All that old star san solution got sucked into my fermenter! why!? All I did was set the fridge to a lower temp. Did I just lose a long awaited 5 gallon batch of beer?

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Old 05-16-2009, 10:19 AM   #2
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with is still cold I would rack the beer from that leaving the cloudy layer.

that is really bad to hear about, but you should be able to save most of that brew !

For future brews I would try an airlock


Three piece


or bubbler style


When crash cooling, I perfer to fill my airlocks with really cheap vodka, so I don't really harm my brew if I get a vacuum conditon due to temp changes.

but I really do think you can save several gallons of that brew !!!


-Jason

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Old 05-16-2009, 11:33 AM   #3
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Liquid expands when heated and contracts when chilled.
It sounds like when you cooled it the liquid contracted creating a vacuum at the airlock, which was on a blowoff to your starsan so it sucked in the starsan.
That is a bummer.
Agree if you keep the coudy layer separate you should be able to rack most of it with a siphon from beneath the cloudy later.

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Old 05-16-2009, 12:49 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies guys. Yup, it really sucks But I believe I will take your advice, I just cant bare to let that batch go to waste. If there is a chance I can save it I will go with that. Fortunately it seems it hasn't mixed with the rest of the brew. All I see is a thick cloudy layer at the top and the rest of the brew looks just fine.

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Old 05-16-2009, 02:06 PM   #5
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You know, thinking on that some more you should be able to get most of that brew out with a rack. I read somewhere the CEO of Starsasn drank a glass of the stuff (properly diluted to sanitize strength) to proove it was safe.
So if you get a bit of it mixed in with the rack I bet it doesn't hurt a thing. Just try to leave as much of the starsan behind but get most of the goodies.

Cheers

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Old 05-16-2009, 02:40 PM   #6
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Starsan will NOT harm your brew. As it breaks down it actually becomes beneficial to the yeast. It may look cloudy and funky, but it will not impact the taste of your brew.

You probably left more in the fermentor when you sanitized it just before racking your chilled wort than you did with the suck-back from your air lock.

It is seriously difficult to really screw up a batch. Bottle or keg and enjoy your 'sucky' beer.

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Old 05-16-2009, 02:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeufelBrew View Post
Starsan will NOT harm your brew. As it breaks down it actually becomes beneficial to the yeast. It may look cloudy and funky, but it will not impact the taste of your brew.

You probably left more in the fermentor when you sanitized it just before racking your chilled wort than you did with the suck-back from your air lock.

It is seriously difficult to really screw up a batch. Bottle or keg and enjoy your 'sucky' beer.

just as a note, the bulk of the fermentation is over! and had a blow off tube attached to the carboy, the end of the blow off tube was in a container of starsan !
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Old 05-16-2009, 05:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluedragoon85 View Post
So, I had a beautiful 5 gallon batch in my fridge, ready to keg. So I decided to crash cool it before hand and this morning I set the temp to about 45 F. I had a blow of connected to the fermenter which I had the end of the hose in a jar with a star san solution (This stuff has been in there ever since the begining of march). I looked to see how it was doing and I noticed there was a cloudy layer of liquid at the top of my batch. I looked at the jar, and to my suprise it was empty! All that old star san solution got sucked into my fermenter! why!? All I did was set the fridge to a lower temp. Did I just lose a long awaited 5 gallon batch of beer?
Throw a pound of DME or a couple cups of sugar in that sucker, and bring it back up to your fermentation temp..and let it go another month. You won't even be able to tell it happened.
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Old 05-16-2009, 05:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zen_Brew View Post
Liquid expands when heated and contracts when chilled.
Yes but gas expands and contracts a whole lot more. The gas in your carboy headspace contracted and sucked the solution back up the hose. I agree that once most of your active fermentation has ceased you are better off with a small airlock.
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Old 05-16-2009, 08:55 PM   #10
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Correct, gas (and air) expands and contracts as well. Was just thinking about the liquid as it made up most of the volume in the container.

As to airlocks, Better Bottles makes a dry airlock that is basically a ball valve tha tonly works one way to let air out. Better Bottles designed it because of the propensity for the bottle to flex when picked up full and suck air in through a liquid lock. I just picked one up, but haven't used it yet. They are a bit pricy, but if they work as advertised it can bring peace of mind.

BetterBottle (Better-Bottle) Fermentation Products – BetterBottle PET Carboys make ideal fermenters for home winemaking and home brewing

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