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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > foam in airlock
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Old 01-02-2011, 11:19 PM   #1
mntbrew
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Default foam in airlock

quick question. brewed my first batch of beer yesterday, when i checked the bucket today there is foam in the airlock and the water has turned brown and is actually foaming out of the airlock onto the bucket lid.


was wondering if this is a normal part of the fermentation process or if i need to do something before i ruin the batch?

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Old 01-02-2011, 11:38 PM   #2
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Sounds like the krausen is rising above the level of the bucket into the airlock. You probably should rig up some type of blow-off tube..if not you risk a clog and pressure building up and shooting off your airlock.

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Old 01-03-2011, 12:05 AM   #3
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Once the airlock becomes plugged with krausen you risk a big problem when the pressure builds. Your airlock will either blow off and krausen will end up all over or I have seen bucket lids blow off resulting in krausen painted ceilings. If you don't have quick access to a blow off assembly, you can sanitize a piece of tin foil, pull off your airlock, and place the foil over the top of the bucket. This will allow it to expand out and protect the beer from contamination. Just use a clean rag soaked in Starsan to wipe up the mess and re-attach the airlock when fermentation slows down.

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Old 01-03-2011, 12:39 AM   #4
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There is a nice example of the blowoff you can expect if the airlock gets plugged.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/stout-volcano-215123/

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Old 01-03-2011, 12:43 AM   #5
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Definitely pull that guy out and clean him, and don't jam him in when you reinstall. I would always put my airlocks in very lightly. The tighter it is, the more pressure than can build up, and the worse it could be...

And my suggestion would be to get a plastic hose instead of an airlock. If I remember right 3/8" outer diameter hose is the perfect size to jam in the airlock hole (once you take off the plastic grommet)

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Old 01-03-2011, 01:10 AM   #6
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thanks for the replys. i went and checkecd the bucket and it definetley had alot of pressure in it. the airlock was gunked up. washed and cleaned it out, put it back on and it is already foaming and turning the water brown within acouple minute period.


is there anyway to stop this from happening i will have to get someother setup tomorrow but for tonight the airlock is all i have.

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Old 01-03-2011, 01:14 AM   #7
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If you want to keep from getting krausen in the airlock for the rest of tonight, take it out an put it on a shelf after you clean the airlock. Really! It will be fine without the airlock as long as the fermentation is creating so much carbon dioxide. Tomorrow or the next day, sanitize the airlock and put it back in.

You might want to put the fermenter on a towel so the overflow doesn't spread all over the floor. A piece of plastic or plastic tarp under the towel will keep the floor from getting sticky.

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Old 01-03-2011, 03:35 AM   #8
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just curious what OG, what Temp and what yeast do you have?
I have been using a large blowoff tube the last few batches it fits directly where the stopper would its about 3 inches wide i get it from my home brew shop and it works great and wont get clogged..

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Old 01-03-2011, 03:38 AM   #9
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You need a blowoff tube.

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