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Old 01-03-2010, 08:16 PM   #1
Bartman
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Default Violent Fermentation!

So I brewed a 1.063 OG IPA yesterday and racked it on to a yeast cake from a batch of Ed' Haus pale ale. Got kinda high in the fermentaion bucket ~6g in a 6.5g bucket. That was at 6pm.
Well I came home from a party around 2am went in the basement to see if it started fermenting yet. Well, there was krausen and hop particles all over and around the fermenter and the lid looked like it was going to blow off the bucket. I grabbed the airlock and removed it from the lid. BIG mistake. There was a geyser of krausen so powerful it hit the ceiling. Sorry for the lack of pictures but it was late.

So did I lose anything with that explosion?
Will it affect my final product?

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Old 01-03-2010, 08:28 PM   #2
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you should be ok, very little headspace and a big ole Notty cake will lead to crazy fermentation. I now wash my cakes and only pitch what is needed based off the MrMalty pitching calculator

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Old 01-03-2010, 08:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartman View Post
.....
So did I lose anything with that explosion?
.....
hehehe, yeah. Your brewing virginity! Welcome.....

Your beer will be fine, so no worries. Notty will ferment a brick I think. I love that stuff...
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:46 PM   #4
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Default It could have been worse......MUCH worse

I posted this in another thread, but it seemed applicable to share my pain with you and your ceiling.

I had a similar experience with my first brew. It was a VERY violent ferment and I was using a borrowed glass carboy. The sediment kinda' blocked the valve and then the pressure popped the rubber stopper out, spraying beer-smelling orange and lemon zest bits all over the walls/ceiling of my dining room. My wife started trying to wipe off the walls a bit, while I tried to figure out what to do next, because foam was leaking all down the side. I put the stopper back in and pressed it down as hard as I could, not yet realizing the valve was clogged. About a minute later, the stopper blew out with much more force and sprayed zestbits all over my wife, the walls, the ceiling, and a bookshelf covered in small hard-to-clean trinkets. :

I panicked and moved the carboy outside, causing it to slosh around a bit. When I got outside, I called my buddy who got me into brewing in the first place and he called our friend, the Rainman of Home Brewing. They adivsed me to go with the hose into a bucket with a bit of water/alcohol in it. Like I said before, I was borrowing another guy's equipment, so I went through and found a hose the right size for the stopper. It had some kind of clip-thing towards the end, but it fit in the stopper so I set it all up.

I had the bright idea of cutting two thin pieces of wood so that one would fit around the neck of the carboy and the other would go on top of the stopper but fit around the hose that was now running to the bucket. I then clamped the pieces of wood together on the sides...after all, I didn't want the stopper blowing out and outside air getting inside my first batch of golden goodness.

There was a very steady stream of foam pushing out of the tube into the bucket. Another friend was at the house helping me and said something about the clip on the hose, but my attention was entirely focused on my wife covered in beer explosion goo and the state of our walls/house.

We wrapped an old towel around the carboy to prevent light from ruining the fermentation and left the house, because we were already late meeting someone.

When I got home and looked out on the back patio, the towel-wrapped-carboy was 1/2 as tall as it was when we left. Does glass shrink? No. It actually exploded the carboy and would have thrown glass all over my backyard and broken/injured god knows what else, but the towel held it together enough. I had a 5-galon beer puddle in the yard, and the whole area smelled like frat party, which didn't subside for another couple weeks.

Can you believe my wife still let me get into beer brewing after that? (And got me a kegging system for Christmas about 2 months later... KEEPER!)

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Old 01-03-2010, 10:45 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by NewBrewB View Post
I posted this in another thread, but it seemed applicable to share my pain with you and your ceiling.
When I got home and looked out on the back patio, the towel-wrapped-carboy was 1/2 as tall as it was when we left. Does glass shrink? No. It actually exploded the carboy and would have thrown glass all over my backyard and broken/injured god knows what else, but the towel held it together enough. I had a 5-galon beer puddle in the yard, and the whole area smelled like frat party, which didn't subside for another couple weeks
...to clarify it was S-05
and I would rather clean up a little beer than lots of glass
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