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Old 11-12-2013, 12:13 AM   #1
Ed134
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Default Airlock contunually overflowing...

Yesterday I brewed a "Holiday Ale" kit from my LHBS. I finished at 3pm and put the fermenter(Brewers Best Ale Pail) in the basement(67F). I checked before work today(5AM) for any activity, there was none. When I came home from work today(3PM, 24hrs after pitching), I encountered a fermenter that has overflown through the airlock and one side of the bucket. I called my LHBS and they recommended cleaning and replacing the airlock, which I did, twice.

I searched the forums and put a blowoff tube in place of the airlock. The fermenter is still producing a steady stream of cream colored foam(krausen?) into the tube and the lid is slightly domed and bubbling a bit. I was careful to top off both fermenters to 5gal, not over.

Is there anything else I can/should do? I have another lid(maybe its a bad seal), should I swap it out? Do I just ride this out and clean up the mess after the vigorus fermentation stops? Is this good/bad for my beer?

I also brewed a second batch after that(Rye Porter extract kit) and that seems to be doing fine, activity in the airlock, but no overflowing.

I used White Labs liquid yeast in both batches, no starter, just shook well and dumped into the cooled wort.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions/help!



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Old 11-12-2013, 12:15 AM   #2
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Not much you can do but wait it out. The blowoff tube was the right move.



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Old 11-12-2013, 12:17 AM   #3
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Ask your LHBS if they carry Fermcap S or any other food safe anti foaming agents. Two drops per gallon into the fermenter will help keep that krausen in check.

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Old 11-12-2013, 12:24 AM   #4
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with everything coming out of the fermenter, it is unlikely that anything could get in that would compromise the beer. SHould be all set.

BTW, how big a fermenter are you using? Sounds like you need something bigger.

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Old 11-12-2013, 12:28 AM   #5
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Keep an eye on the temperature- it sounds like it got pretty warm and explosive!

In a 67 degree room, a fermenting beer could easily be 75-78 degrees due to the active fermentation producing heat. If you have a stick on thermometer on the fermenter, check and make sure it's under 70 degrees. If it is, no worries. If it's over, especially way over, some action should be taken.

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Old 11-12-2013, 12:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aiptasia
Ask your LHBS if they carry Fermcap S or any other food safe anti foaming agents. Two drops per gallon into the fermenter will help keep that krausen in check.
Are there any concerns on whether or not the Fermcap is sanitary? I put a few drops in my starter boil last night, but I didn't know if there was a chance for infection if you add it during fermentation.
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:50 AM   #7
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Im using the Brewer's Best Ale Pail(6.5gal, filled to 5gal). I have a Rye Porter kit that I also brewed yesterday in an identical Ale Pail, also with White Labs liquid yeast, right next to the overflowing fermenter that's doing fine(action in the airlock, no overflows). Rye Porter: WLP005 British Ale Yeast 65-70F optimum, Holiday Ale: WLP013 London Ale Yeast 66-71F optimum. If temperature was the culprit, wouldn't both be overflowing? Could the spices in the kit(cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg) added for the last 5mins of the boil be adding too much sugar?

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Old 11-12-2013, 12:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed134 View Post
Im using the Brewer's Best Ale Pail(6.5gal, filled to 5gal). I have a Rye Porter kit that I also brewed yesterday in an identical Ale Pail, also with White Labs liquid yeast, right next to the overflowing fermenter that's doing fine(action in the airlock, no overflows). Rye Porter: WLP005 British Ale Yeast 65-70F optimum, Holiday Ale: WLP013 London Ale Yeast 66-71F optimum. If temperature was the culprit, wouldn't both be overflowing? Could the spices in the kit(cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg) added for the last 5mins of the boil be adding too much sugar?
What are the temperatures of the beer (not the room)? That's the crucial thing to note- the rest (like room temperature) don't matter.

The reason one can be overflowing and the other not can be due to temperature, pitching rate, yeast health, the OG of the beer, ingredients, and simply just different yeast strains.

There isn't too much sugar, but in any case there is no sugar in spices.
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Old 11-12-2013, 01:04 AM   #9
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Stupid stick on thermometer isn't working.

Rye Porter OG: 1.057 WLP005 High Flocc, 67-74% Atten
Holiday Ale(problem) OG: 1.057 WLP013 Med. Flocc, 67-75% Atten

Both White Labs tubes were well before expiration date and brought up to room temp over several hours.

Not worried about using the blow off tube, but worried about leaking out of lid and the lid is bubbled up. I don't want to wake up to a loud boom and beer all over the basement.

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Old 11-12-2013, 01:11 AM   #10
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The stupid stick on thermometer may be working but you might be off the scale on the hot side. If you use a blow off tube of a size large enough to evacuate the extra krausen you shoulc not be worried about blowint the lid.

Room temperature? Low to mid sixties WORT temperature is optimum for most ales. High sixties room temperature will allow the wort to get too warm.

Swamp cooler - Google it!



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