Ss Brewing Technologies Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > airlock leaking?
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 10-30-2009, 04:10 PM   #1
shlegminitism
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 61
Likes Given: 2

Default airlock leaking?

I have my first batch o' brew in the bucket since about 8pm last night, it is now about noon and i noticed my airlock is really low on liquid. I am worried because i put a rubbing alcohol in it, and now i'm worried that its leaked down into the beer somehow and is killing off the yeast. I'm gonna top off the airlock with water, but what is going on here?
thanks

__________________
shlegminitism is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-30-2009, 04:11 PM   #2
Parker36
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Lesotho
Posts: 4,775
Liked 22 Times on 20 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

No, it is just evaporating. Use star san or some vodka next time.

__________________
Parker36 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-30-2009, 04:16 PM   #3
shlegminitism
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 61
Likes Given: 2

Default

i topped off with a bit of water and there is actually a good bit of activity going on, much more than last night, at least 3 blubs a second. I guess it's ok, but just for the record, is it common to have to top off the airlock, and if so, how often? is it possible that it could leak into the primary?

__________________
shlegminitism is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-30-2009, 04:17 PM   #4
shlegminitism
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 61
Likes Given: 2

Default

Cool, thanks Parker. Just saw your post.

__________________
shlegminitism is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-30-2009, 04:20 PM   #5
DRoyLenz
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 738
Liked 4 Times on 3 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

If you pitched your yeast, and sealed up the primary when the wort was still pretty warm, you might get what we call "suckback." What happens is that when your warm wort cools down, it creates a low pressure system in your primary, which will suck the water in your airlock back in to your primary. With the amount of alcohol you're talking about, it's probably pretty negligible, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. Next time, make sure your wort is pretty close to the temperature you will be fermenting at before you seal it up, and a lot of people use vodka in their airlock, it's sanitary, bugs are not attracted to it, and if it ends up in your beer, no big deal.

DRoyLenz is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-30-2009, 04:55 PM   #6
Parker36
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Lesotho
Posts: 4,775
Liked 22 Times on 20 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRoyLenz View Post
If you pitched your yeast, and sealed up the primary when the wort was still pretty warm, you might get what we call "suckback." What happens is that when your warm wort cools down, it creates a low pressure system in your primary, which will suck the water in your airlock back in to your primary. With the amount of alcohol you're talking about, it's probably pretty negligible, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. Next time, make sure your wort is pretty close to the temperature you will be fermenting at before you seal it up, and a lot of people use vodka in their airlock, it's sanitary, bugs are not attracted to it, and if it ends up in your beer, no big deal.
Suckback does happen and isn't all that uncommon (which is why we don't use bleach in airlocks), but in this case I'm fairly confident that it evaporated. Pour some rubbing alcohol and everclear on the counter and watch how fast it disappears
__________________
Parker36 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-30-2009, 05:31 PM   #7
shlegminitism
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 61
Likes Given: 2

Default

Evaporation is probably more likely since i cooled it to about 75 before pitching. It's got good activity so hopefully its fine. Onward to other foolish questions that attest to my youth in beer brewing...

I've seen various answers to this questions, so i will ask it personally. How long should i leave the beer in the primary? i figured at least a week after i see no activity, but i hear the longer, the better the end product. How long can the brew be left sitting on dead yeast before you risk potentially lowering the quality of the flavor? I have a secondary i can move it to if need be.

And on to oxidation...It seems that this is a worry after fermentation has occurred, but i think i could be gentle enough with transferring it to a secondary to avoid it. Is that the main reason some brewers don't transfer to secondary? I figured i would bottle condition for at least a month (or try to at least) before drinking, so would a secondary fermentation of a week or two even have an effect?

Thanks for all the assistance!

__________________
shlegminitism is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-30-2009, 06:04 PM   #8
shortyjacobs
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 2,511
Liked 29 Times on 29 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by shlegminitism View Post
Evaporation is probably more likely since i cooled it to about 75 before pitching. It's got good activity so hopefully its fine. Onward to other foolish questions that attest to my youth in beer brewing...

I've seen various answers to this questions, so i will ask it personally. How long should i leave the beer in the primary? i figured at least a week after i see no activity, but i hear the longer, the better the end product. How long can the brew be left sitting on dead yeast before you risk potentially lowering the quality of the flavor? I have a secondary i can move it to if need be. I primary for 3 weeks usually, 4 weeks sometimes. People have beer that has sat in primary for 6 months that tastes fine. Autolysis of the yeast, (which gives bad flavors), is pretty much a non-issue for us, from what I've heard.

And on to oxidation...It seems that this is a worry after fermentation has occurred, but i think i could be gentle enough with transferring it to a secondary to avoid it. Is that the main reason some brewers don't transfer to secondary? I figured i would bottle condition for at least a month (or try to at least) before drinking, so would a secondary fermentation of a week or two even have an effect?You secondary to allow the beer to "mellow" without sitting on top of the flocced yeast, (which is mostly very ALIVE yeast....that's why we wash and reuse it!). Many people think that the yeast cake in primary actually HELPS, because there is more yeast to do the "cleanup reactions" that eat up the bad/green flavors...the main reason people don't secondary is to give the yeast in the yeast cake lots of time to clean up after itself...but yes, oxidation is another concern.

Thanks for all the assistance!
10 chars, (look above in red)
__________________
shortyjacobs is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-31-2009, 05:28 AM   #9
Benjibbad
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Riverview, FL
Posts: 312
Default

The amount of Oxygen needed to oxidize your beer is more than you are going to get from transfering. Unless you are injecting pure o2 into your beer post ferment it's probably not going to happen.

__________________

Primary 1: Cedrella Vanilla Porter
Primary 2: Empty
Primary 3: Empty
Primary 4: Coastal Red
Primary 5: Empty
Secondary 1: Empty
Secondary 2: empty
Secondary 3: empty
Keg1: Cherry Lambic
Keg2: A-10 IIPA
Keg3: Crazy Cuban Monk (Cedrella infused Tripel)
Keg4: Kolsch weisen hybrid

Benjibbad is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-31-2009, 03:17 PM   #10
dantodd
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
dantodd's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: San Carlos, CA
Posts: 1,155
Liked 9 Times on 8 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by shlegminitism View Post
I've seen various answers to this questions, so i will ask it personally. How long should i leave the beer in the primary? i figured at least a week after i see no activity, but i hear the longer, the better the end product. How long can the brew be left sitting on dead yeast before you risk potentially lowering the quality of the flavor? I have a secondary i can move it to if need be.
The answer really depends on the recipe and how long fermentation takes. For most "normal" brews of less than around 1.100 OG and not a ton of trub there is no need to use a secondary fermentation vessel. As others have said you have months at normal fermentation temps before you have to worry about yeast autolysis. (i.e. the yeast eating its dead and producing off flavors) You really need to take gravity readings to know when fermentation is complete. I usually just leave it in the fermenter until it has completely brightened and looks crystal clear. It's usually 1 or 2 weeks after fermentation has completed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shlegminitism View Post
And on to oxidation...It seems that this is a worry after fermentation has occurred, but i think i could be gentle enough with transferring it to a secondary to avoid it. Is that the main reason some brewers don't transfer to secondary? I figured i would bottle condition for at least a month (or try to at least) before drinking, so would a secondary fermentation of a week or two even have an effect?
There is always CO2 in solution in your beer after primary fermentation. When you rack into secondary, or a bottling bucket, some of that CO2 is released and will sit on top of the beer protecting it from oxidation. Do transfer carefully but no need to worry about O2 with careful racking.
__________________
dantodd is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Leaking from airlock grommet orangeandblue302 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 4 01-12-2009 06:06 AM
Keg Leaking!! RedOctober Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 11 12-02-2008 07:57 PM
CO2 is leaking...need help Atl300zx Equipment/Sanitation 12 10-18-2007 11:37 AM
leaking tap darren h Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 0 07-31-2006 06:32 AM