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Old 02-08-2011, 05:25 AM   #1
Sinnick
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Default blowback smell

This is my third batch and I think I went with a little too much in my bucket. I have a little bit of foam coming out of my airlock now. It isn't too bad and this is the second day of it sitting. I think that it is in the most vigorous stage right now. I was wondering if the smell of that "blowback", not sure if that is the correct term, should be sour, yeasty or more like beer. I am a little concerned and not really sure what to do. My primary is a 6.5 gallon bucket and I do not have a proper tube that I know of that could fit in that gasket. Any advice at all will help, I am just freaking out a little....I was really looking forward to this batch.
Thanks, Nick

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Old 02-08-2011, 11:22 AM   #2
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Default congrats! you're makin beer!

Rigging a blow-off tube would be the first choice. But if you don't have the tubing at least set the fermenter bucket in something to catch the overflow (plastic garden tub, big tupperware, or the bathtub, etc.) The blow-off crud is a b. . . to clean off carpet & other finished surfaces. Make sure your airlock is real loose in the grommet in case it blows out. (If it blows a "tight" airlock you'll be cleaning the ceiling. If it pops out a "loose" airlock it will just overflow into your "catch basin.") Hopefully you will make it past high krausen without a major overflow!

To your other question, don't try to judge the smell coming off the airlock the first few days. The "first smells" will vary based on the recipe/yeast & ferment temperature but in no way represent the final product. The 3rd phase of fermentation (roughly day 5-21) is when the yeast clean up a lot of the wierd smells/flavors.

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This is my third batch and I think I went with a little too much in my bucket. I have a little bit of foam coming out of my airlock now. It isn't too bad and this is the second day of it sitting. I think that it is in the most vigorous stage right now. I was wondering if the smell of that "blowback", not sure if that is the correct term, should be sour, yeasty or more like beer. I am a little concerned and not really sure what to do. My primary is a 6.5 gallon bucket and I do not have a proper tube that I know of that could fit in that gasket. Any advice at all will help, I am just freaking out a little....I was really looking forward to this batch.
Thanks, Nick
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:29 AM   #3
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Fermentation is ugly, AND stinky on it's NORMAL days. Best advice, quit sniffing your blowoff...and more importantly, quit worrying about what stuff looks or smells like. It's gonna be nasty, until it's not. It's really hard to mess this up, since that's the case, why worry?

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Old 02-08-2011, 02:13 PM   #4
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The lid blew completely off last night twice. I barely slept at all, what can I do to get this under control?

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Old 02-08-2011, 02:20 PM   #5
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Cool it down. yeast activity is influenced by temperature and if you start out a little warm that activity will cause the temperature to rise which makes the yeast more active which causes the temperature to rise .....

I started a brew on Friday by pitching dry Nottingham yeast, notorious for getting very active. I put it in a room where the temperature was 61 F. and it started fermenting the next day but it bubbled the airlock quite slowly (a bubble every 3 or 4 seconds) for the next 3 days. Today it seems to have stopped bubbling but overnight the temperature of the room went down to 59 which may have suspended its activity.

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Old 02-08-2011, 02:26 PM   #6
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Like someone said rig up a blowwoff tube. It will wind down eventually. You're having a vigorous fermentation, that happens to all of us.

Watch these and relax.



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Old 02-08-2011, 03:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinnick View Post
This is my third batch and I think I went with a little too much in my bucket. I have a little bit of foam coming out of my airlock now. It isn't too bad and this is the second day of it sitting. I think that it is in the most vigorous stage right now. I was wondering if the smell of that "blowback", not sure if that is the correct term, should be sour, yeasty or more like beer. I am a little concerned and not really sure what to do. My primary is a 6.5 gallon bucket and I do not have a proper tube that I know of that could fit in that gasket. Any advice at all will help, I am just freaking out a little....I was really looking forward to this batch.
Thanks, Nick
Not sure what kind of set up you are using but if your primary is the standard "ale pail" with a grometted lid, I have found that the tubing you use with your autosiphon will fit into the hole and can be used as a blowoff if needed.
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Old 02-08-2011, 04:54 PM   #8
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You can hook up tubing to a 3 piece airlock. I've been using this for the first couple days of fermentation. Saved me on my last batch. Pic is from after most of the gunk flowed through.

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Old 02-08-2011, 10:28 PM   #9
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Mongrel - that's elegant. Nice!

Nick (OP) - Hang in there, the agressive part of the ferment won't last much longer. Damages control until then - just leave the lid loose and set the whole thing in the bathtub for easy clean-up. With so much gas coming out (positive pressure in the bucket) no bad stuff is going to get back in. As soon as it calms down, snap the lid tight, wash/sanitize the airlock, & reinstall.

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Old 02-09-2011, 01:35 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone, I cleaned up the messes and reinstalled the airlock. I just hope nothing was ruined. Looks ok so far.
Thanks again, Nick

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