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Old 08-20-2011, 04:36 PM   #1
thasnazzle
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Default Blown airlock - how screwed am I?

Brewed a saison yesterday afternoon and sometime overnight or this morning the airlock on my carboy blew off. Since I somehow don't have an extra hose for blowoff, I racked to a bucket and put an airlock on again.

So, how badly is this beer going to be messed up? Obviously there's a risk of infection, but is there anything else that might be going wrong here?

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Old 08-20-2011, 04:40 PM   #2
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Possible infection yes, everything else should be ok. There should be a blankey of CO2 to protect the beer from oxidation.

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Old 08-20-2011, 04:41 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by thasnazzle View Post
Brewed a saison yesterday afternoon and sometime overnight or this morning the airlock on my carboy blew off. Since I somehow don't have an extra hose for blowoff, I racked to a bucket and put an airlock on again.

So, how badly is this beer going to be messed up? Obviously there's a risk of infection, but is there anything else that might be going wrong here?
IMHO you'll be fine but I'd suggest next time you leave it in the carboy and just sanitize your airlock again and put it back on. There's plenty of CO2 being generated to prevent anything from entering your brew.
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:05 PM   #4
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IMHO you'll be fine but I'd suggest next time you leave it in the carboy and just sanitize your airlock again and put it back on. There's plenty of CO2 being generated to prevent anything from entering your brew.
Completely agree, had it happen plenty of times, just sanitized the airlock and continued on. Never had a problem although chances of contamination are there. Now you won't brew again without going to your LHBS for blowoff parts.
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Old 08-20-2011, 09:34 PM   #5
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Thanks all!

A question, though: The reason I moved it to the bucket is the bucket is ~6.5 gal where the carboy is ~5. The reason to not move it would have been to reduce the oxygen the beer would be exposed to, right?

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Old 08-20-2011, 09:37 PM   #6
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Thanks all!

A question, though: The reason I moved it to the bucket is the bucket is ~6.5 gal where the carboy is ~5. The reason to not move it would have been to reduce the oxygen the beer would be exposed to, right?
The reason to not move it was that it was unnecessary. But moving it does increase the chances for infection and oxidation.
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Old 08-20-2011, 09:45 PM   #7
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First off - I completely agree with the above posts, the beer will be fine. Also the positive pressure from inside the fermentor makes it almost impossible for enough contaminants to do any harm especially when fermentation is strong.

The reason not to move it was you increased you chance of infection by a lot more than if you just put the santized airlock back on. Oxidation is less of a concern because the wort is fairly well oxygenated at the beginning of fermentation anyway.

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Old 08-20-2011, 11:46 PM   #8
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As soon as the yeast is doing anything whatsoever, it becomes easier to pick up an infection as far as I know...I've left things in a pot on the side for an hour, mixed things when I shouldn't have, etc...but god knows I wouldn't risk any of this once it's going.

However, refer to this. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/what...t-great-96780/

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Old 08-21-2011, 12:05 AM   #9
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As soon as the yeast is doing anything whatsoever, it becomes easier to pick up an infection as far as I know...I've left things in a pot on the side for an hour, mixed things when I shouldn't have, etc...but god knows I wouldn't risk any of this once it's going.

However, refer to this. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/what...t-great-96780/
Once fermentation is pretty active, your chances for infection become less and less. The yeast are producing CO2 which will give your beer a sort of disinfecting blanket (most bugs aren't fond of high CO2 concentrations. The yeast also produce alcohol and lower the pH of your beer, both of which will help keep outside intruders from getting a foot hold. That's not to say you can't get an infection during active fermentation or afterwards, but the chance for some bugs to get in there and thrive are pretty slim.
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Old 08-21-2011, 01:19 PM   #10
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Once fermentation is pretty active, your chances for infection become less and less. The yeast are producing CO2 which will give your beer a sort of disinfecting blanket (most bugs aren't fond of high CO2 concentrations. The yeast also produce alcohol and lower the pH of your beer, both of which will help keep outside intruders from getting a foot hold. That's not to say you can't get an infection during active fermentation or afterwards, but the chance for some bugs to get in there and thrive are pretty slim.
agreed. It is not only the byproducts the yeast produce, but the yeast themselves are proliferating. So competition comes into play. Any contaminants most likely could never compete against the army of yeasts.

"It's evolution baby."
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