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Old 12-20-2007, 04:37 AM   #1
Towers
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Default Brewing First Beer.... Something's Not Right

Ok, so I currently have my beer in my plastic carboy. When I was at the brew store today, the lady working there gave me a crash course on how the process is done. I had bought a kit, and she gave me a second packet of yeast and told me to use both, that the stronger yeast will eat the weaker yeast and speed up fermentation. She also gave me a sheet with simple directions on it. I followed the directions and everything seemed to go well. That was.... until about 30mins after I had finished. I've read that fermentation would take 2-3 days to begin. Well I looked at my carboy and I saw foam. Not just a little bit, but enough to start creeping up the neck of the carboy. About 10mins later, I looked back at it and had to jump up. The foam had traveled up the neck, thru my airlock and was mushrooming out of the top. I grabbed a towel and began wiping the foam off the top, but that just seemed to make it foam even more. So I put my carboy in my bathtub and took the airlock off. I could actually watch the foam creep out of the top (like those black ash snake fireworks). I figured I would let it sit for a while and the foaming would stop. I let it sit for 40 mins, and the foam still crept out of the top. So I went ahead and put my airlock back on. Now, about an hour and a half later, I checked on it, and there was a tower of foam coming off of the top of my carboy. I blew it off and noticed that foam is STILL creeping out of the top. My friend (who I got my equipment from) says that there is too much yeast in it. But wouldn't the shopkeep who gave me the extra yeast have known what was going to happen?

Anyway, I'm just goin to let my carboy sit in my tub overnight and see what happens.... will this have any affect on my final product?

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Old 12-20-2007, 04:42 AM   #2
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She probaly gave you the two yeats packet one for fermenting one for bottling. No big just wait till she slows down then clean and sanitize the airlock and replace it.

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Old 12-20-2007, 04:47 AM   #3
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How big is your carboy? I use a 6.5 gal bucket for a primary for a 5 gal batch to leave some headspace for foam. If your carboy was 5 gal, and you filled it up I dont think that would be too good....Maybe a blow-off hose next time? I have never used one, but lots of people do...

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Old 12-20-2007, 04:53 AM   #4
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Ya, it's a 5 gallon plastic carboy (like the water jugs for the water coolers). I filled it to the top of the bigger area (where it begins to taper off toward the neck). It's still foaming. Hopefully by morning it will have stopped.

And no, she told me to use both packets "the stronger yeast will eat the weaker yest, and that will speed up fermentation" is what she said.

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Old 12-20-2007, 05:41 AM   #5
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It's been said before but RDWHAHB. My first brew foamed out of the airlock just like yours. It lasted about 12 hours or so and then slowed down. Bottled mine yesterday and all was well. Yours may take a little longer to calm down, but it will be fine. Though you may want to move your carboy to somewhere that can stand a little beer on the ceiling.

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Old 12-20-2007, 06:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Towers
Ya, it's a 5 gallon plastic carboy (like the water jugs for the water coolers). I filled it to the top of the bigger area (where it begins to taper off toward the neck). It's still foaming. Hopefully by morning it will have stopped.

And no, she told me to use both packets "the stronger yeast will eat the weaker yest, and that will speed up fermentation" is what she said.
Well, you have fermentation. The one yeast won't "eat" the other. She doesn't know what she's talking about. Next time use a bigger fermenter, something in the 6.5 gallon range.
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Old 12-20-2007, 06:23 AM   #7
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I use what's called a "blow-off tube" on all my brews. It's basically some kind of tube that goes from your fermenter into a bucket of sanitizer/bleach water to allow for overfoaming.

http://www.mullerbrau.com/PICT0470.JPG

Let it be said: what has happened to your fermenting beer is more of a good thing than a bad thing. At least you know you have a healthy, vigorous fermentation going!

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Old 12-20-2007, 12:07 PM   #8
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Thanks Brett, I'll keep that in mind. However, with the blow-off tube, I can't have an airlock right? Does the other end of the tube (that's in the bucket) go into the water, preventing air from getting into the carboys?

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Old 12-20-2007, 12:28 PM   #9
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a blowoff tube is essentially an overgrown airlock. An airlock isn't to keep air out, it's to keep nasties from getting in, and let the CO2 outgassing out. When the fermentation's settled down a little, you can put the stopper and airlock back on.

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Old 12-20-2007, 12:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Towers
Thanks Brett, I'll keep that in mind. However, with the blow-off tube, I can't have an airlock right? Does the other end of the tube (that's in the bucket) go into the water, preventing air from getting into the carboys?
Yes, exactly. You stick the tube into your carboy and the other end in a container of water to prevent air and bacteria from coming in. I add a little sanitizer to the container with the water, just to keep it as sanitary as possible. I always do the fermentation in an "ale pale"- it's about 7.5 gallons and even so sometimes the krausen comes up out of the airlock. You reallly need some headspace when you make beer. Then, that krausen foam falls and your beer will be just about finished.
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