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Old 02-15-2012, 07:15 PM   #1
TxBlackLager
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Default Bucket lid popped off and brew in airlock.

Hi,

I figured since I am a newbie I would put this questions here.

Today is day 3 in the fermentor and I came home to beer in the airlock, the lid loose and some had spilled out. I am not such how concerned about this I should be. Should I just force the lid back down and empty the airlock and refill it or what?

It was a 5 gallon batch in a 6 gallon plastic bucket. I thought that the buckets tend to have enough head room for if there is a lot of foam. But it seems like this was related to pressure.

I can post a photo if it helps.

Thanks

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Old 02-15-2012, 07:20 PM   #2
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Speaking from experience you're probably fine to go ahead and reseat the lid and clean/refill the airlock at this point. On future brews look into using a blow off tube assembly instead of an airlock for initial fermentation... will save your sanity.

My experience was that I wish I had a video of the krausen fountain shooting out of the holes on the airlock covering everything in my pantry prior to the lid blowing off.

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Old 02-15-2012, 07:25 PM   #3
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Hey, Tx!

Welcome to HBT!!!

First, your beer will most likely be just fine. Sounds like CO2 pressure blew your top. Happens a lot. Same for the beer in the airlock. I've had that 5-6 times and no harm done. When your beer is off-gassing that hard, it's unlikely that anything is going to be able to get in against the pressure!

As for what to do...if the pressure has subsided, just clean & sanitize your airlock and replace that & the lid. No worries! If the pressure builds again or you want to avoid future blow offs, rig a blow-off tube. Put one end of a length of wide tubing over the central tube of the airlock and submerge the other end in a jar of StarSan. It acts like an airlock but the pressure bleeds out through the StarSan rather than exploding your bucket

Cheers!

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Old 02-15-2012, 07:34 PM   #4
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I had that happen yesterday. Luckily it didn't make a mess and it also gave me an excuse (for the wife) to buy another carboy. :-)

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Old 02-15-2012, 09:04 PM   #5
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It sounds like your airlock got blocked up by krausen (the head foam that builds up). Wort, yeast, and hop particles tend to float on the surface of this foam as pressure increases, and it makes its way to your airlock. If you look at the bottom of your airlock and it looks like a + sign...that's what was blocking up my airlock. Even putting a blowoff tube won't stop it from happening again. If you can't fit a blowoff tube directly into the hole of your fermenter, and you have a 3-piece airlock, you should be able to remove the lid and the dome, then put the tube directly over the top of the hole. I have the 3-piece ones with a + looking bottom, and I cut the + off. I haven't had it clog ever since. My LHBS tried to tell me not to do it because I'd create new places for bacteria to hide...but I've been fine so far...and I no longer have airlock-rockets.

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Old 02-15-2012, 09:07 PM   #6
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If you want to avoid messes, ALWAYS install a blowoff tub to start your fermentations. I will leave mine in place unless I need it for a new brew.

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Old 02-15-2012, 09:11 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the info guys. I figured it would be okay so I just pulled the airlock out cleaned it and put it back in, as well as spraying starsan mix on all the places where it leaked. That may be pointless but it is at least reassuring. The bucket lid really doesnt fit very well at all.

Looking into the hole where the airlock was there still seems to be a good bit of foam but it isn't anywhere near the lid of the bucket.

This is my first brew, an irish stout, i have done a lot of reading but I didn't expect the lid to blow off. I guess that will have to be my excuse to get a glass carboy as well . I was eyeing them at the store.

I am glad though that everything seems to be going well. I have been wanting to brew since I was a freshman in highschool it has just taken 10 years to get here. The girlfriend got me the basic kit and before my first batch I went out and bought another $100 in equipment, and since been invited to a beer lovers club to talk about brewing. At least I will have an outlet for my experiments.

I hope to post on here more, hopefully not with more dumb questions.

Thanks again for the info.

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Old 02-15-2012, 09:24 PM   #8
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Irish stout for a first brew? No wonder! Congrats, and welcome to the obsession!

Dave

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Old 02-15-2012, 09:50 PM   #9
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FWIW I'd suggest a Better Bottle or similar brand PET carboy. No breakage & much cheaper. Of course I have 3 glass carboys, so I guess that's hypocritical, but I bought 'em early on (unfounded?) fears of oxygen permeability.

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Old 02-15-2012, 10:16 PM   #10
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How much more difficult is racking the beer with either of those? I read on the Pro/Con analysis page about them, as well as the glass. I am just not sure what to upgrade to. Sanitation is important to me, light issues really aren't an issue since right now my brewing room is the spare bathroom's shower stall and it is an interior room with no windows.

Also while I am asking is it possible to brew much smaller batches, say about 12-20 bottles as a result? I really want to try a lot of recipes and experiment, and tweak them to my liking but I don't want to have to drink 45+ bottles of nasty beer if it doesn't turn out too well. 2 six packs wouldn't be horrible to drink, and if it wasn't great I would definitely learn my lesson. Plus it would be pretty costly to experiment at that level.

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