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Old 12-14-2007, 03:43 PM   #1
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Default The cats got to my airlock

I started this batch on Wednesday night (my first one), the fermentation started very quickly and was vigorous through last night. It's an Irish Red Ale from a Brewer's Best kit.

Last night, right before bed, I checked on the brew and the airlock was still bubbling away, a little slower than during the day, but still a bubble every second or two.

I accidentally left the door open and the cats got to it overnight, not as bad as it could have been, but the airlock had been knocked out, spilling some of the water in it on the bucket lid, and I'm assuming into the bucket through the hole.

How concerned should I be about the air getting in overnight (~6 hrs) and or the tap water from the airlock getting in?

Also, when I put the airlock back, there was no activity. The temp on the bucket had dropped a ton overnight (8 degrees) but I don't know if the stoppage of activity caused the temp drop, or vice versa. I can't really see a reason the air leak would stop the fermentation. I used Munton's dry yeast and the first 30 hours were runnig a little on the warm side, so it might just be done too. I raised the temp a couple degrees to see if I could get it going again, but if it doesn't, should I add a little sugar water to get the yeast to make some CO2 and purge the air that leaked in there?

Or am I getting worried for no reason?

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Old 12-14-2007, 03:49 PM   #2
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I would think it will be fine. I forgot an airlock for a day it turrned out fine

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Old 12-14-2007, 03:51 PM   #3
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No worries, methinks.

During vigorous fermentation, the CO2 it's putting off would purge any O2 that might try to sneak in. As far as the tap water, I wouldn't worry too much. Maybe a drop or two got in? Maybe? Doubtful, though. In the future, use sanitizer or liquor and you'll definitely have no worries.

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Old 12-14-2007, 04:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imasickboy
No worries, methinks.

During vigorous fermentation, the CO2 it's putting off would purge any O2 that might try to sneak in. As far as the tap water, I wouldn't worry too much. Maybe a drop or two got in? Maybe? Doubtful, though. In the future, use sanitizer or liquor and you'll definitely have no worries.
Cool, thanks, I've got some cheap vodka laying around I'll use next time.
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Old 12-14-2007, 04:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reshp1
Cool, thanks, I've got some cheap vodka laying around I'll use next time.
The cats will appreciate that. Don't worry about the brew. It's harder than you think to kill a beer. RDWHAHB.
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Old 12-14-2007, 04:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reshp1
I started this batch on Wednesday night (my first one), the fermentation started very quickly and was vigorous through last night. It's an Irish Red Ale from a Brewer's Best kit.

Last night, right before bed, I checked on the brew and the airlock was still bubbling away, a little slower than during the day, but still a bubble every second or two.

I accidentally left the door open and the cats got to it overnight, not as bad as it could have been, but the airlock had been knocked out, spilling some of the water in it on the bucket lid, and I'm assuming into the bucket through the hole.

How concerned should I be about the air getting in overnight (~6 hrs) and or the tap water from the airlock getting in?

Also, when I put the airlock back, there was no activity. The temp on the bucket had dropped a ton overnight (8 degrees) but I don't know if the stoppage of activity caused the temp drop, or vice versa. I can't really see a reason the air leak would stop the fermentation. I used Munton's dry yeast and the first 30 hours were runnig a little on the warm side, so it might just be done too. I raised the temp a couple degrees to see if I could get it going again, but if it doesn't, should I add a little sugar water to get the yeast to make some CO2 and purge the air that leaked in there?

Or am I getting worried for no reason?
My first batch had a broken air lock on the primary and the pressure blew the top off not once, not twice, not three times, but four times. Once the lid was completely off for several hours.
I got really freaked out and started reading and researching, which is how I found this site.
That brew turned out fine...no, actually it turned out really, really well. It's a fine tasting english brown ale. You could always use the experience to name the beer, "cat's meow irish red" or something. =)
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Old 12-14-2007, 05:07 PM   #7
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You don't even need to airlock during primary.

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Old 12-14-2007, 06:01 PM   #8
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According to Palmer, as long as the fur-bearing animals are not actually in the fermenter, you're ok.

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Old 12-14-2007, 06:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42
According to Palmer, as long as the fur-bearing animals are not actually in the fermenter, you're ok.
That's hilarious. I don't believe he really said that, but it's hilarious (regardless of whether he really said that). I'm not trying to call you a liar... it's just funny, that's all.

Ok. From now on, I'm going to cite sources for silly things.

By the way, according to Papazian, if you brew a French Saison with German yeast the wort will prematurely surrender to the yeast and you will wind up with a very dry beer.
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Old 12-14-2007, 08:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Only if something hairy starts growing on top of the wort should you be concerned. I remember one guy reporting a dead bat floating in his fermentor...That was definitely cause for alarm. Chapter 21.1 Common Problems
Palmer said it, I believe it. I also have a really good memory for totally useless details.
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