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Old 04-27-2009, 12:33 AM   #1
pavyaz19
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Default Fermentation Lock Leaking water into Fermentor

Today was my first home brew ever... I think everything went well (had a little trouble with the yeast smack pack) but now that it's all said and done, I'm noticing that the fermentation lock, which I've filled halfway with water) is low. It's down to about a quarter full. I added water back up to half and within an hour, it's back down to a quarter full.

I have been reading that adding cheap vodka instead of water is the way to go, but I don't want that falling into the wort either.

Do I have a faulty fermentation lock? I doubt it, but I'm guessing there is something I should do.

Help.

Thanks!!!
-Chris

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Old 04-27-2009, 12:37 AM   #2
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I'm guessing that you pitched the yeast a little warm, and covered the fermenter. Now it's cooling off the rest of the way, thereby creating a vacuum and sucking in the airlock fluid. This will happen until the wort in the fermenter cools completely. You could keep refilling, knowing that it won't harm the beer, or loosen up the lid so you break the vacuum and keep it loose until it stops. Or, you could pull out the airlock and stick in a piece of cotton or foil over the space (sanitized, please) until it stops and then stick the airlock back in.

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Old 04-27-2009, 12:51 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post
I'm guessing that you pitched the yeast a little warm, and covered the fermenter. Now it's cooling off the rest of the way, thereby creating a vacuum and sucking in the airlock fluid. This will happen until the wort in the fermenter cools completely. You could keep refilling, knowing that it won't harm the beer, or loosen up the lid so you break the vacuum and keep it loose until it stops. Or, you could pull out the airlock and stick in a piece of cotton or foil over the space (sanitized, please) until it stops and then stick the airlock back in.
Yooper, thank you very much. It's been over 2 hours now so I think the temperature has dropped to the appropriate degree. The water in the lock also seemed to level off at about 1/4 full. I added 1/4 of vodka to it and will keep a close eye on it for the next few hours.

Thanks again and go Wings! (I'm from Toledo, moved to Burbank, still a HUGE Wings fan... and oddly enough, always spend a week every year in the U.P. - always on South Manistique in Curtis for the traditional family vacation!).
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Old 04-27-2009, 01:03 AM   #4
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Yooper, thank you very much. It's been over 2 hours now so I think the temperature has dropped to the appropriate degree. The water in the lock also seemed to level off at about 1/4 full. I added 1/4 of vodka to it and will keep a close eye on it for the next few hours.

Thanks again and go Wings! (I'm from Toledo, moved to Burbank, still a HUGE Wings fan... and oddly enough, always spend a week every year in the U.P. - always on South Manistique in Curtis for the traditional family vacation!).
My husband is from Manistique. For fun this past year, we went to Chamberlain's for dinner, during our "bird camp" which is right in the area, closer to McMillan. We don't own that camp- our good friend does. All 3,000 acres. The first night of "bird camp", we go out for dinner. Since nothing is open at all at that time of year, we ended up at Chamberlain's. That's on the south shore of Big Manistique Lake, I believe.

The reason I guessed why your airlock liquid was disappearing is because it happens to me when I do that, or when I try to chill the fermenter for a cold crash, to lager it, or in a big temperature change. Or..........maybe I have a hidden camera and can see you???!!?
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Old 04-27-2009, 02:23 AM   #5
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My husband is from Manistique. For fun this past year, we went to Chamberlain's for dinner, during our "bird camp" which is right in the area, closer to McMillan. We don't own that camp- our good friend does. All 3,000 acres. The first night of "bird camp", we go out for dinner. Since nothing is open at all at that time of year, we ended up at Chamberlain's. That's on the south shore of Big Manistique Lake, I believe.

The reason I guessed why your airlock liquid was disappearing is because it happens to me when I do that, or when I try to chill the fermenter for a cold crash, to lager it, or in a big temperature change. Or..........maybe I have a hidden camera and can see you???!!?
Yep, we've been to Chamberlain's!!! The Helmer House is another that is pretty nice.

I was on the lookout for your hidden camera but decided that it's probably wise if you watch over me while I start off home brewing... let me know when I make mistakes! Haha.

Thanks again, I really appreciate your help.

-chris
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