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Old 01-27-2014, 05:32 PM   #21
EldestMalk
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I started the next brew as soon as the bucket was clean. This one is going to be an IPA, if it comes out right. I have the distinct feeling that this batch will be a learning experience: instead of buying a kit, I bought ingredients. Trouble is, there doesn't seem to have been enough head space for the beer, so the airlock is now leaking beer. Should I try to fix this, or should I leave it the hell alone? It sure does smell good, whatever the answer.

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Old 01-27-2014, 11:08 PM   #22
theck
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Leave it. Might be just krausen... If it clogs things up just remove the airlock and let it spew. Put it back when done. When it clogs it can blow the top off the bucket. I had it happen to a good few, started adding fermcap to prevent it.

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Old 01-27-2014, 11:57 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EldestMalk View Post
I started the next brew as soon as the bucket was clean. This one is going to be an IPA, if it comes out right. I have the distinct feeling that this batch will be a learning experience: instead of buying a kit, I bought ingredients. Trouble is, there doesn't seem to have been enough head space for the beer, so the airlock is now leaking beer. Should I try to fix this, or should I leave it the hell alone? It sure does smell good, whatever the answer.
If it's a 3 piece airlock, get yourself some 1/2" tubing and connect one side to the center post then put the other into a jar/tube/bottle with some sanitzer in it to make a blow off tube.

Once the action settles down, then you can clean up the airlock and put it back together.
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:32 AM   #24
EldestMalk
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Took a chance before reading your post and cleaned it out, replaced the water I had in the airlock with some cheap vodka. I was pretty quick and liberal with the sanitizer. Risk of infection is probably pretty low. Still, lots of stuff I've been reading on the forums says that people prefer a blowoff tube for 3-4 days until fermentation slows down and then switch to an airlock. What's the consensus on that?

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Old 01-28-2014, 02:08 PM   #25
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Cheap insurance. But adding the blowoff to the airlock can still be risky...if the airlock would clog and blow out like a rocket trailing a disgusting krausen trail in its wake, painting your ceiling in hoppy sh!t stains, why would it be any different with a tube stuck on the post? I think it's safer to shove the tube in the lid or directly to the carboy cap and switch to a clean airlock after the storm has passed.

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"I cant handle that buddy.. it tastes like Moose Piss", (IPA) - side note.. ive never had moose piss, but im sure it doesnt taste like IPA or I would have a moose.
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:29 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EldestMalk View Post
Took a chance before reading your post and cleaned it out, replaced the water I had in the airlock with some cheap vodka. I was pretty quick and liberal with the sanitizer. Risk of infection is probably pretty low. Still, lots of stuff I've been reading on the forums says that people prefer a blowoff tube for 3-4 days until fermentation slows down and then switch to an airlock. What's the consensus on that?
The big thing at play here is the amount of headspace in the carboy, and fermentation temps.

If you allow for enough headspace (distance between the wort level and the top), and you keep the ferm temps in the low/mid range of the yeast's preferred range you should have no issues at all with blow off.

On the extreme side, if you are trying to ferment 5.5gal of wort in a 6gal carboy at 80deg, in addition to crazy off flavors you will have the makings of a wort rocket, so a blow-off tube is recommended.

I know there's a few folks that recommend a lot of headspace in the fermenter - I think AHS has an 8gal bucket for 5.5gal batches which is what they like - and there's a few that like to keep that headspace to a minimum.

A blow-off tube is cheap insurance if you need it. I haven't had a need to on my beers yet (YET), but I also leave a healthy amount of HS on my carboys anyway.
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