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Old 05-05-2009, 08:30 PM   #1
Trevino
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Default Help - fermenting too fast!

Greetings from California. My wife has BeerMachine and she started the kit that came with it (Amber Ale) a couple of days ago. Yesterday (after fermenting one day) she noticed a leak around the seal connecting together the two pieces of the plastic barrel. So we removed the beer temporarily, readjusted and cleaned the seal and put the beer back.

Apparently you arent supposed to disturb the beer when it is fermenting. Of course that is exactly what we did. Now, since yesterday the barrel (which has a pressure meter) now has a pressure of 15 psi and climbing.

Is the sugar converting to alcohol faster since we disturbed the brew? Not sure what we should do, if anything. Are there any precautions we should take or adjust brewing time - directions say let it ferment for 5 days then put it in fridge for another 5 but since we disturbed it will it be done faster?

Thanks for your help.

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Old 05-05-2009, 08:37 PM   #2
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I'm not familiar with the BeerMachine, but it doesn't have an airlock to let the excess gas escape?

As for taking the beer out, did you sterilise everything before doing that? You may have just added extra air, which isn't really good, but this early in the ferm you might be OK. If you didn't sterilise, then you could have an infection growing as well, which might make it seem like you have extra furious fermentation, but really its some bacteria making something that'll smell and taste awful. If there is no air lock on your fermenter, you won't know about it.

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Old 05-05-2009, 08:51 PM   #3
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take pictures and good luck...

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Old 05-05-2009, 08:56 PM   #4
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It does have an airlock on top and a bit of gas is escaping from there already.

Well we dumped the beer into a clean and washed cooler - not sanitized with any special product though.

Hopefully we are not brewing poison or something.

It still has a sweet smell.

I guess we just wait 5 days and then taste the swill?

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Old 05-05-2009, 08:58 PM   #5
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The Beer Machine*::*Beer Machines*::*Brewery 2006

Wow those are expensive! Its got a pressure relief, not sure how it works....
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:40 PM   #6
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There isn't supposedly much that can grow in your beer that'll do you more harm than a bad taste. if you dumped it (instead of gently transferring) I could see the aeration being the cause of your skyrocketed fermentation. You never know, it could just be the way that beer ferments. BTW, 5 days isn't long enough! I don't know what they use to judge when the beer is 'done', but no brew s fully fermented and tasty in 5 days.

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Old 05-05-2009, 11:18 PM   #7
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Yes we pretty much just dumped it instead of gently transferring it. Aerated the heck out of it. I expect that we did an ok job keeping bacteria out of it - time will tell.

The instructions say to wait 5 days then taste it (to make sure its not sweet) then put in fridge for 5 days to condition it.

So we should wait more than 5 days then - ok. Thanks!

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Old 05-05-2009, 11:26 PM   #8
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dumping it like that will oxidize the beer. you'll want to drink all this beer very young, before it develops the tell-tale 'wet cardboard' flavor that is oxidation.

and, cleaning is NOT sanitizing. luckily not sanitizing just increases the risk of infection...it doesn't guarantee it.

keep going with the batch...pretend like nothing has gone awry, and keep learning from the experience.

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Old 05-05-2009, 11:30 PM   #9
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Pretty much everyone will tell you the same thing, let it go for 2-3, even 4 weeks to age it and get it tasting right. My few brews so far have gone 3-4 weeks in primary and another 3 in the bottle.

I assume the contraption you have keeps the pressure at a certain level to keep a good amount of CO2 in there to carb the beer as well as ferment it, in which case, I would definitely let it go at least 2 weeks. Taste it over time to see how it developes. Maybe the Beer Machine is different, but I don't see why it should be THAT different. Good luck!

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