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Old 07-11-2009, 01:14 AM   #1
Sneaker
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Default Holy @&$*! My airlock blew off!

I'm making an Imperial Pale Ale. Since the recipe called for more malt (8 lbs. LME) than normal, and since I have had less than stellar fermentation on my first two batches (a pale ale and a wit —*this is my third-ever batch), I added one-and-a-half packages of yeast.

It's been bubbling up a storm all day, and just a while ago the airlock blew clear off! The top two pieces, that is. It looked like the tiny holes in the lid had gotten clogged with shmutz, so there was nowhere else to go. I quickly cleaned and sanitized the two pieces and put them back on, but I'm going out and won't be able to keep an eye on it tonight. It's still bubbling like a house afire.

I'm using a 6.5 gal. carboy, so I thought it had plenty of head space.

THoughts?

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Old 07-11-2009, 01:15 AM   #2
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Pics or it didn't happen

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Old 07-11-2009, 01:18 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sneaker View Post
I'm using a 6.5 gal. carboy, so I thought it had plenty of head space.

THoughts?
Sounds like a job for a blow-off tube.
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Old 07-11-2009, 01:22 AM   #4
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Happens to everybody at least once. For me it was a Belgian Golden Strong. Blew the lid clear off my bucket 4 times. The fourth time there were two old school wooden speakers on it. Clean and sanitize your airlock and you are good to go.

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Old 07-11-2009, 01:39 AM   #5
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Pumpkin Ale... Twice before I finally added a blowoff tube.

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Old 07-11-2009, 01:52 AM   #6
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If the fermentation is still going strong and you think the same thing might happen, you might consider leaving the airlock (and stopper) off and just loosely cover the carboy's opening with a piece of aluminum foil. If you are worried about krausen overflow, put the carboy in a tub of some sort.

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Old 07-11-2009, 02:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cl00bie View Post
Sounds like a job for a blow-off tube.
I have had a glass carboy with a blow-off tube explode on me before. When I expect vigorous fermentation, I just cover the fermenter loosely with foil or saran wrap.
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Old 07-11-2009, 04:39 AM   #8
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Good to know everyone. Thanks

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Old 07-11-2009, 06:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
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I have had a glass carboy with a blow-off tube explode on me before. When I expect vigorous fermentation, I just cover the fermenter loosely with foil or saran wrap.
Maybe your tube wasn't large enough or had a kink in it. The first beer that I found I had to rig a blow off tube with was an imperial stout. I used what tubes were at hand, and it wound up being too small of a diameter. At that point, I was still using plastic pales....but even when I tried getting as even as an angle as I could...I noticed the top of the pale would start swelling. Eventually, the lid did pop off again. Now I have a bigger diameter blow off tube (I'd go for one that's at least as big as the cylinder of an airlock), and no problems with a carboy (no matter how high the gravity).
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Old 07-11-2009, 11:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Maybe your tube wasn't large enough or had a kink in it. The first beer that I found I had to rig a blow off tube with was an imperial stout. I used what tubes were at hand, and it wound up being too small of a diameter. At that point, I was still using plastic pales....but even when I tried getting as even as an angle as I could...I noticed the top of the pale would start swelling. Eventually, the lid did pop off again. Now I have a bigger diameter blow off tube (I'd go for one that's at least as big as the cylinder of an airlock), and no problems with a carboy (no matter how high the gravity).
+1 ... Go to Lowes and get some 1.25" OD / 1" ID tubing and use that instead of an airlock. Run the tubing to a container of sanitizer.
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