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Old 07-06-2009, 06:11 PM   #1
Rata571
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Default Is my beer ruined?

trying to brew my first batch of beer. it is a california IPA.

Checked on the first stage fermenter after 5 days in the basement and it looks like it had a volcanic eruption!

Is the beer ruined?

Should I leave it alone?

What do I do next?

Any help and suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Cheers

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Old 07-06-2009, 06:15 PM   #2
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volcanic eruption meaning it spilled out the airlock? just clean the airlock, re-sanitize it and replace it. or put a blow-off tube in there, but if it's already spilled out, it probably is starting to recede. this is the krausen you're witnessing of a top cropping yeast. just leave it be for another 1.5 weeks at least and then you can bottle or rack to a secondary to clear and bulk age it if you wish. it's all good!

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Old 07-06-2009, 06:21 PM   #3
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you had some active fermentation; probably not ruined!

what I would do... clean up the external mess first (keeping anything from falling in the bucket), then sanitize another bubbler assembly and slap it on. let it chug through primary. read up on "blowoff tubes" as a solution to volcanic fermentation eruptions

Relax, dont worry, have a homebrew (RDWHAHB); preferably someone elses, since this is your first.

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Old 07-06-2009, 07:38 PM   #4
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Thanks. I will clean it up tonight and let it do its thing.

Cheers

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Old 07-06-2009, 07:46 PM   #5
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It should be fine. A blow off tube is just a tube that you place into the rubber stopper, in place of the airlock device. Put one end in the stopper and the other end in a vessel full of sanitized water. This way, if the kraussen backs up into the hose it won't clog.

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Old 07-06-2009, 08:46 PM   #6
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So do I not need to use the airlock device at all and just place a tube in the rubber stopper going forward?

What is the point of the water in the airlock device? or Vodka as one book suggested?

Sorry for the basic questions I will continue to ready the new brewers forum.

Thanks for the help

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Old 07-06-2009, 08:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rata571 View Post
What is the point of the water in the airlock device? or Vodka as one book suggested?
It allows the CO2 to escape but prevents any air or airborne nasties to get in. I use sanitized water but some use vodka because sanitized water doesn't keep* for more than a day or so.

*Not that it goes bad, but sanitizing solutions stop working after a while. Alcohol doesn't.
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rata571 View Post
So do I not need to use the airlock device at all and just place a tube in the rubber stopper going forward?

What is the point of the water in the airlock device? or Vodka as one book suggested?

Sorry for the basic questions I will continue to ready the new brewers forum.

Thanks for the help
The water is still used for a blowoff tube. You just submerge the opposite end of the tube in a tub of water, so air doesn't get back into your primary. The CO2 travels out the stopper, through the tube, into a tub of water. Some people always rig a blowoff tube and don't even bother with an airlock.
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Last edited by Makeyermark; 07-06-2009 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:57 PM   #9
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Cool. Thanks for all the information.

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