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Old 09-30-2012, 05:29 PM   #1
ArrowheadAles
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Default my blow off tube went in reverse

I cold crashed my beer in the chest freezer down to 43 to drop out the yeast before transferring into the keg. Well at some point while it was cooling it decided to suck up the water out of the container and about a half gallon of it is sitting on top of the beer.

It's clearly separated having not mixed together hardly at all. Can this beer still be salvaged? If I leave it in the fermentation chamber, not mix it up by moving it and transfer most of it until it gets down to the water into a bottling bucket (prob 4 gal more or less) will it still be safe? Or is this just a loss? I could also throw it in a keg.. thoughts????

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Old 09-30-2012, 05:47 PM   #2
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First the why: You cooled what was in your primary, causing the pressure to drop to a partial vacuum and pulling your blow off solution into your beer.

Not sure what to do. I'm guessing you used something sterile as your blowoff solution (starsan, or the like). A couple options I would suggest you can TRY (certainly no guarantees) would be to siphon the solution off of the top of your beer and carry on as usual or to leave it on your beer and siphon the beer away when you bottle. Just try to minimize mixing.

Anyone have any other ideas? Are my ideas stupid? Like I said, I have never done anything like that, nor do i make any guarantees.

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Old 09-30-2012, 06:06 PM   #3
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First the why: You cooled what was in your primary, causing the pressure to drop to a partial vacuum and pulling your blow off solution into your beer.
That's what I'm wondering.

OP, was it star san in the blowoff jar? Obviously, this is a less than ideal situation, but there's not much you can do about it now. If it was star san in the blow off jar, take solace in that. Next time, replace the blow off tube with an airlock before cold crashing your primary.
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can i drink this? I mean. Im gunna. But is it fine?
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it's not a barley wine. it's an ale.
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:18 PM   #4
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If whatever got in the brew was sterile, there is no harm in continuing the process. Worst case you lose a couple bucks in priming sugar and bottle caps. Best case you minimize how much of the blowoff solution you bottle and the beer turns out pretty good all things considered.

This brings up a question because I am going to cold crash very soon. Is there a. Airlock that works both ways? I thought they kept baddies from getting in while letting the closed system "exhale". Do they keep baddies out while letting the closed system "inhale"?

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Old 09-30-2012, 06:30 PM   #5
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If the solution in the airlock is sanitizer, and the airlock's sanitized, nothing should be able to get through the solution.

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Old 09-30-2012, 06:34 PM   #6
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I use a 3 piece, not the s-type. The center column of the 3 piece is shorter than the outer tube. It seems like it is going to pull solution into my brew. Maybe I will just have to be careful of the level of the solution...

Is there a specific style that works well? Should I just relax and use my 3 piece?

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Old 09-30-2012, 07:12 PM   #7
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Next time you cold crash remove the blow off tube or airlock and just cover with some sanitized aluminum foil works great never had any problems with it. Good luck with the beer I bet you can save it.

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Old 09-30-2012, 07:19 PM   #8
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Good idea with the sanitized foil. That is probably what I will do in a few days. I was also thinking of using my very convenient chest freezer as the OP did, but was worried about destroying my airlock. And possibly sucking the seal into my carboy because of the partial vacuum.

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Old 09-30-2012, 08:40 PM   #9
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I don't have any good ideas about what to do with your present situation, but I am curious if you had your blow-off container elevated when this mishap occurred? It seems to me it would be unlikely or impossible to suck 1/2 gallon back into the fermenter if the blow-off container is on the same level as the fermenter. On the other hand, if the blow-off container is elevated, then it would only take a small amount of suck-back to start a siphon from the blow off container back into the fermenter, causing the blow-off to all be dumped back into the fermenter.

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Old 10-01-2012, 01:59 PM   #10
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Thanks for the feedback. The container had sanitizer in it. Starsan. It was level with the fermenter but the weird thing is that this was a 10 gallon batch and it only happened to one of them.

I think I'm going to siphon from the bottom and stop before the water gets there and bottle as usual. In the future, I will definitely switch to an air lock or foil cover before cold crashing. It was pumpkin beer btw.
Thanks again!

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