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Old 01-06-2011, 10:33 PM   #1
charlesnj
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Default A newbie question

Hello,

Well I got a lovely brewing kit from my fiancee for Christmas and finished the first batch yesterday evening...I was very careful about following the instructions and also read Palmer's book for more help....

When I poured the wort into the fermenting bucket there was a significant amount of foam which made it very difficult to get a specific gravity....I never realized I was supposed to put some in a separate container....Anyways it appeared to be about 1.070 which was what the instructions said was ideal....

So I sealed it up, threw it in the closet, and put the airlock on it....So today I check on it and see it's bubbling nicely....a couple hours later the water is yellow brown....then shortly after it's bubbling over the airlock...I do some quick searches about what to do...So I clean it, resanitize and reapply....Very quickly I have the same problem so I decide to do the blow off tube....So I connect that and run it into a bottle which after a few hours is dark brown and still taking lots of foam....

So I was tinkering with the tube thinking maybe I inserted it in too far so I pulled it out a bit and off course went too far and had some lovely spray on the ceiling....so I immediately replace with already sanitized airlock while I now clean the tube and resanitize...

So I've put in the tube again but now I'm getting some bubbles around where the tube is inserted and the black little o-ring is lose....what can I do to stop the gas escaping or is it really a big deal? I'm still pulling foam down the tube and into my bottle....There appears to be plenty of pressure still inside the bucket because the lid is raised slightly....Since the fermentation is so vigorous right now I don't think it's too bad but when it slows will it allow bacteria to leak in? I plan on doing a secondary with a 5 gallon carboy in five days also....

Ok second question, when I was adding water to the 5 gallon mark I only filled till about 4 and 3/4 gallons to account for all the foam....Is this going to effect the beer? Now I'm down to about 4.5 gallons from the foam and other gunk coming out the tube...should I be worried?

Cheers,

Charles

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Old 01-06-2011, 10:49 PM   #2
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Escaping gas is nothing to concern yourself with. That is what the air lock is designed to do. One would worry about oxygen getting into the fermenter but with the pressure from the Co2, that isn't going to happen. Once fermentation slows down in a couple of days, go back to the simple air lock.

You should never be worried. It's in the rules. You are just going to have a little less of slightly stronger beer than had you gone to 5 gallons. Most of us shoot for 5.25 - 5.5 gallons into the fermenter as to end up with 5 gallons of finished beer.

But for a first brew, you'll be happy with what you end up with.

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Old 01-06-2011, 10:50 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response....with new hobbies it's always amazing how much you learn after the first attempt...

So I shouldn't worry that the seal on the bucket lid isn't airtight?

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Old 01-06-2011, 10:53 PM   #4
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Welcome to HBT. Sounds like you made beer, and have a good fermentation going. With respect to the co2 coming out I would change the blow off tube and replace it with an airlock once it becomes managable. Your other question of only doing 4 3/4 gallons just means that you will have less beer. What I would suggest is make sure that your primary doesn't get too hot or you will stress out the yeast and they will produce off flavors.

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Old 01-06-2011, 11:13 PM   #5
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Is it doing alot of damage everytime I take off the tube or airlock? I'm getting some yeast gunk in the tube now and I'm worried it'll clog while I'm out and about....Should I take it out and clean it every so often the first few days before going to airlock?

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Old 01-06-2011, 11:28 PM   #6
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Charles, chant the mantra: Relax, don't worry, have a (home)brew.

You've got good fermentation, so all is well. You surely haven't spoiled anything by messing with the airlock. Really no need to replace the blowoff tube with an airlock, the principle is the same (just be sure the end of the tube thats in a jar or bottle is covered in some liquid so the oxygen doesn't flow back into the bucket. Some people will put the blowoff tube in a jar, inside another bucket in case it gets too full. Don't bother taking it off to clean in between, it'll be fine.

Happy fermenting!

Moose

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Old 01-06-2011, 11:59 PM   #7
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Quit messing with is so much and let it do it's thing. Sit it on top of a towel in case you get some blow off.

I never **** with my carboys once I see they're fermenting.

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Old 01-07-2011, 09:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben_Persitz View Post
Quit messing with is so much and let it do it's thing. Sit it on top of a towel in case you get some blow off.

I never **** with my carboys once I see they're fermenting.
+1 to this.

As long as you are venting CO2 (as it's clear you are), nothing is going to get into your fermenter. The pressure of C02 getting out coupled with the C02 blanket in the fermenter is going to protect your brew from any nasties. Once it settles down, replace the airlock and you're golden.

Congrats, you've made beer. Now just be patient.
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