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Old 12-10-2011, 03:13 PM   #1
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Default Question About Day 3 of Fermentation- Bubbles Stopped

I am brewing my first beer, an IPA and started the process Wed night. The next day, we pitched the yeast when it got down to 72 degrees F. I was a bit concerned when I didn't see bubbles in the airlock 20 hours after yeast at 68 -70 degrees, but some helpful people here put my mind at ease. Sure enough shortly after that, it started going crazy! So crazy in fact that yesterday afternoon the lid started to look as if it were going to blow. This happened to my neighbor on his batches and beer exploded everywhere so I took the lid off to relieve pressure thinking the airlock got clogged.

This was the case, so I cleaned the cake off the lid and the airlock and placed the lid back on again. This happened two more times and got to the point where liquid was coming out the top of the airlock and getting everywhere- though not much. So I took off the lid one last time last night, cleaned the lid and the airlock again, and cleared away some of the cake on the top of the inside of the bucket and some of the foam on the top since there was so much and I was thinking it was clogging the airlock. There was still a lot of foam when I put the lid back.

It started bubbling again a bit slower but not as aggressive and more consistent, no more leaking. So I thought, great! Woke up this morning to nothing happening...for the last two hours there has been no gas escaping at all. Is this normal? Did I mess something up by cleaning it a little last night? I was careful to disinfect everything and run filtered water over the lid and airlock to wash away the disinfectant before replacing. Thoughts?

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Old 12-10-2011, 03:20 PM   #2
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I am brewing my first beer, an IPA and started the process Wed night. The next day, we pitched the yeast when it got down to 72 degrees F. I was a bit concerned when I didn't see bubbles in the airlock 20 hours after yeast at 68 -70 degrees, but some helpful people here put my mind at ease. Sure enough shortly after that, it started going crazy! So crazy in fact that yesterday afternoon the lid started to look as if it were going to blow. This happened to my neighbor on his batches and beer exploded everywhere so I took the lid off to relieve pressure thinking the airlock got clogged.

This was the case, so I cleaned the cake off the lid and the airlock and placed the lid back on again. This happened two more times and got to the point where liquid was coming out the top of the airlock and getting everywhere- though not much. So I took off the lid one last time last night, cleaned the lid and the airlock again, and cleared away some of the cake on the top of the inside of the bucket and some of the foam on the top since there was so much and I was thinking it was clogging the airlock. There was still a lot of foam when I put the lid back.

It started bubbling again a bit slower but not as aggressive and more consistent, no more leaking. So I thought, great! Woke up this morning to nothing happening...for the last two hours there has been no gas escaping at all. Is this normal? Did I mess something up by cleaning it a little last night? I was careful to disinfect everything and run filtered water over the lid and airlock to wash away the disinfectant before replacing. Thoughts?
Sounds like your fermenter was possibly pretty warm. If the room was 70 F then the fermenter may have been up to 80 F. You probably should have used a blow off hose (as large as a carboy hole to suck off the excess) in the beginning. How much sugar/ malt extract did you use in 5 gallons? I don't know if touching the foam was a good idea either.
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Old 12-10-2011, 03:30 PM   #3
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Thanks badbrew. Yeah, the temp on the bucket read 68-70, so hopefully that was ok. I started with a 5 gallon kit that came with 8 pounds of light dry malt extract. Thanks for the tip on the hose. I just used a sterile spatula to remove a very small amount of the foam and the cake around the side. Does the fact that there has been no action on the airlock for at least the last three hours this morning (it was bubbling before bed last night) mean its done? Is that bad/ too early? Temps have been consistent- right now it's at about 66 in the bucket.

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Old 12-10-2011, 03:44 PM   #4
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Its not done. Give it at least 2 weeks in the primary. If you were to bottle at this stage your probably all but guaranteeing yourself bottle bombs.

That said, nothing is wrong from what you've said. You had a very vigorous fermentation which is good, and now the yeast need a few weeks to clean up all the nasty tasting thing's they have produced and finish attenuating the leftover sugars.

You could take a gravity reading now if you want to, just to give yourself an idea of where you are now and how far you have yet to go. Depending on the size of the beer you started with I'll bet you could have 10 points or more to go.

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Old 12-10-2011, 03:46 PM   #5
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Thanks badbrew. Yeah, the temp on the bucket read 68-70, so hopefully that was ok. I started with a 5 gallon kit that came with 8 pounds of light dry malt extract. Thanks for the tip on the hose. I just used a sterile spatula to remove a very small amount of the foam and the cake around the side. Does the fact that there has been no action on the airlock for at least the last three hours this morning (it was bubbling before bed last night) mean its done? Is that bad/ too early? Temps have been consistent- right now it's at about 66 in the bucket.
^^^that's probably why it blew up.
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Old 12-10-2011, 03:57 PM   #6
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Whys that? I just followed the instructions on the kit... To use all of the malt. Is that bad?

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Old 12-10-2011, 04:26 PM   #7
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It could be done fermenting, especially if it fermented at 70F. But as others said, it's not done. It needs to clean up. The 70F fermentation temp is probably why it was a crazy fermentation.

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Old 12-10-2011, 04:37 PM   #8
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While ferment temps help things along with how vigorous a ferment can be,It's mostly how much yeast was pitched & how healthy it is. And it's typically just for the initial fermentation that a blow off rig is needed to handle all the excess gas & krausen.
After that,it slows down for the crawl down to a stable FG. I give it 3-5 days usually to clean up & settle out more. some have taken 7 days to acomplish this. Then bulk prime to style & bottle. And using DME is not the lone cause. It'a def more yeast related.
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Old 12-10-2011, 04:50 PM   #9
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Whys that? I just followed the instructions on the kit... To use all of the malt. Is that bad?
I was pointing out the higher work load of the yeast. 8 is not outrageous. I think it is about 6% abv.
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Old 12-10-2011, 04:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
While ferment temps help things along with how vigorous a ferment can be,It's mostly how much yeast was pitched & how healthy it is. And it's typically just for the initial fermentation that a blow off rig is needed to handle all the excess gas & krausen.
After that,it slows down for the crawl down to a stable FG. I give it 3-5 days usually to clean up & settle out more. some have taken 7 days to acomplish this. Then bulk prime to style & bottle. And using DME is not the lone cause. It'a def more yeast related.
Does a starter lessen, increase or neither the chances of blow off?
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