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Old 03-14-2011, 06:52 PM   #1
DeanMachine
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Default Help me figure out what happened.

I have an interesting story about a homebrew 'rising from the ashes', so to speak. Maybe you guys can help me figure out what happened.

Started off with a generic pale ale kit from the brew supply store and decided to add a little irish moss to the equation.

January 12th- In primary.

January 14th- Primary explodes, huge mess in my spare bedroom.

I clean up the mess and replace the blowoff tube. After a couple days the bubbling calms down and I replace the tube with an airlock.

One week passes, and I notice the water is being sucked into the fermentor through the airlock. I replace the water with vodka and try again. No dice, after a day or so it is gone, sucked inside the fermentor. I try for the third time, and again, it is sucked inside.

I give up, and stop replacing the liquid inside the airlock and leave it open. **** it.

Another 2 weeks go by and I check the primary. It smells nasty. It smells like a fart and/or sulfur. There is white stuff all around the top that doesn't look like kraeusen. I take a sample of it and taste it. UGh. I want to puke. Don't want this stuff going into bottles. Irritated, I make plans to dump it but hold off until it's time to brew again.

Fast forward to yesterday, March 13th. 2 months have gone by and I am out of homebrew. Time to brew again, but first I need to dump this nastiness inside my primary.

What HOO! The white stuff is gone! It's crystal clear. It smells great. Tastes great! What the hell? I don't care! I'm going to bottle tomorrow.


I dubbed this concoction the Phoenix Pale Ale.
Original Gravity: 1.056. Final Gravity: 1.017. ABV = 5.1.


What happened here?

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Old 03-14-2011, 08:06 PM   #2
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lol. Good thing you didn't dump it!

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Old 03-14-2011, 08:26 PM   #3
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haha, shows that patience is key I guess.

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Old 03-14-2011, 08:31 PM   #4
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I'm glad it turned out well. If your fermentation is REALLY active, it could have been trub that was floating to the top. A sulfur smell is common with certain types of yeast so no worries there.

If I had to install a blow off tube and noticed that water was being pulled back into the fermentor, I would have replaced it with a clean, sanitized airlock. Pulling yeast, beer and trub back into the beer could cause an infection.

Either way.....here's to good beer.

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Old 03-14-2011, 08:38 PM   #5
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That's wild. I know fermentation isn't always pretty,but sheez. That description sounded nasty. Really makes me wonder about the yeast type.
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Old 03-14-2011, 08:41 PM   #6
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:50 PM   #7
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Sounds similar to my first, it's in the primary right now (brand spanking new brewer here)

I noticed a sulfur smell myself in the first couple days of fermentation. A quick look through the forums and some old brewing books calmed me down though, it seems to be progressing just fine now.

It's been in two weeks, and your story gives me the go ahead to leave it for a while longer. Sorry about the mess, but congrats on the brew!

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Old 03-14-2011, 10:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MimersMead View Post
Sounds similar to my first, it's in the primary right now (brand spanking new brewer here)

I noticed a sulfur smell myself in the first couple days of fermentation. A quick look through the forums and some old brewing books calmed me down though, it seems to be progressing just fine now.

It's been in two weeks, and your story gives me the go ahead to leave it for a while longer. Sorry about the mess, but congrats on the brew!
If you are fermenting longer than 6 weeks remember to add more yeast for bottling.
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liebertron View Post
If you are fermenting longer than 6 weeks remember to add more yeast for bottling.
I was planning on waiting about another week, maybe two, before bottling. So 3 to 4 weeks in primary. I know to prime it when bottling, but I haven't heard to add more yeast...

Something I should worry about for this brew, or jot it down in my notebook for later?
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanMachine View Post
After a couple days the bubbling calms down and I replace the tube with an airlock.

One week passes, and I notice the water is being sucked into the fermentor through the airlock. I replace the water with vodka and try again. No dice, after a day or so it is gone, sucked inside the fermentor. I try for the third time, and again, it is sucked inside.

......

What happened here?
i was coming by every night and drinking the vodka out of your airlock

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I'm getting ingredients in the mail today, and I can't even taste my beer yet. What should I do?
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I would make a yeast starter, and pitch it into your mailbox.
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