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Old 12-05-2010, 05:22 PM   #1
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Default Unsealed primary - transfer problem

i brewed a simple wheat last night (2.5gal) decided to try a 3.5gal food grade bucket i picked up from a restaraunt with sealed lid. drilled the same size hole for the airlock and used a new grommet.

this morning i checked on it and it smelled like fermentation was underway but no activity in the airlock. felt around the lid and there was a small space in the seal. tried to push it down and lock it but it would not seal. (didn't have the problem i checked it with water)

opened the bucket to check on it and yeast was thick on top. it was bubbling and fermenting. decided the bucket was not good to keep the beer in so i transferred to a 6gal this morning.

two questions
1) can there be damage done by the transfer? tried to keep it from oxygenating.

2) is there too much head room in the 6gal bucket for a 2.5gal batch?



i will let it run its course and drink it. just wanted to know the thoughts of members. TYIA

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Old 12-05-2010, 05:47 PM   #2
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You really should have left it alone...the beer was fermenting fine...just because a silly and cheep piece of plastic wasn't doing anyhting doesn't mean there was anything wrong...and you could potentially do more damage than leaving it alone.

Airlock bubbling and fermentation are not the same thing. You have to separate that from your mindset. Airlock bubbling can be a sign of fermentation, but not a good one, because the airlock will often blip or not blip for various other reasons...so it is a tenuous connection at best.

If your airlock was bubbling and stopped---It doesn't mean fermentation has stopped.

If you airlock isn't bubbling, it doesn't mean your fermentation hasn't started....

If your airlock starts bubbling, it really doesn't matter.

If your airlock NEVER bubbles, it doesn't mean anything is wrong or right.

Your airlock is not a fermentation gauge, it is a VALVE to release excess co2. If it bubbles it is because it needs to, if it doesn't, it just means it doesn't need to...

You had Krauzen, THAT is a sign that fermentation is happening, NOT whether or not a cheap plastic airlock goes blip or not.....Most of the time an airlock doesn't bubble simply because it is getting out someplace else, like in the grommet, or it has just managed to fill the headspace but not enough to void EXCESS. There can be plenty of co2 in the space protecting the beer whether or not the airlock blips.

After thousands of gallons of beer I've brewed, I still have had about a 50/50 airlock bubble/not bubble rate. And I've NEVER had cardboard beer in those batches where the airlock didn't bubble.

Many people simply put lexan sheets on top of buckets instead of lids and airlocks, letting the co2 get out in the gap between the top and the bucket lip. Others leave their bucket lids on losely. Many on here use tinfoil on their carboys instaid of a bug.

Midwest supplies just released a vent stopper making an airlock totally obsolete.

The things that could possibly get into a fermenter and cause problems are not ninja accrobats. If Co2 is getting out...then those things can't get in.

Next time...just ignore what your airlock does or doesn't do, and if you see krausen be happy.

You ignored an actual sign of fermentation for something superfluous.

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Old 12-05-2010, 06:36 PM   #3
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so what could be the difference between the beer i will have and the beer i could have had. significant difference, or little difference because it was less than twelve hours.

i kept things sanitary and i used proper transfer techniques.

i will remember to just leave it alone next time.

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Old 12-05-2010, 06:45 PM   #4
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You could end up with a stuck fermentation since you pulled it from the yeast, or an off flavor...you run the risk of infection or oxydation....but more than likely everything will be fine. Just know for next time not to worry about what your airlock is or isn't doing...and don't be so hasty to react to something and try to "fix" something, until you are sure it is wrong...better to have started this thread BEFORE you racked the beer. We would have given you the same answer, that airlocks are irevelent, and you had krausen...Then you could have just relaxed and not moved the beer.

The biggest thing we can do to often to ruin our beer, is to futz with it.

:mug>

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Old 12-05-2010, 07:48 PM   #5
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i would say.i dont even like gettin a hydro reading out to check when its done. for one i do 1-2 gal batches and it is a waste to toss the hydro sample but then i fear of oxidizing or exposing it for those few minutes when i put it back even with the sanitized hydro.from all these posts 1-3 weeks primary then bottle 2 weeks and up.for most.it seems
i did a 1 gallon in a 2 gallon and no bubble. but my second wheat batch i did a little bigger and pitched more yeast than the first and it bubbled and i did consecutive hydro readings for a finished gravity even though the brew calculator said 1.01-1.012 would be finished mine was actually 1.011 then 1.007 after the second reading and i bottled it anyway.probably should have let it go another two and check the reading again to see if it stays at 1.007 but then again im not comfortable with exposing it so much.

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Old 12-05-2010, 09:16 PM   #6
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thanks for the advice, revvy. i will keep the futzing to a minimum next time.

forgot the cardinal rule to RDWHAHB.

..Prost..

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