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Old 08-02-2009, 02:39 PM   #1
robbie
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Default Wort/Beer in Airlock?

I brewed an Irish Stout on Thursday night and it finally started bubbling yesterday. However, when I woke up this morning the water was gone out of the airlock and it had Wort/Beer and some sludge in it. I took the airlock out and cleaned it and refilled it with water and it started bubbling like crazy (biggest bubbler I've seen).

I found the fact that the beer had gone into the airlock (and even spilled over onto the lid) very strange.

What is going on??

Robbie

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Old 08-02-2009, 02:42 PM   #2
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search "blow off tube" or your going to be scrubbing beer off of your ceiling.Thats just a very active fermentation.The krausen/CO2 is running out of room.If your airlock clogs then its gonna blow the top.

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Old 08-02-2009, 02:45 PM   #3
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+1 for blow off tube. wish i had known about it a few months ago, cleaning krausen off your walls and ceiling is not fun.

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Old 08-02-2009, 02:47 PM   #4
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haha we all have to do it some time.

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Old 08-02-2009, 05:24 PM   #5
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Thank you guys so much for letting me know what's going on. I read the responses while I was out of my apartment and was nervous that I'd come back to an exploded fermenter, thank God everything was fine when I got back!

Anyway, I looked up blow off tube but everything seems to have pictures of them attached to a 3 piece airlock setup but I have an S shaped airlock. The bottling hose that came with my kit isn't quite wide enough to fit over the top of the S shaped airlock so I'm wondering if there is another idea or if I should go to the hardware store to buy something a little bigger? Or, if I'm going to go to that trouble, is it better to build a blow off tube system from scratch that just fits right onto the small hole at the top of my ale pail?


Also, once I do install the blow off tube, I see pictures of the other end going into a jar/bucket with water in it. Will that water not siphon back into the fermenter? what is the idea of having the water, to keep things from getting into the tube and back into the fermenter?

Any help would be great! I really don't want to blow the lid on this because I have a tiny apartment and my fermenters are in a coat closet filled with clothes! Maybe I should move them out and put a towel under the fermenter in the mean time....

Thanks!
Robbie

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Old 08-02-2009, 05:34 PM   #6
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Yeah, you might consider the towels regardless. Krausen can be impossibly messy.
Did you try fitting your tube into the grommeted hole in the lid of your bucket? It should fit snug if its the same size I have.
As for the container of water, make sure that it's lower than the top of your bucket, and you don't have to worry about water siphoning back in to your fermenter. If you are still worried, don't use water, use vodka. The container is there to act like a giant airlock - letting gasses out, but not in.

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Old 08-02-2009, 05:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coprinus View Post
Yeah, you might consider the towels regardless. Krausen can be impossibly messy.
Did you try fitting your tube into the grommeted hole in the lid of your bucket? It should fit snug if its the same size I have.
As for the container of water, make sure that it's lower than the top of your bucket, and you don't have to worry about water siphoning back in to your fermenter. If you are still worried, don't use water, use vodka. The container is there to act like a giant airlock - letting gasses out, but not in.
I just tried, with the piece of rubber still in the grommeted hole it doesn't fit. Should I remove the rubber and try that? Do I need to sanitize the hose first since it's going into the hole? I usually use 1 tsp vinegar 1 tsp bleach for 1 gallon of water for 30 minutes to sanitize... is that a good mix?
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Old 08-02-2009, 06:16 PM   #8
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The main point is to create enough space for all of the gasses to vent out. If you take out the rubber grommet and the tube doesn't fit snug, it's really no big deal because so much CO2 is gassing off; there is very little danger of O2 and bacteria getting in. Some people just leave the lid loose, or cover the bucket with a clean towel. I wouldn't recommend that, but it illustrates the point.
As for your bleach/vinegar sanitizer, I've never done it myself due to the stink of bleach, but I've read that those exact proportions are fine as a sanitizer.
You do want to sanitize the tube (or anything else that comes close to the wort).
I suggest you acquaint yourself with StarSan.
Also, make sure you replace the blow-off tube with an airlock as soon as the fermentation settles down a bit.

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Old 08-02-2009, 06:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coprinus View Post
The main point is to create enough space for all of the gasses to vent out. If you take out the rubber grommet and the tube doesn't fit snug, it's really no big deal because so much CO2 is gassing off; there is very little danger of O2 and bacteria getting in. Some people just leave the lid loose, or cover the bucket with a clean towel. I wouldn't recommend that, but it illustrates the point.
As for your bleach/vinegar sanitizer, I've never done it myself due to the stink of bleach, but I've read that those exact proportions are fine as a sanitizer.
You do want to sanitize the tube (or anything else that comes close to the wort).
I suggest you acquaint yourself with StarSan.
Also, make sure you replace the blow-off tube with an airlock as soon as the fermentation settles down a bit.
Awesome, I'll remove the rubber from the grommet and put the tube in after sanitizing it. I read a little bit about StarSan and read something about not using it with plastic (which seemed weird to me). It's okay to use that with plastic ale pail fermenters and other equipment right? It sounds like it would be much better than what i'm doing since it only takes about 2 minutes to sanitize with StarSan.

Thanks again for your help. Been reading up on all of this for the past hour or so and learning a lot.

Robbie
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Old 08-02-2009, 08:16 PM   #10
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No problem. Welcome to homebrewtalk. You'll find that the expertise is amazing here - any question you might have will be thoroughly answered.

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