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Old 03-23-2014, 07:49 PM   #1
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Default Yikes - Violent fermentation

Well, i am making a german altbier, brewing process very very uneventful, shooting for 1054, hit 1052. All Grain. It was kind of cool lower fifties, and we were concerned because the wyeast pouch didnt swell as much as normal. Pitched in 65 degree beer.

This morning it was bubbling like crazy, i just went to check my temps, and the fricken top of the airlock was on the fermenter, and there was Krausen everywhere, top of top fermentation chamber, all over the plastic fermenter. Running down the sides.

My question is this, i have cleaned up the mess (paper towels) and rigged up a makeshift blow off tube. 2 problems

1 - the blow off tube is not air tight - small bubbles are emanating from around the plastic tube.

2 - the fermenter is leaking around the lid.

Current plan is to secondary once the fermentation slows. Is this a good idea, or a bad idea. My biggest concern is i can't possibly get all the stickyness off the plastic bucket /lid/ chamber i am concerned without a sealed chamber i am going to risk infection.

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Old 03-23-2014, 08:02 PM   #2
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It's fine the way it is. If there are some bubbles around the blowoff, it's not a big deal. Fermentation will slow down in a couple days and you can go back to the airlock. If it was me, I'd skip the secondary and just leave it where it is.

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Old 03-24-2014, 12:51 AM   #3
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This is a case that I would think that it might be OK to do a secondary - as long as you're extremely careful not to aerate it and you're on the ball with sanitation.
As far as sticky buckets - don't worry about it. Bad stuff can't turn corners. It won't climb in there. Do be careful about the blow-off - when the big active fermentation slows, and you don't get krausen through it, switch back to the normal airlock, that will be more airtight than the tube, it sounds like. Also, the co2 that is being put off is keeping oxygen and bad stuff out.

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Old 03-24-2014, 01:25 AM   #4
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I also put sanitizer in the airlock to cover where the blow off tube attaches to the airlock just for added protection.

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Old 03-24-2014, 02:08 AM   #5
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I had the top blow off my bucket when I did a raspberry beer... Twice. Same batch. I just put the lid back on and hoped for the best, it turned out fine. I don't know what effect it would have moving to secondary so soon, do you have a different lid you can sanitize and swap out? I wouldn't worry about the hose bubbling, it shows that you're sealed and that there's only leakage when there's a pressure differential across the seal, and I doubt that atmospheric pressure is going to skyrocket to become higher than the pressure in your fermenter. Keep it closed and the air will only flow out of the bucket.

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Old 03-24-2014, 02:12 AM   #6
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While it's that active risk of infection is very low.. That exact thing has happened to me before. Just let fermentation subside (week-ish) and move it to secondary. Definitely don't wanna move it too early if you decide to.

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Old 03-24-2014, 02:11 PM   #7
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Thanks, i am going to secondary on Saturday (1 week). I am hoping to put the airlock in tonight. Remove the bucket from the ferm chamber and try to do a little cleaning. I am so OCD it is scary, it is bothering me that the bucket is messy. Even more so that the bottom of the ferm chamber is gross.

I know i don't have to secondary, but i always do.

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