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Old 10-11-2010, 02:37 PM   #1
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Default Foaming Gas Lock

A friend and I are starting our first batch of home brewed beer. I pitched the yeast into the wort last night. We're using a 6.5 gallon plastic primary fermenter with a three piece gas lock. At about 10 AM EST this morning the gas lock started filling with foam, which is escaping from the top. The water in the gas lock has turned the same color as the wort (dark amber/light brown). Is this normal?


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Old 10-11-2010, 02:46 PM   #2
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Yes quite normal and you may want to rig a blow-off tube before it erupts. Blow-off tube: Stick a tube in the airlock hole and the other end in a jar of water.


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Old 10-11-2010, 02:55 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by COLObrewer View Post
Yes quite normal and you may want to rig a blow-off tube before it erupts. Blow-off tube: Stick a tube in the airlock hole and the other end in a jar of water.
How long do I leave it in? Or, really, is it okay to leave the blow-off tube in after it's blown off? I'm a grad student, and I'll be away for class for a large chunk of the middle of the day.
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Old 10-11-2010, 03:05 PM   #4
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Leave it in till the krausen has started to drop probably a couple of days, then you can replace the airlock. It's fine to leave in forever though.
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Old 10-11-2010, 03:19 PM   #5
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Hm. It's a five gallon batch in a 6.5 gallon primary fermenter. The Complete Joy of Home Brewing says that a blow-off tube shouldn't be necessary for such a batch in such a fermenter. How bad do you think the risk of it erupting is if I don't attach a blow-off tube?
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Old 10-11-2010, 03:23 PM   #6
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. . . . The Complete Joy of Home Brewing says that a blow-off tube shouldn't be necessary for such a batch in such a fermenter. How bad do you think the risk of it erupting is if I don't attach a blow-off tube?
Like my youngest says, "the shoulda's dont matter" There are factors too numerous to track that affect the fermentation of beer, all fermentations are different.

The risk: Depends on your brew and how big of chunks there are, if they plug up the hole, you will eventually have krausen all over your domicile, even with a small blow-off, some people rig a 1" tube for this reason. Yeast are violent and uncaring warriors.
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Old 10-11-2010, 03:30 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by COLObrewer View Post
Like my youngest says, "the shoulda's dont matter" There are factors too numerous to track that affect the fermentation of beer, all fermentations are different.

The risk: Depends on your brew and how big of chunks there are, if they plug up the hole, you will eventually have krausen all over your domicile, even with a small blow-off, some people rig a 1" tube for this reason. Yeast are violent and uncaring warriors.
Point taken. I'll attach a blow-off before I head to campus.

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Old 10-11-2010, 06:03 PM   #8
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What temp are you fermenting at?
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Old 10-11-2010, 06:10 PM   #9
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I agree with COLObrewer, if the yeast in a bottle of conditioning beer can produce enough pressure to blow a glass bottle to bits, a plastic container or a rubber stopper in a carboy full of actively fermenting yeast have no chance!

btw: not all brews will require a blow off tube but you do have to keep an eye on them!
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Old 10-11-2010, 06:40 PM   #10
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WARNING
Once the foam hits the airlock it needs to be cleaned as soon as possible. Minor temp changes can reduce the outflow of Co2 to nothing and give this sticky foam time to dry. Once dries it can be VERY hard and plug up the holes.

I picked glass shards out of sheetrock walls 20+ feet away once because of this. Do NOT forget to provide an escape for the Co2 gasses. (Sure glad we were not home!)


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