I cold crashed an oatmeal brown ale with the blowoff tube still attached after 3 weeks. The cold crash created a vacuum and some of the water got into the fermenter. Am I screwed? Bottle it now? Wait?
It wasn't sterilized water. Usually I do star san, but I just did water this time for some stupid reason. It's been over three weeks now, so I'm hoping that there's enough alcohol to fight anything that found its way in.
FWIW, I don't use any airlock when cold crashing. I just cap the carboy or use a plain stopper for buckets. A slight vacuum forms, but does not seem to do any harm to the beer that I can detect. The "S" type air locks allow oxygen to enter the fermenter which can't be a good thing at that stage.
a little tip for cold conditioning.. I always put in the bubbler then use vodka as the liquid. if the vodka gets sucked in, there is no big deal.
cheap vodka also makes a great quick sanitizer when taking a quick sample or whatever.