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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > If it was going to blow up...when?
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:03 PM   #1
MissionBrewer
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Default If it was going to blow up...when?

Does it ever happen that the wort blows off the lid of the fermenting bucket and makes a mess? When and why?

And, if the bottles of beer were going to explode, when might that happen? Within days of bottling?


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Old 02-22-2012, 05:08 PM   #2
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Yes the fermentation process can cause the lid to blow off...it happens quite frequently to people, actually. The best way to avoid having that happen is to use a blow off tube. This will allow the excess CO2 and krausen to escape through the tube, rather than blow the lid off. This period usually occurs during the first 3 days or so when fermentation is at its highest, although this will vary with yeast and temperature. This goes the same with bottles, it depends on the temperature and how much sugar you used. It is also important to make sure that fermentation is completely finished before bottling by checking your gravities, making sure your beer is stable before bottling.


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Old 02-22-2012, 05:10 PM   #3
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Doesn't the airlock let enough gas escape to prevent the lid from blowing off? And when the lid blows off is it a mess? The lid blows off my sourdough starter all the time but the only evidence is a popping noise from the tupperware, and then the lid is loose
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:13 PM   #4
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Guide to making a blow off tube: http://tinyurl.com/7oq2fb7
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissionBrewer View Post
Doesn't the airlock let enough gas escape to prevent the lid from blowing off?
The airlock can become clogged with krausen and not let air escape, creating a buildup of pressure.

Quote:
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And when the lid blows off is it a mess?
Oh my, yes.
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bernerbrau View Post
The airlock can become clogged with krausen and not let air escape, creating a buildup of pressure.



Oh my, yes.
Exactly this. Do yourself a favor and rig yourself a blowoff so you never have to deal with the mess.
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:23 PM   #7
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Nice!! Thanks for the advise. Obviously the yeasts in the wort are a bit more vigorous than the yeasts in my sourdough starter
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:44 PM   #8
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Oh yes,way more vigorous. When my wife brewed her 1st batch of Summer Shandy,it had a blow off rigged. We were sitting down to beers & videos that evening,& just as we raised our glasses,there came a loud pop! It had still blown the lid off 3/4's of the way round. But that was the only time we had that happen.
It seems that the airlock's center piece holdsback some small amount of pressure. The blow off tube seems to eliminate this. I had my latest batch of APA on a blow off when I pitched on it 2 days ago. It was going nuts when it started to visibly ferment yesterday. This morning,it was a steady bubble every 2 seconds or so. So I removed it & installed a clean airlock. Now it bubbles a string of'em maybe twice per minute. So it shows that the blow off is a far less restricted path for allowing co2/krausen to escape safely.
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:42 PM   #9
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Anecdote: I bottled a witbier and it was fine, perfectly carbed, tasted great no problems. Then 2 months later the latent infection took hold and overcarbed the bottles, and one blew up. So it's a little difficult to put an exact timeframe on when you might have a problem.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissionBrewer View Post
Doesn't the airlock let enough gas escape to prevent the lid from blowing off? And when the lid blows off is it a mess? The lid blows off my sourdough starter all the time but the only evidence is a popping noise from the tupperware, and then the lid is loose
1. No.
2. Yes.

My guest room smells of raspberries and krauesen. I was fermenting a 5 gal batch of porter in a 6.5 gal bucket with an airlock. I thought the headroom would be enough. The lid didn't come all the way off, but it was a mess. The raspberry smell is because the only vodka I had on hand for the airlock was some raspberry-flavored stuff someone had left here after a party a couple years ago (it's undrinkable, but I can't bring myself to dump it out, there's so much of it!). I switched to a blow-off tube for the next couple days, then switched back to my (cleaned, sanitized) airlock.

Good thing I was planning to rent a carpet cleaner soon. I hope the dark ring comes out of the carpet!


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