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Old 03-18-2012, 03:10 PM   #1
Mar 2012
, North Texas
Posts: 4

Ok so I've attempted my first strawberry mead in a gallon glass jug. I filled it up just at the neck, pitched the yeast and stirred to aerate. Placed the stopper and airlock. Tucked it in for the night and this morning I got up and the airlock and stopper has blown off!!! Hubby came home from work about 4am and didn't see anything so I'm hoping it has only been off for about 5 hrs. My question is, do y'all think my mead is still ok? I've cleaned up the few strawberries I lost and cleaned the stopper and top of the jug and replaced. The yeast is still bubbling away and the airlock seems to be working. What would have caused it to do that? I'm sorry, just new to this and don't know if I should start over or if it's still good. Thanks.

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Old 03-18-2012, 04:40 PM   #2
May 2010
Posts: 299
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

Most likely some of the fruit clogged the air lock and caused pressure to build up. The chances are that your mead will be fine. You have nothing to lose at this point so just let it go! :-)

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Old 03-18-2012, 05:10 PM   #3
Dec 2009
Middle of the Mitten, Michigan
Posts: 807
Liked 33 Times on 31 Posts

Many people use open buckets for primay fermentation with only fabric cover to keep debris out. During actiive fermentation enough CO2 is being produced and diffused that it keeps anything harmful away from your must.

Your Mead will be fine.
Reality is an illusion that occurs due to the lack of alcohol.
Give a man a beer, he'll drink for the day.Teach a man to brew, he'll be drunk the rest of his life.
I have 8 carboys, 8 cornies, 5-1 gal jugs, 200 wine bottles, 10 cases of beer bottles and a nice assortment of flip tops....My goal is to keep them at least 50% occupied

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Old 03-18-2012, 06:41 PM   #4
Mar 2012
, North Texas
Posts: 4

Ok great, thanks so much. Because it's bubbling away still I knew that was fine just mostly worried about contaminants with the opening not covered. I guess maybe next time use a towel for the first 24 hrs then use the airlock? My hubby was finding strawberry pieces still this afternoon

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Old 03-18-2012, 07:42 PM   #5
biochemedic's Avatar
Jun 2010
Carnegie, PA
Posts: 2,206
Liked 246 Times on 185 Posts

It's a good story to illustrate several other things too:
- it's nice to have some headspace for primary...
- there's never a downside to using a blow off tube...
- no matter what you do, keep your primary somewhere easy to clean...
Packaged: Fruitcake Old Ale
Primary: 15 Min Pale Ale (Waimea hops), Unoriginal clone (hoppy session mead)
Secondary: Why do I keep this line here...?
Bulk Aging: Simple Cyser '15, Cocobochet, Wild Cider (2014 & 2015)
Planned: So many ideas, not enough time to brew them....

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Old 03-18-2012, 07:43 PM   #6
Mar 2012
Wichita, KS
Posts: 48
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

You can just not fill the bottle as much. From my reading it seems that you want to leave a few inches if you have fruit in your primary.

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Old 03-18-2012, 08:14 PM   #7
fatbloke's Avatar
Dec 2006
UK - South Coast.
Posts: 2,698
Liked 182 Times on 167 Posts

One gallon jugs, demi-johns, whatever you want to call them are fine, just that the tapering shape doesn't do you any favours, especially when you include fruit.

When the ferment first kicks off, you often get a big rush of small bubbles that will build up under a cap of floating fruit. As the bubbles increase, they will push the fruit up packing it tighter, until you get the result you've experienced.

So, either make the batch in a bucket, or if you prefer the look of the jug, then mix it up in the jug as you have already done, but then take out enough liquid to bring the level down to where the shoulders of the jug start to shape in.

This gives enough space so that as the cap rises with the gas from the initial ferment, but rather than compacting into a bung that causes an eruption, it cracks/splits to allow the bubbles up and the gas to escape normally.

I'd have thought that removing about 25% of the initial liquid should do the job. The removed must is just put in a bottle and into the fridge. Then, once its calmed down some after 3 or4 days (possibly a bit longer), give it a bit of a stir and the fruit should have become waterlogged enough, so that it will stand being topped up with the reserved must, without further problems.....
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away". Tom Waits.

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Old 03-19-2012, 03:29 AM   #8
Jan 2012
Orlando, FL
Posts: 68
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts

Mine too kind of, lucky for me I caught it. I made a blackberry mead and a pineapple/orange mead in the jaom style. The pineapple is fine but checking it this morning the blueberry had bubbled up and the airlock was filled with purple, I had a couple parts already clean so I pulled the tip off my bottle filler to fit the hole and attached the tube, bubbling like mad, I'll give it a couple days to slow down until replacing the airlock

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