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Old 07-16-2012, 02:39 PM   #1
TheSmithsEra
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I bought some equipment yesterday and brewed my first batch. Problem is my fermentation is super active. I went to bed and barely anything was happening and now it is shooting out of the airlock and my lid on my bucket is covered.

When I tried to move the airlock and attach tubing for blow off and the tubing was too big. So in trying to fit the tubing into the hole the airlock goes into, the rubber stopper fell in and now I have the tube in there surrounded by some plastic that ive sanitized and wrapped it loosley around that end while still wet with Sanitizer. The other end is dumping into another bucket filled with star San.

1. Could my beer be ruined?
2. Will the rubber stopper that fell in ruin or infect my beer?
3. What can I do to seal the blow off tube if this can be salvaged
4. Am I totally screwed?

My LHBS seemed more interested in me spending money than truly setting me up for success. Currently there is a lot of action and plenty blowing out the tube.
Please someone share their experience and help me save my delicious beer!

I've been this way for almost an hour but can still hear the blow off tube working. Super concerned with infection from air leaking in for the unsealed blow off tube

 
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Old 07-16-2012, 02:48 PM   #2
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Fortunately, I would say, if it is that active then you have a lot more going out of the bucket than is going to get into it. The CO2 being produced should keep anything at bay. Assuming you sanitized the rubber stopper I doubt it should cause much of a problem. May need a second opinion on whether you should fish it out or not, but there have been many stories on here of people having to dip there unsanitized arm in a bucket because they dropped something in it and it turns out fine. I would keep an eye on your blow off tube and as soon as the rigorous stage starts to die down, have your regular airlock ready to go (with a new stopper?), to prevent anything else from getting in as the fermentation slows.

99% of the time though, you are never totally screwed. Good luck!
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Old 07-16-2012, 03:04 PM   #3
TheSmithsEra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twistr25 View Post
Fortunately, I would say, if it is that active then you have a lot more going out of the bucket than is going to get into it. The CO2 being produced should keep anything at bay. Assuming you sanitized the rubber stopper I doubt it should cause much of a problem. May need a second opinion on whether you should fish it out or not, but there have been many stories on here of people having to dip there unsanitized arm in a bucket because they dropped something in it and it turns out fine. I would keep an eye on your blow off tube and as soon as the rigorous stage starts to die down, have your regular airlock ready to go (with a new stopper?), to prevent anything else from getting in as the fermentation slows.

99% of the time though, you are never totally screwed. Good luck!
So maybe once he fermentation slows I should open the fermenter and fish out the stopper for my airlock or do you think I'd be better off just getting a new stopper and leaving theblid closed. Thanks forbyour help

 
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Old 07-16-2012, 03:10 PM   #4
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I don't think fishing the stopper out will help much. If the stopper was going to infect your beer it would have done it by now, but I think that chances of that are pretty low. If you've got a robust fermentation going there should be plenty of yeast in there to kill off a few bacteria that might have slipped in on the stopper.

 
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Old 07-16-2012, 03:11 PM   #5
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I have seen some brewers do completely open fermentations with no problem. No top. No airlock. Just open to the air. Wait and see what happens. RDWHAHB

 
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Old 07-16-2012, 03:12 PM   #6
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I'm not 100% sure on this, but if you sanitized the stopper well before installing it, I would think you would be better off not introducing another chance for infection. So getting a new stopper would be my recommendation. Best part about this kind of thing, gives you a great start for a beer name. Rubber Stopper Pale Ale, Stopped Up Stout, etc...
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Old 07-16-2012, 03:12 PM   #7
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Tip #1, plan for "emergencies". I buy an extra of everything small like stoppers, airlocks, thermometers, lid grommets, blow off tube, siphon, transfer tubing. I even have spare Starsan, DME, Turbano Sugar, Hops and yeast.

You can live (brew) without a hydrometer and probably notice a bad brew pail, but those are nice to have spares of.
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Old 07-16-2012, 03:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thesmithsera View Post
So maybe once he fermentation slows I should open the fermenter and fish out the stopper for my airlock or do you think I'd be better off just getting a new stopper and leaving theblid closed. Thanks forbyour help
Let's talk through this.

IMHO: You dropped the stopper in the fermentor and it's been sitting in your beer. Okay, if it's not sanitized and there happens to be something on there that is going to infect your beer...it's either already happened or it's not going to. Sit back and hope for the best. It'll probably be fine.

-OR-

Try and sanitize your hand or some other tool to fish the thing out. Disturb your fermenting beer and introduce some other "device" into the beer which further risks infecting it so you don't have to worry anymore about the stopper infecting it.

I say, leave the stopper in there. What's done is done. Relax Don't Worry and Have a Good Craft Beer while you wait patiently on your first home brew. All is not lost. That's what I would do, anyway.

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Old 07-16-2012, 03:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twistr25 View Post
I'm not 100% sure on this, but if you sanitized the stopper well before installing it, I would think you would be better off not introducing another chance for infection. So getting a new stopper would be my recommendation. Best part about this kind of thing, gives you a great start for a beer name. Rubber Stopper Pale Ale, Stopped Up Stout, etc...

Well interestingly enough, on the day I was bringing everything home from the LHBS my dog tried to run out the door. My local microbrew had a bring your own pint in day for discounted beer and when I ran out to catch my dog I slipped when grabbing him and broke two pint glasses in my hand, slicing up my hand..

So I'm calling this Dog Out The Door saison


And thanks everyone I'm glad I didn't botch this. I will go buy a new stopper for the airlock and get some different size tubing and extras for emergencies. I did sanitize the stopper but for only about 25 seconds in star san

 
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Old 07-16-2012, 04:01 PM   #10
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Star-san I believe works pretty fast, and given the smaller surface area for a stopper, I think you'll be just fine. Not the ideal way to name your beer, but hope your hand is healing well.
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Primary: N/A
Bottled: N/A
Kegs: Tri-Peppered Saison and Sunset Orange Kolsch
Future:Something new, SMaSH perhaps?
2013 Previous: Sunrise Honey Rye Pale Ale, Dark Skies Black IPA, Sunset Orange Kolsch, All Hallow's Eve Pumpkin Ale, Raining Hops and Dogs IPA

Awards/Recognition
Dark Skies Black IPA - 2nd Place at a local comp. Score of 39 from a BJCP judge

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