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Old 08-08-2012, 05:05 AM   #1
charley
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Doing my first batch right now. OG was 1.5. I have a clear carboy so I could stare for hours at a time the first couple days, panicking that nothing was happening. After about 36 hours it started fermenting. Next morning it was good and bubbly. Today it is foaming through the airlock. Read about the possibility of the airlock becoming plugged, resulting in a beer shower in my spare closet. Monitored it for this evening and it's not bubbling through anymore but there's crud in the airlock. Airlock is still doing its job though. Is this something I should fix or just let it go? I think the fermenting is slowing so I'm tempted to leave it. (see picture)

2nd question... When cooking the grains the bag opened up and it boiled over a little. Tons of crud floating although most is at the bottom. My kit said I'm supposed to siphon into my bucket before bottling. It's a 6.5 gallon bucket. I'm assuming because of the grains I should filter it from the siphoning hose to the bucket. What's the best way? I read an easy home remedy by using a funnel and coffee filters. My wife suggested out metal strainer.

Any thoughts on these two issues would be greatly appreciated! Like I said, I'm a first timer so I hope I'm not alone is screwups. Also hope my beer is salvageable.


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Old 08-08-2012, 05:22 AM   #2
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Looks like beer to me. Everything is great. You can replace the airlock if you want but it's smooth sailing from here. When you siphon, just don't siphon from the bottom and you won't get much crud. You can also use a strainer over the bucket if you want, but everything will go to the bottom of the fermenter, and then again in the bucket, so you shouldn't worry. The longer you leave your beer in the carboy, the clearer it'll be.


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Old 08-08-2012, 05:24 AM   #3
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For the airlock, you could pull it out, wash it and sanitize it, and replace it, but I wouldn't bother until the krauesen falls in a few more days. I only say this because if you clean it now, it will just gunk up again. You are correct that there's a danger of it plugging and causing a positive pressure inside the carboy. You don't want that. It looks like it's a 3-piece airlock with the little cap on it, right? You could just remove the cap and connect some clear tubing over the opening to function as a blow-off tube. See here.

As for filtering, you might want to just use the grain bag as a filter. Sanitize it and then put it over the bucket end of the siphon hose, maybe even zip-tie it onto the hose (or racking cane) with some looseness at the end of the hose so if it does catch some grains it won't clog the hose. If you don't have the bag, you could get a 1-gallon paint strainer bag from the hardware store. When you siphon, keep the end of the hose that's in the carboy off the bottom. Everything in there is going to settle to the bottom in the next week or two anyway.

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Old 08-08-2012, 09:36 AM   #4
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When you go to move it to the bottling bucket you don't want to strain/filter on the bottling side. You risk oxidizing the heck out of it. Best thing to do is wait long enough for most of it to settle out (I like to do 1 month primary's) and if possible cold crash it a few days before bottling so you end up with a nice compact pile of trub that you can siphon above.
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddoghoek View Post
When you go to move it to the bottling bucket you don't want to strain/filter on the bottling side. You risk oxidizing the heck out of it. Best thing to do is wait long enough for most of it to settle out (I like to do 1 month primary's) and if possible cold crash it a few days before bottling so you end up with a nice compact pile of trub that you can siphon above.
The oxidation risk comes from pouring or draining through a strainer and then letting it fall into the bucket. If you put a strainer bag around the end of the hose or racking cane and then place that in the bottom of the bucket, it should reduce the risk to that of just siphoning alone, right?

Even so, unless there's a lot of grain and such that doesn't settle out (which it will) I wouldn't even bother. Your last bottle might end up with all of the sediment, but just dump that one and call it a batch.
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverZero

The oxidation risk comes from pouring or draining through a strainer and then letting it fall into the bucket. If you put a strainer bag around the end of the hose or racking cane and then place that in the bottom of the bucket, it should reduce the risk to that of just siphoning alone, right?

Even so, unless there's a lot of grain and such that doesn't settle out (which it will) I wouldn't even bother. Your last bottle might end up with all of the sediment, but just dump that one and call it a batch.
Correct, I do this a lot with dry hopped or fruit puree beers.
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charley View Post
OG was 1.5
I don't think so. Do you mean 1.05?

I wouldn't really worry about filtering. Just give it time to settle before bottling and be careful when siphoning. Shouldn't be too bad.
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:54 PM   #8
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I prefer to strain all going into the fermenter. A lot less trub that way. But a grain bag on the tubing going around the bottom of the bottling bucket will help this time.
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Old 08-09-2012, 04:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KISS Brew

I don't think so. Do you mean 1.05?

I wouldn't really worry about filtering. Just give it time to settle before bottling and be careful when siphoning. Shouldn't be too bad.
Yeah. 1.05. Second question... What is the ideal temp to ferment? Mines hovering around 70 now
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Old 08-09-2012, 04:13 AM   #10
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Why were you boiling grain?


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