Airlock Blew Out, Open Fermenter for 3 Days, Dumper?

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spyder2723

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So I have learned a lesson, don't brew right before taking a vacation. I brewed a couple batches on the 4th, then left on the 5th for 3 days. While I was gone one of the beers blew it's top, launched the airlock like 5 feet and covered the carboy with a bunch of overflow. I did clean up the airlock and put it back, and it started bubbling again.

I checked on the beer the morning of the 5th and everything looked good, airlock in place. When I got home last night, the 8th, was when I found the mess. This means that the airlock could have been displaced for at least 3 full days. So the big question is should I give up on it now and dump it so I can get something else in it's place, or should I let it ride and see what happens? I am using a 6.5 gallon glass carboy so the opening is fairly small. Thanks a lot!
 

DPBISME

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Continue with your schedule... taste it when you are ready to bottle or keg. Remember you had CO 2 on the top it pushing out,,, you had Alcohol and hops to reduce any possible infection, and beer is pretty hardy stuff and the world has been doing OPEN FERMENTATIONS for hundreds of years... as a homebrewer really have to try to get "beasties" growing in there... That being said... if you do notice a little "something" get it into a fridge, cool it down, and then drink it fast...
 

mack65

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When I went on a tour of Twisted Pine Brewery, their owner told us that all of their fermenters have an open port at the top to the beer can "open" ferment. I've also done something similar before without any negative impact. Also, you have to remember that when actively fermenting the pressure inside your fermenter is higher than the pressure outside, which will keep most things out of your beer.

So, unless you had bugs climbing in and out of the fermenter, I'd think your beer will be fine.
 

DMartin

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My rule of thumb in these situations is

1. Whatever happens, make the beer anyway
2. If it turns out gross, put it in a closet and forget it exists for 6 months.
3. If it's still gross, give it another 6 months.
4. If it's still gross, pitch it.

I have a cider that is past step 3 right now, due to a white mold. Around Fall, I'll give it one last try.
 

jwible204

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I had this same thing happen, but it was for about 5 days. The beer, my Citra IPA, went on to take 2nd in the People's Choice at the event I served it at. It tasted fine. There's plenty of c02 and the neck of the carboy is so narrow that the beer should be just fine.
 

ktblunden

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My rule of thumb in these situations is

1. Whatever happens, make the beer anyway
2. If it turns out gross, put it in a closet and forget it exists for 6 months.
3. If it's still gross, give it another 6 months.
4. If it's still gross, pitch it.
That's pretty good advice, that should be posted at the top of every forum on here.
 

mack65

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My rule of thumb in these situations is

1. Whatever happens, make the beer anyway
2. If it turns out gross, put it in a closet and forget it exists for 6 months.
3. If it's still gross, give it another 6 months.
4. If it's still gross, pitch it.

I have a cider that is past step 3 right now, due to a white mold. Around Fall, I'll give it one last try.
Yep, this and I have found that sometimes you can actually make an accidental sour so no need to pitch.
 

RainyDay

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If it tastes bad, tell people it was a unique/historical fermentation process, say its a very limited release, and give it a foreign name. People will pay $15/bomber for it.
 
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spyder2723

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Thanks for the comments guys. I am supposed to put 10+ lbs of cherries into this beer in 4ish weeks so I'll wait till then to see if I want to invest in the cherries, or just cellar the beer.

I had been thinking that the positive pressure should keep most nasty things out, but if not I'll follow DMartin's advice.
 

DMartin

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DEFINITELY don't just drop the cherries in there. Mash em up and add some Campden to kill any natural yeast and bacteria, or heat them up on the stove to 180 for a while. If you go the heat route, invest in some Pectic Enzyme to break down the pectin or you'll have very cloudy beer that will not settle out.

I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to fruit though, so maybe look up some winemaking tips for prepping fruit before making wine.
 
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