Airlock popped off my 1 gallon carboy…

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum:

Joined
Mar 7, 2022
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Location
Skyrim
I’ll try to be concise, I’m just frantic that I might’ve contaminated my batch. I made a batch of raspberry, blueberry, blackberry mead today, put it in my upstairs closet to ferment with my other carboys (which are doing very well and smelling heavenly). I started primary fermentation around 3 PM, went down for dinner, sat with the family and watched some TV. Go check it around 8 PM and the bung + airlock are lying on the ground. Thankfully the mess wasn’t so bad, but I have no idea how long it was sitting up there uncovered. I promptly took the airlock downstairs, disassembled it, washed it with soap and warm water and sprayed it down with some sanitizer I bottled from earlier. I dried the bung with a clean paper towel, and carefully wiped the inner rim of the carboy before reinserting it. I then noticed it pushing itself back out, so I brought it to my basement, grabbed and sanitized a plastic chop stick and gently stirred the fruity mess at the top of my fermenter to release some CO2. Then I sprayed down a paper towel with sani, and as carefully as I could, I wiped the junk off the inner rim of the carboy and sprayed down the airlock again for good measure. I brought the carboy to my basement to cool, after reading yeast work slower in cooler temps.

I know it’s more than likely okay, because I was not nearly this careful with my first batch of mead and it’s doing well (to the best of my knowledge). I desperately need affirmation that I did this right... This didn’t happen to my first two batches, and I’m worried that my finger touching the inside of the carboy or the paper towel might’ve introduced a contaminant and killed my batch…
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
WarmHappyWBellyfulOfMead
Joined
Mar 7, 2022
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Location
Skyrim
The yeast look pretty happy, should I gently swirl the carboy to get that stuff in the neck back into my must? If there’s contamination in the neck like I’m afraid of, would this fester in that neck area? If mixed back into the must, will it contaminate my mead? So many questions, I apologize, I just want to ensure I do whatever I can to fix this.

I should also note that I tried to spray the lip of the carboy as best I could without getting too much into my mead. For reference, I’m using 5 Star iodine solution in my spray bottle filled from my sanitizing tub, which was 6ml solution to 1gal of water.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_5468.MOV
    23.3 MB
Last edited:

PberBob

Student of the Dark Arts
HBT Supporter
Joined
May 17, 2020
Messages
183
Reaction score
401
Location
Fremont, CA
I’ll try to be concise, I’m just frantic that I might’ve contaminated my batch. I made a batch of raspberry, blueberry, blackberry mead today…


7F66F130-8D6D-42B6-BDCF-4E5DF11F6E2F.jpeg

Very colorful!
 
OP
OP
WarmHappyWBellyfulOfMead
Joined
Mar 7, 2022
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Location
Skyrim
Thanks for all the good advice and assurance guys. She’s still rippin even in the cool basement and there’s no indication that the bung is trying to pop off again. It seems poking/stirring the must put it in a much better place to vent the CO2 without pushing up the neck and clogging my airlock. I’m going to keep it fermenting down there until tomorrow night and then see how it does back in the upstairs closet where it’s considerably warmer. I’m also toying with the idea of keeping it in the cold, as I heard even though it takes much longer to get your end result, the mead is much smoother and has less of a harsh booziness to it. Since I’m doing two hot ferments, maybe I’ll switch it up a bit!
 

jerrylotto

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
557
Reaction score
391
Location
North Chelmsford
I really wouldn't worry about it. You're really out gassing it that rate you probably didn't even get any oxidation. I assume that you sterilized the bung before you put it back on.
 

skeeterman

Active Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2015
Messages
26
Reaction score
8
Location
pierre
I’ll try to be concise, I’m just frantic that I might’ve contaminated my batch. I made a batch of raspberry, blueberry, blackberry mead today, put it in my upstairs closet to ferment with my other carboys (which are doing very well and smelling heavenly). I started primary fermentation around 3 PM, went down for dinner, sat with the family and watched some TV. Go check it around 8 PM and the bung + airlock are lying on the ground. Thankfully the mess wasn’t so bad, but I have no idea how long it was sitting up there uncovered. I promptly took the airlock downstairs, disassembled it, washed it with soap and warm water and sprayed it down with some sanitizer I bottled from earlier. I dried the bung with a clean paper towel, and carefully wiped the inner rim of the carboy before reinserting it. I then noticed it pushing itself back out, so I brought it to my basement, grabbed and sanitized a plastic chop stick and gently stirred the fruity mess at the top of my fermenter to release some CO2. Then I sprayed down a paper towel with sani, and as carefully as I could, I wiped the junk off the inner rim of the carboy and sprayed down the airlock again for good measure. I brought the carboy to my basement to cool, after reading yeast work slower in cooler temps.

I know it’s more than likely okay, because I was not nearly this careful with my first batch of mead and it’s doing well (to the best of my knowledge). I desperately need affirmation that I did this right... This didn’t happen to my first two batches, and I’m worried that my finger touching the inside of the carboy or the paper towel might’ve introduced a contaminant and killed my batch…
Out of curiosity, which type airlock were you using? I have pretty much given up on the "S" type. Too easy to clog and a real bear to clean. A 2 0r 3 piece lock is good. But usually I use a piece of cloth for the first few day. As suggested above.
 
OP
OP
WarmHappyWBellyfulOfMead
Joined
Mar 7, 2022
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Location
Skyrim
Out of curiosity, which type airlock were you using? I have pretty much given up on the "S" type. Too easy to clog and a real bear to clean. A 2 0r 3 piece lock is good. But usually I use a piece of cloth for the first few day. As suggested above.
It was the S type. For my other meads I use (for lack of not knowing the term) the 3-piece “hat” airlocks. I actually had three but shattered one trying to get it into my carboy my first attempt at making mead not knowing it didn’t have to be jammed in all the way. 😂

needless to say I’ll be picking up some more of the 3-piece type for future projects.
 
OP
OP
WarmHappyWBellyfulOfMead
Joined
Mar 7, 2022
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Location
Skyrim
I thought I would post it in my thread based on some advice given, I decided to wrap the bung in electrical tape. It seems a little bit of CO2 was escaping out the side of the improperly sealed bung, which I assume won’t be the end of the world. I wrapped the carboy in a garbage bag leaving the airlock exposed to ensure proper ventilation, just in case the pressure gets too great that the carboy shatters. I only put one full wrap (rotation?) of tape around the bung, so I would assume that if the pressure got that intense it would blow the bung + tape off before shattering the carboy. Moved it back to the ~75° closet this morning so it can ferment in perfect darkness (my basement gets a lot of light) so hopefully this is the end of my issues… also here’s to hoping I didn’t contaminate the mead last night fixing the airlock! 😬
 

MPLS_Brewing

Member
Joined
May 1, 2022
Messages
20
Reaction score
2
I’ll try to be concise, I’m just frantic that I might’ve contaminated my batch. I made a batch of raspberry, blueberry, blackberry mead today, put it in my upstairs closet to ferment with my other carboys (which are doing very well and smelling heavenly). I started primary fermentation around 3 PM, went down for dinner, sat with the family and watched some TV. Go check it around 8 PM and the bung + airlock are lying on the ground. Thankfully the mess wasn’t so bad, but I have no idea how long it was sitting up there uncovered. I promptly took the airlock downstairs, disassembled it, washed it with soap and warm water and sprayed it down with some sanitizer I bottled from earlier. I dried the bung with a clean paper towel, and carefully wiped the inner rim of the carboy before reinserting it. I then noticed it pushing itself back out, so I brought it to my basement, grabbed and sanitized a plastic chop stick and gently stirred the fruity mess at the top of my fermenter to release some CO2. Then I sprayed down a paper towel with sani, and as carefully as I could, I wiped the junk off the inner rim of the carboy and sprayed down the airlock again for good measure. I brought the carboy to my basement to cool, after reading yeast work slower in cooler temps.

I know it’s more than likely okay, because I was not nearly this careful with my first batch of mead and it’s doing well (to the best of my knowledge). I desperately need affirmation that I did this right... This didn’t happen to my first two batches, and I’m worried that my finger touching the inside of the carboy or the paper towel might’ve introduced a contaminant and killed my batch…
In my experience, using a dry stopper and adding rubber bands to force the stopper down will help prevent the stopper from falling out. However, switching to an appropriate stopper size fixed my issue. For instance, a size 6 stopper for 1-gallon jugs is recommended. Since switching to the appropriate stopper size, I have yet to encounter this issue again.

Here's a table from northern brewer for proper stopper sizes based upon the fermenting vessel.


Screen Shot 2022-05-01 at 6.09.56 PM.png
 

skeeterman

Active Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2015
Messages
26
Reaction score
8
Location
pierre
In my experience, using a dry stopper and adding rubber bands to force the stopper down will help prevent the stopper from falling out. However, switching to an appropriate stopper size fixed my issue. For instance, a size 6 stopper for 1-gallon jugs is recommended. Since switching to the appropriate stopper size, I have yet to encounter this issue again.

Here's a table from northern brewer for proper stopper sizes based upon the fermenting vessel.


View attachment 767676
First off, I only use the "S"type at the end of fermentation. They plug up easily and are a bear to clean. Next, I very seldom make less than a 5 gallon batch. I cover the primary fermenter with a cloth and tie it down. This would work with 1-gallon batches as well. Finally, with active fermentation going, no oxygen will enter the jug. You are good to go.
 

Beer666

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2018
Messages
575
Reaction score
582
I wet mine and dip in brewers sugar. The friction stops then popping out. Either that or parcel tape.
 

JP_BeerFan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2021
Messages
53
Reaction score
35
In my experience, using a dry stopper and adding rubber bands to force the stopper down will help prevent the stopper from falling out.
Just a newby here, but this works well, with the standard "fingerhole" handle on a 1gal jug.

I happened to find "baking rubberbands" lurking in a drawer someplace, about 2 1/2" or so in diameter. Twisted once, and they're about perfect for size and tension, going diagonally across the stopper to handle.
Nice thing about the "baking" kind, they're Silicone! Makes them very tough, and they'll never deteriorate like the rubber ones will someday.
 

mashpaddled

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2018
Messages
968
Reaction score
756
Location
Denver, CO
The mead is more than likely ok. As long as CO2 is coming out of solution it's going to be difficult for anything to go back in.

For one gallon vessels you're playing a little with fire here. Securing the airlock down is an ok option but if the drilled hole or airlock clogs and the stopper/airlock cannot depart then the pressure will go somewhere. You might get the stopper blasting off and creating a geyser all over the room or worse causing the glass to shatter. I've never blown up one of these but I have had a couple messy geysers painting the ceiling.

The best thing to do if you want to primary in a one gallon vessel is to buy a three piece airlock and attach some tubing to a separate vessel of water for the first few days. Once fermentation starts to calm you can disconnect the tube and reassemble the airlock. This doesn't absolutely prevent clogging the stopper but it avoids the problem with S airlocks where the outlet narrows at the start of the S and creates an opportunity to clog. I've never had this technique result in departing stoppers or messes even when the one gallon carboy was overfilled or trub got into the tube.
 
Top