Emergency...any advice will help!

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Jen720

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I am an exteremly novice homebrewer. Currently working on my 3rd batch, the previous 2 were very successul.

Here's my problem: I started an IPA last Wednesday (4 days ago), I used liquid yeast, lots of malt, and of course hops and grains. The guy at the local brew post put the IPA kit together for me. I use starter equipment, 5 gallon high-grade plastic pail with a 3-piece arilock. The airlock has been bobbing up and down, per usual, and it smells great & hoppy in the room. BUT when I walked in this morning the lid had blown off and the beer had been exposed. The lid was open on one side and still sealed on the other side, leaving a 4-5 inch opening in front. ALso, the airlock has liquid (beer & yeast) in it.

CAn I still salvage this brew? Did I do something wrong?

Thanks in advance for any help!!

Jen
 

SwAMi75

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You had a very active ferment, and your bucket couldn't handle the pressure. Shouldn't be a big deal. Just pull your airlock and clean it out, then seal everything back up. If you read around on here, you'll see that this happens quite often.

Best of luck, and welcome to the forum!

Sam
 

Dude

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Searches are awesome!!!

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1038

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=951

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=713

There are more out there too!

The common theme I'm getting at is this happens frequently. If you search for "blow-off" tube either here or on the web, you'll find how to make one.

BTW, your beer should be fine. This happens all the time and many people are reporting back in a few weeks saying its the best beer they've ever had!
Just be glad you aren't cleaning the ceiling. :rolleyes:
 
OP
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Jen720

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Thanks guys! I just cleaned the airlock and surrounding area...it left quite a mess, but at least it did not reach the ceiling!! I already feel better, I hated to think about the wasted time and money. I live in a small mountain town (Flagstaff, AZ) and the only brew-shop in town is closed on Sundays. Glad I found this forum.

Thanks again!

Jen
 
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I find it odd that you 'poped the top' after four days... seems that this should happen the first day. Well, unless something jumps in there, it will still be o.k. since the carbon dioxide will coat the top and keep the air out. Completely salvageable as it seems you have discovered from reading the posts OrElse provided.
 

Miraculix

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I find it odd that you 'poped the top' after four days... seems that this should happen the first day. Well, unless something jumps in there, it will still be o.k. since the carbon dioxide will coat the top and keep the air out. Completely salvageable as it seems you have discovered from reading the posts OrElse provided.
There is no such thing as a co2 blanket, but the beer should be fine nevertheless.
 

bobtheUKbrewer2

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I brew in large stainless steel saucepans, normal lids, no seal, no airlock, and I open them twice a day to skim off the brown sludge. Even when left a few days after fermentation has finished and beer is crystal clear, no problems...
 

Oleson M.D.

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There is no such thing as a co2 blanket, but the beer should be fine nevertheless.

The industry pros will disagree with you. Dovetail Brewing (Chicago) does all open air fermentation. They claim that the layer of CO2 protects the beer.
 

Miraculix

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The industry pros will disagree with you. Dovetail Brewing (Chicago) does all open air fermentation. They claim that the layer of CO2 protects the beer.

There is a difference between active fermentation with ongoing co2 output plus oxygen scavenging done by active yeast and leaving something standing in the open without active fermentation.

The latter will oxidise due to the effect described in the gas law (I think it's called Henri's law, if I remember correctly), the first will not oxidize as long as the ongoing fermentation is strong enough.

To cut it short, gasses mix. Also an initially perfectly pure co2 layer will be mixed with air including oxygen, once contact between both layers is established.
 

Oleson M.D.

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The owners of Dovetail Brewing are graduates of the Siebel Institute, and also graduated from a prestigious brewing school in Munich, Germany.

The brewery replicates Old World, time proven brewing methods.
If open-air fermentation was problematic, they would not employ that method. I watched a 50 minute interview with Dovetail, and they claim open air fermentation makes better beer.

Pilsner Urquell Brewing does open air fermentation to this day, with the beer brewed for the guests of the brewery.

Upon sampling that beer in the lower tunnels of the brewery, we all declared it to be the best we had ever had.
 

Miraculix

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The owners of Dovetail Brewing are graduates of the Siebel Institute, and also graduated from a prestigious brewing school in Munich, Germany.

The brewery replicates Old World, time proven brewing methods.
If open-air fermentation was problematic, they would not employ that method. I watched a 50 minute interview with Dovetail, and they claim open air fermentation makes better beer.

Pilsner Urquell Brewing does open air fermentation to this day, with the beer brewed for the guests of the brewery.

Upon sampling that beer in the lower tunnels of the brewery, we all declared it to be the best we had ever had.
Please re-read MC Mullans and my posts and you will find that what you are saying is not contradicting our statements.

Open fermentation has nothing to do with a co2 blanket.
 

McMullan

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Most of my fermentations are fairly openish.

IMG_0363.JPG


I don't need to invoke my qualifications or mention the institutions I've graduated from, I just know when it's time to seal up the FV.
 

Oleson M.D.

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I did not attend any brewing schools. But I trust Pilsner Urquell.
 

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tracer bullet

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CO2 mixes with air and doesn't blanket a beer. Now, that said, open fermentation isn't necessarily a bad thing for certain beers. These things do not have to go against each other.

Haven't we arleady been through this? And why here of all places?!?!?!

LOL.
 

Oleson M.D.

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CO2 mixes with air and doesn't blanket a beer. Now, that said, open fermentation isn't necessarily a bad thing for certain beers. These things do not have to go against each other.

Haven't we arleady been through this? And why here of all places?!?!?!

LOL.
Don’t shoot me, I’m just the messenger.
You want to contact the owners / brewers at Dovetail Brewing, in Chicago.
 

doug293cz

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The thing with open fermentations, is you have a krausen layer on top of the beer. That layer is made of mostly of CO2 filled bubbles. It is this layer that protects the beer from the atmospheric oxygen, not a "CO2 blanket", which as said previously doesn't exist more more than a few minutes, because all gases interdiffuse fully. The diffusion rate of O2 thru the krausen layer is much slower than thru pure CO2.

Also, during active fermentation, CO2 is being released from the beer and this does form a CO2 rich layer at the surface of the beer and/or on top of the krausen layer. As the CO2 comes out of the beer, it flows away from the surface into the surrounding environment. This CO2 flow drags some of the air diffusing towards the beer surface back towards the environment, so reduces the rate at which O2 can diffuse to the beer. The more active the fermentation, the more effectively O2 is dragged away from the surface of the beer.

However, all of the above stops when active fermentation stops, and then the CO2 all quickly diffuses away from the beer surface.

Brew on :mug:
 

Miraculix

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All the above plus if some oxygen makes it into the beer (which it does in small amounts) the yeast will happily use it for growth and metabolism, so the O2 has not enough time in suspension to do real damage to the beer. It actually increases yeast health, so open fermentation for the first few days is really good based on my own experience. But as it has been said numerous times before, once fermentation slows down, the fermenter has better been closed or the beer been transfered to a sealed vessel.

And if these folks from the brewery tell you something about a CO2 blanket, they are either lying to simplify things or do not know what they are talking about.
 

tracer bullet

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Don’t shoot me, I’m just the messenger.
Messenger of what? They claim there's a CO2 blanket? If so, they'd be wrong, but I don't really care. FYI though if it affects anything you brew. Or you're just giving examples of beer fermented in the open which end up as tasty beers? If so, you missed the point, but we do agree.
 

Oleson M.D.

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Just passing along what the brewers at Dovetail do. Open fermentation. Just like Pilsner Urquell. That's all I know.

We did open fermentation decades ago. From start to finish. The beer was very good. Might try it again.
 

hotbeer

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Those commercial brewer's might be moving the open fermented beer to a bright tank or other vessel immediately after the krauesen or most of the very active fermentation is over.
 
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