Quantcast

Exploding Carboy

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

IWokeUpWithGills

New Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2008
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Hey - new brewer and first time posting here :ban:

Checked on the brew this morning - the carboy exploded. Am using a 5 gal glass carboy with a rubber cork and small airlock. Foam had risen to the top of the carboy and popped out the cork and the airlock - and continued to gout foam, enough to fill up the garbage can full of water which i ferment in. (fishtank heater in water bath to keep 70° fermentation temperature)

This is my first all grain batch - got an initial gravity of 1.092 (5 gal batch, 15 lb grain, 1 lb dry spray malt) which is suuper high.

Gonna end up with some unconverted sugars - am using nottingham yeast which should be good for like 11.5 or so percent alc... butttt

Has this happened to anybody else? A high grav. fermenter just going wild? What do you do? What should i do? Foam Blowout!
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2007
Messages
7,763
Reaction score
172
Location
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
a blowoff tube is key for most brews. It is asically just a large diameter tube that fits in the neck of your primary. The foam can travel through the blowoff tube without making a huge mess.
 

Moonpile

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2007
Messages
667
Reaction score
2
Location
Pasadena, MD
A five gallon batch (assuming that was your batch size) in a five gallon carboy is almost always going to blow off to some degree or another. Try using a blowoff hose.

We put our 5-6 gal batches in a 6.5 and always, always, ALWAYS start out with a blowoff hose. Sometimes it turns out we needed it, and sometimes not.

Look on the bright side: A) you should be able to salvage whatever's left, B) you had the foresight to put the whole thing in a container, thereby saving a lot of mess, and C) at least your carboy didn't actually explode!

Cheers + more beers.
 

FlyGuy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2007
Messages
3,604
Reaction score
219
Location
Calgary, Alberta
Three words: Fermcap foam control.

I am considering throwing away my carboy-cap blow offs, 1" blow off tubes, and monster PVC blow-off tubes. Don't need em. I use foam control in my boil now, and no more boil-overs -- and the great thing is that it prevents run-away blow-offs in the fermenter too. All I need is the simple, cheap, easy-to-clean airlock and no worries.

So far, I can't see any downside to using this product. Works exactly as described. Magic stuff, right up their with Star San and 5.2 pH stabilizer.
 

sonetlumiere85

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2008
Messages
389
Reaction score
5
I have a question related to blow offs - do they need to have an airtight seal, to keep bacteria and such out? I've seen some setups before where it just looks like the tubing is placed in the neck of the carboy and the other end in sanitizer solution.
 

uglygoat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
2,765
Reaction score
10
Location
Clebland, OH
when you said exploding carboy, i thought you made a canister round! when my ferments shoot the stopper out, or just push foam and yeast through the airlock and stopper, i just remove them and let em leak for a spell. if i catch it ahead of time, i'll hook up a blow off. if i miss it for a day or two i just refit with an airlock when the foam dies down. beers pretty tough, especially when it's spraying itself on your wall/ceiling...
 
OP
I

IWokeUpWithGills

New Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2008
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
so... what i am hearing is : blowoff tube :mug:

some vinyl tubing pushed into the top of the carboy, and overflowing into... a bucket full of water?

Thanks for all your replies - just knowing that this is a common problem puts my mind at ease.
 

uglygoat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
2,765
Reaction score
10
Location
Clebland, OH
it's not only a common problem gills, but a desired outcome. if your ferment is blowing it's top, then you are doing something good....

when i say blow off, i mean a drilled stopper with a hose submersed in some water. it lets the ****e push out, and keeps it in a jar. :)
 

FlyGuy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2007
Messages
3,604
Reaction score
219
Location
Calgary, Alberta
PintOfBitter said:
hey does that fermcap stuff kill your head retention?
Nope, not at all. It all falls out in the fermenter and sinks hard to the bottom. The only reason it works in the boil kettle or fermenter is that the constant motion of boiling wort or fermenting beer keeps the stuff suspended.

In fact, the makers of this stuff claim that it may actually IMPROVE your head retention. When you get a big blow-off, a lot of the proteins that are responsible for head retention get pushed out the fermenter. By preventing the blow-off, you save these proteins so that they can contribute to head in your beer. Seems logical.
 

bigjohnmilford

bigger than most
Joined
Oct 1, 2007
Messages
2,279
Reaction score
71
Location
southern mass
If your doing 5 gallon batches in a 5 gallon carboy you need a bigger primary or this is going to happen to you every time. You need some head space.
 

MULE

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
400
Reaction score
8
Location
Maryland
+1 on the 6.5 gallon carboy and blow off tube. I learned this lesson the hard way too. In fact, my brother and I are bottling our natural disaster batch tomorrow. :)
 

TexLaw

Here's Lookin' Atcha!
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 19, 2007
Messages
3,673
Reaction score
36
Location
Houston, Texas
FlyGuy said:
Three words: Fermcap foam control.

I am considering throwing away my carboy-cap blow offs, 1" blow off tubes, and monster PVC blow-off tubes. Don't need em. I use foam control in my boil now, and no more boil-overs -- and the great thing is that it prevents run-away blow-offs in the fermenter too. All I need is the simple, cheap, easy-to-clean airlock and no worries.

So far, I can't see any downside to using this product. Works exactly as described. Magic stuff, right up their with Star San and 5.2 pH stabilizer.
+1, absolutely. I've been using the stuff for years and swear by it. It works like a charm in the kettle and primary, and it does not kill head retention at all.


TL
 

JoePolvino

Active Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2008
Messages
34
Reaction score
1
Another option is to ferment in a large bucket or barrel. I ferment 5 gallon batches in a 9 gallon plastic barrel with a screw-on lid that has an airlock grommet. Plenty of head space and easy to clean.
 

Latest posts

Top