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BodyByBurgerKing

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MAJOR problems this evening folks.

Went to check my 2 buckets fermenting in the garage. 1 Ale , 1 stout.
The Stout looks good, still bubbling slightly, almost time.

BUT.....the Ale looks like it burped up in to the airlock, and the bucket lid is slightly off on one edge. :confused: The airlock is full of fermented wort.
Opened things up completely, looked inside, something has DEFINETLY gone awry. What the heck happened?????

Temp was a consistant 65 to 70 degrees, sanitized and cleaned as usual ( this was my 9th 2 bucket batch) cooled down to 70 degrees within 30 minutes ( thats the best I can do ).

Any suggestion?


Dunno what I'm gonna do if my beer runs out....... :D


Regards,

BBBK
 

Janx

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Sounds like you just had a vigorous fermentation and it decided to blow off out of your fermenter. No biggie. Happens all the time. Clean it up and let it finish. Cheers! :D
 

DeRoux's Broux

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BodyByBurgerKing said:
MAJOR problems this evening folks.

Went to check my 2 buckets fermenting in the garage. 1 Ale , 1 stout.
The Stout looks good, still bubbling slightly, almost time.

BUT.....the Ale looks like it burped up in to the airlock, and the bucket lid is slightly off on one edge. :confused: The airlock is full of fermented wort.
Opened things up completely, looked inside, something has DEFINETLY gone awry. What the heck happened?????

Temp was a consistant 65 to 70 degrees, sanitized and cleaned as usual ( this was my 9th 2 bucket batch) cooled down to 70 degrees within 30 minutes ( thats the best I can do ).

Any suggestion?


Dunno what I'm gonna do if my beer runs out....... :D


Regards,

BBBK
my first all-grain hefeweizen did the same thing a few weeks ago. blew the lid of my primary bucket twice in the middle of the night. i just cleaned/sanitized the lid and lock again, put it all back on. i left the top of the ferm lock off until the next evening to let pressure out (and foaming!). after a day or so, i put it all back together. i tasted it this weekend for the first time, and all is good!

Cheers!
DeRoux's Broux
 

harleysilo

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Wow, I would have never guessed that much pressure could have built up. I would have thought the airlock would have allowed it all to escape. I'm asking because I store my primarys and secondaries in the spare carpeted guest bedroom, I guess I could always put them in a large trash bag!

do you think the old tube into a bucket of water would have been more affective?
 

DeRoux's Broux

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harleysilo said:
Wow, I would have never guessed that much pressure could have built up. I would have thought the airlock would have allowed it all to escape. I'm asking because I store my primarys and secondaries in the spare carpeted guest bedroom, I guess I could always put them in a large trash bag!

do you think the old tube into a bucket of water would have been more affective?
oh yea, it sounded like a drive-by in the kitchen! :) it had never happened to me before, but had always heard the stories. it just had so much activity and pressure, the foam was clogging up the ferm lock and the pressure just got to be too much. i always but my primary in my small brew kettle. but when it blows like that, there isn't much you can do. i'd keep it in the kitchen to be safe (or extra bathtub).
i just got two 6.5 gallon carboys that i want to start using as primary fermentors, and will set up for a blow-off tube, just in case i see one getting crazy again. blow-off tubes can still get clogged and blow the stopper though.....

Cheers!
DeRoux's Broux
 

Rhoobarb

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It's funny that you posted this, as I just had the same thing happen to me last night. Yesterday I brewed a Nut Brown Ale and I decided to use Janx' method of using the yeast cake at the bottom of the primary fermenter from a previous batch. Well, I had just racked my IPA to secondary that morning, so I poured the finished Nut Brown Ale over the IPA's yeast cake (a White Labs Burton Ale yeast) that evening.

First of all, let me say that Janx' method rocks! :D If you are looking for a quick, vigorous fermentation, this is for you! Fermentation began within an hour and after three hours, it was so vigorous that I couldn't keep count of the bubbles in the airlock! :eek:

I woke up at 3am to find that the yeast and bubbles were beginning to spill out of the airlock! And this was a 5 gallon batch in a 6.5 gallon glass carboy! :( So, I hurriedly made a make shift blow-off tube and covered the whole carboy with a big, brown, unused paper lawn waste bag that I happened to have in the garage - just in case it does decide to spew like Moby Dick!

I've never had this happen, but I have to say I'm not worried. I think all will be fine. I'm hoping that when I get home tonight, the fermentation has calmed enough that I can go back to using the airlock.

I think I'm gonna need a bigger carboy!
 

ryser2k

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Since everyone seems to have problems with this "yeast cake" method, would it maybe be better to remove some of the yeast before pouring your new wort over it? I never tried this, but if I do I don't want to have to worry about the lid blowing off...
 
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BodyByBurgerKing

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Janx said:
Sounds like you just had a vigorous fermentation and it decided to blow off out of your fermenter. No biggie. Happens all the time. Clean it up and let it finish. Cheers! :D
Wow....thanks for all the responses.

Cleaned things up, resanitized the airlock and installed again. I peeked under the lid and everything looked nasty as usual....but smelled fine. :p I'm hopin everything turns out good.

Never had this happend before, so I guess I was just lucky. Ahhhh....but the garage smells GREAT now. :D

Happy Brewing.


BBBK
 

Rhoobarb

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BodyByBurgerKing said:
... Cleaned things up, resanitized the airlock and installed again. I peeked under the lid and everything looked nasty as usual....but smelled fine. :p I'm hopin everything turns out good....
BBBK

Did the same myself last night and all seems fine. Bubbling about once every four seconds as of this morning.


ryser2k said:
... would it maybe be better to remove some of the yeast before pouring your new wort over it?...

I was wondering the same thing last night. Anyone ever tried this?
 

Janx

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Hmm...I haven't seen too many people remarking on problems with this method. Most seem to really like it. Myself, I love it. And it has nothing to do with whether you get a blowoff or not.

The thing is, you *want* a fast, vigorous fermentation. You don't want to remove yeast because that'll slow it down and increase lag time. All that would do is force the yeast to multiply more before fermenting. So you might delay the blowoff, but it would still blow off if it was going to.

The thing with blowoffs is you simply need a large enough fermenter for your batch. A 6 gallon carboy just isn't big enough for a 5 gallon batch. You could pitch a tiny amount of yeast in it, and the yeast would still multiply and blow off...it would just take longer to do so. So whether you pitch a large or small amount of yeast, the yeast will still breed to the same population and it will still blow off if conditions are right.

Everyone needs to understand that the amount of yeast added is not the amount that ends up in there. Yeast will always multiply to saturation level before consuming sugars, so you only hurt your beer by increasing lag time if you add less yeast. Adding less yeast doesn't decrease your blowoff chances, and having a weak fermentation is no solution to the blowoff issue. There's a really simple solution.

Get a bigger fermenter! They make all sizes of food grade plastic buckets. Get a 10 gallon one for your 5 gallon batches and you'll never have a blowoff. Then you can rack onto your yeast cake and enjoy the benefits of a good fermentation. It's a bad idea to shortchange your fermentation because you don't want to buy a bigger bucket.
 

Rhoobarb

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Janx said:
... Get a bigger fermenter! They make all sizes of food grade plastic buckets...
I hear what you're saying; makes perfect sense now that I think about it. But I don't want any more plastic buckets! :mad: ;) I like my glass carboys. (Remember the plastic vs. glass thread?) I can't recall seeing larger glass fermenters. I remember reading here about thin-walled demijohns and the like, but I want something durable.

I guess I could shop around for larger glass carboys or even spring for a stainless steel fermenter. 'Cause I love the quick and violent fermentation I got out of this current batch! :D But I like being able to see that action!
 

Janx

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I like my demijohns, but they are unwieldy because of their size and they are more fragile than carboys. However, they come with these plastic tub/covers so that you can keep light out, and it protects them well, too. If you are careful about keeping it in the plastic case, it's pretty darn safe.

I think they make 7 or 7.5 gallon carboys, too...

I'd look into getting some cask kegs...the kind of stainless keg with the bung on the side. A buddy ferments his wine in those. I'm looking into them, but I'm sketched out about not being able to see inside to clean it. In the end, I think demojohns are going to be the answer for me unless I go to a conical at some point.

FWIW, this is the type of demijohn I use...mine are green...maybe the clear ones are tougher...I get them for $40 from my HBS and I've only ever broken one (of 5 I have owned over the years), and that was stupid carelessness. http://www.homebrewheaven.com/7-gallon-fermenator---conical-bottom.htm
 

uglygoat

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what kind of filter element do those conicals have? how do you keep the slime out of your beer?

i like it though, i like stainless steel.

i've had no blow ups in my 6.5 carboy. i don't make very high gravity beers though. i only have one five gallon batch that's been in the secondary for over a month, the rest get bottled within 4 weeks of boiling the wort.
 

Janx

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You pull the trub out the bottom first. You can easily collect yeast for re-use in this way, and you don't need to rack to secondary. You remove the trub from the beer instead of vice versa.
 

Rhoobarb

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Janx said:
I like my demijohns, but they are unwieldy because of their size and they are more fragile than carboys. However, they come with these plastic tub/covers so that you can keep light out, and it protects them well, too. ...
Ahhh, I have seen those at my LHBS. Never paid much attention to them. Will definitely look next time I am in there. That may be my answer!
 
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BodyByBurgerKing

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Just an update.....

Bottled both the stout and ale today, and ALL went well.

From now on ,I'll never let a burping airlock get between me and my sanity. :p

Now just a couple a weeks of patience.............

BBBK
 
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