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Danbcha

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Just opened up my closet where my beer ferments and heard a little noise, like water running. My root beer had made a vacuum and sucked 3/4 of a mason jar of Star San up through the blow off hose...

I'm sure it's ruined, but... Is it ruined? Dump it and restart? What do I do? And why did it suck all that water in? Doesn't yeast create pressure via CO2 output?
 
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Danbcha

Danbcha

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I let it sit for an extra two weeks or so while I finished up finals at school.... Bad idea? I don't even have the bottles to do anything with it tonight... I'm quite sad...
 

IslandLizard

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About a pint of it? In a 5 gallon batch I doubt you could taste it or even trace it. It only diluted your root beer just a little.

Once the yeast stops CO2 production a pressure balance forms. Then when the temps drop a bit the volume in your fermentor decreases which creates suction, hence the siphoning back of your Starsan.

Read up on ways to prevent this the next time.
 
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Danbcha

Danbcha

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Thanks! I appreciate it. I'll get to bottling it tomorrow I suppose.
 

IslandLizard

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Thanks! I appreciate it. I'll get to bottling it tomorrow I suppose.
Yeah, but only bottle if it's really done. It may still need a few more days or a week to condition out and knock a few points off. Gravity readings should be close to the expected and the same 3 days apart. Or use plastic bottles.

The blow off tube is good for the first part of fermentation when large amounts of CO2 need to be released quickly and effectively while preventing krausen from clogging the outlet. When CO2 production subsides and krausen has fallen back a bit, you really should replace the blowoff with a regular airlock. Even they can suck back. Beware, the fill line on 3-piece airlocks is way too high, so only use a minimum of liquid required for them to still operate correctly. Keep an eye on them every few days so they don't dry out.
 

johnsant

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One recommendation would be to make sure that your wort temp. is close to your fermentation temp. this would prevent a vacuum form forming in the fermenter and sucking the star-san into it. Best of luck. :)
 
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