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Massive pressure but no airlock activity

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farqy

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hello!
my first batch appears to be fermenting well enough. but my 5 gallon plastic fermenting bucket looks ready to explode and there is no airlock activity. im using a plastic s-shape airlock, and there is no block because it bubbles when i press down on the lid. so why is co2 not easily escaping the airlock to release pressure.

also, there is plenty of foam except where the airlock is possitioned. is this a sign of contamination?

cheers
Joe
 

hodge

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Really difficult to know what's going on, but the last thing you want is for your bucket to explode. My thought is to just have the lid loosely on the top at this point. As long as things can't fall into your wort you should be fine.
 
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There either has to be a blockage or the end of the tube is below the level of the liquid.
If you're home, I would crack open that lid right now, or you might be cleaning beergunk off the ceiling.
Hope I'm wrong.
good luck :mug:
 
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farqy

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JimRausch you beautiful person! the airlock has been submerged in the beer, what a rookie error haha. That'll put my mind at ease, thanks very much for the help.
 

wildactbrewer

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If it bubbles when you press on it I would think that maybe there is a leak somewhere. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, buckets tend to leak anyway, as long as there isn't air getting back in. I would first do what was said earlier and vent the pressure, if only just to see what kind of pressure is in there and to avoid a "bucket bomb!"

But most likely there is air escaping somewhere else and no need to worry. If the bucket is pressurized there is obviously no air getting back in.
 
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farqy

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thanks so much chaps, preblem solved. I had stupidly pushed the airlock too far down and was submerged in beer but it's now doing it's thing without issue. cheers again, happy brewing!
 

unionrdr

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JimRausch you beautiful person! the airlock has been submerged in the beer, what a rookie error haha. That'll put my mind at ease, thanks very much for the help.
Are you brewing 5 gallons in a 5 gallon bucket or something? The airlock end should be some distance above the surface of the beer with head space.
 

johngaltsmotor

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Just to reassure you that it won't explode...
If you press on the lid and it bubbles that means it isn't blocked, it may not be building enough pressure to bubble (due to a poor seal to the bucket) but that also means it won't build enough pressure to explode.

If the water in the "S" is 2" higher from one side to the other (typical) that is measured as 2inches of Water Column. This equates to .072PSI. And the bucket lid is 12" dia which has a surface area of 108square inches. That means there is almost 8lb pushing up. Think about turning the lid over and putting a 8lb weight on it, it is going to bow quite a bit, they are flimsy plastic. They don't need to be sturdy because that airlock limits the pressure they could experience (as long as it isn't plugged).
 

unionrdr

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Look at what he's saying. "S" type airlock,with the end below the surface of the beer. It sounds like he's using a bucket the size of the batch volume.
 
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farqy

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Look at what he's saying. "S" type airlock,with the end below the surface of the beer. It sounds like he's using a bucket the size of the batch volume.
yeah its pretty full, but there is a good few inches between the beer and the lid so there is room for foam and co2 etc. im just gonna keep a close eye on it now. im just hoping that the airlock hasnt contaminated after sitting in the liquid. pretty sure i sanitized it well enough though.
 
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farqy

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So how big is the bucket & how much beer is in it? Like 5 gallons in a 5.5 gallon bucket?
surposed to hold 5 gallons, but total volume is probably 5.5. there is just over 5 gallons of liquid. i am now more concerned that the brown specks on the foam (which i hear are normal) are all concentrated where the airlock had been submerged. I really hope this isnt a sign of oxidisation or infection. need this batch to taste amazing!!
 
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surposed to hold 5 gallons, but total volume is probably 5.5. there is just over 5 gallons of liquid. i am now more concerned that the brown specks on the foam (which i hear are normal) are all concentrated where the airlock had been submerged. I really hope this isnt a sign of oxidisation or infection. need this batch to taste amazing!!
No guarentees, but I'd be willing to bet on NO contamination/infection.
You'll be fine. You're making beer, what could be better?
 

unionrdr

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A 6 to 6.5 gallon bucket for a 5 gallon batch would be better. With virtually no head space,that's an accident looking for a place to happen.
 
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I hope to some day, maybe when I've been brewing as long as Yooper or Denny, to be able to say "I've made every mistake in the book". Not there yet, but I've sure made my share, including having the end of the airlock below the surface. Like you, I caught it in time.
 

wildactbrewer

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I wouldn't worry about the brown specs...probably just yeast. The fact that they are all crowded around the place where the airlock made contact is because it provided something for them to stick to. No worries but I would advise going with a blow off tube for sure as posted above.
 
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