I am brewing my second batch of beer, it's a belgian wit with an OG of 1.042. I started it yesterday and it has been coming out of the airlock since this morning. Should I take the airlock out and clean it or just leave it alone?
+1Lower the temp of the fermentor. Swamp cooler, Fermentor in another tub, add water and toss in some frozen water bottles, 72f. is too high for me, I like 60-65f.
I had the same thing happen to me in my first summer brewing. If you are serious about this hobby, you need a repeatable, reliable way to control fermentation temps. Period.Since this has many new brewers concerned about excessive blow off...Just a word of warning, spring is around the corner, followed closely by summer. I started my adventures in home brewing late fall and felt like I was a pretty good home brewer...until my first summer. A few pretty horrendous batches took place, then I started controlling fermentation temps.
Yeast metabolism is controlled in very large part by the temperature they are at. Hotter and yeast get more active. Cooler and they slow down a bit. For homebrewing you want active yeast that consume all the sugar you've worked so hard to provide for them, but you want them to pace themselves. Hot yeast will consume enough to make themselves literally explode. In the process they will cause funky flavors in your beer. Fermentation is a marathon (well, more like a 1/2 marathon) not a sprint. You want the yeast to get up to speed and maintain that speed for the duration of your fermentation.
Hot yeast produce more krausen. Big Krausen clogs airlocks. Clogged airlocks don't allow CO2 pressure to escape. CO2 pressure blows lids off buckets or stoppers out of carboys. When the lid blows off a bucket or the stopper out of an airlock krausen gets on the ceiling and the walls and the carpet and your wife's nice things. Don't get krausen on your wife's nice things... control femenatation temps...and use a blow-off tube.
^impersonating a Direct TV commercial.