Author Topic: Foil ok for topping a carboy and conditioning?  (Read 876 times)

Offline breweite

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Foil ok for topping a carboy and conditioning?
« on: May 14, 2014, 08:18:04 PM »
I want to cold condition a pale ale (3 weeks after pitching) but my fridge is full. I can place it on top of the motor in the fridge because it's a small 3 gallon glass carboy, however, an airlock won't fit.  Only a piece of tinfoil because it's about .25 of an inch from the top..  Would you recommend this, or do I risk an infection?

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Offline gmac

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Re: Foil ok for topping a carboy and conditioning?
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2014, 08:19:49 PM »
I've  been doing it without issue but I'm putting an elastic around it to hold it in place after fermentation. I doubt it really does much but it makes me feel good to go that extra mile.

Offline breweite

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Re: Foil ok for topping a carboy and conditioning?
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2014, 08:21:02 PM »
Thanks, u never worry about getting some of that fridge air sucked back in?
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Offline gmac

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Re: Foil ok for topping a carboy and conditioning?
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2014, 08:24:36 PM »
Sure, it's gonna happen a bit but its either gonna suck in air or whatever solution is in the air lock.  I don't worry that much about it. If you have a fridge full of mouldy food, you may have other issues to work through.

Offline breweite

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Re: Foil ok for topping a carboy and conditioning?
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2014, 08:57:15 PM »
..i may have a blowoff slurry or two in the corner that I should prob take care of...
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Offline alestateyall

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Foil ok for topping a carboy and conditioning?
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2014, 08:58:20 PM »
I think another concern is oxidation. The lower temp means more oxygen can be absorbed by your beer.

I don't know what will happen though. I have never tried it. At least gmac has some empirical evidence to suggest you won't have a problem.
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Offline Steve in TX

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Re: Foil ok for topping a carboy and conditioning?
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2014, 09:01:01 PM »
I'd be worried enough to pickup a solid stopper next order or trip to the LHBS. For now, do what you can.

Offline breweite

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Re: Foil ok for topping a carboy and conditioning?
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2014, 09:06:49 PM »
I'd be worried enough to pickup a solid stopper next order or trip to the LHBS. For now, do what you can.

Wow, I've been brewing for awhile and didn't know these existed... thanks!
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Offline breweite

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Re: Foil ok for topping a carboy and conditioning?
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2014, 09:10:30 PM »
I'd be worried enough to pickup a solid stopper next order or trip to the LHBS. For now, do what you can.

I feel like an idiot, after a quick google, I know exactly what they are... Thanks again, I may do a stopper and foil!
Cheers from Austin, Tejas!

Offline Jimmy K

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Re: Foil ok for topping a carboy and conditioning?
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2014, 09:24:50 PM »
I would use plastic wrap and rubber bands in a pinch.

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Offline erockrph

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Re: Foil ok for topping a carboy and conditioning?
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2014, 09:29:46 PM »
I would use plastic wrap and rubber bands in a pinch.

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+1 - I'd me more worried about oxidation than contamination. The plastic wrap would probably do a much better job of keeping air out than foil.
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Re: Foil ok for topping a carboy and conditioning?
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2014, 10:41:22 PM »
I'd be worried enough to pickup a solid stopper next order or trip to the LHBS. For now, do what you can.

Just don't put the stopper on before crashing. Carboys can't handle any negative pressure.
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Offline beersk

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Re: Foil ok for topping a carboy and conditioning?
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2014, 07:21:15 AM »
I'd be worried enough to pickup a solid stopper next order or trip to the LHBS. For now, do what you can.

Just don't put the stopper on before crashing. Carboys can't handle any negative pressure.
I've done it without issue. It just sucks the stopper down a bit.
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Offline dkfick

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Re: Foil ok for topping a carboy and conditioning?
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2014, 07:24:18 AM »
I'd be worried enough to pickup a solid stopper next order or trip to the LHBS. For now, do what you can.

Just don't put the stopper on before crashing. Carboys can't handle any negative pressure.
I regularly use a vacuum pump to transfer my meads and wines into glass carboys... they handle a little negative pressure just fine.
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Offline gmac

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Re: Foil ok for topping a carboy and conditioning?
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2014, 09:12:47 AM »
Ok, you've got a carboy with negative pressure. At some point, somewhere in the process you're going to have to pull that plug to get the beer out and unless you are working in an O2 free environment you're gonna get air sucked in. It may be cleaner than the fridge air but pretty much all air is gonna have some bacteria floating around in it.

If you want to cold crash without any possible issue, here is what I suggest. Put a blow off tube into a jar of vodka or neutral grain alcohol and let it suck up a little of that as it drops in pressure. Won't hurt your beer, will prevent air from getting in, wont create a negative pressure environment and is sterile enough for our needs. I use vodka in my air locks, when I use air locks, so that if it sucks anything in, it won't be a problem.

I have been meaning to spray down the inside of my beer cooler with a mild bleach solution but haven't done it yet. For me, no problem cold crashing with foil but as they say in Internet speak, YMMV. Either way good luck.