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What's going on here? (Pic)

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bluesman:

--- Quote from: majorvices on April 28, 2010, 04:26:15 AM ---What temp did you pitch the yeast and what temp is it now? How large head space did you leave yourself? Warm picthing and fermentation temps tend to increase blow off potential. Obviously head space contributes as well.

You can rig a blow off tube really easily, just get a piece of tubing that fits over the neck on the inside of the airlock and make it long enough to reach into a container filled with water or star san to contain the mess.

--- End quote ---

What the major said.

I've had some Belgian stains react like this before. Head space is paramount as well as a blow off tube. Without knowing the details of your ferment I'd say there's one hell of a party happening inside your fermenter.

richardt:
This is why I always put the carboys in the tub!  

The purpose of the airlock is to keep airborne bacteria and wild yeast out of the wort.
When the airlock gets contaminated with krausen, you should clean it.
Back when I was just getting started with brewing, I stored the Mr Beer keg on the upper shelf of the hallway closet near the kitchen.  On a batch of RIS, the lid got blocked and blew a bunch of beer all over the hallway closet and went all over a nice wool/cashmere winter overcoat.  Took a long time to clean that off.
Experience is such a brutal teacher!

I sanitize a plastic cup and place it over the opening after removing the airlock [+stopper].
A small kid's cup works fine for covering the airlock hole on flat bucket lids, while a larger and heavier [stadium-18 oz] cup or plastic gallon pitcher works better for carboys and better bottles.
It's good and quick fix if you're in a hurry out the door and don't have time to clean the mess properly.

When you do have the time, clean the airlock and wipe the carboy neck with isopropyl alcohol and reattach.

rjharper:
I learnt to switch to a blow off tube after I pitched an oatmeal stout, then went away for the weekend.  Came home to find a plugged airlock on the floor, and hops/yeast all over the ceiling.  Had to redecorate because of that one.  Stout was still good though...

majorvices:

--- Quote from: richardt on April 29, 2010, 10:21:06 AM ---This is why I always put the carboys in the tub!  

The purpose of the airlock is to keep airborne bacteria and wild yeast out of the wort.
When the airlock gets contaminated with krausen, you should clean it.
.

--- End quote ---

I wouldn;t say it is "contaminated" with krausen though. As long as there is positive pressure coming out of the carboy it is almost impossible for an infection to take hold. If, for instance, he has his fermenter in a "wet area" and doesn;t mind cleaning up the miess he could simply leave it until the krausen starts to drop.

Plus, (I'll say it again just to make sure everyone is listening  :P ): if you pitch the right amount yeast (ie: that usually means making a starter with liquid yeast) at teh right temp (that means low to mid 60s for most ale strains) you won't get very many blow offs. I very, very rarely get one. If, OTOH, you pitch your yeast and leave it in your 70 degree living room with no way to reign in the temp - yeah, its probably going to go all over the place (and give you a beer with more off flavors to boot.)

The Professor:
How big is your fermenter, what's the batch size (5 gal?), and how much yeast did you pitch?  I've had some turbulent ferments on my stronger brews, but never a blowout (and I don't use a blowoff tube)...but I do use a 7gal acid carboy for my fermentations. 

I don't like the blowoff tube concept (why lose all that beer and yeast)    ....maybe  in the future you might consider fermenting in a larger vessel to contain the process.

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