Author Topic: Air Lock Drips Vodka Into Fermenting IPA  (Read 2293 times)

Offline wamille

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 195
    • View Profile
Air Lock Drips Vodka Into Fermenting IPA
« on: September 10, 2010, 06:09:17 PM »
Will a shot or three of vodka ruin an IPA I currently have fermenting?  For some reason, the vodka that I put in the air lock has been getting sucked into the fermenter.  I know it didn't stop the fermentation process as my 1.075 OG wort is now 1.010 FG beer.  The taste is fairly alcoholic... guessing the vodka.  Also, any suggestions for fixing this problem?  Perhaps put cooled, boiled water in the air lock vice vodka?

Offline richardt

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1227
    • View Profile
Re: Air Lock Drips Vodka Into Fermenting IPA
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2010, 06:14:24 PM »
What was the fermentation temperature?  House temp or fermentation fridge?

Buckets and better bottles create pressure shifts (positive and negative) during handling and movement. 
Get in the habit of putting the air lock on last after moving the fermenter around and removing the air lock first before moving it around. 
Then it won't be as likely to happen.

Offline wamille

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 195
    • View Profile
Re: Air Lock Drips Vodka Into Fermenting IPA
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2010, 06:34:23 PM »
The fermentation temperature is a steady 72 F.  I have the Blichmann 14.5 gallon conical next to our AC unit and it stays on around the clock.  I guess it's the movement of the fermenter that is causing the pressure to suck the vodka into the beer.  I guess I have a vodka-spiced IPA, huh?  I can't believe the fermentation continued considering the two or three ounces of vodka that slowly sucked into the beer.  So for future reference, any movement should be preceded by the removal of the air lock - got it.  Thanks for the help.

Offline tygo

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2622
  • Sterling, VA
    • View Profile
Re: Air Lock Drips Vodka Into Fermenting IPA
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2010, 06:49:22 PM »
A couple ounces of vodka might be giving you the alcohol flavor but that's an 8.5% beer all by itself so the alcohol might moderate a bit all by itself.  Might want to consider using some starsan solution in the airlock rather than vodka in the future.  Not much flavor impact if a little of that gets sucked in.

On a side note, that's some pretty healthy attenuation there.  Did you have some sugar in your recipe?
Clint
Wort Hogs

Fermenting: Wit
On Tap: Lucifer's Hammer Golden Strong Ale, Dopplebock, Old Fuzzynut's Ale

Offline wamille

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 195
    • View Profile
Re: Air Lock Drips Vodka Into Fermenting IPA
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2010, 07:32:57 PM »
I actually blended my 1.072 OG with four gallons of a 9.2% IPA that was still in it's fermenter.  I (stupidly) slowly poured the 9.2% IPA into the 1.072 OG wort to make it an even 10 gallons of IPA.  The fermentation started quite slowly (as I learn more about fermentation I pick up some knowledge... the 9.2% IPA yeast was worn out), so I was continually shaking the conical to get the fermentation to work more vigorously.  That's when the vodka apparently got sucked into the beer.  I guess the continued shaking helped get the yeast working.  It was a White Labs 001 yeast and has proven to be one heckuva strong guy.  I'm just worried that the beer is going to be quite estery (I've read that a slowly attenuating yeast will do that... and it initially smelled a bit like bananas... wheat beer smell... which has gone away mostly).  The beer does have a strong alcohol taste... not sure if that will go away or how to correct it at this point... maybe add some maltodextrin???

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8197
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Air Lock Drips Vodka Into Fermenting IPA
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2010, 10:06:34 PM »
I don't think it's the vodka at all.  Even assuming you dumped 4 ounces of 100 proof vodka into 5 gallons, you've got 640 ounces of beer, and you added 4*50%/640, that's less than 0.33% ABV added to your beer.

But the vodka was probably 40%, it was probably less than 4 ounces, and you probably have more than 5 gallons in that 14.5 gallon fermenter.  So I think it's probably more like 0.1% ABV added.  If it tastes alcoholic, I think it is more likely from the 72F fermentation temp or the huge attenuation.
Tom Schmidlin

beveragebob

  • Guest
Re: Air Lock Drips Vodka Into Fermenting IPA
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2010, 06:40:27 PM »
I'd recommend that you aggressively dry hop it(at least 4 oz.), then cold condition it for at least 3 or 4 weeks and it should mellow out the alcohol flavor.

Online kylekohlmorgen

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1346
  • Saint Louis, MO
    • View Profile
    • The South House Pilot Brewery
Re: Air Lock Drips Vodka Into Fermenting IPA
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2010, 10:08:37 AM »
I'd recommend that you aggressively dry hop it(at least 4 oz.), then cold condition it for at least 3 or 4 weeks and it should mellow out the alcohol flavor.

+1

High-gravity beers can be hot/solventy after primary. Dry-hopping gives you a few weeks to let it mellow while still tasting fresh. Plus I love the aroma/flavor contribution of dry-hops... won't ever do an IPA without it!

I usually use 2-4 oz / 5 gallons.
Twitter/Instagram: @southhousebrew

Recipes, Brett/Bacteria Experiments: http://SouthHouseBeer.com/

Offline tubercle

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1639
  • Sweet Caroline
    • View Profile
Re: Air Lock Drips Vodka Into Fermenting IPA
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2010, 03:19:15 PM »
To answer your original question - no.
Sweet Caroline where the Sun rises over the deep blue sea and sets somewhere beyond Tennessee