Author Topic: Foam & Beer Filled Airlock  (Read 5679 times)

Offline dhump4free

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Foam & Beer Filled Airlock
« on: December 03, 2010, 08:47:59 PM »
Just a warning, this is the first beer I have ever attempted to brew. So please go easy, I've got really shaky knees since I'm a rookie. I brewed and started fermenting this beer yesterday. It's a Brown Ale and I got recipe from Eric at Homebrew Provisions. When I got home from work today I checked it and it was hissing really bad and it looked like this:



The airlock is filled with foam and other stuff and leaked a little bit of liquid onto the floor where i was storing it. I moved it to the kitchen (in case something explodes) and let it sit there and foam for a bit. After some really serious hissing I popped a little bit of the airlock open when hops and other mash went everywhere as seen in the picture.

I've been reading around on the internet and everywhere seems to say I'm ok, its just a very vigorous reaction with the yeast. Everyone else also says since its just a lot of CO2 being released from the carboy I don't need to be too worried about infection. What I would want to do is clean out the airlock to allow maximum gas flow but what I don't want to do is remove the airlock and have hops and mash all over the place and not in the beer.

Do I need to remove the airlock to clean it? Should I be worried about contamination while I am cleaning and re-sanitizing the airlock? I haven't ruined my beer have I? What can I do in the future to keep this from happening or is this really normal?

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 13289
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Foam & Beer Filled Airlock
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2010, 08:53:00 PM »
Welcome to the club!  Take your airlock off and temporarily put a piece of foil over the top of the carboy.  Foil is sanitary right off the roll, so you'll be good to go.  Wash your airlock and sanitize it, then replace it.  To prevent it in the future, either use a bigger fermenter or a blowoff tube.  See http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter9.html for details.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline bluesman

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8808
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: Foam & Beer Filled Airlock
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2010, 09:21:56 PM »
Welcome to the club!  Take your airlock off and temporarily put a piece of foil over the top of the carboy.  Foil is sanitary right off the roll, so you'll be good to go.  Wash your airlock and sanitize it, then replace it.  To prevent it in the future, either use a bigger fermenter or a blowoff tube.  See http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter9.html for details.

+1

Been there...done that...got the T-shirt.

As Denny said remove/wash/sanitize and replace the airlock. It may happen again, so keep an eye on it.
The beer will be fine.  Blowoff tubes are the way to go for this condition.

Good Luck!

Welcome to the club.  8)
Ron Price

Offline euge

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7396
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: Foam & Beer Filled Airlock
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2010, 10:15:36 PM »
Looks like a successful fermentation. Don't fill it so full and you won't have a blow off problem. But with a blow-off tube it's no problem- see?

Welcome to the obsession.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline dhump4free

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Foam & Beer Filled Airlock
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2010, 02:56:53 AM »
Thanks guys, I jerry rigged a little blow off tube until I can run to home depot in the morning to create something a little more solid.

@ euge If I don't fill the carboy so full I won't have this problem? I feel like the pressure would be created no matter how much liquid is inside but I also have no idea what I'm talking about.

Offline oscarvan

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1707
    • View Profile
Re: Foam & Beer Filled Airlock
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2010, 05:14:29 AM »
It's ALIVE....... looking good! Remember, things that are REALLY good are sometimes a little messy....... ;D

Meanwhile what the gents above said. It will calm down in a day or two......
Wooden Shoe Brew Works (not a commercial operation) Bethlehem, PA
http://www.woodenshoemusic.com/WSBW/WSBW_All_grain_Setup.html
I brew WITH style..... not necessarily TO style.....

Offline tumarkin

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 621
    • View Profile
Re: Foam & Beer Filled Airlock
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2010, 06:55:33 AM »
I think most of us have been there, done that, and got that tshirt. Larger fermenters, blow-off tubes are good options. Fermcap is a newer option. It will help prevent blow off in the fermenter, or boil over in the kettle. Better living through chemistry.
Mark Tumarkin
Hogtown Brewers
Gainesville, FL

Offline euge

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7396
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: Foam & Beer Filled Airlock
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2010, 09:46:44 AM »
Thanks guys, I jerry rigged a little blow off tube until I can run to home depot in the morning to create something a little more solid.

@ euge If I don't fill the carboy so full I won't have this problem? I feel like the pressure would be created no matter how much liquid is inside but I also have no idea what I'm talking about.

Or you could get a bigger fermenter as Denny suggests, but that might not be practical. With more head space the krausen has room to expand without forcing itself out through the airlock or blow-off tube. But it's all good. Blow off tubes are a good solution. It also depends on type of yeast. Some have a tendency to go really "crazy"!
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman