Author Topic: Blowout into the airlock  (Read 1271 times)

Offline cytorunner

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Blowout into the airlock
« on: January 25, 2011, 10:43:19 PM »
I seem to have a bit of an interesting situation with a two day old Indian Brown Ale.  When got home this evening I noticed that the krausen had reached the top of my fermenting bucket and into the airlock.  The the air lock water was cloudy and had what I assume was yeast sediment in the bottom.  I peeked into the bucket and there is still a substantial foam head and the beer smell good.  I removed the cloudy airlock an replaced it with new sanitized airlock and I am going to let the batch ferment on.  I don't have any contamination concerns, I am really just curious as to why this happened.  Did I receive a strain of supercharged yeast (I knew that these where special yeast when the liquid pack swelled in hours and the starter looked a bit carbonated)?  I filled the bucket to 5gals and the wort was nicely boiled with a OG of 1.0583.  I am excited to see how low the attenuation will go and I am definitely going to attempt a culture.  I would love your thought as to why and maybe give me a few tips on yeast culture.

Jim
Jim

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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Blowout into the airlock
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2011, 11:33:01 PM »
How big is the bucket? It's not unusual to get blow off. it means you have a good healthy ferment going on.
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Offline euge

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Re: Blowout into the airlock
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2011, 01:12:40 AM »
Some yeast will climb out of the fermenter almost- but it also depends on how much headspace there is in the fermenter. How far is the airlock stem stuck through the lid? And 5 gallons- what size bucket if you don't mind me asking?

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

Offline tumarkin

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Re: Blowout into the airlock
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2011, 03:28:13 AM »
fermenting yeast look at life as a party. they party hard. this is good.

blowing out airlocks and bucket lids is not good (but not the end of the world, usually). when the blow-off hits the ceiling, this is not good.

headroom in your fermenter is good. blow-off tubes are good. fermcap-s foam inhibitor is good (and can be used in boil kettle and/or fermenter). while the yeast like (and help create) higher temps, fermentation temp control is good. this can be as simple as immersing in a swamp cooler, but having a dedicated fermentation fridge or freezer with a temp controller is very good.
Mark Tumarkin
Hogtown Brewers
Gainesville, FL

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Blowout into the airlock
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2011, 06:09:04 AM »
I think the amount of krausen also depends on the characteristics of the beer.  I generally see it as a good sign if the krausen is high since this means your foam-stabilizing proteins are at a good level.

I am making a 3gal batch of bitter in a 6gal carboy and it was up to the neck yesterday.  Its only fermenting at 58F but I did pitch on an entire yeast cake of West Yorkshire ale yeast.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline cytorunner

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Re: Blowout into the airlock
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2011, 06:38:57 AM »
Some yeast will climb out of the fermenter almost- but it also depends on how much headspace there is in the fermenter. How far is the airlock stem stuck through the lid? And 5 gallons- what size bucket if you don't mind me asking?



I have a 61/2 gallon fermenting bucket and the airlock stem is only half an inch into the lid.  When I checked it this morning its seems to have cooled down a bit.  So now I just have to wait and check the gravity.   
Jim

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Offline micsager

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Re: Blowout into the airlock
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2011, 11:20:51 AM »
I think you'll be fine.  This happens to me about 50% of the time.  I replace with clean, sanitized, and RDWHAHB.

Offline euge

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Re: Blowout into the airlock
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2011, 11:33:20 AM »
A gallon and a half minus the half inch due to the stem isn't much head-space. With such an ale you should consider using fermcap-s to keep the foam down. That or invest in a bigger fermenter at some point. ;)

Ultimately it isn't a big deal but could get messy.

Reusing the yeast... I like to divide the yeast-cake up from lower gravity beers into sanitized PET bottles. The 20oz soft-drink bottles work well. I keep them in the fridge until needed. Then let come to room temp before pitching.

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

Offline piratepointbrewer

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Re: Blowout into the airlock
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2011, 01:35:41 PM »
Wow ............... seems like the 6 1/2 gal bucket is right. What yeast did you pitch?  How much of it did you pitch? What was the temperature of the wort when you pitched?

Preston
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Offline oscarvan

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Re: Blowout into the airlock
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2011, 07:16:08 PM »
Bubbles.....foam.....good.
Wooden Shoe Brew Works (not a commercial operation) Bethlehem, PA
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I brew WITH style..... not necessarily TO style.....

Offline cytorunner

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Re: Blowout into the airlock
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2011, 08:14:06 PM »
Wow ............... seems like the 6 1/2 gal bucket is right. What yeast did you pitch?  How much of it did you pitch? What was the temperature of the wort when you pitched?

Preston

I pitched about a liter starter of Wyeast American Ale and the wort was about 75 or so at the pitch
Jim

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Offline hokerer

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Re: Blowout into the airlock
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2011, 08:41:06 PM »
Wow ............... seems like the 6 1/2 gal bucket is right. What yeast did you pitch?  How much of it did you pitch? What was the temperature of the wort when you pitched?

Preston

I pitched about a liter starter of Wyeast American Ale and the wort was about 75 or so at the pitch

Yikes!!  Since fermentation is exothermic, it can get the wort as much as 5-10 degrees above ambient.  Pitching at 75 is way too warm.  Since fermentation has already settled down, there's not a lot you can do other than leave it on the yeast for extra time so that the yeast can at least try and clean up after itself.  Next time, keep your fermentation in the mid to low 60s (wort temp not ambient temp) and ideally, pitch at a slightly lower temp than that.
Joe