Author Topic: Brewer's Tragedy. Help.  (Read 2817 times)

Offline brew_guy

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Brewer's Tragedy. Help.
« on: May 25, 2014, 08:35:22 PM »
I'm new to the game.  Being the guy that I am, I decided to do an all grain my first go around...  I did a one gallon american pale ale recipe and it actually ended up decent. I'm still alive.  This weekend I decided to go at it again with an extract amber ale, thinking it would be a bit easier.  I stepped it up to 2.5 gallons but have had a bit of a setback.  I had an explosion during fermentation.  Check the before and after pictures.

I had my eyes on it pretty closely for the first day but when I got back to my place tonight I noticed it busted.  It's been about 48 hours since i pitched the yeast.  Will I be able to save the batch or is it a goner...?

A little bit of a background (let me know if I screwed something up).  I chilled the wort to 75F and pitched the yeast according to the package.  I covered it with a wet tshirt to keep it out of the light and at a somewhat lower temp.  I'm thinking I might just not have enough headroom during fermentation.

Offline Scott Ickes

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Re: Brewer's Tragedy. Help.
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2014, 09:13:39 PM »
Just go to your homebrew store and by a large diameter length of tubing that you can put in the opening in place of your airlock.  Put the other end down into a large bowl of starsan solution.  Let it bubble out into the bowl.  You'll still be safe from the atmosphere, but you'll give it a place to blow off to.

I finally got tired of fighting this, so I bought an 8 gallon bucket fermenter.  I now do my primary ferments in the buckets and have plenty of headroom for an aggressive fermentation.

By the way, you're ok.  You can just keep cleaning and replacing the airlock, or you can get a blowoff tube as described above.  The beer should be fine.

The only thing you need to worry about, is if your airlock gets clogged up.  If it does, it could build up enough pressure to blow the airlock out forcefully.  If you're not around when that happens, your beer will be open to the air and any bacteria or wild yeasts in the air.
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Scott Ickes

Offline tripwood

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Re: Brewer's Tragedy. Help.
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2014, 04:03:48 PM »
Had the same issue, used a blowoff (my bottling tube fit snugly into the airlock plug) and thing were all OK after that. Once the fermentation sets in,  it's pretty hard to contaminate the beer.