Beer coming up through the airlock

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by ufg8rgurl, Jun 29, 2020.

  1. ufg8rgurl

    ufg8rgurl Initiate (15) Jun 29, 2020 Florida

    I started a 5 gallon batch of Imperial Stout yesterday in my normal 6 gallon fermenting bucket. Just noticed the lidi bowing outward and beer is bubbling up out of the airlock. Has anyone seen this before? Any suggestions?
     
  2. MrOH

    MrOH Meyvn (1,142) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    Probably just fermenting harder than your usual beers. Temperature has probably risen above what would be considered ideal, and due to fermentation being exothermic, will continue to rise. Have you made a beer with as high of a gravity before? They tend to go crazy if you don't have temperature control. I only make high gravity beers during the cold weather months due to this, and even then, they need some babysitting.

    Best advice I can give is to try to reduce the temperature and clean up as best you can. Also look out for a clogged airlock! I've heard about this blowing off bucket lids, but worst I've gotten is an airlock popping out. It still required cleaning yeast off the ceiling.
     
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  3. MrOH

    MrOH Meyvn (1,142) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    Be resigned to this beer not being ideal, with too many esters, and a boozy flavor, BTW. Be patient with it, and it may age out.
     
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  4. ufg8rgurl

    ufg8rgurl Initiate (15) Jun 29, 2020 Florida


    Any suggestions for ways to cool it down? I live in Florida so it is definitely hot here. We created an extended airlock with a long tube but the lid is still bowing outward.
     
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  5. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (1,937) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Society

    You can put the fermenter in a tub of cold water.
     
  6. MrOH

    MrOH Meyvn (1,142) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    Toss in some ice packs or frozen water bottles as well. Rotate them out with fresh as necessary.

    Placing an old shirt over the fermenter and turning a fan on it will also help.
     
  7. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (1,937) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
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    +1 to ice if needed. But the T-shirt trick may not work very well in humid Florida.
     
  8. Davl22

    Davl22 Aspirant (276) Sep 27, 2011 New Hampshire
    Trader

    I had a similar situation with the first couple of high gravity beers I made. On top of only brewing them in colder months, it helps to use an oversized fermenting vessel. Cleaner fermentation and much less loss.
     
  9. MrOH

    MrOH Meyvn (1,142) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    Worth a shot, worked well in Richmond and 2 blocks off the Schuylkill in West Philly, both also very humid.
     
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  10. PortLargo

    PortLargo Devotee (477) Oct 19, 2012 Florida

    Yes, not uncommon at all. You really want to 1) try and cool it down, and 2) keep that blowoff tube clear . . . if not you'll be mopping the ceiling.

    You live in Florida, where the humidity is either high or extremely high. Frozen water is your best bet. If you stick with the hobby you'll find an old fridge converted to a ferm chamber is the way to go.
     
  11. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,712) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Society

    It sounds like you McGyvered a temporary 'fix' for your overflow problem. Google 'blow-off tube' to learn more if you haven't done so already.

    If you are using a 3-piece airlock with only quarter-inch tubing attached, take a look at the bottom of the plastic center tube, and if there are plastic cross-hatches there, use whatever tool that you have that can nip those things off. They are the point that the krausen will clog your tube. Or after googling 'blow-off tube you'll learn that the end of the tubing can be placed in a container of water, sanitizer solution, vodka, etc. that sits lower than your fermenter.
     
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  12. GormBrewhouse

    GormBrewhouse Devotee (487) Jun 24, 2015 Vermont

    Used to happen a lot then I split the beer into 2 fer mentors. Perhaps consider this for your next big beer.

    For this one the above mentioned advice is very good.
     
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  13. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,454) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Trader

    I have an oversized spiedel for these issues.
     
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  14. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (6,820) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Not a bucket, but years ago I had a carboy with a 3 piece airlock that obviously got clogged and exploded. Now I make sure I keep temps low and use a blow off tube for higher gravity brews
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  15. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (6,820) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Society

    I've used a keg tub like this before, it's a good diameter and depth
    [​IMG]
     
  16. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,712) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Society

    Been there, done that, ONCE (which is hopefully the maximum number of times that it happens to anyone). Fortunately mine was in the basement with unfinished walls and ceiling and a tile floor, and those surfaces got to taste a 15% Samichlaus clone. The fermentor was a plastic brew bucket (7 gallons?), and we all know how hard it is to pry off one of those lids. Must have been some terrific pressure!
     
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  17. GormBrewhouse

    GormBrewhouse Devotee (487) Jun 24, 2015 Vermont

    Nawwwww papa, not this guy,, at least 5-6 times, sometimes painted ceiling, sometimes just popped the lid off the bucket enough to allow foam spill all over heating mat. A lovely scent early, but, my better half is not such a fan.
     
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