Exploding Primary Fermenter

Reads 7493 • Replies 11 • Started Thursday, January 25, 2007 7:31:46 PM CT

Thread Frozen
 
ilikestuff
beers 224 º places 5 º 19:31 Thu 1/25/2007

If anyone has any tips yhey would be very appreciated. After about 25 hours of activity, my hef just canít hold itís lid. I have replace the airlock with a blow-off, but it is still creating so much pressure, it is blowing the lid right off by fermenter(6.5 gallon plastic fermenter). I have lost the blow-off three times, and the entire lid twice, what can I do?

 
Aeneas
beers 21 º places 3 º 19:39 Thu 1/25/2007

Sounds like a good healthy fermentation. Not too atypical for a health hefe to blow. The blow-off tube, did you run the tube out of the top of the airlock or take the airlock out of the lid and shove the blow-off tube into the grommet in the lid (thatís what I would do.) If itís still overwhelming the pressure relief, I would consider removing the lid and letting it ferment open for 12-24 hours or until late krausen. Because of the dense foam and the CO2 coming off, thereís little risk of contamination expect from large particulate matter. Alternatively, if open fermenting is too risky for ya,maybe try replacing the tight-sealing plastic lid with a loosely fitted sheet of aluminum foil and let it ferment away, then at low krausen, put the lid back on.

Aeneas

 
TheBeerSommelier
19:42 Thu 1/25/2007


Blow-off should do it. I use the blow-through portion of an airlock and fit a piece of 5/8" (maybe 1/2 ") tubing over it. If itís really crazy, I use one of the airlocks from which Iíve cut away the criss-cross plastic in the bottom.

This method lets you affix a blow-off to any fermenter. And I have yet to see a fermentation that it canít handle.

 
ilikestuff
beers 224 º places 5 º 19:47 Thu 1/25/2007

Tubeís in the grommett, the airlock was to narrow and was getting clogged with krausen. There is so much CO2 being created that the bottom of the fermenter is bulging, so there shouldnít be too much risk of bacteria because of the rate of the escaping gas. A loose lid sounds like it may be my only option, I get nervous with my brew just sitting open.

 
TheBeerSommelier
19:55 Thu 1/25/2007

Originally posted by ilikestuff
Tubeís in the grommett, the airlock was to narrow and was getting clogged with krausen.


Cut off the criss cross plastic on the airlockís bottom. Thatíll allow it to flow straight through, unhindered.

 
Aeneas
beers 21 º places 3 º 20:03 Thu 1/25/2007

Originally posted by ilikestuff
I get nervous with my brew just sitting open.

Thatís where the aluminum foil comes in!

Cut off the criss cross plastic on the airlockís bottom. Thatíll allow it to flow straight through, unhindered.


Weíre kinda beyond that point, if the airlock has been removed and the tube inserted directly into the black grommet, and yet the lid still blows off, the only solution, at this point is at least a partially open fermentation. I anticipate that within 12 hours activity will have subsided enough to get the lid and blow-off tube back on.

Aeneas

 
ilikestuff
beers 224 º places 5 º 20:08 Thu 1/25/2007

Open it is, Iíll try the lid tomorrow morning. Thanks a lot.

 
bitbucket
beers 2165 º places 63 º 20:51 Thu 1/25/2007

This brings back memories. I had the bottom of a fermentation lock get stuck full of hop fragments, and the pressure ultimately caused the entire top of the bucket to blow off. It was in the kitchen sink at the time. Sprayed a good part of the kitchen and scared the bejesus out of the missus.

Itís a little late in the game to try this now, but a carboy with a hu-freakin-mongous tube may be your best bet for really active beers. You wanna go for the 6.5 carboy to get as much headroom as possible, or split your batch into two fives.

You can get clear tubing that has an outside diameter just about the same is the inside diameter of your carboy spout. The other end of the tube goes into a bucket of water, creating the fermentation lock on a really large scale.

The downside of using carboys as your primary is that they can be a real pain to clean out afterwards.

 
mgermani
beers 1002 º places 15 º 04:14 Fri 1/26/2007

Just a suggestion - my dad (who has been brewing for over 25 years) doesnít even bother with a lock for his primary. He uses a plastic bucket and covers it with a garbage bag, finds a great big elastic band, and runs it around the rim to create a seal which can be breached when the gas buildup is high enough. Never has blown off, blown up, or spoiled.

 
Nate23
21:26 Fri 1/26/2007

Originally posted by mgermani
Just a suggestion - my dad (who has been brewing for over 25 years) doesnít even bother with a lock for his primary. He uses a plastic bucket and covers it with a garbage bag, finds a great big elastic band, and runs it around the rim to create a seal which can be breached when the gas buildup is high enough. Never has blown off, blown up, or spoiled.


I just wanted to say . . . freakin cool avatar!!

I love LOTR. I love beer. Pints are the perfect unit of consumption.

 
mgermani
beers 1002 º places 15 º 03:09 Thu 2/1/2007

Originally posted by Nate23
I just wanted to say . . . freakin cool avatar!!


Thanks! I made it for LJ when I decided that I was making too many beer-related posts to not have a beer avatar. If only I could get it to play the "They come in pints? Iím getting one!" sound-clip on mouse-over!

Homebrew Shops - A collection of homebrew shops and supply houses submitted by RateBeer readers

Homebrewing Articles - RateBeer Magazine's homebrewing department

Homebrew Recipes - Experiment, share and post your own homebrew recipes

Until we can make beer come out of your monitor...

Beer2Buds
Send Beer Over The Net

Free signup now. Even out a trade, keep good vibes alive, say hi with a beer