Asplode!

airlock soakingThe photograph shows an airlock that I’m soaking in order to clean it. This is because that for the second time in as many beers, I’ve had yeast come out the airlock and overflow onto the carboy, creating a gnarly crust on the glass and a wet bread substance on the floor.

The first beer is an amber that I’ll be talking about more. The second is the third iteration of a ginger stout I made during ’09.

I just didn’t expect this kind of fevered reaction in my beers. Yes, I’ve been reusing yeast and that usually means a quicker startup to fermentation but the last two have really gotten up and gone. It’s been messy and forced me to replace the airlocks which expose the wort, for however brief a time, to the air. That’s always a cause for concern because consistency is probably one of the goals of any good homebrewer; the other is probably innovation, and having the beer exposed is a risk, albeit a small one. Even now I can hear the stout gurgling away and the amber is ready to put into secondary so I’ll know more about that soon.

I don’t mind cleaning up the mess if the beer comes out well.

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7 thoughts on “Asplode!”

  1. I’ve stopped using airlock and moved to just some clean sanitized foil wrapped tightly over the top. You don’t get to hear the bubbles, but way less hassle and no change of a plugged airlock!

    1. But how do you keep things like bugs out of the beer? During the summer tiny insects are attracted to my brew and the airlock keeps them out.

  2. The oxidative danger of losing your airlock while fermentation activity is very low, since the beer is off-gassing significant amounts of CO2, which is denser and heavier than airborne oxygen.

    In that same period of time, you’re unlikely to have issues with bugs, because bugs need oxygen just like you and I, and the CO2-rich atmosphere of your carboy is tough to breathe in.

  3. most bugs don’t know how to unwrap tin foil. Even ants, which I have plenty of, don’t get past the tightly squeezed tin foil barrier. 🙂 And oxidation is a non worry, the blanket of co2 protects and preserves!

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