Aggressive Fermentation!

I have a Dead Ringer IPA in primary right now that, over the last 24 hrs, has taken off like crazy! It’s a 5 gallon batch in a 6.5 bucket so no need for blowoff, but the airlock is bubbling so aggressively that it won’t stay filled. Every time I put more sanitized water in it simply bubbles out in about ten minutes. My thinking is that if it’s producing this much CO2 then surely it’s ok if it dries up for a while each day because I’d doubt any oxygen or gunk would get in but I wanted to be sure. What do you think?


EDIT: I thought it may be useful to note, the room the beer is in is currently at 68 degrees.

You are correct, as long as CO2 is being produced there is positive pressure so everything is being blown out. Although, I don’t understand what you mean about the airlock not staying filled.

Another thing, 68° ambient is awfully high and the actual ferm temp is likely 63-65° which would explain your vigorous fermentation. I would try to kelp ferm temps in low 60°s to mid 69°s (64-65 tops).

Ok, I’ll try to get it to a cooler temp. It’s just kind of hard here in Texas where I live with how hot it gets. When I say the airlock isn’t staying filled I mean it bubbles vigorously and within a few minutes there is a cluster of bubbles forming at the top and within another few minutes all the water has simply bubbled away. I am using water treated with starsan which definitely has the tendency to form bubbles so it just foams up and I’m left with just a few shallow drops in the bottom of the airlock.

Look into swamp coolers to help keep those temps. The first 48-72 hours are the most important with ales as those are the times off flavors are produced.

Really, as long as you maintain positive pressure you can use plain water in the airlock. Even if you cold crash (which causes negative pressure) you can use plain water as long as you don’t fill it to the top of the airlock.

Thanks, Josh!

Starsan bubbles a lot almost like soap if you will, if you have some vodka laying around put some of that in instead, shouldn’t bubble as much.

Or don’t use an air lock. A chunk of sanitized tube that does a 180 works, bacteria doesn’t have wings or legs.

No, but fruit flies do, and they are a major vector for some bacteria. I use vodka in my airlocks - nothing can get through that - but it will evaporate faster than water with a too vigorous fermentation.

Yes, I’ve heard of using vodka. I may try that. Thanks everyone!

That’s what I do. Use vodka or whatever cheap booze I have on hand (rum last time-and it was the CHEAP stuff). No problems.