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Blow out! Now what?

Yesterday afternoon we brewed a Hefe (NB extract kit) and hit the 1.049 that the recipe called for. It was bubbling by 8:30pm; by this morning the fermenter’s top had popped open and there’s krausen all over. I made this batch with a starter from my shiny new DIY stir plate; I even added 1/2 tsp of Wyeast nutrient blend when I made the starter. So in hindsight; I turbocharged the yeast AND over pitched. So 20/20 hindsight says, “Of course it blew up, you moron!” (My hindsight always talks like Dr. House)

Soo, where to go from here? I’m thinking the beer is still OK, and I want to keep it that way. The bucket lid NOT did blow all the way off, and it’s still barfing pretty steady from the opening. I cleaned the immediate mess, and kinda propped the bucket over a sink, but I have no 6-gal carboys and no blow-off tubing. I’m thinking I can sanitize a spare bucket lid and bubbler, but If I put them on now it’s just going to blow again. So maybe after work today? I gotta work.

Any advice?

Purchase blow-off tubing, or experiment with open fermentation?

3 piece air lock? The tubing from your racking cane should fit over the interior shaft.

“S” air lock? You will need to put parts together from the hardware store. Take the o-ring from your spare lid to the store and find an elbow and tubing that will work.

The 3/8ths tubing is a temporary fix. It’s a bit under sized as the krausen will get in it but possibly dry up a plug it. A better idea is to drill larger holes in the lids to fit a rubber stopper and at least a 1/2" tubing or 1 inch. I think that is a #6 stopper for a 1" hole.

Thanks guys.

Short term: I got the mess cleaned up before work and left it to barf in the sink. After work, I saw the Krausen had reduced, so I cleaned the additional barf, and put on the clean lid and bubbler.

Long term: I’m thinking I want 6.5gal carboy; blow-off tubing, and I want to replace my reverse-bong bubblers with 3-piecers. They seem much easier to clean.

After 12-14 hrs of the lid being about 1/3 open, there is definitely just a little bit of “open fermentation” experimentation going on. I’ve seen the Brewing TV episodes; (Eps 4 & 6) I’m thinking I may prefer the result over a standard hefeweisen. Dawson did it uncovered for 72 hrs, versus my 12. He called his a “Fruit Bomb.” I love everything he mentions, except maybe banana. So fruity esters, apple, plum, clove. We’ll see how it turns out, but I’m hoping for this to be a happy accident.

I was going to add some blackberry tincture at bottle time, but but now I’m not so sure…

We relaxed, didn’t worry, and had some home-brews.
We did add the blackberry extract to the bottling bucket, the wife talked me into doing the whole bottle, when I was suggesting half. After a week in the bottles we cracked a couple open.
Blackberry was very present on the nose even before pouring. I found it quite inviting. Head retention was about what you’d expect after one week in the bottle; there was some weak lacing too.

The beer is dangerously drinkable. It was the best one-week old I’ve had to date. No pepper, or banana, or any negative consequences of its open top time.


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