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Blowout on first batch

Hi All!

I’m a complete newbie on these forums and at homebrewing in general, so I apologize if this question has been asked. I tried searching old posts and couldn’t find my answer.

I just brewed my first ever batch a couple days ago. It’s the 5 gallon extract kit of Caribou Slobber (came with my deluxe starter kit). The first 6-8 hours showed little to no fermentation activity, so I went to sleep for the night. Woke up the next morning and found it to have blown the airlock and bung onto the floor and krausen had started to run out of the carboy. I immediately sanitized what I needed, cleaned up and put in the blow off tube. Everything’s been fine since putting in the blow off tube and fermentation has relaxed drastically. Seems like just the first 24-36 hours were vigorous fermentation.

Just curious if anyone can shine some light on possible reasons why I got such a sudden and aggressive fermentation? One thing I should mention is that my thermometer could not reach the wort once it was in the carboy, so I had to guess on the temperature when pitching the yeast (I used the dry Danstar Windsor Ale Yeast that comes with Caribou Slobber by default). The carboy was not warm to the touch, so it should have been fine to pitch the yeast according to my instructions. Also, the temperature of the room I’m fermenting in is about 68 degrees. No idea what the wort heated up to during fermentation.

I’m not expecting this beer to turn out as fabulous as others have described it because it’s my first attempt at brewing, but I at least want to learn from my mistakes and improve with each batch, so any advice one can lend is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

with your next order, grab a sticky thermometer strip that can go on the outside of the carboy. They are about $0.79, and are really convenient.

The general rule is, when the yeast are most active (called ‘high krausen’), the beer can be 5-6 degrees warmer than the ambient temperature. That is likely the reason it was such a vigorous ferment.

If you can find a tub to put the carboy in next time, fill that with water (about 6-12 inches worth), and it will be harder for the yeast to move the temp of the beer.

Welcome to homebrewing! Your beer won’t be outstanding, but it will be really really really good. Especially since you brewed it! Do remember though that as you get more into the hobby, precise temperature control is tantamount to making great beer.

Start your fermentation with the blow off tube. Then you don’t have to worry about it.

See my signature line for ways to keep the temps down.

Thanks for the advice, guys! I will definitely do everything you recommended for my next batch. The sticky thermometer strip, the tub of water for the carboy and starting fermentation with a blow off tube.

A quick sidenote - I have a large chest freezer in the garage that is practically empty. I’m thinking about getting one of those digital temperature control units to really “up my game” and control fermentation temps, but I’ll take this one step at a time and enjoy the journey :slight_smile:

[quote=“BrewBum”]
A quick sidenote - I have a large chest freezer in the garage that is practically empty. I’m thinking about getting one of those digital temperature control units to really “up my game” and control fermentation temps, but I’ll take this one step at a time and enjoy the journey :slight_smile: [/quote]

If you find you are enjoying brewing at all, execute this (excellent) plan sooner rather than later. Your tastebuds will thank you. I believe the sponsor has Johnson control units that are priced fairly. :cheers:

Or save $50 and go with the aquarium controller in my signature line.

[quote=“BrewBum”]Thanks for the advice, guys! I will definitely do everything you recommended for my next batch. The sticky thermometer strip, the tub of water for the carboy and starting fermentation with a blow off tube.

A quick sidenote - I have a large chest freezer in the garage that is practically empty. I’m thinking about getting one of those digital temperature control units to really “up my game” and control fermentation temps, but I’ll take this one step at a time and enjoy the journey :slight_smile: [/quote]

Best improvement you can make in your early brewing career, in my opinion.

Hi everyone - I recently brewed the 1 gl version of the Caribou Slobber and had the same experience in the fermentation blowing over in the first 12 hours. I subsequently added a longer blow off to a water bottle, but it seems most of the bubbling seems to have gone away by the 3rd day.

I don’t notice any more bubbles. Does that mean I’m safe to bottle them after just a week? I’ve seen some comments that you don’t necessarily need the entire 2 weeks to do this. If the yeast have settled to the bottom and there is no more CO2 being emitted, I should be good right? I was a bit paranoid that the fermentation blew off so quickly and that it might turn out to be a bad batch (I mean, I’m expecting that for my first ever home brew) but just wanted to be sure.

[quote=“gtg007w”]Hi everyone - I recently brewed the 1 gl version of the Caribou Slobber and had the same experience in the fermentation blowing over in the first 12 hours. I subsequently added a longer blow off to a water bottle, but it seems most of the bubbling seems to have gone away by the 3rd day.

I don’t notice any more bubbles. Does that mean I’m safe to bottle them after just a week? I’ve seen some comments that you don’t necessarily need the entire 2 weeks to do this. If the yeast have settled to the bottom and there is no more CO2 being emitted, I should be good right? I was a bit paranoid that the fermentation blew off so quickly and that it might turn out to be a bad batch (I mean, I’m expecting that for my first ever home brew) but just wanted to be sure.[/quote]
It is safe to bottle, (no bottle bombs), when fermentation is complete + a few days. The hydrometer is your tool to find when Final Gravity has been reached.

Don’t bottle after 3 days. The beer will only be better if you wait 14 days.

And the risk of bottle bombs is not worth it.

The Wyeast that comes with the Caribou Slobber kit takes its time to finish fermenting. I starts out like any other yeast, but then activity tails off slowly. Better to wait two weeks or more.

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