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Exploded Carboy Stopper

Hello, I’m a complete beer brewing noob. I’m sure this has been asked before, but i finished my brewing day yesterday and today I checked my carboy and the stopper exploded out and there is beer and yeast on my ceiling etc. Is the beer now contaminated? It has been a while since it exploded im guessing because the beer is all dried up on the side of the carboy. I put the stopper back in and it is bubbling. Is that a good sign? or am I screwed? Also, was it something I might have did that caused it to explode?

what size primary fermenter are you using?
I only ask because when I first started I did so on the cheap and bought a 5 gallon carboy because they were slightly cheaper and I thought I wouldn’t need anything bigger for the five gallon kits. Needless to say, my first few batches exploded everywhere before I upped to the bigger primary and used the 5 correctly as a secondary.

As far as contamination goes…I’m not sure but it seems possible. Only way to know for sure is to keep going and find out if it tastes terrible.

Either way, don’t be discouraged.

Also - in addition to size of carboy (headspace between beer and top of carboy) - what yeast? Some yeasts are much more “explosive” than others.

Higher temps. can also cause this.

2nd on don’t be discouraged - been there (more than once) and on some occasions there was no problem with the beer, other times there was. Won’t know for a while for sure.

Thanks for the advice. I am a little disappointed as I have this week off from work and spent all day yesterday brewing. Dont know when Ill have the time again if the batch doesnt taste good. I used the 5 gallon glass carboy that comes with the deluxe kit. it seems to be bubbling pretty good if that means anything. Also, i lost about 3/4 of a gallon in the explosion.

I wouldn’t worry about contamination, you have an active fermentation, which should keep anything out. Bigger fermentor, cool temps, and Fermcap S make a big difference. You can also use a blowoff tube.

So - did you have 5 gallons of beer in a 5 gallon carboy (was it basically full?) If so - that is the problem. You need 1 - 1.5 gallon of headspace to allow room for fermentation.

Personally, I like buckets. I ferment in the 6.5 gallon bottling buckets with spigots (so I never have to siphon anything). They are cheap and you won’t kill yourself if you drop one. Trust me - you never want to drop a carboy:)

i have been using the deluxe kit too, the larger carboy is used for your primary allowing room for krausen to form. dont be discouraged, even though you lost almost a gallon in the explosion, on the bright side now you have that much needed headspace :cheers: . about contamination all you can do is try it when its finished and see how it tastes. i just had a blowoff scenario the other day with my primary, wouldve had the same type of thing happen had i not woken up randomly at 445 in the morning on christmas…had just enough time to rush and fill my bottling bucket with sanitizer, sanitize the blow off tube and install it. krausen was up to the grommet by the time i pryed it out of the carboy and stuffed the tube in…must have some kind of 6th sense regarding fermentation lol. but seriously just consider this a lesson learned, stick this batch out it still has a good chance of being great, what kit did you use?

I used the deluxe kit my wife got me for our anniversay. Apparently my gift to her is a ceiling full of beer and yeast hehe. Both the bottles in the kit are 5 gallon. Not sure what else I was supposed to do without prior knowledge. They didnt say anything about this in the video.

Looks like NB owes you a 6g carboy.

Yeah i just got the deluxe kit, they should have sent you a 6 gallon and a 5 gallon carboy. I was nervous about a blow-off so just through one on just in case.

For those with more experience, I’m thinking of adding a carboy to be able to brew more beer, what size should i get 5, 6 or 6.5. Way i see it secondary fermentation takes longer so i can see that being the hold up in my brewing multiple batchs, so was thinking 5 gallon.

I’m sure that NB will straighten it all out for you; as far as being “disappointed” with a home brew beer…this is really a labor of love, you might have some hard knocks.

So much depends on how vigilant or lazy you are; although cavemen might have brewed beer, I’m not sure if I would use one of their cups.

This will also show you how much your wife love you. :wink:

Mopping the ceiling is a right of passage some of us never experience. :cheers:

yeah thats not right, NB f-ed up, i like this company a lot, but when i placed my first order (for the deluxe starter kit) i recieved someone elses 60 lb package as well…all my stuff was there and in-tact, but i have had a hell of a time trying to ship this other package back to them. they sent me an email with a shipping label to put on the box, and have fed ex pick it up. when fed ex got here, they wouldnt take it after scanning…so ive had this package of grains sitting around for a month now…waiting on a new label, im not about to pay to ship this back to minnesota out of pocket…other than that i think theyre products are good. i did go elsewhere for an erlenmeyer flask…got a pyrex brand 2l starter flask for $20 on amazon…NB charges 30 for one that apparantly everyone has broken. and i guess if they sent you 2 5 gal carboys, one could assume that its their fault for this mishap with the explosion, considering this is your first brew and all…thats a shame. i would contact them and tell them the circumstances. im sure they will replace one of the carboys and probably give you a store credit for your mishap. seriously pursue that, just a simple e mail detailing what you got and what happened as a result. did you get the plastic or glass carboys?


[quote=“mppatriots”]Yeah i just got the deluxe kit, they should have sent you a 6 gallon and a 5 gallon carboy. I was nervous about a blow-off so just through one on just in case.

For those with more experience, I’m thinking of adding a carboy to be able to brew more beer, what size should i get 5, 6 or 6.5. Way i see it secondary fermentation takes longer so i can see that being the hold up in my brewing multiple batchs, so was thinking 5 gallon.[/quote]

well, i guess it depends on which type of beer you are brewing…i recently got a new carboy cuz i wanted to be able to brew 2 batches at the same time, or within a week of each other. i opted for a 6.5 gal carboy. i figured half of my recipes call for a secondary, whereas half only require 2 weeks primary(some brewers dont even use a secondary. they just let the brew sit in primary an extra week or two and swear by it); therefore it would make more sense for me to have 2 primaries and one secondary. i brewed the irish red kit about a month ago with the deluxe kit, i racked that to secondary after 8 days, and started my american rye (which i added wheat grain, molasses and brown sugar to) bottled both 3 weeks later, started a raspberry wheat/belgian trappist ale in the new 6.5 gal carboy. i use glass, even though some people are afraid of dropping and breaking them, the extra care to take to move them around( ie not being drunk while brewing ) isnt much of a hassle, and glass doesnt let oxygen in like plastic does. also with plastic you run the risk of scratching the surfaces and bacteria can hide in those tiny crevasces, which sanitizer may or may not get into. from personal experience, plastic also tends to take on the smell/flavor of things that are in them for a significant amount of time…

im not by any means an experienced brewer…ive got 3 batches under my belt. one that is almost gone( the american rye), one that is going to sit in bottle for another month at least (irish red), and one a week into primary (raspberry wheat). everyone has different tastes, but i would highly recommend the american rye kit to a new brewer. after 2 weeks primary and only 1 week in bottle this beer was better than what i buy at the store…usually new belgium, or pike; local craft brews. it had full carbonation, a great head that stayed until the end of the glass, and an amazing flavor that ive never tasted…maybe attributed to the rye, maybe the wheat i added, or the molasses…possibly a combination of all. for me patience is a hard thing. and 3 weeks turnaround is about as good as homebrewing gets i think. my red almost 5 weeks and still not done. anyway im rambling at this point, sorry in advance.

PS relating to size of carboys, on my first 2 brews i only added water to the 5 gallon mark i made on the carboy. i opted for the 6.5 gallon size to account for the dregs, or the sludge that accumulates at the bottom of the primary fermentor. with the first 2 batches i ended up with 4.25 and 4.6 gallons at bottling. with the 3rd brew ive got going i topped up to about 5.5 gallons total, and at bottling hopefully have closer to the 5 gallons. just a tip/thought.

I wouldn’t sweat the contamination. With that level of active fermentation, you probably had some nice protection from anything hopping into the brew. Plop that stopper on (as you’ve done) and continue unabated. As Charlie says, “relax, don’t worry, have a homebrew.” Just watch, in a few weeks you’ll be popping the caps on a few homebrewed beauties…

I’m sorry, but I had to laugh when I started reading this because I just brewed my first batch on Christmas day and had air lock issues as well, but thank god not a real blow out like you.

What I did was just put in the blow off tube and forget those little air locks. I’m pretty sure I will use a blow off tube everytime just so I don’t have to worry about this in my house.

Use the blow off tube just like they show you in the video.

Happu cleaning ! :slight_smile:

Hey everyone, thanks for the advice. I feel better about this now. One more thing: this is now a little less than 48 hours and the krausen is gone and the bubbles have pretty much stopped. Is that a bad sign? Isnt it supposed to take 1-2 weeks before that happens?

It’s not uncommon for the bulk of the fermentation to take place in a couple of days, especially if the temp is on the higher side, if you’re not already doing so definitely look into ways to control fermentation temp(ie swamp cooler etc). You will want to let it sit for a couple weeks though as the yeast are still working, just not as vigorously as they once were.

ok. I have it in a closet in the house where it is about 74 degrees. it said on the recipe to keep it between 65-75 degrees. Should I move it to the garage where it is about 45-50 degrees?

No, you need to find a happy medium between those two spaces. The room is too warm and the garage is too cool.

So a search for a “swamp cooler” to find a way to maintain proper fermentation temps

Now that the bulk of the fermentation is complete the higher temp doesn’t matter as much, most of the off flavors associated with elevated fermentation temp’s will happen early on. A couple things to keep in mind in the future are the temp recommendations on recipe kits and/or yeast packages are generally pretty broad and that the fermenting beer will get significantly warmer than the ambient temp. So your beer that was in the 74 degree closet probably reached pretty close to 80 degrees which really is quite a bit warmer than you want. The majority of ales are best fermented in the mid 60’s. A swamp cooler is a relatively simple way to help keep temps where you want them, basically a large bucket with some water and you rotate frozen water bottles, if you try searching you should find plenty of threads discussing this. Probably the most important things a new brewer can do right off the bat to ensure quality beer is pitching plenty of yeast(yeast starter if using liquid yeast) and keeping fermentation temp’s in check(swamp cooler etc). It took me several batches to realize this back when I first started, but the improvement was dramatic once I did.

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