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First time brewer... IT EXPLODED!

O.k. Maybe not “exploded” but it did definitely made one helluva mess! :!:

I made the White House Honey Ale in that 1 gallon starter kit and followed the directions as best I could. After placing the filled 1 gallon carboy in the closet where it is dark and cool at about 11pm last night I woke up to find it had blown out the middle piece of the airlock and was foaming all over the place. I didn’t panic, unlike my girlfriend, and simply pulled the airlock and placed a tube in it instead, covered it with tinfoil, and placed the other end in a growler with some water in it (I saw a video earlier that this was the best solution). I hope this works/saves my first brew.

My questions are: :?:

  1. Do I go back to the airlock setup after I give it a chance to “calm down”?
  2. Why does this happen? How can I prevent it next time?
  3. I may have put in too much yeast. The directions say half the packet but I think I was a little closer to 5/8 - 3/4 the packet. Could this have been it?
  4. I also may have put too much liquid in the airlock, might that have something to do with it?

Any info would be awesome, I’ve searched the forum but couldn’t find a really good answer for my questions.

Thank you! :smiley:

Having to use a blow off is normal and it seems that several using the 1 gallon setup are having to use the blow off tube at the start of fermentation bc of the size of the container.

Awesome! Thanks for the info, I also realized just now that I didn’t put the plastic cap on the airlock but I doubt that is the issue (my girlfriend insisted that was the issue).

I don’t really know the temp of the wort when I pitched the yeast because this basic set just says to pitch it when the side of the kettle is cool to the touch after the ice bath. I suppose as I get more involved I’ll end up getting all the cool stuff to measure all the details.

How do I know when it is time to replace the original airlock?

Again thanks!
:cheers:

The blow-off will slow down, and after a half day, use the air lock again.

IMO, NB is setting you up for a mess. You can not ferment 1 gallon of beer in a 1 gallon container. Just like you can’t ferment 5 gallons in a 5 gallon container.

If you choose to continue these 1 gallon batches, split the wort in 2. Using your growler as another fermenter. Or, search around for a 2 gallon pail. Check with gas station that have a kitchen and make donuts and such. They may have 2 gallon pails that they will give you for free. Or you should be able to find one at a big box hardware store.

[quote=“Nighthawk”]IMO, NB is setting you up for a mess. You can not ferment 1 gallon of beer in a 1 gallon container. Just like you can’t ferment 5 gallons in a 5 gallon container.

If you choose to continue these 1 gallon batches, split the wort in 2. Using your growler as another fermenter. Or, search around for a 2 gallon pail. Check with gas station that have a kitchen and make donuts and such. They may have 2 gallon pails that they will give you for free. Or you should be able to find one at a big box hardware store.[/quote]

My local Winco supermarket sells two gallon food grade buckets for a couple of bucks.

[quote=“Nighthawk”]IMO, NB is setting you up for a mess. You can not ferment 1 gallon of beer in a 1 gallon container. Just like you can’t ferment 5 gallons in a 5 gallon container.

If you choose to continue these 1 gallon batches, split the wort in 2. Using your growler as another fermenter. Or, search around for a 2 gallon pail. Check with gas station that have a kitchen and make donuts and such. They may have 2 gallon pails that they will give you for free. Or you should be able to find one at a big box hardware store.[/quote]

Maybe not kosher to mention this, but Midwest sells 2-gallon buckets for $5. I picked up several of these for some experimental batches expressly because of the need for headspace. This also allows you to size up to about 1.25 gallons into the fermenter, so you actually get a solid 1.0 gallons to drink after accounting for losses to trub.

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/2-gallon ... d-lid.html

Mine actually look a bit nicer than the picture, too.
:cheers:

[quote=“Silentknyght”][quote=“Nighthawk”]IMO, NB is setting you up for a mess. You can not ferment 1 gallon of beer in a 1 gallon container. Just like you can’t ferment 5 gallons in a 5 gallon container.

If you choose to continue these 1 gallon batches, split the wort in 2. Using your growler as another fermenter. Or, search around for a 2 gallon pail. Check with gas station that have a kitchen and make donuts and such. They may have 2 gallon pails that they will give you for free. Or you should be able to find one at a big box hardware store.[/quote]

Maybe not kosher to mention this, but Midwest sells 2-gallon buckets for $5. I picked up several of these for some experimental batches expressly because of the need for headspace. This also allows you to size up to about 1.25 gallons into the fermenter, so you actually get a solid 1.0 gallons to drink after accounting for losses to trub.

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/2-gallon ... d-lid.html

Mine actually look a bit nicer than the picture, too.
:cheers: [/quote]

There has been post that MW & NB are owned by the same people now. If not, if NB doesn’t sell a product , no reason not to share where it is available.

Like mentioned, there are places you can get the locally to avoid shipping charges.

edit: correct phone typing :oops:

btw to answer your main concern this time, I bet the beer is fine. but I would look to alternative options as described above next time

Yes I agree with you all on this size issue, not being a pro I didn’t feel like it was anything I could have asked. That being said I have another question about this and an explanation why I ask.

I have several growlers laying around and was considering doing a primary and secondary fermentation by splitting it into these extra growlers I have. By doing this I would be trying to mimic a larger system. Is it something that could work or is it ill advised? One issue I see it that I don’t have the airlock but was going to just do two tubes into another growler with water as a airlock.

I like the idea of the small batches because as I learn it will allow me to try different things without making too much. If it works out then scale it up to 5 gallons.

Thoughts?
:cheers:

On second thought… I shouldn’t be cheap, get a 2 gal, use the 1 gal as a secondary fermentor?

[quote=“sammysam”]
I don’t really know the temp of the wort when I pitched the yeast because this basic set just says to pitch it when the side of the kettle is cool to the touch after the ice bath. I suppose as I get more involved I’ll end up getting all the cool stuff to measure all the details.[/quote]

Probably the best thing you can do at this point is to get yourself a thermometer so you know your pitch temp. One of those stick-on Fermometers for the carboy/jug/pail is pretty much a must, as well. If you skimp on temperature monitoring and control, you’re much less likely to get more involved after making bunch of funky beer that fermented too hot.

[quote=“sammysam”]Yes I agree with you all on this size issue, not being a pro I didn’t feel like it was anything I could have asked. That being said I have another question about this and an explanation why I ask.

I have several growlers laying around and was considering doing a primary and secondary fermentation by splitting it into these extra growlers I have. By doing this I would be trying to mimic a larger system. Is it something that could work or is it ill advised? One issue I see it that I don’t have the airlock but was going to just do two tubes into another growler with water as a airlock.

I like the idea of the small batches because as I learn it will allow me to try different things without making too much. If it works out then scale it up to 5 gallons.

Thoughts?
:cheers:

On second thought… I shouldn’t be cheap, get a 2 gal, use the 1 gal as a secondary fermentor?[/quote]

Find some 2g pails. Skip the secondary. :shock:

But seriously, secondary if you like. It would be a pain splitting the wort into multiple fermenters. Extra cleaning/sanitizing. Look for some larger pails.

.

I think the obvious solution to all of this mess is to just step it up to 5 gallon batches with a real beginner’s brewing kit.

IMO, the 1-gallon starter kits are probably more mess than they’re worth. I’m glad to see that they’re snagging some new brewers, but those 1-gallon kits are really just to get people on board. If you enjoy brewing at all, go for the real setup and get brewing!

:cheers:

[quote=“El Capitan”]I think the obvious solution to all of this mess is to just step it up to 5 gallon batches with a real beginner’s brewing kit.

IMO, the 1-gallon starter kits are probably more mess than they’re worth. I’m glad to see that they’re snagging some new brewers, but those 1-gallon kits are really just to get people on board. If you enjoy brewing at all, go for the real setup and get brewing!

:cheers: [/quote]

+1
I had a friend that wanted to get into brewing after hearing me talk about it, tried to talk him into the 5gal kit but he got the 1gal did a few kits and became frustrated with the issues of the small size and is collecting dust right now.

The 1gal kit has it’s place but the 5gal has many more advantages.

The 1 gallon kit makes a great future starter set.

So you guys are all saying to go with the 5 gal set. Which really does make sense and even requires the same amount of brew time anyway.

I’m just curious though what about when you start designing your own recipes? You guys make 5 gallons of he stuff? Geez what if it is total bunk! I mean I’m a pretty decent cook but I have flunked a few dishes in my day. It would seem to make sense to try and make… aahh screw it! Who the hell wouldn’t want a 6 pack of free beer even if it is a lil funky.

O.K. O.K. O.k. 5 gallons it is. I’ll make my other 1 gal recipe that I ordered and then it’s time to step it up.

Thanks for the feedback.

In 2.5 years of brewing, about 80 5 gallon batches, 3-4 10 gallon batches I have only poured out part of 1 batch, and it was not because of the beer. It was because I added too much bourbon at the end and it overwhelmed the beer.

When I started all grain, I used tried and true recipes either found online, on this forum or form the Northern Brewer kits. If you take your time and get your processes down before going wild on recipe creation, it is a very fun process.

If you’re looking to experiment with different beer styles, pick up a copy of Brewing Classic Styles. I’ve brewed quite a few of the recipes and they’re very good. It’s nice to know that you’re brewing a solid recipe that will give you a good example of a style you may have never tried. The recipes are presented in both extract and AG format, so this is a book that you could continue to use as you gain experience as a brewer.

:cheers: to your brewing adventures!

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