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First Time Quetstion - Did I Mess Up

So I just started w/ the deluxe starter kit and caribou slobber. Finished the boil, into 6 gallon glass carboy and ready to let my little yeasts feast. Woke up the next morning and had active fermentation, only about 8 hours after it entered the carboy, but there appeared to be a small blowoff during the night, a lot of foam and particulate got into the airlock, which had dried by the time I woke up w/ only a very small amount of water in the airlock, but it was still bubbling so I let it go. Today is the 36 hour mark, woke up, and there is now no longer any water in the airlock at all. I added a very small amount to the lock from a sterile vessel but I don’t have any bubbling. Is my beer dead, or is this normal? Any insight would be helpful, thanks.

This has happened to me before, and my beer has ended up alright. The only way to tell if the fermentation has stopped would be to take a hydrometer reading (I’d check it after about a week). If the gravity hasn’t gone down, your fermentation is stuck and you may need to re-pitch some yeast.
Just out of curiosity, what temperature was your beer at? Warmer temps usually lead to faster fermentation.

It stays between 64 and 68 F.

You should be fine. That temperature range is ideal for most ales. Like I said, take a hydrometer reading after about a week to see where it’s at. That’s really the only way to definitively tell if your fermentation is moving along.

Next time start with a blow off tube and you won’t need to worry about this. But your beer will be fine. The excessive CO2 production forces any air/contaminants out. Also, if you choose to use an airlock rather than a blowoff tube, you need to clean and resanitize the clogged airlock. Just hope your clogged airlock doesn’t blow out and yeast going spewing everywhere (another reason to use a blowoff tube).

Is that the ambient room temp or the beer temp?

If ambient, you should add 5-10 degrees to the beer temp, since fermentation produces heat.

A swamp cooler is a cheap and easy way to manage fermentation temps.

Ehre,

My first brew was also the Caribou Slobber extract kit (5 gallon) that came with my deluxe starter kit. I brewed late in the afternoon, checked my carboy before going to sleep that night and all was quiet in the airlock. Woke up the next morning and found the bung/airlock had been blown off the carboy and krausen had escaped. It was crazy. So I immediately sanitized my blow off tube, a small bucket and some towels, then cleaned up the escaped krausen and put in the blow off tube. It was an aggressive 1-2 days of fermentation followed by hardly any more bubbling the entire time in primary and secondary (similar to what you’re experiencing).

Long story short… just bottled my Caribou Slobber last week and took my first sample taste. It was GREAT. I’m not a fan of brown ales, but boy is this beer tasty. I simply can’t wait for it to be carbonated in the next couple weeks. I fermented with the dry yeast option at 70F ambient temperature (so probably around 75F in the carboy) and it still turned out delicious. Caribou Slobber is definitely a very forgiving recipe, so I think you’ll be pleased with your results too.

That’s why they ship it as a starter kit :wink:

Try it again fermenting in the 60s…you’ll wonder how you ever liked it before!

That’s why they ship it as a starter kit :wink:

Try it again fermenting in the 60s…you’ll wonder how you ever liked it before![/quote]

Great idea! I actually just started using a swamp cooler and can keep ferm temps at 66* F quite easily now, so I’ll try Caribou Slobber again soon and see how the flavors differ. I can even hold on to a few bottles from my first batch and do a side-by-side comparison :slight_smile: Thanks!

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