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HELP! Beer in airlock

Brewed my first batch of Irish Red Ale using the starter I received for Christmas. Went to bed last night and no fermentation had begun. Checked on it today around 12:00 (24 hours after brewing), and the beer had foamed up and out of the airlock. The airlock was filled with beer, and the remaining beer was down below the 1 gallon line with foam along the sides of the fermenter.

Any advice is appreciated.

Clean the air lock and stick it back in. You may have pitched to warm and your fermenter was to small.

Cover the opening with sanitized aluminum foil while you clean the airlock. No big deal. If you have any extra siphon tubing, you can rig up a blow-off tube to avoid this in the future. 3-piece airlock or s-type?

3 piece airlock.

I’ve cleaned and replaced the airlock. Will keep a closer eye on it through fermentation and make a blowoff hose if it starts bubbling ovet again.

Sounds like a common occurrence from some of the other threads I’ve read, so I’m hoping my first brew wasn’t effected too much.

Any recommendations on gear, recipes, or tricks of the trade for a new guy?

Get a bigger fermenter and pitch colder and let it rise if you don’t have temperature control

@brew_cat has what to look at. What is the temperature of your fermenting beer? The stick on thermometer strips are accurate within 1°F.

You could go to the local deli/super market and get a 2 to 3 gallon frosting bucket to use as a fermentor. Around here they cost $0.50. Frosting bucket lids have a good o-ring seal. Cole slaw buckets don’t have the o-ring.

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You can cut the little “x” off the bottom of that airlock and shove a blow-off tube over the other side, and once fermentation slows, put it back together normally to finish. The bottom of the airlock can get clogged with hop debris, which can make things exciting… removing the x makes it less likely to get plugged.


No thermometer, at the moment, but fermenting in my basement, which is pretty constant around 65 degrees.

Irish Red is not an overly high OG beer so the active fermentation temperature was about 3°F over the ambient temperature. Tomorrow the most active fermentation part of the fermentation will be over. You could bring the fermentor into a warmer room to prevent the temperature of the beer from dropping. Now keeping the beer moderately warm will be better than cool to encourage the yeast to do all they can do. Sixty-eight degrees would be ideal.

Cover the fermentor to keep it from any light to prevent skunking the hop oils.

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Every time I’ve done an Irish Red, I’ve needed a blowoff tube. And that’s using 3 different yeasts over 6 years. Something about IRs?

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