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In the middle of the night -- BANG!

It’s not what you think…it was the primary fermenter (not a bottle).

Yesterday afternoon, I carefully and lovingly produced a high OG Belgian Style Ale. After pitching the yeast and giving it a few good stirs, I put the cover on my fermenter. I then installed the air lock and placed the fermenter in my lagering chamber for temperature control.

I vaguely remember hearing a bang in the middle of last night – but I didn’t think anything of it and went back to sleep.

This morning, I looked inside the chest freezer to check on my airlock. To my amazement, the top of the primary fermenter had blown all the way off. The interior of the freezer was covered with hops and wart residue (resembled vomit or Indian food). It would have been a fun explosion to watch - I wish I would have been there.

I think I know what happened - but I’d be interested in your input. It looks like the suds on the top of the wart expanded right up to the top of the interior of the fermenter. It appears that hops and residue from the wart clogged the air-holes on the air lock. The pressure from the CO2 grew until the top exploded off of the fermenter. That’s my best theory.

So I may be crazy - but I cleaned and sanitized all the equipment today. I did my best to not touch the wart. I put the lid back on the fermenter and installed the airlock again.

I know that the wart may have been contaminated. It was exposed to the air on the inside of the lagering chamber for several hours. But I spent a lot of time and money putting it together. It seems like a waste to just through it out because of this set back. Even though I may end up with a strange final product, I’m going to keep going with it. I will let you know what happens.

It is a good idea to keep your wart covered so you don’t spread it to others, then pick up some compound W. If that doesn’t work, see a doctor.

Your theory is correct about the clogged airlock.happened to me this year with a blow off hose getting clogged.

Chances are that the beer is fine. All that co2 and beer flowing out makes it difficult for anything to get in. But you won’t know till you try it in a month or two

Wort man, wort!!

Pretty much happens to everyone once. I learned and use blow off tubes on all my primaries now. Although I am a little worried about one I brewed yesterday. Ended up with a bucket that was filled higher than normal and I pitched a while fresh yeast cake.

I used duct tape to get rid of a wart. It might work for you.

Had the same issue with my Imperial Maple Pumpkin Porter. Heard a bang and thought nothing of it. The next day I went to check on the beer and saw a brown ooze leaking out from inside my fermentation fridge. What a mess! The beer ended up getting infected, I assume from when the top blew off some nasties got in. Racked from under the funk, kegged, then bottled it. Tastes good. No hint of sour… yet. The beer as a whole was a huge failure. No pumpkin flavors, under attenuated, infected, etc. But it’s a solid Robust Porter now.

Clogged airlock was the culprit.

You might be a homebrewer if you’ve mopped the ceiling.

A wart won’t spread, apparently wort will if you have a plugged bunghole. :wink:

The dangers of late-night bangs… With Belgians?

At least you noticed soon after the bang! I had that happen to a Helles once and didn’t notice for about 3 weeks. Made it through about a quarter of that keg before I dubbed it “Headache Helles” and dumped it. Yours will probably be fine. Plenty of CO2 and krausen to keep the nasties out of the beer.

I am a homebrewer.

The same thing happened to me on my first all-grain batch. I wasn’t prepared for the vigorous fermentation that occurred. Unfortunately for me, I chose to ferment the batch in my wife’s linen closet (nice, cool, dark room). She was not amused. And, you are right. You can never really get all of the residue off of the ceiling. Had to repaint. :frowning:

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