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Quick mess question - Amateur

I picked up a one-gallon brew kit (Red Irish Ale) as a Christmas gift for myself, and brewed up my first batch of beer last night.

My wife just sent me the attached picture (foam overflowing across the airlock and the gallon glass container) while I’m at work. I made the beer firmly below the One Gallon mark, fearing this kind of thing.

I’m new at this, so I told her she could wash her hands, unscrew to let out a little pressure before resealing, and then let me figure it out when I get home. Any recommendations? It sounds like it isn’t a complete loss or anything, just seeking out a little advice for the best course of action when I get home from work.

Thanks!

Clean the airlock, re sanitize it, and put it back on. It happens to everybody!

For reference, the 5-gal starter kits use 6.5 gal buckets so they have enough extra room for that foam. The 1 gallon fermenters simply don’t have enough extra head room, so these blow-offs are more common.

Also, cheap booze, typically vodka, is a good choice for refilling the airlock if you didn’t save star san. Plain-old tap water will start to go funny. Booze is properly antiseptic while still safe if it gets sucked into the beer.

Thanks for the good news folks, and the tip!

I have not done a 1 gallon batch or really looked at the kits, but it seems to me the smaller fermenters they give you is almost begging for this to happen

I would see if you can get a larger jug for future brews for fermentation. 1 gallon isn’t that much to start with and if you are then cutting it down to boot I think you would be better off getting a larger vessel and then doing the full 1 gallons

Use a blow off tube inserted in the top of the fermenter for the first 3-7 days, and when she’s calmed down switch to the airlock.

[quote=“JMcK”]For reference, the 5-gal starter kits use 6.5 gal buckets so they have enough extra room for that foam. The 1 gallon fermenters simply don’t have enough extra head room, so these blow-offs are more common.

Also, cheap booze, typically vodka, is a good choice for refilling the airlock if you didn’t save star san. Plain-old tap water will start to go funny. Booze is properly antiseptic while still safe if it gets sucked into the beer.[/quote]

FWIW, I’ve used plian old tap water for 15 years and hundreds of batches without any problem.

[quote=“Denny”]
FWIW, I’ve used plian old tap water for 15 years and hundreds of batches without any problem.[/quote]
I guess it’s just another one of those “Rules” that I’ve followed without questioning.

+1 The 3 piece air lock you are using has a center tube. You can get a length of plastic water tubing at any hardware store that should fit right over that center tube. Run the tube into a bowl or bucket of water with a little bleach, star san, or other sanitizer. Once the activity slows you can remove the hose and put the air lock back together.
Be sure to clean out the little holes on the top of the air lock cap. I had one get clogged and the pressure blew it across the room.

+1 The 3 piece air lock you are using has a center tube. You can get a length of plastic water tubing at any hardware store that should fit right over that center tube. Run the tube into a bowl or bucket of water with a little bleach, star san, or other sanitizer. Once the activity slows you can remove the hose and put the air lock back together.
Be sure to clean out the little holes on the top of the air lock cap. I had one get clogged and the pressure blew it across the room.[/quote]

If you do this, there is most likely an “x” shaped divider at the very bottom of the fermentation lock that will need to be removed, otherwise this is where the lock will plug up, each and every time…

[quote=“JMcK”][quote=“Denny”]
FWIW, I’ve used plian old tap water for 15 years and hundreds of batches without any problem.[/quote]
I guess it’s just another one of those “Rules” that I’ve followed without questioning.[/quote]

Don’t believe anyth8ng…even me! Try it for yourself! I just wrote a book about that. :wink:

Don’t feel bad, I just started the American Wheat brew kit and had the EXACT same thing happen. Manhandled the airlock and tubing for about 15 mins after sanitizing them to get the tube in the airlock siphon. Beginners note I just learned, heat up the tubing first… :cheers:

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