Refilling my airlock

Hello folks. So I’ve spent the past few months reading various forums and watching YouTube videos on the topic of home brewing. Yesterday was my birthday, and my wife gave me the Brew n’ Share kit as a gift. Eager to have some beer, I went ahead and cooked up the batch of Amber Ale that came in the kit and set it to ferment in one of my closets.

The air temp in the closet measures between 69°F and 73°F depending upon the time of day. I set it in there at around 5PM yesterday afternoon, so it has mostly been on the lower end of that spectrum.

I noticed by 7PM that it had already begun bubbling, and all of the liquid in the S-shaped airlock was pushed to the cap side. This morning I wake up and check it at about 7AM, and the liquid has pushed its way out of the airlock, leaving only about half of the original liquid that was in there. (I used Star San and water for filling btw.) So I mix up a small batch of Star San and refill it using a clean syringe. Within 30 minutes, most of that has pushed its way out and onto the lid of the bucket.

My question is this: How long does this period of gassiness normally last? I ask, because I have to leave town in a few days, and I will not be back for two weeks. Being that the suggested fermenting time for this brew is 1-2 weeks, I figured I would be safe leaving it here. Now I’m wondering if I need to be here to baby that airlock a bit.

Thanks in advance for any help.

It’s probably going to slow down now but you could make a blowoff assembly then you can be worry free

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Well it is funny you should say that. I checked again just a minute ago, and all of the liquid was pushed out. This is within the span of about 20 minutes or so. I thought about the blow-off assembly, but the tubes that came with this kit look to be a bit too large for that.

me use now only the air lock for second fermenting or when active fermenting does stop. i do start out with a blow over hose . did make the hole larger so the hose fits in the carboy rubber cork. and this goes to a jar filled 1/2 with star san but if you use this atach the hose to the lid and drill small holes around the lid so gas can escape.

works perfect for active fermenting and no issue when you are not at home it could be that the airlock fills up with active krausen.

The fermentation will be done rather quickly because you beer is to warm. Yeast produces heat as it works. The temperature of the beer will be 3° to 8°F warmer than the ambient temperature. High temperature fermentations with ale yeasts will produce extra esters and usually fusel alcohols. Fusels can make the beer undrinkable and will give nasty headaches. You will need to cool the beer. A temporary and quick way would be to set it in the bathtub or laundry sink with 65°F water. This will give you time to set up a swamp cooler. Don’t cool the beer with ice water. This may stress the yeast and cause dormancy.
Link to one of the threads searching with the term “swamp cooler”.

This is just a quick reply for getting started.

A blowoff will work nicely or try switching to a three piece airlock. You can use cheap vodka in the airlock instead of sanitizer. Sometimes if the fermenter gets colder the liquid can be sucked back into it. That said I used plain old tap water in mine for a long time. Never had a problem.

Don’t worry about the airlock being empty. At that point there is plenty of outward pressure to keep bad stuff out.

One reason for the very active fermentation might be the temp is a little on the high side. There are lots of ways to cool it down some, one is a swamp cooler. Do a search here for info on how to make one.

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OK I have it relocated to a bath tub in the coldest part of the house (normally below 65°F in there.) I would fill it with water, but my cold water temp is like 75°F. In the meantime, I might have to look into building one of these swamp coolers you guys are talking about.

That will be a very good ambient temp to hold the fermenting beer 2° to 4°F higher than the ambient temperature. 66° to 68° is the sweet spot for most ale yeasts.

Did the Amber Ale come with US-05 yeast?

Watch yer air lock, as yer brew cools, it’ll suck the air lock fluid INTO yer brew…. Sneezles61

I had to leave it for a few hours. No suckback that I could tell. It’s still bubbling pretty well. I’d say 2 gurgles per second. It didn’t blow all of the liquid out, but I did give it another refill. That bathtub might have to be off limits for the rest of the weekend until the bubbling subsides some. Fortunately there is a closet in that same bathroom that stays very cool, so I can move it in there.

For refilling an airlock, cheap vodka is much more convenient than making a small batch of starsan…

Well I had a bit leftover in a 2 qt container from when I was sanitizing the small parts yesterday. So it’s not a situation where I’m mixing up a new batch each time. I will keep the vodka thing in mind for the future though.

I mix Star San solution in one gallon jugs. Easy to store on the bottom shelf of the workbench. Reuse the solution until the pH rises above 3.2. That has never happened. Usually just get some crud in it and pour the cruddy part in the bottom of the sanitizing bucket down the drain. Usually have 5 jugs of solution at any one time.

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Thanks again for the help guys. I think I’ve managed to control the temperature a little better now. I currently have the bucket sitting in a plastic tub filled partially with water and one of those cooler packs that I swap out in the morning and in the evening. It also has a wet towel wrapped around it. I do not have one of the thermometer stickers to go on the side of the fermenter, but a probe thermometer held to the outside reads 67°F. No blowouts that I can tell. No suckbacks that I can tell. The star san is sitting in there currently still pushed to one side, and it gurgles about once every 10 seconds.

Sounds as tho you’ve got it under control… Carry one and enjoy! Sneezles61

And in the space of a day, I have solved this cooling issue for good. A quick browsing session through craigslist pointed me to a nice sized wine chiller for $75. My fermenter now has a new home.

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a empty bucket with water and ice jugs do the trick put two ice jugs in the morning and two at night this will do the trick to keep you beer cold

i am thinking about building a son of fermenter box with comp fan and bottles of ice

Well I think I was successful. I bottled that batch the other night, and took a small sampling. It’s a mighty tasty beer.

I now have a dunkel in there with the temp set very low (50°F). The outside of the bucket is registering around 65°F, and it’s happily bubbling away. I’m using the kit that is sold here on northernbrewer, but I made a few modifications after doing some research on the style. If it turns out well, I will post the steps in the recipe forum.

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And everything turned out well with a nice, tasty result.

Amber Ale

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