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Must being pushed into airlock.

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Avarice

NewBee
Registered Member
Jun 8, 2013
7
0
0
I got home from work last night one of my 1gallon batches was pushing the must up into the airlock. Its now day 6 of the fermentation and I was wondering if this is normal?

I took the stopper and airlock off, clean and sanitized them both and replaced them back on the carboy. The must is still trying to climb up the neck but so far it hasn't reached the airlock.

Thank you for any and all help!
 

PitBull

NewBee
Registered Member
Nov 25, 2009
640
4
0
Pittsburgh, PA
I got home from work last night one of my 1gallon batches was pushing the must up into the airlock. Its now day 6 of the fermentation and I was wondering if this is normal?

I took the stopper and airlock off, clean and sanitized them both and replaced them back on the carboy. The must is still trying to climb up the neck but so far it hasn't reached the airlock.

Thank you for any and all help!
This is normal, but definately not desirable. Primary fermentation produces a lot of CO2 and therefore, any primary fermenter needs ample headspace to accomodate the gas.

Either more headspace is needed until things calm down, or a larger primary fermenter should be utilized. There is no need to worry about oxidation during primary fermentation so a large headspace is okay at that point.
 

Robusto

NewBee
Registered Member
Jun 12, 2011
223
1
0
NJ
You can also set up a blow-off tube. This will let you use less headspace (more mead!) and save the mess. Just put an airlock on after primary fermentation.
this is what I do. I got tired of cleaning out air locks.
 

Jim H

NewBee
Registered Member
Jun 8, 2013
434
2
0
NYC
Please note -- I am a noob in my first year of fermenting. But, I have now made enough batches of either beer or mead to begin assembling my grimoire of practices.

I also use 1 gal carboys, and I use two tactics to reduce foam, with very good results.
1) I set up a blow off tube (use the base of a 3 piece airlock, attach 1/2 hose from it to a empty liter soda bottle with a star san solution in it. Sanitize the airlock and hose prior to hooking it up.) The large bore allows it to off gas easier.
2) Rock or stir the liquid often in the first several days. I try not to splash the must, but I rock the liquid back and forth a few times to help it off gas. With beer I prefer to rock, it exposes it to fewer pathogens than stirring. Rocking also ensures that there is a blanket of CO2 protecting the headspace of the must. But, I will also use a small plastic racking cane in my screwgun to stir the liquid if it seems like it's growing a lot of foam.

Also, from my beer brewing experiences, I am not keen on adding large solids to my 1 gal carboys, like chunks of fruit or raisins. Foaming has always been a bigger problem for me with chunks. In my two trials with fruit, they clog the blow off.

If you have really bad must foam or want to use solids in your must, you might want to do as PitBull mentions -- get a bigger carboy for that primary fermentation. (When I do my first melomels, I might invest in a 3 gal Better Bottle for exactly this.)

On those occasions where I knew that I'd be away for a couple of days (I sometimes travel on business) I put in a drop or two of FermCapS foam control, and it works pretty well. But I try to avoid using the stuff... it contains silicon compounds and who knows how good or bad it is for you.
 

jgoehring

NewBee
Registered Member
Feb 19, 2013
38
1
0
Lincoln,Ne
Blow off tubes are great to have around for these occasions. This happened with my second batch. I had to make an on the fly blow off tube with the outer part of a pen and an extra siphon hose.
 

WVMJack

NewBee
Registered Member
Feb 12, 2013
1,219
10
0
Karnage, WV
www.wvmjack.com
Is there a bucket shortage around here? Every drop that drips out of your blowoff tube is lost, better to start it off in a bucket and let it rock and roll all it wants - NO LOSS.

Also, with the upcoming Deracheo a lot of people are going to have wine in their airlocks when the air pressure drops.

WVMJ
 

Marshmallow Blue

NewBee
Registered Member
Is there a bucket shortage around here? Every drop that drips out of your blowoff tube is lost, better to start it off in a bucket and let it rock and roll all it wants - NO LOSS.

Also, with the upcoming Deracheo a lot of people are going to have wine in their airlocks when the air pressure drops.

WVMJ
Unless you put more than 5gals in your bucket and you're in the same boat!
 

Marshmallow Blue

NewBee
Registered Member
Just for the sake of my point. The volume doesn't matter if you fill the volume to the top.
I've cut it pretty close to having headspace issues with an airlock and my only MEA came from adding a big lump of undissolved maltodextrin to my Lambic Mead (i thought it was all dissolved/ highly saturated but there was a bubble containing a large amount of dry powder.

On a lighter note, my kitchen is probably now a mini Belgium infected with brett, peddio and lacto!
 
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