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Stuff came up in my airlock

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Seolyk

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My roomy and I started some cider the other day and two out of the three carboys have bubbled up into the airlocks and foam is coming out the top. I know this happens, but what should I do about it?
 

arcticsid

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SEO. Take the airlock off all of them! This is a discussion we have had many times in here, during the primary fermentation, you don't need an airlock. Some may disagree with me, but I personally have always fermented in an open "vessel" the SO2 will take care of the oxidation, "FOR A WHILE". I think it was Wade that convinced me to rack into the secondary around 1.010 or so.

What can you do? Wipe up the mess and wait till it is time to transfer. During this primary stage, yeast really likes oxegen to do its thing. Your cider will be fine, but allow it to do it's thing.

And speaking of cider, this topic has came up alot the last few weeks. I am wondering if we should have a catagory just for it.

If you don't mind, we would be interested in your recipe, and other steps you took to get that far.

Best of Luck at ya. I hope some others maight chime in and give you their 2 cents.

Keep On Keeping On.

Troy
:b
 

cpfan

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Seolyk:

Sounds like you are doing your primary fermentation in a carboy. I know that some stores, web-sites, books, people, etc recommend that approach (many of them with a beer making background I suspect). But you have hit my #1 reason for using a large primary. The 'stuff' won't come out all over everything in the area. I use an 11 US gallon primary for my 6 USG batches (and have had foam touch the lid on rare occasion).

#2 reason? You can't do a vigourous stir in a carboy.

Steve
 

arcticsid

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#3 reason. You will need somewhere to put it when you do INDEED transfer it, and that will be that carboy. Steve is right, get a large bucket, vessel, etc to do you intial primary in.

If you want to do large batches, a regular old Rubbermaid(wheres my endorsemnt check?)
trash can willl work. be sure to sanitize everything and still want to have a cheesecloth, loose lid etc to keep the flies out, etc.

Sounds like you are on the right track. Don't get discouraged.

Troy
 

Old Philosopher

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I second the motion for a Cider section (like the Beer one). I just thawed out my apples in anticipation of pressing, and only half of them softened. :(
Luckily, this was a test batch.
 

Seolyk

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SEO. Take the airlock off all of them! This is a discussion we have had many times in here, during the primary fermentation, you don't need an airlock. Some may disagree with me, but I personally have always fermented in an open "vessel" the SO2 will take care of the oxidation, "FOR A WHILE". I think it was Wade that convinced me to rack into the secondary around 1.010 or so.

What can you do? Wipe up the mess and wait till it is time to transfer. During this primary stage, yeast really likes oxegen to do its thing. Your cider will be fine, but allow it to do it's thing.
The thing is that if i leave it open tons of foam still comes out and during the night I can't just keep wiping it up and... especially since the area where we're keeping them is carpeted I have to make sure it doesnt go everywhere. Using an airlock at least keeps it at bay for a few hours. Changing the water in the airlock would be the best thing to do with this, right?

I did that to the first batch (we started a 1 USG carboy a day before the others) twice and twice to one of the 2nd batches. The third is still foaming up as of now while the other two have stopped. Is there any real risk of contamination from this? That's my biggest worry.

Next time I start something I'll definitely get a larger primary though.

Thanks for the advice everyone!

Seo
 

Old Philosopher

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Some store, or person in your neighborhood must have a 5-7 gallon food grade bucket you could just combine everything in, and let it do it's thing without worry.
 

Seolyk

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Some store, or person in your neighborhood must have a 5-7 gallon food grade bucket you could just combine everything in, and let it do it's thing without worry.
That would be okay... but in each batch we tried something a little different. The first gallon was unprocessed apple juice (not cider per se) and we just added some turbinado, yeast nutrient, and the yeast. It's our 'control.' The others have mulling spices and honey and one of them is the same type of juice as the first and one is actual cider proper.
 

Old Philosopher

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That would be okay... but in each batch we tried something a little different. The first gallon was unprocessed apple juice (not cider per se) and we just added some turbinado, yeast nutrient, and the yeast. It's our 'control.' The others have mulling spices and honey and one of them is the same type of juice as the first and one is actual cider proper.
Okay...so get 2 gallon buckets. Or, maybe your local store has 3 gallon water jugs (like for water coolers?) for a few dollars. They have narrow necks, but 1 gallon of must in a 3 gallon carboy will give you plenty of room for the 1st fermenters.
 

Seolyk

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I'll remember that for next time, fortunately the problem will probably be gone by tomorrow.
 

Old Philosopher

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That would be okay... but in each batch we tried something a little different. The first gallon was unprocessed apple juice (not cider per se) and we just added some turbinado, yeast nutrient, and the yeast. It's our 'control.' ...
Stupid question, and I may have missed something, but if you are making hard cider, and not wine, why the sugar?
 

Seolyk

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Because when we were looking up recipes others put sugar in it
 

Old Philosopher

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Because when we were looking up recipes others put sugar in it
Since I'm dealing with apples, and not starting with commercial juice, the recipes I've checked don't suggest adding sugar if you're making cider, and not wine. I'm hoping for an SG around 1.060 with the raw juice. THEN, if it's not around there, I'll have to add sugar to raise the SG.
Do you know what the Specific Gravity was, before you added the yeast?
 

Seolyk

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nope, the first batch was kind of a spur of the moment idea (aside from getting the cider yeast from the homebrew store) and the other two batches were from my roomy's insistance on brewing some with mulling spices. I thought he was just going to get another jug of the juice and he got two half gallons of cider too thus filling all three carboys with the plan of bottling the first batch immediately to take with us to thanksgiving and then sterilizing it before racking one into that one, sterlizing the newly emptied one and racking the remaining one into it. Once we finish cleaning up his apartment and we have more room we're gonna get a bigger primary fermentor and hopefully... HOPEFULLY... his friends from his church who want to get in on this too don't have to move away so we can do things as a group and have space at both of our apartments to work.

and after this venture I plan on getting a wine thief and whatever else I need to measure specific gravity.
 

Old Philosopher

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Finding I had an hydrometer packed away saved my tail! My first batch of plum wine was a disaster. I had followed a procedure posted by some mountain William on another website. I did just about everything wrong possible!
Then I found this place and got the straight scoop. My 2nd batch is going to be great! (I tasted it between rackings and Yum!!!)
Now I'm on to my cider. I have so freakin' many apples to use, I have to make cider. Nobody could eat that much applesauce or pie!
Question: are you in an area where you get regular below freezing temperatures in the winter? I am...and if my cider doesn't measure up, I'm going for the pioneer version of Apple Jack!
 

Seolyk

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I'm in Austin, TX now. I just moved here about 2.5 weeks ago and I'm not sure how regular it gets down to freezing. If I were still in Knoxville, TN I'd say 'yes, very regularly.'

I was happy to find that the carboy that was foaming up is not doing it anymore this morning! I took the airlock off and covered the opening with a micro-fiber towel that had just been through the laundry.

I also had a strange mini-nightmare just before my alarm went off that it was still foaming too much so I tried pouring some out and nearly half came out... and then I checked on the others and they were both empty... an apparently made out of plastic lol.
 

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