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View Full Version : My First batch, exciting... yet messy.



CyberPope
08-15-2006, 09:01 AM
Well, I've been lurking around for a little while now, gathering intel and such needed to make my first batch...

I noticed that most people seemed to think that JAO was the way to go with a first batch so I went ahead and went that route.

I used a little over 3 pounds of buckwheat honey for the batch and in no time it was bubbling very frequently. 1 blip a second or so..

I got a little concerned when I went down before bed to check on it and the foam had found its way almost to the very top of the neck just about to reach the airlock. I checked on it when I got up this morning and sure enough, I've managed to over flow. The airlock is a syrupy mess as is the area around my batch... >:(

I took the educated approach and looked around this morning in the NewBees section as I knew I could not be the only one to ever have this happen, and decided to see what the best route would be to help reduce this problem... looks like I'll take Oskaar's sanitized cloth route. Until the foam is a little more under control.

Just thought I'd share my experience with you all. It has been most enjoyable reading your posts and figured this'd be a good time to make one of my own.

Peace

David Baldwin
08-16-2006, 04:34 PM
Welcome CP!

Ah, the joys of fouled and popped air locks! No you are not alone. I find that certain honies seem to foam more than others. I had a favorite honey supplier that sold in our local mega-grocery chain. (note the past tense there - the mega chain found a cheaper place to buy honey...cheaper not better.) His honey always foamed like mad. The other honies I've used hardly foamed at all - a clue that they are super processed stuff.

I recently found my original supplier again, so I'll be back to buying it in 60# containers directly from him.

Make sure you leave some head space. I've found that sometimes it is a good idea to mix up a full batch of must and draw off what I need to keep it from overflowing. The extra I draw off before adding the yeast, and I'll store that in the fridge for several days until the foaming calms down. Then you can top it off with the extra must.


David

Muirghein Tarot
08-16-2006, 04:51 PM
Try setting the carboy in a rubbermaid or, a large baking pan so that when you have an overflow it's a lot less mess to clean up. I've only made mead in gallon jugs so far but the same thing would apply for larger carboys. I use two large plastic pans. I lost about a cup out one of my jugs the other night. Rinsed out the pan, put it back under the carboy, cleaned my airlock, and I was good to go. :)
Tarot.

Cargirl
08-16-2006, 11:25 PM
I have no idea where I saw/read/imagined/dreamed this, but somehow I have this picture of putting a fermenter into a bathtub or shower to allow overflow to run down the drain.

I'm telling you, there's a chance that I had a dream about this... :D

CyberPope
08-17-2006, 09:14 AM
Try setting the carboy in a rubbermaid or, a large baking pan so that when you have an overflow it's a lot less mess to clean up.

Thanks for the advice I'll definately take it on my next batch.

It seems that now that the yeast have had some quality time with the honey the liquid it a little thinner and thus less foamy... I put an airlock on last night and everything seems to going according to plan again.

I was really thankful for getting the 3 piece airlock instead of the one piece. Seemed like the mess was much easier to clean.

If anything else exciting happens I'll be sure to keep you all in the loop.

Thanks for your responses and input.

Peace

Oskaar
08-17-2006, 09:27 AM
I use the rubbermaid roughneck 18 gallon tubs. The 6.5 gallon carboys sit at about shoulder level, and when the weather gets hot, you can fill them with water to keep the mead cool while aging. It's also a very convinient way to drag the things around or move them about without having to worry about losing your grip.

See here (http://www.cyberclan.net/brew/cherrycyser01.jpg) for a photo of one of mine.

Cheers,

Oskaar

scout
08-17-2006, 10:11 AM
I'm in fire ant country, so I like putting my brews in pots (or big rubbermaids if I start more than one a time) with a little soapy water in them until the hard core fermenting is done. Keeps the ants off and makes clean up a little easier if I do have a blow up. :)

Dan McFeeley
08-17-2006, 11:38 AM
You can also use a blow off tube in place of the standard airlock. They're easy to make -- cut the working parts off an airlock, leaving just the plastic tube that gets jammed into the stopper. Attach a food grade vinyl hose to the plastic tube, then run the other end into a glass jar full of sulfite solution. I like to use old honey jars, poking a hole in the metal lid and running the hose through that.

It's a good way to manage a fermenting honey must that starts foaming up unexpectedly.

CyberPope
08-19-2006, 10:07 AM
You can also use a blow off tube in place of the standard airlock. They're easy to make -- cut the working parts off an airlock, leaving just the plastic tube that gets jammed into the stopper. Attach a food grade vinyl hose to the plastic tube, then run the other end into a glass jar full of sulfite solution. I like to use old honey jars, poking a hole in the metal lid and running the hose through that.

It's a good way to manage a fermenting honey must that starts foaming up unexpectedly.


That is a really clever way to handle that. Thanks for the advice!!!