View Full Version : Help with overflow

08-24-2014, 03:40 PM
Hi All,

I've started my first batch last night from knowledge i've gained from this forum. I started with a small two gallon batch. My question is simple. My two gallon plastic primary fermenter is overflowing, even through the airlock. Is there anything that I can do to remedy the situation? Thanks in advance.

08-24-2014, 03:49 PM
Use a larger fermenter. A 3 gallon one will work for most 2 gallon batches. A 25% buffer (e.g. 4 gallons in a 5 gallon bucket) is always good, but not foolproof (some batches foam more than others).

08-24-2014, 03:51 PM
Take some out and wait for it to calm down before adding it again. Keep it in the extra in the fridge

08-24-2014, 05:20 PM
Great. Thanks for the help.

08-24-2014, 05:39 PM
I hope that it will be ok. It smells really good.

08-24-2014, 11:18 PM
You can also get anti foaming drops from your brew store. Since if the mazers on this site use them to good effect

Yay mead!

08-25-2014, 06:08 AM
or you can even just open the fermenter and give it a gentle stir to get it too foam deliberately, but not hard/fast enough for it to foam out over the top. Then once the gas has come out enough, so that there's just a gentle bubbling seen on the surface, re-seal the fermenter.

It generally takes from 2 to 4 days for the ferment to calm down enough so that it just bubbles away happily - and fruit ferments can be bad for this, which is why it's generally advised to do them in a bucket - usually with enough head space to allow for foaming (the head space will fill with foam or CO2 anyway so there's nothing to worry about)....

Chevette Girl
08-25-2014, 02:31 PM
Just follow the same sanitation procedures for your overflow container and everything should be fine.

The next time you use this fermenter for this size batch, you might want to reserve a few litres of must in the fridge and top up when things calm down.

This is the reason a lot of us will use fermenting buckets with a few gallons of extra room in them...

Also if you get to using fruit, it makes it a whole lot easier to handle, whether you put your fruit in a mesh bag or not.

Good luck with your batch, hope it works out for you!

08-26-2014, 08:10 PM
Thanks for all of the replies. I scooped some out, using sterile technique, and it is now doing fine. This is my first batch so I did not add any fruit. I stuck to a simple recipe. Once I perfect my technique, i will begin to add fruit. I planned meticulously and had each step written down but I obviously neglected to prepare for the expansion. I will not make the same mistake twice.

08-27-2014, 02:47 PM
Simethicone is your friend! Get some, and observe a complete lack of messes caused by MEA.

08-27-2014, 10:34 PM
That's a good idea. We use that a lot in the hospital where I work. It decreases the surface tension of bubbles, allowing them to dissipate quicker. I believe it's also odorless and tasteless, making it useful for our purposes. Also, only requires a few drops to be effective.

08-28-2014, 01:06 PM
I believe a dose of 1mL is plenty for 5 gallons. So far I've only used 2/3 of a mL and been fine. More experimentation on the right amount would be great.

08-29-2014, 08:32 PM
We usually place one drop into 1L. What's the volume in one drop? I'm not sure. My next batches will be two 5 gallon batches. I'll test the simethicone in 1 batch (I'll likely try 1-2 drops) and use the other for a control. I'll keep you posted on the findings.

08-29-2014, 10:34 PM
Besides buying Gas-X, where does one procure simethicone?

Medsen Fey
08-30-2014, 05:36 PM
You can buy anti-foam drops at homebrew shops online, or you can get drops at the pharmacy that you add to infant formula to prevent gas.

You need more than 1 or 2 drops. If you smear it around the neck of the fermenter it also helps.