View Full Version : Some Quick Advise About Fermenting?

11-24-2014, 01:56 AM
I'm about to leave for a week and I just started a 5 gallon batch. Interestingly enough my first batch. I've done a few things out of order, but I think I'm on the right track now unless someone tells me otherwise.

I put the yeast in my batch Friday night and realized I didn't have a real means to stir it. I gained that means Sunday (today) and stirred it up a little to try and get things rolling. I knew not to do it full blast or it might overflow, so i was delicate. Throughout the night I watched it get a little more bubbly in the bubbler. About an hour ago, my girlfriend noticed the foaming was getting up into the neck of the carboy and I knew that could be bad news. I figured maybe I didn't leave the bung off long enough when I stirred so I stirred again to de-gas it again but to the extreme this time. Went ahead and let it foam over and waited on that foam to get way down. Now it's bubbling every 12-15 seconds and I think it's probably ok.

My problem is this: I'm not going to be home for about a week. What are the chances this thing is going to foam up and possibly blow up while I'm gone? I'm ok with coming home and the batch itself is terrible. I just don't want an explosion. I'm leaving the carboy in the tub with the shower curtain closed as a precaution, but if I leave tomorrow and it explodes tuesday, that's going to be a sticky impossible mess when I get home. Think it'll be ok?

11-24-2014, 02:22 AM
Would have been better to start in a bucket, but okay....is there fruit in it that could be stuck in airlock? You might consider using several layers of cheesecloth and a rubber band instead of airlock

11-24-2014, 02:25 AM
No fruit! Just liquids. I've seen yeast itself clog up a tube though. That's why I worry.

I thought about something like the cheesecloth but didn't think it would work. Glad to know I was wrong. Thanks!

As for a bucket, I was given two carboys second hand and I got a little excited. My next batch will probably be more planned out and in a bucket. I was just REALLY excited to try something.

11-24-2014, 02:41 AM
Great! Good luck with it....

Sent from Arthur Dent's towel smothering a volume of Vogon poetry, some of which just leaked out.

Chevette Girl
11-24-2014, 10:33 PM
I've used plastic wrap and an elastic band, it's tight enough to keep the fruit flies out and loose enough to let the CO2 out but not so tight that anything could explode. Worst I've ended up with was some stickinkess on the outside of the carboy because it foamed up and pushed some of the liquid from the foam out under the plastic, but if you've got it in the tub, that should be fine.

11-25-2014, 09:36 AM
Yeah...no worries... crazy ferment time (sounds like a Japanese game show) is usually done after the first few days. After day 5 or so all you really have to worry about is an MEA when degassing or adding nutrients. SO...your carboy should just quietly bubble while you are gone.

11-25-2014, 04:35 PM
Hi Doctorbatman, I wouldn't worry. If there are no solids in your mead (no fruit) then there really is very little chance of anything clogging the neck of your carboy and if nothing clogs that neck then there is no risk of any CO2 being trapped and creating enough pressure to explode through the mouth of your fermenter. It is POSSIBLE that the yeast will create enough froth and foam to overflow but that is not quite the same thing as either a volcano of fluid or an explosion that hurtles fruit and juice feet into the air with enough energy to paint your ceiling. Brewers tend to ferment in narrow mouthed carboys but wine makers (and mead makers) tend to use food grade buckets as their primary. No chance of pressure build up especially if you only cover the bucket with a clean cloth to keep out dirt and flies and pets and children...

11-25-2014, 06:54 PM
A liquid will just just force some of the krausen (the yeasty foam on top) through the airlock and it will dribble down the sides at the worst. But in the bath tub is a good place as you can just rinse it off if that happens. But usually after the first few days the major part of the foam formation is done.