Thursday, September 17, 2009

As Olson Johnson said to Howard...

I have encountered my first official blow out. I'm informed by the Brewmistress that the 090901 Gayle Bait's krausen slipped the surly bonds of carboy and touched the lid of the fermenter. And the walls. And the floor. And pretty much everything else in there.

Since every happening offers a potential teachable moment, let's see what we can learn from this one.

First, know your yeast! This was the first time I had used Fermentis Safale US-05, and I really had no idea how powerful it might or might not be. I should have planned safely. I really had no idea what was going to happen, and I put a regular airlock on the carboy instead of using a blow-out tube.

Second, heed the warning signs! When there was krausen in the airlock after the first 12 hours, I should have rigged a blow-out tube. Instead, I sort of thought "oh, isn't that quaint, krausen in the airlock" and went about my business. (Hell, I even squirted it with Star-San to rinse it off.)

Last, but perhaps most significantly, don't run an unknown product and then skip town assuming everything will be OK.

I have sought advice from HBT and the responses have made me cautiously optimistic that the batch is salvageable. We'll know more tomorrow, and hopefully I can post some "Signal 30" style pictures.

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