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Subject: overflow through airlock: contamination?
Author: Johnny7890
Dec 23rd, 2010
11:25 pm
just checked on my pale ale that i brewed 5 days ago. much to my chagrin, the beer had overflowed out of the airlock and onto the top of the bucket, forming a very hard beer crud that was not easy to remove. it did not smell good. i now know not to put 5.5 gallons in the plastic fermenter that is only supposed to take 5 gallons.

could the batch have been contaminated because of the overflow? the airlock had beer foam and seemed pretty thick. i used my wine thief to get a hydrometer reading and then tasted it. tasted like beer, but maybe just a little off - but nothing like the a$$ or rotten gym socks smell people mention. a slightly bitter / stingy aftertaste that wasn't the good hoppy kind. but it was hardly noticeable, and it could also just be in my head.

how can i tell if my beer has been contaminated?
Subject: Re: overflow through airlock: contamination?
Author: dkubarek
Dec 23rd, 2010
11:41 pm
because of the CO2 and pressure it is very unlikely that you have a contamination. Both are great preventers of infection. In fact, you can take that lid off for the entire primary fermentation without worry. Before or after fermentation is where contamination is likely to occur.
Subject: Re: overflow through airlock: contamination?
Author: beer4blood
Dec 23rd, 2010
11:45 pm
I agree. And the slightly bitter/stingy aftertaste is most likely from the yeast.
Subject: Re: overflow through airlock: contamination?
Author: Johnny7890
Dec 23rd, 2010
11:55 pm
well that's great to hear. thanks guys, i'll keep on trucking with the batch.
Subject: Re: overflow through airlock: contamination?
Author: wstmdhophead
Dec 24th, 2010
12:09 am
I cant even count the number of times this has happened to me. You're fine, don't worry at all. Just be happy you didn't blow your top.
Subject: Re: overflow through airlock: contamination?
Author: WAbrewer
Dec 24th, 2010
7:05 am
You should be fine but consider this simple fix..... BLOW OFF TUBE!!!

I had one clog my air lock while it was in the fermentation fridge Blew the entire lid off the fermenter shot wort all over the place (thank god it was contained) Left it in there with the lid off while I cleaned and sterilized the lid and airlock and put it back on.. The beer turned out great!! And the next day I made my blow off tube!!
Subject: Re: overflow through airlock: contamination?
Author: JoeWillieJimBob
Dec 24th, 2010
8:35 am
As our esteemed Tasty Brew colleague; monsieur BB would likely say...
'Send me the fermenting "crap"....I'll let ya know in a few months/weeks if it was bad!!'
This means relax Bubba, have a brewski...hang, let it work...some yeastie beasties 'stink' and CO with a 2 am your good friend in this case..
AND... all of the above suggestions are GOSPEL..
I think we have ALL been there 'mon frere' .......
Subject: Re: overflow through airlock: contamination?
Author: brewboy_BB
Dec 24th, 2010
12:20 pm
Thanks, JWJB. I couldn't have said it better myself. Email me and I'll send you my address.

Every time this has happened to me, I've been worried about an infection, but it has always been fine. Think about it. If your airlock was sanitized inside and out, only sanitized wort got into it. Some got out, but that doesn't count. Whats left, is more sanitized wort in a sanitized container, just like your fermenter.

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