From the HBD Archive
Subject: Mega stout eruption
Date: 1989-06-05 14:00:00 GMT

I had been intrigued by the Mega Stout recipe in the winter issue of
Zymurgy, so I decided to brew up a batch last thursday. The recipe
comes with a warning that initial fermentation tends to be EXTREMELY
vigorous and a lot of brew could be blown off. They ain't kidding !!
First of all, I don't employ a blow-off tube. I just ferment in the
standard 7 1/2 gallon plastic bucket with lid and airlock. I pitched
a packet of M&F ale yeast on Friday morning (71 degrees) and went to
work. When I got home, I went to see if fermentation had started.
Well, the foam was rising out of the airlock (it had just started).
I cracked the lid open to let pressure out and took off the airlock
to clean, refill and sanitize. When I got back (5 minutes) the volcano
was spewing out lava over the side at an good clip with the lava messing up
the counter pretty good. I decided to seal it up and let the stuff
come through the airlock. That way I could lay paper towels all around
on the lid and pick up the excess. I came back to check on it about an
hour later and just as I approached it, the lid blew off the container,
traveling (no exaggeration, here) 2 feet in the air before landing behind
the cabinet. After I cleaned the lid, I left it cracked a bit and let the
lava spew out. This continued to at least 1:00 AM (I went to bed). At 7:00
AM it had stopped and I quickly sanitized my carboy and racked. It's bubbling
slowly now.

I'm not worried. Just thought I'd let you know he meant it when he said
extremely vigorous. I'll let you know how it turned out, though it won't
last long: I'm bringing the entire batch camping in the middle of July.
Should make an interesting substitute for beans around the campfire!!

Mark N.

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