Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > The Homebrewer's Board

Anyone had this happen before?

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BillyS:
I wish I'd taken a picture before I touched it...

So I've been doing the small-batch cider and wine that Jack talked about a couple weeks ago. 2 gallons of apple juice and 2 gallons of white grape juice. Popped the caps, pitched the yeast, and stretched the balloons over the top. I put them in a cool, dry place and went on about my business. 3 of the 4 bottles are doing really well. Balloons are inflated such that I have to pull them a bit to let off some of the pressure. One balloon did nothing. No worries, we'll just wait and see. It's been two weeks to the day.

Tonight I checked to see if I needed to off-gas any of the balloons. The balloon that never inflated had been sucked into the bottle and sort of reverse-inflated in the juice. I touched it and it popped, so the batch was a loss. But why in the hell would it work backwards?

archer:
you opened a black hole to the secret breweries of coors...

Beetlebum:
I wish you'd taken pictures of it too...

Have you already disposed of that batch? If not, I'd keep it and put another balloon on it. Just because the balloon popped and was in contact with the brew doesn't mean that the batch will spoil, just that there is a higher likelihood of spoilage. Even if the balloon shattered when it popped, if I thought I could strain it at some point, I'd try to and just see how it turns out. If it spoils you'll know it.

But also don't throw a batch out because of bad smells while fermenting. Some yeasts are known to produce a foul smell that will clear after fermentation. Some people will refer to it as "rino farts."

BillyS:
I dumped it because the balloon had fallen in and I didn't know why that might have happened. I'm thinking that maybe the bottle got bumped or shaken or something.

No worries. Got a batch carbonating in bottles and another about to start. This is fun!

fritz_monroe:
My theory on this is that you just missed the balloon inflating or the hole was bigger than in the other balloons.  Then the barometric pressure changed and the pressure in the bottle caused the balloon to be sucked in.

I'm going to step up on my soapbox for a moment.  All over the Internet, there are recommendations to use a balloon as an inferior substitute for an air lock.  However, a true air lock and a drilled stopper costs $2 at my local homebrew store.  A very cheap way to ensure that you get a good product out of your fermentation.

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