Today I woke up to find my carboy of hefeweizen spewing the krausen out and the airlock lying on the floor two feet away. I laugh when I think of the panic I used to go through when I first started brewing. I would run through the house gathering up an air lock, a hose and an overflow jug. I would throw out anything in the sink and start sanitizing the items needed. The whole time, thoughts that my beer is going to go bad ran through my head. I would put the blow by tube on and worry about if the beer is going to taste bad when its’ finished. I would get on the internet and research anything I could find about carboy’s overflowing during primary fermentation. I would call my fellow brewers and ask them if they think it will be ok, and they would say don’t worry it will be fine.After a whole lot of overflows in the middle of the night, I realize that I have come a long way since then. I have learned a lot over the years, especially in the overflow department. I always used to think something would get inside and contaminate my brew when the airlock popped off. After understanding that the amount of CO2 pressure coming out of the small neck during the primary fermentation; would not allow that, I am a very calm brewer now. I also have gotten to know my brews and can usually predict which ones will ferment like that.
So for that new brewer out there in a mad panic, don’t worry about it. Be prepared and listen to your fellow brewers and know that its’ all good.