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Old 03-08-2013, 02:11 AM   #1
Hopper5000
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Default Barrel aging blow off tube issues

Hey All,

I am on my second round of barrel aging in a 5 gal oak barrel and I am having issues with suction in the blowoff tube. I have done 4 beers (3 in the same barrel and one in a second) in 5 gallon oak barrels and have had the same issue each time.

I use a blowoff tube just to be safe as I don't want any overflow. I fill the barrel and might have some blow off action for a few days but then it usually calms down.

Here's the problem. After it calms down it usually starts sucking sanitizer up into the tube. I have never let it get to the crest and start draining into the barrel but I am wondering if anyone else has had this problem and how the solved it?

I usually just pick the tube up and let it drain and stick it back in the sanitizer but I feel like that's just sucking in air which has potential contamination. Am I being too worried about that? Sometimes I purge the vessel with CO2 first which is probably the best bet but I don't so that always

One of my barrel brews got some Brett and while I know that's not unusual with barrel aged beers I was thinking that exposing it to air might have been part of the issue. Thoughts/solutions are much appreciated.

I was thinking of maybe getting a longer blowoff and hanging it from the ceiling or something but that seemed a little extreme.

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Old 03-08-2013, 11:10 AM   #2
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Let your beer completely finish before you put it in the barrel. Then just use the wooden bung. There is no reason to put fermenting beer in the barrel unless i am missing what you are tying to do.

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Old 03-08-2013, 12:07 PM   #3
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its done fermenting, i use a blowoff because temp changes and off gasing and cause pressure in the barrel

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Old 03-08-2013, 01:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopper5000 View Post
its done fermenting, i use a blowoff because temp changes and off gasing and cause pressure in the barrel
That's part of the magic of the barrel. The pressure changes force the wood to breathe the beer in and out. Bung that baby up and let it do it's thing.
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:59 PM   #5
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so a wood bung? or would a silicone one work ok too?

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Old 03-08-2013, 04:23 PM   #6
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Silicone is fine. Just be sure to keep a check on it from time to time. As the wood expands and contracts it can push it out. The wood ones kinda wedge in there and hold on for dear life, to the point that you usually break them getting them out.

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