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Old 08-24-2008, 03:18 AM   #1
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Default NEED HELP - Better Bottle Explosion

Just got home from dinner with SWMBO's parents. Last night I brewed a bourbon barrel porter with 2 quart starter and a spiced winter ale. Both are in 6 gallon better bottles and are 5 gallon batches.

The bung blew out of the top of the better bottle and the porter exploded EVERYWHERE...I'm talking ceiling, walls, ect. Thank god it was in a bathroom so it can be cleaned.

I had a blowoff tube pushed into the carboy bung. I usually use a half inch piece of tube in a carboy but with the larger diameter in the better bottle, that tube would be too small for the hole.

I want to be sure that this doesn't happen again. What do people use for a blowoff rig with better bottles? I thought the 1/4 inch or so piece of tube into the bung would be sufficient. I just put it back in after sanitizing...hope this doesn't happen again. I made a starter with the porter so the spiced ale isn't to full krausen yet. I'm not sure what to do to prevent this from happening with the spiced ale. Any suggestions? I know its not going to have as hard of a fermentation since I didn't use a starter with it

Gotta get back downstairs and clean this crap up...pics will follow later...

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Old 08-24-2008, 03:32 AM   #2
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We definately want to see the pics. Shoving that large of a hose through the bung probably didn't give you much space for the krausen to escape. Here is a simple airlock/blow-off tube that will work for most fermentations, providing you don't have any large hop pieces to get stuck in the tube. The trick is to remember to cut off the small crosspiece at the bottom of the airlock. Otherwise get a large diameter tube that fits snugly in the opening of your better bottle.

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Old 08-24-2008, 03:38 AM   #3
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You can buy one of these or build your own.

Better Bottle Big Blow Closure The 3/4" pipe thread port in this PET closure makes it possible to attach large-diameter, rigid pipe or tubing to Better-Bottle carboys for blowing off the thick foams that develop during primary fermentations of some beers and even some wines. The following 3/4", threaded or solvent-weld pipe and fittings will make a simple blow-off tube: a 90° street elbow with a 3/4" male thread; a 6" (15.25 cm) nipple; a 90° elbow; and a 18" (45.75 cm) length of pipe, threaded on one end. Most hardware stores carry PVC pipe that can withstand chlorine-based sanitizers. Do not use iodophore sanitizers with rigid or flexible PVC materials

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Old 08-24-2008, 03:49 AM   #4
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I use this blowoff tube from Hearts Homebrew made for use with Better Bottles. It's a specially #10 drilled rubber stopper with a length of 1/2"ID vinyl tubing. I've been using one for years with my Better Bottles and I've never had one plug up yet. Not even with this monster!



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Old 08-24-2008, 08:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McKBrew View Post
Here is a simple airlock/blow-off tube that will work for most fermentations, providing you don't have any large hop pieces to get stuck in the tube. The trick is to remember to cut off the small crosspiece at the bottom of the airlock.
I've always used this method for blow-off and never had an explosion. There were a couple times I had very vigorous fermentation and I wondered if the diameter could handle it. It always has.
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Old 08-24-2008, 09:17 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions and for your quick replies. MCK, that blowoff tube worked perfectly last night, especially as I had everything I needed in the house to put it together. That PVC blowoff rig looks like a great idea.

What a mess that was. The ceiling was so bad I had to repaint it today!! I've never seen anything like it.

Note that I'm having trouble loading the pics beacuse they are larger than 800x600. I'll need to try and resize them later...

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Old 08-24-2008, 09:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McKBrew View Post
We definately want to see the pics. Shoving that large of a hose through the bung probably didn't give you much space for the krausen to escape. Here is a simple airlock/blow-off tube that will work for most fermentations, providing you don't have any large hop pieces to get stuck in the tube. The trick is to remember to cut off the small crosspiece at the bottom of the airlock. Otherwise get a large diameter tube that fits snugly in the opening of your better bottle.
I do this system from time to time and I will tell you first hand this will get clogged if you dont have the head space.

I was having to push on the lid and force krausen through the hose with a pale on your better bottle or carboy it may work better.
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Old 08-24-2008, 10:40 PM   #8
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This was sort of a cheap and dirty version of a large blow-off when I was afraid the diameter of the small wouldn't work. I wrap (sanitized) cling-wrap around the bottle and tube junction, then put tape -- touching only the cling-wrap -- around the bottle and around the tube, pulling the cling wrap tight. Worked fine, but I really like the one displayed by Rich, though I might look for a sweep elbow as opposed to those hard turns.

I'll be using this method again today when my wheat finish the boil:


http://www.bodock.org/PostImages/200...avyBlowoff.jpg

Rick

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Old 08-24-2008, 10:47 PM   #9
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I just went out to measure my blowoff tube to be certain. I use a 1/2 OD, 3/8 ID vinlyl tube plugged straight into the o-ring on the BB closure. It's a good airtight seal, that still allows enough flow through the tube for any fermentation I've had to date. (knocks on head) The only time I've had an issue with a BB, was when I attempted to use an orange carboy cap with a two piece airlock plugged into it. I found the carboy cap. I think NORAD is still tracking the airlock.

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Old 08-25-2008, 01:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raceskier View Post
I just went out to measure my blowoff tube to be certain. I use a 1/2 OD, 3/8 ID vinlyl tube plugged straight into the o-ring on the BB closure. It's a good airtight seal, that still allows enough flow through the tube for any fermentation I've had to date. (knocks on head) The only time I've had an issue with a BB, was when I attempted to use an orange carboy cap with a two piece airlock plugged into it. I found the carboy cap. I think NORAD is still tracking the airlock.
haha, that's hillarious. This was my own fault by using a 1/4 inch tube on a big porter with starter. The beer's going to be great though!
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