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Old 03-23-2009, 07:03 PM   #1
zippyslug31
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Default Do plastic buckets ever need a blow off?

Feel a little silly asking, but something that I've always wondered.
Almost without fail for my 5 gallon batches, my primary is a 6.5-7 gallon plastic bucket.... and without fail I've always started with a blowoff tube just out of habbit and "just in case". I've never seen the head build close to the lid so yesterday, after sitting for a couple of hours post-pitching, I just pulled the tube thinking I was being far too cautious. I'm gambling a little bit since yesterday was the first time I've used some washed yeast (and the first time using a starter). This morning the airlock is doing it's thing, and pretty active at that, but it's performing as designed.
Nothing splattered to the ceiling nor walls, so I tend to think I'm ok just start with the airlock in the future (unless I start in my carboy of course).

So.... assuming the airlock doesn't clog for some unknown reason, the good 4" to 6" of airspace is more than enough for just about anything I would make including a high OG brew, right?
Thinking of doing a barleywine soon and just wondering.

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Old 03-23-2009, 07:07 PM   #2
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With that much headspace, you should be fine. Should be. For me, it's not worth the risk. I had a massive blow off once, and I stick with blowoffs for anything I haven't already brewed. It's up to you if you want to take that chance, but I don't see any advantage to using an airlock over a blowoff tube.

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Old 03-23-2009, 07:08 PM   #3
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Yes, Buckets may need a blowoff tube.

Occasionally, my airlock will be full of wort, sometimes will find it on top of the lid.
I mostly make brews around 1.050. Just depends.

Never had an "explosion" though.

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Old 03-23-2009, 07:09 PM   #4
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I've had krausen reminants on my 6.5 gal. bucket lid from WLP 400.

I'd guess it would depend on the yeast strain and how much you like to roll the dice.

I've taken to leaving the lid unsealed until the active fermentation is complete.

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Old 03-23-2009, 07:09 PM   #5
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Another brewer I know had a bucket that the airlock got clogged and the lid exploded such that he ended up having to clean the ceiling.

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Old 03-23-2009, 07:10 PM   #6
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Does this answer your question?



That's not "ring around the collar" on the shirt dontjaknow, that Old Bog Road Brown ale pitched on a Bell's Amber Ale cake (of bottle harvest bell's yeast from a buddy of mine.) It went "boom" pretty early.

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Old 03-23-2009, 07:14 PM   #7
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Rev, what size tubing is that over the airlock and is that better than trying to shove something through the grommet.

I ordered the rubber grommets for my vittle vault that you suggested a few weeks ago, finally, but i'm still debating how to incorporate a blowoff hose if needed.

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Old 03-23-2009, 07:18 PM   #8
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Rev, what size tubing is that over the airlock and is that better than trying to shove something through the grommet.

I ordered the rubber grommets for my vittle vault that you suggested a few weeks ago, finally, but i'm still debating how to incorporate a blowoff hose if needed.
It's whatever the standard size for a bottling wand...that's where I sacrificed it to when I mounted my wand on the spigot...it just has a small slit on the end.

I used to post my 3 piece blowoff all the time, 1 thing to do is tho saw or break the criss-cross off the bottom of the airlock...I do it to all mine anyway. It prevents any gunk or hop pieces from clogging it.
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Old 03-23-2009, 07:19 PM   #9
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lol why take the risk?

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Old 03-23-2009, 07:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joety View Post
Rev, what size tubing is that over the airlock and is that better than trying to shove something through the grommet.

I ordered the rubber grommets for my vittle vault that you suggested a few weeks ago, finally, but i'm still debating how to incorporate a blowoff hose if needed.
I'm guessing the tubing he's using is 5/16". That what I have, and it fits snugly on the inside of a three piece airlock. You can get it crammed directly into the grommet of most buckets, but it's kind of a pain. Much easier just to run it under hot water for a minute, then stick it on a 3-piece.

3/8" tubing should work too, but won't be as airtight.
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