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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > fermenting / airlock / noob question
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Old 08-08-2011, 06:36 AM   #1
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Default fermenting / airlock / noob question

I'm a noob brewer currently watching my 3rd batch (downtown brown ale clone) do its thing. I boiled it up last night and it is in the bucket with a "S" shaped airlock in place. The airlock is filled with a star san solution.

The yeast is doing its thing. Lots of bubbles, and it's coming out of the airlock. My first batch did this a tiny bit but this batch seems like its more. I've already changed the solution in the airlock 3 times now.

I remember reading about a blow off tube. Is this the instance when you use that? What is it exactly? I'm guessing a clear plastic flexible tube sticking out of my fermentation bucket and the other end in some other container. Is there more to it? Does it have to be sealed somehow?

Maybe I could just use my autosiphon tube and have it run off to another bucket.

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Old 08-08-2011, 06:42 AM   #2
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You got it! Sanitize your siphon tubing (should fit in the air lock hole) and put the other end in a bottle, jar, jug, anything you got filled w. sanitizer. Find something to keep the tubing submerged in the sanitizer and your good to go! Glad to hear you have a healthy fermentation going! Brew on!!!

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Old 08-08-2011, 06:49 AM   #3
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Your on the right track Diaperload. A blow off tube attaches to your carboy or bucket and leads to another container holding star san or another sanitizer. This allows air to bubble out and no microbes to come in. This is necessary when there is blow off (i.e. Krausen) coming out of the fermenter. You want a blow off because a airlock will get clogged and will cause a mess.

Every fermentation is different so do not stress to much about this one being more vigorous than your other ones.

Here are two pics from my fermentation fridge a while back so you get an idea how to do it. Keep in mind there are much many ways of doing this.

You can see the tube coming out of my actively fermenting beers, leading to a container of star san.

This one is a 1 gallon size batch that has a blow off to a 22oz bottle of star san.

Hope this helped!

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Old 08-08-2011, 07:01 AM   #4
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Sweet mother of God! Words cannot explain my admiration of your brewing dedication!!!! Good lord I wish I had that many projects "in the wings"!

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Old 08-08-2011, 07:04 AM   #5
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thanks for the tip.

I've got a blow by tube rigged up. It's not pretty but it will do for tonight I guess.

The tube went into the bung nicely. I then took an empty 5 gallon bucket and filled it 1/2 way with water and added some star san. The tube goes down to the bottom of my bucket and is held lightly in place by a clamp.

The other bucket isn't sealed though.

How long should I run it with a blow off tube set up? A few days? Just until it slows down then switch back to "S" shaped airlock?

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Old 08-08-2011, 08:23 AM   #6
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I haven't needed to run a blow-off since I use a 6.5 gallon carboy, but from what I've read, they can hold the course for the entire length of fermentation as long as the container is kept full with sanitizer.

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Old 08-08-2011, 10:39 AM   #7
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Should the container that your star San is in be below the top of you fermenter? Or does this even matter?

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Old 08-08-2011, 11:25 AM   #8
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Doesn't matter. Most put it below just because it's easier to set the catch jar on the floor. As long as the tube is in sanitant you're good.

EDIT: Actually, now that I think of it, you want it below. You might siphon all of the sanitant into your carboy if you don't.

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Old 08-08-2011, 02:25 PM   #9
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I use an old 1/2 gallon vodka jug filled 1/3 of the way with water. It holds the blow off tube in place nicely. It sits behind the FV on the stand next to me. It filled about 10" of the end of the tube with water till the fermentation started. Just lifted the tube to release the water. It started off gassing like crazy,with no more suck-back.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:37 AM   #10
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I think I'll head to home depot and pick up some clear plastic tubing and also pick up some kind of half gallon jug to hold star-san. Using a 5 gallon bucket with a small clamp to hold the tube in place doesn't seem very practical. I like the idea of a half gallon jug that kinda keeps the tube in place.

I had to use the tube to bottle tonight so the extra tubing will come in handy.

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