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Old 10-26-2010, 10:29 PM   #1
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Default Blow off tube or Air Lock?

Hello HBT,

My batches are 3 gallons. I have recently switched to a 5 gallon glass carboy for primary. What are the effects to the beer with using a blowoff tube versus just an air lock (with plenty of head space)?

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Old 10-26-2010, 10:45 PM   #2
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Doesn't effect the beer differently at all, unless one of them plugs up and shoots beer all over the place. Not sure I understand the question?

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Old 10-26-2010, 10:51 PM   #3
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Both work with the same concept, only one has room for krausen blow off, the other only c02. If the high krausen never makes it to the lid, they both work the same, if it does, then you'll be glad to have the blow off ready.

Personally I just use an airlock unless I see buildup nearly to the top, then I sanitize and plug in the blow off into a large cup, or jug of water. The reason I don't do this to begin with is because the airlock is easier and takes up less room.

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Old 10-27-2010, 12:29 AM   #4
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Chances are with two gallons of extra room in your carboy you will be just fine with an airlock only.. I make 5 gallon batches in a 5 gallon carboy so I am forced to use a blow-off assembly.. The advantage of an airlock is that it is much easier than dealing with a blow off tube and a jug of sanitary solution (I use a gallon milk jug, top cut off, 1/4 full of a very weak bleach solution).

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Old 10-27-2010, 02:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COLObrewer View Post
Doesn't effect the beer differently at all, unless one of them plugs up and shoots beer all over the place. Not sure I understand the question?
I suppose my concern was with the krausen being blown off versus falling back into the beer. I wasn't sure if using a blow off reduced the perceived hops flavor.

Being lazy, I really like using the 5 Gal, easier to dump the wort in and aerate as well as clean up after kegging.
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Old 10-27-2010, 02:36 AM   #6
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There are those who say that with a blow-off tube, the foam that blows out takes some trub and crud with it (stuff you don't want in your beer), which shows up as sticky, green goop in your blowoff tube.. But I've never heard anyone in my 15 years of homebrewing say that when they switched from blow-off to airlock their beer started tasting different.. IMOHO, there is really no perceived difference in bitterness or taste.. You can go either way and don't have to worry about it.

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