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Old 06-05-2012, 04:50 PM   #1
BeerEngineer11
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Default Blow off tube..or blow off tube then airlock.

This is my first time using a blow off tube; as well as a yeast starter and aeration (hence the need for the blow off tube!).

After the about 15 hours the airlock had foam and "stuff" coming out the top, so I replaced it with a blow off tube. Man did it bubble like crazy!

Now (about 40 hours after pitching) the bubbling has slowed significantly.

Should I put the airlock back on? Or just leave the tube in until I rack to secondary (or bottle)? I know that theoretically there is a risk of contamination for the few seconds it takes to yank out the tube and put the airlock in.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 06-05-2012, 04:54 PM   #2
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Either way is fine. I usually just leave the blow off tube on there since it's less work and I'm lazy. If you don't have a need to remove it (ie. to free up some space, use it for another fermentor, etc.) then don't bother. It certainly won't hurt anything.

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Old 06-05-2012, 04:57 PM   #3
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Also the risk of contamination is really low switching these things in / out if needed. Assuming you sanitize your hands and whatever you're playing with then you shouldn't worry. Basically something would need to float / fall into the fermentor and somehow take hold in a low pH, relatively alcoholic wort. Possible, but not too likely assuming common sense is followed.

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Old 06-05-2012, 05:04 PM   #4
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There's just about zero chance of contamination. I mean, consider how beer was brewed back in the day. Most contamination fears are unfounded. For every 100 threads asking about it, maybe 1 is really contaminated.

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Old 06-05-2012, 06:57 PM   #5
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Either way is just fine. I usually do a blowoff tube the first 7-10 days and then switch to an airlock because I like the sound it makes. During active fermentation co2 is pushing out so there is zero chance bacteria will get in. Also, i gurantee there is SOME bacteria in the wort regardless of how anal your sanitation is. The point of pitching adequate starters and airlocking is to REDUCE the chance of bacteria colonizing your wort not ELIMINATE it. elimination is not possible unless you have a lab grade clean room.

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Old 06-05-2012, 09:26 PM   #6
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I too use a blow off for the first week then switch to the airlock. You can leave it or take it off, it doesn't matter. I switch over to make moving the carboys around easier.

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Old 06-05-2012, 09:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammy71 View Post
I too use a blow off for the first week then switch to the airlock. You can leave it or take it off, it doesn't matter. I switch over to make moving the carboys around easier.
Ditto what Hammy said, I do the exact same thing
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:27 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the advice! I went ahead and put the airlock back in. I just like watching the bubbles!

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Old 06-06-2012, 01:33 AM   #9
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I leave the blow off on unless I need it for a new batch. I want to change it! That means a new beer. I only have one blow off assembly for my Better Bottles.

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Old 06-06-2012, 03:32 AM   #10
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Keep in mind that your blow off tube IS an airlock.

Pez.

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