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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Blow off vs Airlock
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Old 06-11-2011, 04:20 PM   #1
Tuggy
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Default Blow off vs Airlock

I've tried to search for my question, but haven't found the answer.

I've been using airlocks for a long time with zero problems. So my question isn't about which one works better, but does one change the taste / clarity.

I did my first batch while using a blow off tube and it was working great, but I noticed that the blow off container is filling a little. It also has changed color a little.

I drained some of the water from the blow off container so that doesn't over flow and I smelled the water. I noticed it had a nice hoppy smell.

Does using a blow off change the flavor of the beer? Since I noticed that a lot of yeast / aroma ends up out off the beer and into the container. As opposed to the airlock that everything stays in the carboy.

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Old 06-11-2011, 04:58 PM   #2
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I have read that old German brewers would try to make as much of the krausen blow off as possible, or some would even skim off the Krausen from fermenters. Some old brewing books I have read also advocate filling the carboy up to purposely causing Krausen to blow off. I have tried both ways with the same recipe and have never noticed a difference. But then again if it works for you do it! I can say the majority of home brewers I have meet do not worry about Krausen affecting taste of beer. We use blow off more to avoid a mess than for any benefit to the beer.

Clarity is the same whether you allow for blow off, or use a fermenter big enough to contain it. You are correct in not letting the water over flow from your blow off bucket, it will make a mess.

I think it is better not to use a blow off, if you have a big enough fermenter. I notice some yeast will come out through the blow off, and I get goose bumps when this happens. Then again I do not think it makes that big of a difference after all it is only a small amount of yeast, but we brew beer to get the best possible beer and that is one obvious avoidable situation so why not.

The aroma that you smell coming out of the blow off also comes out of the airlock as well as the blow off tube, and this is fine no worries. You just do not want to be dry hoping or adding vanilla when your beer is fermenting that hard, then you will really loose the aroma from the dry hopping.

As you will find out, when it comes to brewing there are tons of ways of doing something. You are just going to pick a middle path and go from there.

Hope this helped some.

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Old 06-11-2011, 05:51 PM   #3
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As GSB says the traditional German way is to blow off the krausen for clarity and less bitterness in the beer, they reckon that any of the break that gets through into the beer rises up with this stuff and can be safely removed, you'll notice yourself that it's grey and mucky at the start until it starts to clear once the first part has blown off.

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Old 06-11-2011, 05:53 PM   #4
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It might depend on how you have your blow off tube set up. I attach mine to the center tube of a three piece airlock in a stopper just like using an airlock. Anything that ends up in the blow off catcher would have either escped through the airlock as gas or gotten the airlock all gunked up. I've started using blow off tubes on all of my batches after the 3rd time I had a stopper/lid shoot off. Cleaning up the fridge is not fun. Smaller beers would probably be fine with out a blow off, but for my set up I like the blow off tubes.

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Old 06-11-2011, 06:03 PM   #5
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My blow off set up is pretty simple. I just grabbed a 1" tube x 4ft and put it into the top of my carboy down to my filled container. I filled the carboy almost to the top so I expected much of the krausen to go through the blow off.

As long as it doesn't effect the beer I'm happy. I just wanted to watch it this time. Can't see through my plastic bucket.

And thank you for your replies. It helps a lot.

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Old 06-11-2011, 06:07 PM   #6
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If it affects the beer at all it's for the better.

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Old 06-20-2011, 08:52 PM   #7
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So I've noticed that this particular brew that has used the blow off is already clear after 10 days. I tried a sample from the hydrometer tube and it also tasted great.

Would it make sense that a blow-off tube would help clear the beer?

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