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Old 01-25-2013, 03:10 AM   #1
AColdOneInNH
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Default Graduated to using a blowoff tube, and just in time!

Yesterday I brewed my third extract batch since returning to homebrewing. For the first two, I had to keep adding water to the airlock during the first few days of fermentation. To avoid that, I decided to use the blowoff tube and switch to an airlock after the heavy bubbling was over.

All three of the kits are Northern Brewer. The first two were the Nut Brown Ale and the Honey Brown Ale. Neither one came close to hitting the top of the 6.5 gallon carboy. In fact each one barely had over an inch of foam before it settled out.

This time I did the Caribou Slobber, and slobber is an understatement! There was an inch of foam on the surface when I checked it this morning. When I got home from work, the carboy was completely full of foam and it's starting to work its way into the hose. I expected more activity than the first two kits from the extra pound of dry malt extract, but this is impressive. I'm really glad I used the blowoff tube with it!

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Old 01-25-2013, 03:16 AM   #2
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Why did you have to add water to the airlock?...not understanding this.

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Old 01-25-2013, 03:30 AM   #3
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With all of the bubbling activity, I guess the sanitizer in the airlock just evaporated. It never got completely empty, but when it came close I just added a little more to it.

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Old 01-25-2013, 03:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AColdOneInNH View Post
With all of the bubbling activity, I guess the sanitizer in the airlock just evaporated. It never got completely empty, but when it came close I just added a little more to it.
backsuction happens in the airlock. things get bad when fruit flies get a whiff of it. do yourself a massive favor; start using vodka in the airlock. insects get in the airlock and drown. water in there means their germs get in the beer and infect it. vodka kills germs before they get in. buy the cheapest vodka possible
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:36 AM   #5
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hmmmm...ok just never had to add to it myself. Anyway, yes, blowoff tubes are the way to go. I always make sure I start the ferment in a controlled environment that can be easily cleaned as well like a shower.

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Old 01-25-2013, 03:47 AM   #6
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do yourself a massive favor; start using vodka in the airlock. insects get in the airlock and drown. water in there means their germs get in the beer and infect it. vodka kills germs before they get in. buy the cheapest vodka possible
It's going to be -4 tonight in NH, so insects won't be a problem around here for a few months, but that's a neat idea. I'm using a Star San solution in the airlock now, but I like the idea of pickling any insects in vodka before they can work their way into the beer. Besides, then you can enjoy a bug martini when it's time to bottle.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:12 AM   #7
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It's going to be -4 tonight in NH, so insects won't be a problem around here for a few months...
LOL yeah was just thinking the same thing here in Chicago.
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