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Old 05-19-2009, 12:14 PM   #1
bigmanbt
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Default Airlock and Blowoff question

Yesterday I came home to see that my fermentor was going crazy and foam/yeast/the stuff on top was coming up into my airlock. I use a plastic bucket, so I didn't think it was going to be a problem. So as soon as I saw that, I sprung into action and quickly got a blow off tube going. To do this though, I had to take out the gromit so my siphon tube could fit into the hole. Is it ok to leave the blow off tube during the entire primary fermentation? If not, then I am probably going to have to take the lid off so I can reattach the gromit so I can re-mount the airlock. Thank you all!

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Old 05-19-2009, 12:37 PM   #2
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Yes. I do that through nearly the entire fermentation. I only put an airlock on the last day or so, when I move it to a slightly warmer area to let the yeast finish up any work they need to do.

I ferment in the lower range between 60-65, but in either case, you will be fine. Most people don't catch that until it pops off the top!

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Old 05-19-2009, 01:57 PM   #3
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I have fermenters sitting on day 30 with the blowoff tube still attached. Usually I have to switch out with airlocks so I can reuse the tubes for another batch, but this time I didn't need them so I left them alone. I figure if it works for commercial breweries, it works OK on a home scale too...

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Old 05-19-2009, 02:56 PM   #4
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sweet. thanks. I was just curious because (i forgot to mention) my blowoff tube probably isn't set up in the most optimal way. Since this was an unforseen event, my fermentor is on the floor. My blow off tube is my siphon tube which is 6 feet long, so it is coming out of my fermentor, wrapped around one of my daughters stuffed animals (it's what I had closest to me in my hasty rigging) and into a canning jar of boiled/cooled water. Some of the tubing goes slightly uphill, so some junk is sitting in the tubes. Will this pose a problem?

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Old 05-19-2009, 02:58 PM   #5
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Try to get your reception vessel lower than the fermenter, if you can. Prop the fermenter up on a table or milk crate, whatever will hold it. That should keep your blowoff tube from clogging.

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Old 05-19-2009, 03:12 PM   #6
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RDWHAHB

No worries about leaving a blow off tube for the entire fermentation. Just think of it as an industrial size airlock. You may want to put a bit of sanitizer in the blow off bottle, just in case.

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Old 05-19-2009, 03:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by beerkrump View Post
RDWHAHB

No worries about leaving a blow off tube for the entire fermentation. Just think of it as an industrial size airlock. You may want to put a bit of sanitizer in the blow off bottle, just in case.
+1 on that. I've been leaving the blow-off tubes during primary for about 2 weeks and it works like a charm. However, the blow-off water sometimes becomes moldy, so putting some sanitizer in the water is a safe route to go.. It also might be good to change it once in a while, but leaving it as is for 2 weeks hasn't ruined any batches for me.
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:40 PM   #8
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I use a blowoff for the entire primary fermentation for every ale i make. I use a 1g jug with starsan solution in it to submerge the other end of the hose it, and sometimes have as many as 3 hoses heading in there.

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Old 05-19-2009, 06:04 PM   #9
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I got this idea from someone else on this board.

You can use one of those 3-piece plastic airlocks to make your blow-off tube. Use only the main body of the airlock. On the bottom of the airlock tube, i.e. part that sticks in the grommet on the fermenter, you will see it comes to a point and has an X cut into it. Cut the X away or about 1/4 inch. This will fully open the airlock tube. Insert the airlock back into your grommet and attach a 1/2 inch ID plastic tube (about 5 or 6 feet long) over the airlock tube. Runs this into a vessel with water as everyone described above.

With this set up, after 4 or 5 days when the threat of a blow off subsides, you can just pull out the blow off set-up and insert a regular airlock.

Dennis

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Old 05-19-2009, 07:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmanbt View Post
sweet. thanks. I was just curious because (i forgot to mention) my blowoff tube probably isn't set up in the most optimal way. Since this was an unforseen event, my fermentor is on the floor. My blow off tube is my siphon tube which is 6 feet long, so it is coming out of my fermentor, wrapped around one of my daughters stuffed animals (it's what I had closest to me in my hasty rigging) and into a canning jar of boiled/cooled water. Some of the tubing goes slightly uphill, so some junk is sitting in the tubes. Will this pose a problem?

I've had the junk in the tube harden and become impossible to remove. Since this is your siphon tube, I would try to replace it with an airlock fairly soon so you can clean out the tube.
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