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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > best time to swap blowoff tube out for airlock
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Old 11-01-2011, 07:59 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by subliminalurge View Post
I ferment 5 gallon batches in 6.5 gallon carboys. Been doing so for 6 years. Probably a couple hundred batches.

Never used a "blow off", just use an airlock every time. In that time there has been only one time where the fermentation was so strong that the airlock couldn't handle it and the stopper got blown out of the carboy. And on that occasion I just squirted it down with star san, stuck it back in, and the beer came out fine.

Blow offs are a waste. Only the paranoid people use them. There's really no need. Airlocks do the job just fine. All you have to do is make sure to use a large enough container for your primary.

IMHO, blow offs are sort of a noob thing. If you hit your gravity right, and have the proper container for a primary, then an airlock is all you really need.

Blow offs are something you use on special occasions, when you're making an extra special, super-high-gravity brew.

You don't have to use them every time.
Technically, 3 piece airlocks, bubblers, and blow-off tubes are all a variation of the same device. A blow-off tube just provides more volume for venting CO2. You could say an airlock is a small blow-off or a blow-off is a large airlock.

There are a lot of variables that can affect fermentation from brewery to brewery: yeast strain, yeast pitch rates, beer style, gravity, aeration, your water, your local altitude, using fermcap, etc. I'd guess that most folks that have brewed enough wheat beers or imperial stouts have had a blow-off, near miss, or a yeasty krausen bubble over/out. Whereas someone that brews session beers or uses mostly english yeasts, maybe never has.

Personally, I get vigorous enough ferments that I need a blow-off every third batch or so using 6.5 carboys.

For doublehaul, as others have said, you can leave the tube on until the end of ferment or remove it once you are certain you aren't going to blowoff and replace with airlock.
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:17 AM   #12
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I leave mine on the whole time.
This is what I do usually.
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Old 11-01-2011, 12:11 PM   #13
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I wait till initial fermentation slows enough where it takes a while for the tube to make a bubble,Then remove the dirty tube &toss on a clean,sanitized airlock. I use a cooper's micro brew FV,at some 7.5G,& a BB ale pale at some 6.5G. And need a blow off some 8 times out of ten. Re-hydrate yeast,or use a starter,& you'll need a blow off. Nothing noob or paranoid about krausen & big chili & beer fueled dinosaur farts in the blow off jug. For our 2 current ales,we went through 3 blow off jugs. & that was only using a 3/8" tube. Quite a bit of krausen blew out of them with all those beer soaked yeast farts.
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Old 11-01-2011, 12:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subliminalurge View Post
I ferment 5 gallon batches in 6.5 gallon carboys. Been doing so for 6 years. Probably a couple hundred batches.

Never used a "blow off", just use an airlock every time. In that time there has been only one time where the fermentation was so strong that the airlock couldn't handle it and the stopper got blown out of the carboy. And on that occasion I just squirted it down with star san, stuck it back in, and the beer came out fine.

Blow offs are a waste. Only the paranoid people use them. There's really no need. Airlocks do the job just fine. All you have to do is make sure to use a large enough container for your primary.

IMHO, blow offs are sort of a noob thing. If you hit your gravity right, and have the proper container for a primary, then an airlock is all you really need.

Blow offs are something you use on special occasions, when you're making an extra special, super-high-gravity brew.

You don't have to use them every time.
This is the worst advice I've seen on this forum. This seems like borderline trolling!

edit: forgot to answer the OPs question. I always rig a blowoff. sometimes I need it, sometimes I don't, but I never have to worry about krausen all over my kitchen. I usually leave the blowoff in for at least 10 days, then replace it with your standard airlock.
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Old 11-01-2011, 12:34 PM   #15
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For me,initial fermentation blow off time is typically 3 or 4 days. When that slows,down,dirty blow off rig goes into sink & PBW.
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:07 PM   #16
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one bit of advice: do not leave the blow off tube in during a cold crash - I did that with a saison and it sucked all the water from the blow off tube vessel into the carboy. a sad and cringe worthy day.

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Old 11-01-2011, 03:09 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runningweird
one bit of advice: do not leave the blow off tube in during a cold crash - I did that with a saison and it sucked all the water from the blow off tube vessel into the carboy. a sad and cringe worthy day.
Why would it not do the same with an airlock?
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:11 PM   #18
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Why would it not do the same with an airlock?
Because when an airlock goes into reverse, you're still basically pulling gas into the outlet past a liquid barrier. In a blowoff tube with the end in liquid, you don't have air coming in the outlet, you have liquid.

Although certainly you could pull the airlock liquid into the carboy under the right circumstances. Would definitely be less liquid, tho.
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:20 PM   #19
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...or vodka,as the case may be.
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:30 PM   #20
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I brewed for the first time in forever and I'm ENJOYING hearing the bloop-bloop of my blow off tube. It says, "You didn't screw up (yet)!" ;-)

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