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Old 02-12-2013, 07:51 PM   #1
kkotwas
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Default Blow-off Question

I’ve seen people use the base piece of a 3-piece airlock to make a blow-off hose. They simply slip a 1/2” ID piece of vinyl tubing over the middle cylinder that comes out of it. I was considering doing this, but should I be concerned about the airlock portion still clogging? I recently had a blow out, and when I took the airlock out to clean it the part that goes in to the bung had a bunch of crud built up in it. Would this be something that would be avoided if all of excess krausen was being released from the blowoff tube? I’m just curious if anyone has still had clogging issues when make shifting a blow-off this way.

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Old 02-12-2013, 07:54 PM   #2
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It can get clogged with hops and spices and such.

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Old 02-12-2013, 07:59 PM   #3
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I generally stick the tube right through the hole in the bung without an airlock and place the other end in a gallon jar filled with sanitizer.
I would have to go look at my three piece airlock, but I think it is tapered and even slotted on the stem that goes into the bung, creating an area for debris to collect on the way out.

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Old 02-12-2013, 08:01 PM   #4
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I've had to do this a couple of times with high gravity, vigorous fermentations. Never had a problem with it clogging, but the krausen will definitely push through into the tubing and that is not fun to clean in the slightest. There are also a few LHBS's that sell short bits of rigid tubing (3/8" OD I think) that fit snugly in the stopper and tubing so you don't have to worry about scrubbing out the hard to reach parts of your airlock. Using these require prior planning on the expectation that you're going to get an overflow to begin with though.

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Old 02-12-2013, 08:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DenverUSMC View Post
I generally stick the tube right through the hole in the bung without an airlock and place the other end in a gallon jar filled with sanitizer.
I would have to go look at my three piece airlock, but I think it is tapered and even slotted on the stem that goes into the bung, creating an area for debris to collect on the way out.
That's exactly what I'm concerned about. Sticking the tubing directly in to the hole of the bung (i.e. the bung hole) works well for you. I know that sounds silly, but it's a serious question. Also, what size tubing do you use for that?
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnDeadPresident View Post
I've had to do this a couple of times with high gravity, vigorous fermentations. Never had a problem with it clogging, but the krausen will definitely push through into the tubing and that is not fun to clean in the slightest. There are also a few LHBS's that sell short bits of rigid tubing (3/8" OD I think) that fit snugly in the stopper and tubing so you don't have to worry about scrubbing out the hard to reach parts of your airlock. Using these require prior planning on the expectation that you're going to get an overflow to begin with though.
Thanks!

Have you tried putting 3/8' directly in to the bung, and does that work well?
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Thanks!

Have you tried putting 3/8' directly in to the bung, and does that work well?
That's typically how I have to do it - Stopper/Bung/whatever you call it=>rigid tubing=>hose=>pitcher/bucket full of water
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:17 PM   #8
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When I first started I only had a 5 gal carboy so I never used an airlock right off the bat. Just went with a blow-off tube run into a growler with water. I'd usually switch to an airlock after a few days when fermentation slowed down. When I decided to get some more equipment I went with 6 gal Better Bottles and it's not so much of an issue.

I guess I have been lucky and haven't really run into a problem with cleaning out the blow-off tubes...yet...

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