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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > blowoff frequency
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Old 08-31-2009, 08:21 AM   #1
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Default blowoff frequency

How often does a blowoff happen with an airlock? I get the feeling most brewers on this site don't use an airlock. I have the plastic bucket with a hole in the top - how do you keep it airtight?

How often do you have to change the water in the blowoff bucket?

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Old 08-31-2009, 10:39 AM   #2
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Blowoff happens often with wheat beers. Usually your normal ales and such will not blow off. I have used both depending on the type of beer I am brewing. I use a 6.5gal carboy with 5gal of wort, so I have some head room. Right now I am making a blonde ale and I am using a air lock. Last was a Hefe, so I used a blow off.

When you are saying a plastic bucket with a hole in the top are you referring to your fermentor or your blow off bucket? The fermentor will be fine with a small hole. The CO2 the yeast gives off will blanket the beer and protect it from oxygen. The real reason to have it closed off is infection. During fermentation it is really easy for the beer to get mold, or wild yeast causing off flavors. The water in the air lock, or blow off is always my left over water from sanitizing. The reason I do this is because the water will stay clean not start getting nasty, so I don’t change the water for over 3 weeks.

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Old 08-31-2009, 11:56 AM   #3
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I brew your typical brews, ambers, brown, porter, IPA, APA and it's about 15-20% of the time, less in winter when the fermentation is at a cooler temp.

Ive never changed the water, its only a day or to I use a blow off tube, once the blow off is over (about 12 hours maybe? I put the airlock back on.

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Old 08-31-2009, 01:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer1222 View Post
How often does a blowoff happen with an airlock? I get the feeling most brewers on this site don't use an airlock. I have the plastic bucket with a hole in the top - how do you keep it airtight?

How often do you have to change the water in the blowoff bucket?
Sir, You'll find that a blowoff tube is your friend, I now use it on all primary fermentations until krausen has fallen. I've stopped trying to predict which brew will blow off, too many variables to predict. So to answer your first question (I think): I plan on every time.

If your beer is fermenting there is no need to have the bucket airtight, it will produce enough CO2 to protect the beer. Some people only use tinfoil to cover the fermentor during primary fermentation. I use a lid to keep out bugs and in case a critter brushes by it or it gets knocked over by some extreme mishap.

I don't change the water in the blowoff bucket, there is no need.

As a side note, when you do use an airlock, in my opinion it is better to use cheap vodka to fill it in case you pull a vacuum when pulling it out or removing the lid so that if some gets sucked in the fermentor all it does is add alcohol instead of adding possible unwanted organisms.
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Old 08-31-2009, 01:26 PM   #5
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I have only needed a blow off tube twice that I can remember. I usually ferment on the cool side of the yeast strains optimum temperature, and I use a 7.5 gallon primary bucket, so I rarely get any krausen out of the airlock.

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Old 08-31-2009, 01:35 PM   #6
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It's kind of like a seatbelt. It seems like a hassle until you hit a tree.

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Old 08-31-2009, 01:53 PM   #7
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After a rather nasty incident with a belgian strong spewing out my airlock and all over the bathroom floor, I now do all my beers with a blowoff.

You can actually take the airlock and convert it to a blowoff by attaching some 1/2 inch tubing to it (assuming you have the same airlock as I do).

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Old 09-01-2009, 08:36 AM   #8
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You can actually take the airlock and convert it to a blowoff by attaching some 1/2 inch tubing to it (assuming you have the same airlock as I do).
I have something like this, but is a just a small peice of plastic that the hose goes on and gets inserted into the stopper. I have not had a blow off yet, but I am just beginging to do yeast starters, so that could quickly change.
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Old 09-09-2009, 04:44 AM   #9
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I was wondering the actual method of connecting the hose to it. Both my airlocks are on fermenters right now, but it sure does look like the half inch tube that I have.

So, stick the tube in the airlock, stick the airlock in the fermentor, and put the other end in under sanitized water in a container. Think a growler is big enough?

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Old 09-09-2009, 05:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
It's kind of like a seatbelt. It seems like a hassle until you hit a tree.
Good way to phrase it.

I use one on every batch but I have carboys and Better Bottles. With a plastic bucket I would probably drill a larger hole in the lid for a rubber stopper to hold a 1\2" or larger diameter tube.
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