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Old 03-18-2008, 09:44 PM   #1
Laurel
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Default Making Belgian Wit - Will I need a blow-off?

This weekend, I'm hoping fermentation will be done on my American Red, and I'll be able to start a Belgian wit. I recollect at some point, reading that this type has a tendency to have larger than normal krausen. I use a 6 gallon carboy for fermentation, and I have both types of airlocks, the 3 piece ones, and a wiggly shaped one with 2 little chambers(I use only the most precise technical terms). Since I ferment in my fish tank cabinet (steady temperature, dark, cat leaves it alone), I'd much prefer not to have any blowouts. Am I likely to need a blow-off tube? If I will, I'd much prefer to pick up the stuff I need to make one before I need it! If it matters any, it's an extract kit, and I'm using Wyeast #3944 (belgian wit).

Thanks!

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Old 03-18-2008, 09:50 PM   #2
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I personally have not needed a blow off tube with my wits, but having one ready just in case is NEVER a bad idea. A gallon of headspace may be enough, but sometimes it is best to make like a Boy Scout and "Be Prepared"

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Old 03-18-2008, 09:53 PM   #3
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Depends on your gravity.

Even with low-moderate gravity beers, Wit yeast will ge thick and pudding like. Not necessaily blow off though.

If you're brewing something 1.055 or bigger, better safe than sorry.

Thing about the wit yeast is, a lot of it will get "beached" on the fementer wall as the krausen gets thick and sticky and you may see fermentation actually slow down. Give the fermenter a slight rocking to knock that yeast back down into suspension.

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Old 03-18-2008, 09:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BierMuncher
Thing about the wit yeast is, a lot of it will get "beached" on the fementer wall as the krausen gets thick and sticky and you may see fermentation actually slow down. Give the fermenter a slight rocking to knock that yeast back down into suspension.

Huh, learn something new every day! I had noticed this in my wits before, guess I will have to try your trick next time
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Old 03-18-2008, 10:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BierMuncher
Depends on your gravity.

Even with low-moderate gravity beers, Wit yeast will ge thick and pudding like. Not necessaily blow off though.

If you're brewing something 1.055 or bigger, better safe than sorry.

Thing about the wit yeast is, a lot of it will get "beached" on the fementer wall as the krausen gets thick and sticky and you may see fermentation actually slow down. Give the fermenter a slight rocking to knock that yeast back down into suspension.
Good to know. I expected to leave it in the primary for 3 weeks(i'm following the 1-2-3 method until I know better), is this a good method? In "rocking" the fermenter, can I just swirl it, or merely tip it a little and not create splashes to un-beach the yeast?

It sounds like I should get the goods just in case, it never hurts to be prepared, and I'd rather calmly go into my closet and grab the blow-off tube at 6am, then rush to get dressed, run to the hardware store, and frantically put one together.

What do you think of this design?
http://brewing.lustreking.com/gear/bbbot.html
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Old 03-18-2008, 10:05 PM   #6
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I don't see the need foir all the "joints" in that design. A single hose dipped into a bucket is fine.

Just give the carboy a rock back and forth. Enough to move the beer, but not enough to froth it up.

10gallon_brew1.jpg

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Old 03-18-2008, 10:09 PM   #7
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That design appears to be a space-saver, and also looks easy to clean with just a bottle scrubber. I think I could fit that into my cabinet with the carboy, but I think I'd develop a kink on just a bent hose setup.

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Old 03-19-2008, 01:00 AM   #8
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The 1" vinyl tubing people use for blow off tubes is not that easy to kink. I can't imagine mine kinking....

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Old 03-19-2008, 04:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rurounikitsune
The 1" vinyl tubing people use for blow off tubes is not that easy to kink. I can't imagine mine kinking....
I could imagine it kinking if it were jammed into a small cabinet with a latching door.
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Old 03-19-2008, 04:57 AM   #10
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Laurel, I have made a blowwoff like the one you linked to and it works just fine. Don't glue the pipes together as it makes cleaning it much easier. I think I would use one for your beer just for insurance or use foam control drops. >> http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?p=602603

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