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Old 04-14-2009, 07:57 PM   #1
Munsoned
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Default Second Batch, First Explosion

On Sunday I brewed my second batch ever--an American Wheat. I fudged the recipe a bit by adding a bit more DME than I should have, and ended up with an SG of 1.062. Measured it again to be sure, and it was still 1.062. Fine.

I siphoned 5.2 gallons into a 6 gallon Better Bottle (first mistake--probably should have not filled it so high), and attached a carboy cap (the maroon kind with the two tubes off the top). To that I attached a three piece airlock with a 1/2 inch tube running down to a jug with some sanitizer (second mistake?). Did I mention I also used a starter for the yeast (Wyeast 1010)?

I was nervous about the batch because it was a fairly high gravity wheat beer (not to mention the starter), so I had my SWMBO keep an eye on it during the day yesterday. The blow off tube was apparently in action by hour 20, with no problems. But, by hour 24, the other unused tube on the carboy cap gave way, resulting in wort/beer all over my basement.

Ala CSI, I deconstructed the crime scene and found that the 3-piece airlock I used for the blow off was all full of crud down at the tip from when the krausen reached it. When the krausen fell back down, it left the tip all junked up, which dried out, then the pressure started to build before the cap finally blew.

I thought I had the correct blow off tube system in place, but apparently not. So, how are you guys that use BB's doing your blow off tubes again? I'd like to avoid a repeat of this. My first thought was to use a dremel to cut off the tip of the airlock and shape it into a point for easy insertion into the carboy cap. Not sure whether that's enough though... Any help?

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Old 04-14-2009, 08:25 PM   #2
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pictures please

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Old 04-14-2009, 08:27 PM   #3
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A camera should be a prereq before joining HBT.

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Old 04-14-2009, 08:28 PM   #4
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Blow off tube is to be used in place of an airlock not in combination with. The whole reason for a blow off tube is what happened with your airlock. I tend to put a blowoff tube in until fermentation slows and then I'll put the airlock on if I need to use the tube for another batch.

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Old 04-14-2009, 10:20 PM   #5
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I know, I know. Sorry. I totally would have posted pics but my camera broke a few weeks ago, and I haven't gotten a replacement yet. It's in the unfinished part of my basement, so the camera on my phone just would not have captured it... I was cleaning wort off of the unfinished ceiling last night though--let me tell you, that's just tons of fun.

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Old 04-14-2009, 10:30 PM   #6
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AHS - Blow Off Hose 1" Thick Wall

This tubing will fit inside the neck of a 6.5gal glass carboy with an airtight fit. You need about 4 feet to get from the carboy neck to the sanitized jug. That sounds like a lot, but the tubing doesn't bend too easy since it is thick.

Not sure if it will create an airtight seal on a better bottle though.
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Old 04-14-2009, 10:41 PM   #7
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Take a hacksaw and cut off the tip of the airlock that has the cross on it. I do this to all of my airlocks not just the ones I use for the blowoff tube. And as previously mentioned airlock or blow off tube not both, IMO. YMMV.

Cheers,

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Old 04-14-2009, 10:50 PM   #8
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I understand that in the murky past somewhere near Germany, a "beer" called Gosen was fermented open in long necked bottles. The krausen would rise, harden and create a natural seal for the brew.

In a glass carboy this can also have the effect of closing off very small openings like in small diameter tubing - in some cases causing either the stopper to blow off with great force and mess or actually shattering the carboy.

I just used Simethicone (fermcap-s) in my last batch during primary fermentation in my carboy and was very impressed with how well it suppressed severe foaming - the yeast was very active (Belgian starter) but in a carboy that was 4/5 full the foam never reached the neck.

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