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Old 08-26-2010, 08:54 AM   #1
Jul 2009
Posts: 9

Why is a sight tube used and how necessary is it?

I notice a sugary after taste in some beers, and would like to avoid that in my own brews. Is kegging a way to prevent this as opposed to bottling?

I've heard that beer goes bad if it is chilled (once bottled/canned/kegged) and then warms up, and chilling it again will not save it. Is this true? And if so, why?

Why does the end of a blow off tube need to be submerged in liquid? To maintain proper sanitation?

Last stupid questions is this..as I understand it, the yeast eat the sugars and produce alcohol in the process. Obviously when fermenting the lid is mostly sealed but what prevents the alcohol from evaporating?


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Old 08-26-2010, 11:08 AM   #2
Jun 2010
West Chester, PA, Pennsylvania
Posts: 242
Liked 6 Times on 5 Posts

Sight tube just helps you measure the volume of liquid (water, wort, pee whatever), necessary... no. I use a pvc pipe with markings for both my pot and buckets. Took some math, but its works. But they sure do look pretty

Sugary taste? what beers do you experience this in? Could it be the style you were drinking.

Kegging v bottling no big difference. its a preference thing. but competitions require bottles. Check the This v That Stickey good info there.

As for the blow off tube ( i don't use one) but it a combination of sanitation and to act similar to an airlock, really it's just like a big airlock with a safety bonus in case the Krausen get out of control.

As for alcohol evaporation we're not making rubbing alcohol. Its Ethanol. The alcohol is in suspension with the beer, attached to things within the beer, its one with the beer. Its not going anywhere. Well unless you heat it above 150F or 170 F (can't remember).

As for the hot cold to cold again. You got me. I've always wondered this but never gave it too much thought.

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Old 08-26-2010, 04:15 PM   #3
Jan 2010
Shenandoah Valley, VA
Posts: 402
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

I'm not sure about the hot/cold/hot stuff. I've heard the same, and even had some beers that got chilled, then hot then chilled again and rarely get beers that are ruined,and don't think it makes much of a difference. maybe if its a continuous cycle

if the blowoff tube is not submerged, you could get creepy crawlies into the fermenting beer.

and WC was right, alcohol doesn't evaporate until just over 170 I believe. Not sure of the exact number without doing a search.

bottle - some odds and ends
Primary - Belgian Pale
Secondary - smoked ale, christmas ale
on deck - brrrrr-ley wine

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Old 08-26-2010, 04:56 PM   #4
JJL's Avatar
Feb 2010
, WI
Posts: 1,287
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The answer I've seen to the hot cold question is simply that it isn't going to ruin your beer. It won't even affect the flavor per se. It makes the beer age more quickly. So, if you have some huge barleywine or something, it's probably only going to have negligible impact. If you have something with a lot of hop flavor or aroma, or with fruit, those characteristics are going to fade more quickly if you keep warming it back up.

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Old 08-26-2010, 04:59 PM   #5
Aug 2010
cooper city fl
Posts: 40

I've frozen a few beers before(hey when you're in a hurry to drink and throw a few in the freezer to get em' cool quicker things happen) and once they go from frozen to normal temp again, they are quite awful. Just do your self the favor and do not let beers get warm, after all who wants a warm beer?

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Old 08-26-2010, 05:04 PM   #6
abracadabra's Avatar
Dec 2006
Newnan, Georgia
Posts: 1,923
Liked 8 Times on 8 Posts

Beer is naturally sweet, hops are added to counter act the sweetness, much like lemon might be added to sweet tea,

being from Chicago you might not have much experience with sweet tea it's a southern thing

The beer won't be ruined by allowing it to get warm but in order to preserve the freshness keeping it cool is the way to go

I've frozen some beer recently when my son pulled the probe out of the freezer and the beer was OK but it was only frozen for a short time. If the beer is frozen for a long time the CO2 comes out of suspension and the beer is flat.

An addtional reason the blow off tube is immersed it you don't want the beer exposed to O2 (oxygen)
Do what you like!
Brew what you like!

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