I feel a little silly for posting something so simple, but neither my friends or I have seen it anywhere on this or other brewing forums, so I thought I'd throw it up here.
Having experienced some air-lock fouling frustration, I wanted to switch to using a blow-off hose. However, I ferment in a shelf/rack, and have height restrictions. Using a blowoff hose that extended a foot above the carboy wasn't an option. Also, I occasionally have need of moving the carboys, and wanted something that I could easily move along with the carboy without fear of spilling the contents of a blow-off bucket. Lastly, having a big huge arching hose makes me slightly nervous, as I was afraid that it could get caught on something and tip the carboy (while moving the carboy, or from dog, kids, gremlins, extraterrestrial beings...), or possibly somehow come out of the blowoff bucket and let in bad stuff.
I also believe this may be roughly the same price (or possibly cheaper), than a full-length blow-off hose and bucket. All you need is:
-about 3"-4" long of 1" diameter blowoff hose
-about 2' long of smaller hose (5/8" ?)
-1 nylon elbow (in my case, a reducing elbow)
-2 hose clamps
-1 carabiner (or long wire tie)
-1 milk jug (or other container with a handle)
I used this for the first time this weekend, and already it seems to have proved useful, as my nut brown yeast got a little too happy. This probably would have fouled an airlock, but the rig is still happily bubbling.
The one thing I haven't done is clean this up, but I think with some soaking and a bottle brush, it will probably clean up pretty well since the hoses are short...prob. much easier than a full-length blowoff hose, anyway.
I realize that this probably isn't quite as good as a full-daimeter blow-off hose, as the hose gets smaller at the elbow (for the purpose of fitting into the jug). You could probably cut the top off the jug and use a 1" to 1" elbow, and have a larger diameter in the whole line. Also, I realize now that I could make the blowoff hose even shorter, and have the elbow be just an half-inch or so above the top of the carboy.
If anyone has thoughts for constructive improvements, please feel free to post.
Also, if anyone would like an actual parts list (with home depot part #'s) just let me know, and I can get that tonight.