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Old 04-14-2012, 12:46 PM   #1
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Hey hey! Happy brew day....

My question to you this beautiful morning is:

-When should one use a blow off tube?

-What factors come in play play here? (Carboy size, yeast type, OG, beer style).

I have a 6.5 carboy, and I plan to brew the "Wild Dog Days of Summer Ale" from the recipe section. Using WLP001 with a starter. OG of 1.063.

Do some use it every time?

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Old 04-14-2012, 12:48 PM   #2
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I just use one all the time, after having to clean up one time because I didn't, that was enough for me.

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Old 04-14-2012, 12:49 PM   #3
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I use mine pretty much every time. For me the deciding factor is usually the volume. I sometimes do small beers so the carboy is only 1/2 to 3/4 full so I won't put a blow off tube in.

It's just a habit or best practice for me. Sometimes it turns out that I didn't need it but I would way rather have it that way than the other.

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Old 04-14-2012, 12:49 PM   #4
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I've used a blow off tube once. I think it was in 2006. But that was the only time I've needed one. Others use one each and every time!

Headspace is the main reason. I have some big "ale pails" that are over 8 gallons, with a very wide headspace. Since I usually make 5.5 gallon batches, and I usually keep the fermentation temperature no higher than 66 degrees, I tend to not get very explosive fermentations.

If you're making a 5.5 gallon batch in a 6 gallon carboy (or even a 6.5 gallon carboy), a blow off tube is probably a great idea!
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Old 04-14-2012, 01:02 PM   #5
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Each fermentation is different. I have high gravity brews just chug along and nt need a blow off and had low gravity beers go crazy and blow off like crazy.

It is just so easy to start every one off with a blow off tube that I just do it out of habit.

Better safe than sorry. It is cheap insurance. Mopping the ceiling is something that I really don't want to do.

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Old 04-14-2012, 01:16 PM   #6
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Use a blowoff tube with this ale. I have cleaned beer off my ceiling, so I know. Gunk gets up into the airlock, blocking the escape of carbon dioxide, and then you have a successful missile launch. (Don't tell the North Koreans.)

I don't always use a blowoff tube, but I brew mostly lagers, and some of the yeasts are notoriously slow-moving.

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Old 04-14-2012, 01:25 PM   #7
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Unless you have some really big fermenters like Yooper does (8+ gallons), use a blow off every single time. You can't predict a blowoff, and there is absolutely, positively, no downside to using a blowoff tube. Really.

Cheers! Pez.

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Old 04-14-2012, 01:29 PM   #8
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I'd never used a blowoff tube, until I had a blowoff. Now I use one every time.
"Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver."

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Old 04-14-2012, 01:55 PM   #9
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Yeah, the general consensus is always use a blowoff because there is only one possible downside that I've heard of, and that is that it can be "awkward" to move a bucket and a blowoff tube at the same time. That's it.
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Old 04-14-2012, 04:27 PM   #10
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Use a blow-off every time. If you get into the habit of doing it, it really is not much extra effort than using an airlock. And the day you see kraeusen crawling up the tube, you will be thankful that you did it.

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