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View Poll Results: Blowoff tubes vs. airlocks and the impact on the final product
Blowoff fermentation makes for SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER beer than airlock fermentation 1 3.85%
Blowoff fermentation makes for MODESTLY BETTER beer than airlock fermentation 1 3.85%
There is LITTLE OR NO DIFFERENCE in beers fermented with airlock or blowoff 23 88.46%
Airlock fermentation makes for MODESTLY BETTER beer than blowoff fermentation 0 0%
Airlock fermentation makes for SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER beer than blowoff fermentation 1 3.85%
Voters: 26. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-15-2005, 04:16 AM   #1
Thor's Avatar
Oct 2005
North Texas
Posts: 147

I've been an airlock user to date, but found the need to quickly put together a makeshift blowoff last week, when my Fat Tire clone started foaming out of the airlock.

It got me wondering, hence this survey. The basic question is this: does using a blowoff setup have a noticeably positive impact on the end beer's flavor vs. using an airlock, is it the opposite, or there no real difference in the end result.

On-deck: an ESB; a Sierra Nevada Porter clone; an Irish Ale
Primary: cleaning
Secondary 1: Summer Wheat
Secondary 2: American Ale
Bottled/Conditioning: Lonely
Bottled/Drinking: Heineken clone w/Calif. Ale yeast; Fat Tire clone

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Old 12-15-2005, 04:33 AM   #2
DeRoux's Broux
DeRoux's Broux's Avatar
Nov 2004
Beaumont, Texas
Posts: 2,959
Liked 6 Times on 4 Posts

i say no difference. i've had 'em kraeusen up into air locks, and no off flavors or problems.
DeRoux's Broux

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Old 12-15-2005, 04:45 AM   #3
ScottT's Avatar
Aug 2005
Hurst, Tx
Posts: 653
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

A blow off is just a different version of an airlock. It just allows the foam to expell if it gets that high.

Neither allow air back in just gas out.

Primary: Empty

Secondary #2: Empty

Bottle Conditioning: Oatmeal Stout

Drinking from Keg: Ordinary Bitter, Kolsch

Drinking bottled: Brown Autumn Wee Heavy
Hefe Weizen
Peaches and Cream Weizen

"This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption... Beer!"
-Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, Friar Tuck.

Next up: Hefe Weizen

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Old 12-15-2005, 05:26 AM   #4
Sep 2005
Posts: 38

I would be inclined to agree with the little to no difference crowd. Papazan says that blowing of kraeusen expelles undesiralbe fusals and my experience the batches that I've made that didn't blow off (because I use a larger fermenter) were better; however, I changed several factors around the same time so I would not point to this as being the one.

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Old 12-16-2005, 03:53 AM   #5
Nov 2005
Massachusetts, USA
Posts: 681
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts

I agree with the posts and didn't vote because I don't like the choices. I don't use a blow off because I hate to see the foam escape from the primary and turn to liquid...I should be drinking that stuff, not watching it hit the sanitizing solution!!!! I've been using a 6.5 gallon glass carboy with a lock as a primary and typically transfer to a secondary within two weeks at the max. I've not tasted any ill effects AND WILL NEVER AGAIN WASTE THE FOAM!

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Old 12-16-2005, 06:49 AM   #6
Tony's Avatar
Feb 2005
Saugus, MA
Posts: 916
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

I voted Modestly Better, but right between that choice and No Difference would be my real choice. I believe that blowing off does get rid of some materials and that it helps minutely at best.

It saves a mess though for sure!
Up Next: Cherry Chocolate Rye
Up Next: Gold Nugget IPA
On Tap:Pawtucket Patriot
Dead Soldier:Hop Rod Rye Stout
Dead Soldier: Imperial Hell Fire Ale

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Old 12-16-2005, 12:28 PM   #7
The Happy Mug
The Happy Mug's Avatar
Nov 2005
Beautiful Colorado, USA!
Posts: 442

You know, I think I can come up with a solution to figure out this problem.

Picture please, if you will.

Primary fermenting vessel. Filled nearly full. Blow-off tube attached, leading into a second carboy, fitted with an airlock. Keep all blow-off in second carboy. After blow-off, transfer 1/2 of the primary into the second carboy and allow each to ferment fully, racking and bottling both at the same time and keeping them seperate. Taste will tell.
Allergy Warning: This post was made by a person who may be nuts

From the store: Nothing right now, how sad
Up Next: Thinking about an amber rye
Secondary: "Not as Pale as Death" pale ale (since april, man I hate bottling.)
In bottles: Lager than Life Beer, Rocky Raccoon Honey Lager, A nameless Imperial Stout (my first AG!)

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Old 12-17-2005, 12:14 AM   #8
Nov 2005
Massachusetts, USA
Posts: 681
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts

You've a point. I may try if I have the ambition during my next batch but I'm usually short on ambition on brew daze, errr days ...willing to bet the effort and difference in taste is probably not worth the effort, like someone posted, "minimal at best". Guys, post em if you get em...results that is! Cheers all, ITS FRIGGIN FRIDAY!!!!

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Old 11-18-2015, 02:44 AM   #9
Nov 2015
Harrisonburg, Virginia
Posts: 755
Liked 117 Times on 102 Posts

Mechanically/physically speaking, the principle is completely identical in both cases. Water keeps air out while allowing CO2 to escape. Don't sweat it!

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