3 piece airlock or blow off tube

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richbrostrom

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Is it just preference, or does the blow off tube handle a "more active fermentation?"

Sorry if this has been previously discussed to death.
 
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A blow-off tube is always a good idea if your fermenter doesn't have a lot of headspace, if you're using a really active yeast strain (like a Hefe) or brewing a really big beer. There is no reason you can't use one for every beer though, which is what a lot of people do.

Personally I like the convenience of an airlock, and since I use ferm-cap drops in my boil I've never had a blow-off problem...until my last batch of APA! I checked in on it two days after pitching to find it had blown it's stack, flooded my fermentation freezer with krausen and decorated the lid. While I spent the afternoon cleaning and disinfecting my freezer, I did a lot of thinking about blow-off tubes. :drunk:

OTOH, maybe I'll just start adding ferm-cap directly into the fermenter as well.
 

blowmax10

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Is it just preference, or does the blow off tube handle a "more active fermentation?"

Sorry if this has been previously discussed to death.
in my experience, the only time you need a blow off is if the foam goes up too much and is going to over flow

Me, I use the three piece and have a blow off ready if I need it - but I've only had one batch that I needed it and never in my 6.5 gallon carboy
 

CHansen6

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The blow off tube handles more active fermentation. It allows any high krausen to spill out the top and into the bucket/glass/growler that you have the tube in. An airlock doesn't allow as much spill over, and can result in the stopper/lid popping out.
 

llazy_llama

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My advice to all brewers is to always use a blowoff tube in the following situations:

  1. You're brewing a new recipe that you haven't brewed before
  2. Your fermenter hold less than 6.5 gallons (assuming a 5 gallon batch)
  3. You are using a notoriously active yeast strain. Like BlindLemonLars pointed out, hefe yeasts are a prime example
  4. You're brewing a big beer. In this case, anything over 1.060 OG
  5. You're pitching onto a yeast cake
 

DrinksWellWithOthers

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I use 3 piece airlocks and usually use FermcapS. If fermentation gets out of control I can take the bubbler part out of the airlock and stick a piece of 5/8" tubing on.
 
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