Airlock vs. Blowoff tube?

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jajabee

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I love the "this vs. that" sticky, wanted to ask another one... I just finished my second brew (first was 4 years ago), and this time around I made sure to scrounge up some good equipment and do it right. I saw mention of blowoff tubes on these forums, so I picked one up at the LHBS for my 5 gallon carboy. I figured, hey, fewer parts, easier to clean, right? Got it set up in the fermenting bathroom, and it's bubbling away happily less than 24 hours in.

But then I thought, wait, if this blowoff tube thing is so much easier than airlocks, why do airlocks exist? Did I make a big mistake? Is my beer going to be... ruined? :D
 

TheTower

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I always use a blow-off for at least the first week of fermentation. Better safe than sorry IMHO
 

mr jones

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blow offs are very useful if you have very active yeast that makes a nice thick foamy head, and it can get into your airlock and leak out onto your fermenter especially if you don't have a lot of room in you fermenter.
 
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jajabee

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So what's the benefit of using an airlock? Are they cheaper, or better for less active yeast?
 

TheTower

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Cheaper, less equipment to sanitize, doesn't take up eny extra space. If you know you don't need a blow-off, airlocks are just simpler.
 

Clonefarmer

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So what's the benefit of using an airlock? Are they cheaper, or better for less active yeast?
Airlocks are convenient since they are small and sit on right on top of the stopper. Easier to clean than a tube.

Blow off tubes are bulky and need a place to put the container the tube is in.
 
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jajabee

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Ok, cool, thanks. I actually have an easier time cleaning the tubes (just blow high-pressure water through them from the garden hose sprayer, bam!) than all the little pieces in the airlock, so if it's not going to hurt my beer, I'll just stick with the tube. :)
 
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