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Blowoff tubing- clean/re-use, or replace?

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Chaos_Being

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Well, I'm in the midst of making my first beer that required a blow-off (a wheat, no surprise there,) and will be racking it to a secondary for a fruit addition tomorrow. I am wondering one thing though- what to do with the gunked-up blowoff tubing? How many here clean and re-use it, and if so, what is the best method? Alternately, who just throws the mess away and buys new tubing each time? (granted, tubing isn't that expensive, but a penny saved blah blah blah.)

On a related note, I'm wondering if it will be ok to use the same blowoff tube that's on my primary on my secondary without cleaning, or if I need to at least clean the end (or clean the whole thing?) I'm using the bottom part of a 3-part airlock with 1/2" tubing pushed over it, and it looks pretty...brown.

Thanks everyone!
 

Bobby_M

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Thats' why i switch to a plain airlock after the really activer ferment subsides. It's a lot easier to clean the tube's gunk when it's still wet. I let it soak in a little oxyclean solution.
 

brewhead

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how about something like this? slip fit the 90° elbows and when the brew is finished - dissassemble and run a brush through it.

i never switch out - i always start with a blow off tube and finish out with one. no problems so far
 

ohiobrewtus

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I'm with Bobby on this one. Once most of the activity has stopped put an airlock in and get that blowoff tube cleaned out.

It's pretty rare that I'll use a blowoff though. Unless I'm pitching on top of a previous cake or really overpitching for a high gravity brew I just attach an airlock and forget about it.
 

ShortSnoutBrewing

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I've been using the same blow off tube for 6 years with no problems at all. But as mentioned, it's much easier to clean when when so let it soak for a while once you take it off. I've done everything from shove a towel as far up each side to using my carboy brush straightened out.
 

Jesse17

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Just a idea hear. I haven't used a blow off tube yet, but I think the easiest way to clean it would be one of those cleaning tools for a shot gun. It's got a brush or a foam type material at the end of a string. You just drop the string through the barrel (or blow off tube) and pull the brush/foam through the tube.
 

wilserbrewer

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hah, I've actually have started using a gun rod w/ a small fabric patch, since I'm sure not everyone has one of these, I would recomend a straightened coat hanger w/ a patch of fabric fastened/taped to the end.

Mike
 

anderj

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I have a strange set up but it works well. I have a rag with a piece of thick string tied around the middle of it while it is rolled up. The other end of the string is tied to some random bit of metal with some heft to it but still small enough to get through the tube. I toss the metal bit in one end, gravity gets it out the other and I pull the rag through a few times. I use a pretty big rag so that while I am pulling it through it has some pressure in the inside of the tube (strong string or fishing line will avoid breakage). I don't do this everytime but if I let the tube sit and dry. This is the best way I can think of using household materials and not buying another brush.
-ander
 

BeerCanuck

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For cleaning of hose I find stick the end of the hose on a plastic bottle washer and let hot water run through it then soak in jar of oxiclean / star san.

Cheers
BeerCanuck
 

stormtracker

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Jesse17 said:
Just a idea hear. I haven't used a blow off tube yet, but I think the easiest way to clean it would be one of those cleaning tools for a shot gun. It's got a brush or a foam type material at the end of a string. You just drop the string through the barrel (or blow off tube) and pull the brush/foam through the tube.

I have one and it has a brass bristle braided in it so unfortunately it wont work as intended ofr this application.
 
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Chaos_Being

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Looks like the concensus is clean the sucker...thanks everyone!

And yes, the blowoff tube does look pretty nasty- I had my wife look at it right after the bucket was done blowing off, and she said "it looks like the beer puked" :cross:
 

Nurmey

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For the larger size blow off tubes, you can use the gun barrel cleaning method. Take a length of string longer than the tube, tie a weight to one end and a soft, wet cloth to the other. Feed the string into the tube and pull. It gets the large chunks out of the tube pretty good. Obviously, you do not want to pull anything through you tube that will scratch the inside (make sure your tube and cloth are both wet). I like a fishing weight because it's rounded and will fall through the tube easily.
 
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