Blowtie 2 kinda…well…blows

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Summa_Brewologica

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Anyone else use this thing with success? I have a ball lock gas fitting on my brew bucket lid and set the blowtie to 2 psi. This should have been the first red flag because when I pressurized the brew bucket to 2 psi using the co2 tank and regulator, I switched to the blowtie and it didn’t even read. So I moved to a keg and pressurized to like 5 psi, attached the blowtie and adjusted to 2. Seemed to work.

I started a ferment in the brew bucket and used a blowoff tube for the first 3 or 4 days. Until the airlock activity slowed down. Then I attached the blowtie. Held steady at 2 psi for the last 3 or 4 days. Then today I see the needle drop. So I tighten it up a bit. Come back and check it and it went back up. This afternoon I go and check and the needle dropped to zero. So I turn it until I hear air release and back it off again. Check it again this evening and it’s at about 1.5 psi. Spray it down with star San. No leaks that I can see. The lid on the brew bucket is bulged so I can tell it’s holding pressure. Turn the dial just a hair and it immediately jumps a back up to 2.

So does this thing suck? Or could it be that the beer is about done fermenting so when the ferment chamber drops the temp, there isn’t as much thermal activity from the yeast to keep the temp up so it drops more than it did before and the pressure is reacting accordingly?

Anyone else have thoughts?
 

Golddiggie

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Never used it at less than 5psi. I'd also suggest sending a tube from the outlet into a container of Starsan instead of hanging in the air. Trying to listen for escaping gas is not as easy, or reliable, as watching for bubbles. You could also take the thing apart to make sure there's nothing on the diaphragm.

At this point I'm only using the blowtie 2 when I harvest yeast to act as a counter pressure relief on the yeast brink.

Also, I never used blowoff hoses, or airlocks, when I started pressure fermenting. With enough headspace, and fermenting under pressure, you won't need it. Depending on what I wanted from the yeast is what PSI I would set it to. For a while I was going in the 10psi range due to not really having much temperature control. Now that I'm using a glycol chiller, I have my spunding valves (SS Brew Tech models) set to vent after 5psi. That gives me enough control over fermentation, in addition to the temperature control, plus allowing the yeast to make the contribution I want.
 

DuncB

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What spunding valve are you using?
Not all spunding valves are equal and some notoriously rubbish.
Can you send details of your spund valve?
 
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Summa_Brewologica

Summa_Brewologica

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Don't use a spunding valve on a fermenter that can only handle 2 psi. I don't know what the minimum pressure the blowtie can work with but I know it's not as responsive down that low which is what you're seeing there. What exactly are you trying to accomplish?
My goal with this was to just test the spunding valve and maybe get a head start with some pressure for a transfer.

Edit: test the spunding valve at a low pressure the brew bucket would handle: main goal was oxygen free transfer using pressure from ferment.
 
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Summa_Brewologica

Summa_Brewologica

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What spunding valve are you using?
Not all spunding valves are equal and some notoriously rubbish.
Can you send details of your spund valve?
It’s a blowtie 2.
It very well might be just fine. User error. As bobby_M mentioned, it might not be responsive that low of pressure. That’s fine. Just seeing it hold the correct pressure for days then drop off was odd to me.
 

KBW PilotHouse

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My goal with this was to just test the spunding valve and maybe get a head start with some pressure for a transfer.

Edit: test the spunding valve at a low pressure the brew bucket would handle: main goal was oxygen free transfer using pressure from ferment.
I agree with Bobby M. If your lid is bulging you’re headed into dangerous territory. If you’re set on doing this in the future you might want to consider an SS Brewtech lid PRV for safety. Downside to the PRV it releases at 22.5 psi. If you’re attentive you “could” hold finger on top of PRV and release soon as lid shows sign of bulging, but again not recommended for safety.

 
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Summa_Brewologica

Summa_Brewologica

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I agree with Bobby M. If your lid is bulging you’re headed into dangerous territory. If you’re set on doing this in the future you might want to consider an SS Brewtech lid PRV for safety. Downside to the PRV it releases at 22.5 psi. If you’re attentive you “could” hold finger on top of PRV and release soon as lid shows sign of bulging, but again not recommended for safety.

Bulging is probably not the right word to use. Tight to the push would be a better way of putting it.
 

DuncB

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@Summa_Brewologica
That's better than the metal one. You can swap the gauges on those and get one with the lowest range possible, that should help at low pressure.
Not sure you get a great airtight seal on a pressure bucket with lid, so once active ferment drops off you're likely to lose your pressure. You probably could work out the column of water needed for a couple of psi and not use the spunding valve.
 
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Summa_Brewologica

Summa_Brewologica

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@Summa_Brewologica
That's better than the metal one. You can swap the gauges on those and get one with the lowest range possible, that should help at low pressure.
Not sure you get a great airtight seal on a pressure bucket with lid, so once active ferment drops off you're likely to lose your pressure. You probably could work out the column of water needed for a couple of psi and not use the spunding valve.
It’s all good. Maybe it wasn’t fair to kegland to title this thread the way it is. It was just a clever but not that clever or funny title. And yes you are probably right. I wouldn’t get too hung up on why I used it this time particular. I do all kinds of weird stuff when it comes to brewing. Just for the sake of doing it. I definitely wasn’t going for anything groundbreaking. I had bought a gas disconnect for the brew bucket lid to use for pressure transfers and cold crashing. I have the spunding valve and said “hey why not?” To my credit, I think it is holding pressure at 2 psi. I think it was a combination of the ferment slowing down and the gauge not really meant for that low of pressure.
 

superiorsat

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Have the same issue with Blichmann on an aceroto tank that I know holds "some pressure". I know it holds enough pressure to transfer but spunding valve is basically useless.
 

mbg

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Another issue - I bought the Blowtie2 when I got my allrounder. Version 2.0, thought it must be better then the 1.0, but, the gauge dial is sooooo small. I ended up buying the larger gauge.
 

DuncB

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@mbg
Agree the gauge is far too small, same on the intline regulators, impossible to see buried in the back of the keg fridge. Ended up fitting a spur and larger low read gauge on the outside of fridge. Interestingly it reads a bit higher than the inline gauge.
 
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