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? for those that swear by blowoff tubes

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maltMonkey

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I've seen a ton of people that say to always use a blowoff tube. I was just curious if they are only necessary in a smaller carboy or bucket.

I've never used one (don't even own one) and I haven't had a problem yet using 7.9g buckets and 6.5g carboys. Last brew was a 1.085 RIS with a 2L starter and while I saw a very vigorous fermentation that was pretty much done in 3 days I always had at least 10" of headspace in the carboy.

Of course I haven't tried pitching onto a yeast cake yet....
 

Professor Frink

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I typically only use one if I have to do my primary in a 5 gallon carboy. I've yet to need one for my bucket or 6.5 gallon carboy.
 

ColoradoXJ13

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Really depends on the situation. I keep an eye on my carboys and throw on the blowoff if it looks like it is going to blow. I have had to clean up a couple messes, even in my 6 and 6.5 gallon carboys.
 

Soulive

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I primary 5-5.5 gallon batches in 6 gallon Better Bottles. I always use blowoffs and I leave them on until I keg. I never do secondarying anymore...

(note: this comment is subject to change)
 

Revvy

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Professor Frink said:
I typically only use one if I have to do my primary in a 5 gallon carboy. I've yet to need one for my bucket or 6.5 gallon carboy.
For my currently fermenting brew in a 6.5 gallon bucket I decided to use a blowoff because I was pitching onto a yeastcake. I'm really glad I did. Lots of stuff blowing through it.

I did the mcgyver blow off attachment I've seen on here.



I don't know if I'm the only one whose ever lost the top of a 3 piece airlock, but I decided to save the rest of it for this purpose. I also took a small saw and cut off the little bit cris-crossed plastic at the bottom of it so that it would have unrestricted access.

When I left for work this morning the darn thing was still glorping away after nearly 36 hours, and the runoff container was 1/4 full of brown bubbling liguid.
 

Beerthoven

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Soulive said:
I primary 5-5.5 gallon batches in 6 gallon Better Bottles. I always use blowoffs ...
+1

I've started attaching a blowoff to my 6.5 gallon carboy, too, just out of habit. There's no harm in doing so.

I replace it in a week with an airlock.
 
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maltMonkey

maltMonkey

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The fact that so many people have needed them makes me wonder if I'm constantly underpitching.....
 

Soulive

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maltMonkey said:
The fact that so many people have needed them makes me wonder if I'm constantly underpitching.....
Don't doubt yourself. If the OGs are moderate-low and you keep fermentation temps under control, you may not need one. I just feel I'm better safe than sorry...
 

Beerthoven

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maltMonkey said:
The fact that so many people have needed them makes me wonder if I'm constantly underpitching.....
Well, I guess you could be, but it sounds like you have a lot of headspace in your buckets. I use on with my 6gal BB because the headspace is pretty small with a 5.5gal batch. Some yeast never blows off (SafAle S-04), others do pretty regularly (SafAle US-05, Nottingham). I just use a blow-off tube all the time because its one less thing to worry about.
 

Revvy

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maltMonkey said:
The fact that so many people have needed them makes me wonder if I'm constantly underpitching.....
None of my other brews have ever needed one...But since I was pitching onto an old cake (Safale-05) and agitating the heck out of it I figured this brew would blow. It was a strong brown ale recipe with a lot of fermentables, so I figured better safe than a total mess in my closet.

I think the only other time I would consider it was if I was doing a fruit beer with fruit in the primary.

All my other brews so far have been fine in the bucket with a normal airlock.
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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I primary in a 6g or a 6.5g carboy and use blowoffs for both. I don't have 10" of head space though, are you doing 5g batches? I almost always need my blowoff during vigorous fermentation period. I use smack packs for what it is worth, with no starter (I know, I have to start using them)
 

s3n8

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Beerthoven said:
Well, I guess you could be, but it sounds like you have a lot of headspace in your buckets. I use on with my 6gal BB because the headspace is pretty small with a 5.5gal batch. Some yeast never blows off (SafAle S-04), others do pretty regularly (SafAle US-05, Nottingham). I just use a blow-off tube all the time because its one less thing to worry about.
+1 on Nottinghams making a mess :)

Had a 5 gallon double IPA using Nottinghams blow the top off a 6.5G bucket, temp might have been a little warm at 74. Fermentation was fast to start, and fast to finish. Next batch of Imperial Stout using WL 001 didn't quite make it to the top of a 6.5G carboy. Close, but I could have gotten away without a blowoff tube. Temp was a pretty consistent 65 though. I guess based on my experience, yeast and temp have almost as much to do with it as OG and headspace.
 

ajf

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If you are using 5g carboys for a 5g batch, blow off tubes are always necessary.
If you are using 6g carboys for a 5g batch, blow off tubes are sometimes necessary.
If you are using 6.5g carboys for a 5g batch, blow off tubes are never necessary.

Until yesterday. :eek:
 

capcrnch

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Revvy said:
I don't know if I'm the only one whose ever lost the top of a 3 piece airlock, but I decided to save the rest of it for this purpose. I also took a small saw and cut off the little bit cris-crossed plastic at the bottom of it so that it would have unrestricted access.
Nope, you aren't alone.
I have about 8 air locks and i'd say 4 or 5 are the lock only. The hats and caps are no where to be found.
 

Revvy

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capcrnch said:
Nope, you aren't alone.
I have about 8 air locks and i'd say 4 or 5 are the lock only. The hats and caps are no where to be found.
Good to know I'm not the only one...:D

So last night I cleaned out the collection vessel that my blowoff tube has been sitting in. I had started with a quart of normal dilution iodophor. After work yesterday, after 48 hours of good blow off I had a half gallon of diluted ale in there. What was even more surprising was the quarter inch of really clean looking yeast at the bottom of the container.

I dumped it....But I'm wondering if that could have been used to make a starter from? Or would the iodophor have harmed the yeasties?
 

RLinNH

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I primary in 6 1/2 Gallon Glass Carboys, and I like to end up with 5 1/2 Gallons of Wort for Fermentation. I never go without a Blow Off tube, and about 50% of the time, I am Happy I used one. I always do a Yeast Starter, and I think that has a lot to do with it.:fro:
 

RoaringBrewer

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ajf said:
If you are using 6.5g carboys for a 5g batch, blow off tubes are never necessary.
Just finished attaching a blow-off to my 6.5g carboy with 5g batch in it, tonight... Had an airlock on there since I brewed Sunday, had activity within 18 hours or so, today I came home to blowoff in my airlock.

Not taking any chances!

Must say its the first time I used one on my 6.5g carboy... first time using a starter as well, so they may be somehow related? :rockin:
 

raceskier

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Another 6 gal BB user here. I always use a blowoff tube for the first few days until the fermentation begins to slow and the krauesen drops, then I swap it out for an airlock. I have had some interesting brown Starsan snakes spewing out of the blowoff container.

I tried an orange carboy cap with an airlock once. It may have re-entered the atmosphere by now.
 
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