Author Topic: Cleaning Blowoff Tubes  (Read 906 times)

Offline Phil_M

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Cleaning Blowoff Tubes
« on: July 14, 2015, 04:40:12 PM »
So I think I've narrowed a recent source of infection to my blowoff tube. What's everyone's method for cleaning these? Evidently soaking in PBW followed by a good rinse and soak in star san isn't enough.

I'm using a 1" ID plastic tube stuffed into the neck of a 6.5 gallon carboy, FYI.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline Pinski

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Re: Cleaning Blowoff Tubes
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2015, 04:53:48 PM »
So I think I've narrowed a recent source of infection to my blowoff tube. What's everyone's method for cleaning these? Evidently soaking in PBW followed by a good rinse and soak in star san isn't enough.

I'm using a 1" ID plastic tube stuffed into the neck of a 6.5 gallon carboy, FYI.

I know it's darn near standard practice...  but I've never trusted the "1" tube in the carboy neck" blowoff set up because I don't think you get a very reliable or sanitary seal.

I like a smaller diameter tube inserted into a rubber stopper.

PBW soak and an occasional brush on tough debris is all I've ever had to do.
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Offline theDarkSide

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Re: Cleaning Blowoff Tubes
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2015, 05:11:39 PM »
I have a carboy cap with 1/2" tubing on the larger port for my blowoff.  To clean, I soak in Oxyclean and rinse.  Since I only need about 2-3ft for my tube, I'll replace it frequently, especially if it was just used on a active blowoff. 
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Offline gcupples

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Re: Cleaning Blowoff Tubes
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2015, 05:14:20 PM »
I have a carboy cap with 1/2" tubing on the larger port for my blowoff.  To clean, I soak in Oxyclean and rinse.  Since I only need about 2-3ft for my tube, I'll replace it frequently, especially if it was just used on a active blowoff.

I'm the same way. It feels wasteful material wise, but it's inexpensive and is worth the peace of mind in my opinion.

Offline Phil_M

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Re: Cleaning Blowoff Tubes
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2015, 05:18:48 PM »
Well needless to say I'll be throwing the old blowoff tube out.

What's considered the minimum ID for a blowoff hose?
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline gcupples

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Re: Cleaning Blowoff Tubes
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2015, 05:23:03 PM »
The ID is eluding me right now but it's the same as your standard 3-piece airlock. I've never had any issues with that size.

Offline johnnyb

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Re: Cleaning Blowoff Tubes
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2015, 05:34:50 PM »
Well needless to say I'll be throwing the old blowoff tube out.

What's considered the minimum ID for a blowoff hose?

I'm using 1/2" ID silicone high temp tubing slipped onto the inside post of a 3-piece airlock with the cover and the little floating bubble removed.

You can boil the silicone tubing.

My only problem so far is that I can't seem to remove the tubing from the airlock without breaking the plastic post. I'm going to look for a piece of stainless tube instead, then just clean and boil the entire set-up after every use.


Offline Philbrew

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Re: Cleaning Blowoff Tubes
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2015, 05:56:51 PM »
Well needless to say I'll be throwing the old blowoff tube out.

What's considered the minimum ID for a blowoff hose?

I'm using 1/2" ID silicone high temp tubing slipped onto the inside post of a 3-piece airlock with the cover and the little floating bubble removed.

You can boil the silicone tubing.

My only problem so far is that I can't seem to remove the tubing from the airlock without breaking the plastic post. I'm going to look for a piece of stainless tube instead, then just clean and boil the entire set-up after every use.
If you can't find SS tube, a piece of copper tube should also work and is easier to cut and bend.
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Offline jtoots

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Re: Cleaning Blowoff Tubes
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2015, 06:00:25 PM »
I have a carboy cap with 1/2" tubing on the larger port for my blowoff.  To clean, I soak in Oxyclean and rinse.  Since I only need about 2-3ft for my tube, I'll replace it frequently, especially if it was just used on a active blowoff.

I'm the same way. It feels wasteful material wise, but it's inexpensive and is worth the peace of mind in my opinion.

+2.  I recently picked up 100' of it for a fraction of the price I would have paid at my LHBS.  Ought to last for a while.....

Offline Phil_M

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Re: Cleaning Blowoff Tubes
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2015, 06:06:37 PM »
Another option I'm looking into is Fermcap-S. How effective is it? Wouldn't it still be prudent to still have a backup blowoff tube setup?
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline AmandaK

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Re: Cleaning Blowoff Tubes
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2015, 07:39:14 PM »
Another option I'm looking into is Fermcap-S. How effective is it?

Very.

Wouldn't it still be prudent to still have a backup blowoff tube setup?

Sure, for things like WY3068 or something. Otherwise, no.
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: Cleaning Blowoff Tubes
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2015, 08:26:56 PM »
I connect my blow-off hose to the inner post of my 3-piece airlock.  I had to trash my last one after its first use as I couldn't get a couple yeast stains to remove even after soaking it in hot PBW for days.  Oh well, a new piece of hose is cheap and good insurance for a clean fermentation. 

As effective as fermcap is, I gave up using it over a year or so ago as I felt that when I used it in the fermenters that the beers simply did not maintain their head retention as well as I thought they should have.  Not that I had much to compare it to, just a personal bias. 

Offline Pinski

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Re: Cleaning Blowoff Tubes
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2015, 08:36:11 PM »
Another option I'm looking into is Fermcap-S. How effective is it?

Very.

Wouldn't it still be prudent to still have a backup blowoff tube setup?

Sure, for things like WY3068 or something. Otherwise, no.

True, but then you have Fermcap-S in your beer.
I'm in the camp that will use fermcap in starters but not during primary fermentation.
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Cleaning Blowoff Tubes
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2015, 08:39:15 PM »
I accidentally broke a plastic racking cane.  I decided to cut up the surviving pieces into ~3" tubes that I use to connect the blow-off tube and the carboy bung.  It was a simple solution to what used to be a constant problem for me.  When the tubing starts to look bad or I can't get it clean enough for my comfort I replace it.

Better temp control and less greedy fills of the carboy have made blow-off less of an issue for me.  Not completely gone but fewer monster blows.

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Offline cascadesrunner

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Re: Cleaning Blowoff Tubes
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2015, 09:58:03 PM »
Guilty of greedy fills myself...then I stepped to the next fermenter size up.  The corny kegs get filled, but the pail of sanitizer doesn't.  When tubes start to discolor, it's time to pitch them.  We put too much time and labor to allow a great beer be spoiled by being cheap and not replacing a blow off tube. 
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