Author Topic: Blow out tubing?  (Read 1635 times)

Offline tomservo77

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Blow out tubing?
« on: September 04, 2010, 06:29:09 PM »
Hi guys,

I'm new at this, and I'm currently working on my fourth batch, an IPA. I have my beer fermenting in a five gallon carboyl.  This is the first time I have made this volume of beer and I haven't needed a blow out system prior.  Low and behold, this morning, I found a large amount of foam in the fermenter and plenty of it intermittently spewing out of the s airlock.  Should I just let it go, or am I screwed because of contamination? Thanks for your help.

Offline rbclay

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Re: Blow out tubing?
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2010, 07:03:31 PM »
You're fine. You should get yourself a blow off tube. Here's the description:

Quote
Pre-cut 3.5ft. section of clear 1" OD vinyl tubing. Fits directly in the neck of standard or acid-style glass carboys. immerse the other end in a bucket of sanitizer to manage blowoff during primary fermentation.

Also, sanitize the end you are sticking in the carboy. You may already be past the point of needing this. In the future you may want to consider using a 6 or 6.5 gallon carboy or plastic fermenter (bucket) for primary and use the 5 gallon carboy for secondary.
Without knowing what your first couple batches were, I'm guessing this IPA was the highest OG batch you've done so far. I say you're fine because with a vigorous fermentation like this it is pushing out enough CO2 that you don't really have to worry about contamination. The worst that might happen is the airlock getting clogged and pressure building up and smashing your carboy, which could have been really dangerous. But that would have already happened and it didn't because you said it is spraying out the top of the airlock. I think the airlock would probably pop out before the glass would break.
Sounds like you are off to a good start...
Randy Clay
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Offline jptheelder

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Re: Blow out tubing?
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2010, 07:05:33 PM »
unless you enjoy mopping your ceiling, yes, put your blow off hose on. the airflow that is blowing out of your fermenter should keep the evil contaminations at bay. I put the other end of my blow off tube in a bucket of sanitizer, just to be safe.

Offline svejk

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Re: Blow out tubing?
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2010, 07:27:57 PM »
The only thing I'll add is that infections, while often talked about, are fairly rare. A carboy full of actively fermenting beer is an inhospitable place for the nasty bugs that would do your beer harm. I have been brewing for over ten years and I'm reasonably careful with sanitation (but not overly so) and I have never had an infected batch.  I am also knocking on wood as I type this.

Offline The Professor

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Re: Blow out tubing?
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2010, 08:13:11 PM »
I haven't used a blowoff tube since the mid '80's.
Invest in  a 6.5 or 7 gal carboy for your ferments and the blowoff tube (and all the beer it potentially  blows out) will be a thing of the past. Give the fermentation more room, and the blowoff tube is totally unnecessary.

The only way I see a blowoff tube as an advantageous thing is if you can rig it so it is mounted stable at the top of the fermenter, so the beer and some of the yeast  it blows out can recirculate, as in the old Burton Unions systems, such as the ones Bass once used;  when they "modernized" and stopped using it, it robbed their beer of it's unique character.  (But that's fodder for a whole 'nother thread!)
AL
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Offline tomservo77

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Re: Blow out tubing?
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2010, 08:23:42 PM »
Great guys. Thanks!

Offline timmyr

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Re: Blow out tubing?
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2010, 09:52:59 AM »
I ferment 5.5 gallons in 6.5 gallon glass carboys.  I have 1" ID / 1.25" OD hose on-hand that fits neatly into the carboy neck.  I initially ferment with loose foil over top of carboy in my chest freezer and if I need blow-off hose, I run it from carboy to a sanitized 1L flask.  WLP530 blows off enough I think I could immediately brew a second batch with what I pick-up in the flask.  I also wrap the carboy neck/tube with some saran wrap and cover the flask/tube with foil to keep out any potential contamination.
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Online denny

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Re: Blow out tubing?
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2010, 09:56:46 AM »
You can also use Fermcap in the fermenter and avoid the need for a blow off tube.
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Offline andyi

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Re: Blow out tubing?
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2010, 06:02:17 AM »

Sorry for the hijack tomservo77

Denny,

I have used foam control in the fermentor with no sucess.  When do you add, prior to activity or when you first see activity?

-Cheers

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Blow out tubing?
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2010, 06:25:19 AM »
Some yeast are very "sticky" and don't collapse as quickly as others, so they tend to climb.  3787 and 3068 are the two that jump out in my mind. But pitch enough yeast and have a vigorous enough fermentation, and you can get any yeast to blow off.

I use 6.5 gal carboys for 5.25-5.5 gal batches; large open buckets work too.  But keep a blowoff tube handy in case you need it.  They can be fairly thick, so the curvature is something you want to check.  Make sure the tube is long enough to go from your carboy into whatever container of liquid you use as an airlock.

When I used a blowoff tube that was too short, I would cram it into a bucket, but it would tend to lift back to match its natural curvature. You don't want that to happen.  So go with a thinner-walled blowoff tube or get it long enough so that it isn't moving around on you when you use it.
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Re: Blow out tubing?
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2010, 08:20:05 AM »

Sorry for the hijack tomservo77

Denny,

I have used foam control in the fermentor with no sucess.  When do you add, prior to activity or when you first see activity?

-Cheers

I add it as soon as the wort is in the fermenter.  I don't use it for every batch, but I always use it if the fermenter is close to full.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Blow out tubing?
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2010, 11:20:17 AM »
I add it as soon as the wort is in the fermenter.  I don't use it for every batch, but I always use it if the fermenter is close to full.
I add it when I see signs of fermentation, and continue to add some as long as the foam keeps climbing.  If it's not working for you. try adding more.  You can see it break apart the foam when it hits it.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline timmyr

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Re: Blow out tubing?
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2010, 06:34:36 PM »
Some yeast are very "sticky" and don't collapse as quickly as others, so they tend to climb.  3787 and 3068 are the two that jump out in my mind. But pitch enough yeast and have a vigorous enough fermentation, and you can get any yeast to blow off.

I use 6.5 gal carboys for 5.25-5.5 gal batches; large open buckets work too.  But keep a blowoff tube handy in case you need it.  They can be fairly thick, so the curvature is something you want to check.  Make sure the tube is long enough to go from your carboy into whatever container of liquid you use as an airlock.

When I used a blowoff tube that was too short, I would cram it into a bucket, but it would tend to lift back to match its natural curvature. You don't want that to happen.  So go with a thinner-walled blowoff tube or get it long enough so that it isn't moving around on you when you use it.

Duct tape also works well to re-curve a stubborn blow-off hose...just takes some creative rigging I've found in my chest freezer.
Cheers,

Timmy

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Offline tomservo77

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Re: Blow out tubing?
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2010, 06:34:45 AM »
Great stuff here guys.  I bottled then aforementioned batch and no signs of funk. Well see how she tastes in a few days.