Blowoff tube or airlock

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by RAtkison, May 21, 2018.

  1. RAtkison

    RAtkison Member

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    I brewed 11 gallons of wheat beer (SG = 1.061) which was placed in a 6 gallon and 6.5 gallon bucket, very little headspace in either bucket. I made a 2 step yeast starter of WLP001 and added an extra pack of yeast to ensure I had adequate cell count and split the yeast between the two buckets. Beer is fermenting at 69 degrees F. I checked it this morning and the airlocks already had pretty decent activity, only 8 hours after pitching. I'm thinking about rigging up blow off tubes on my airlocks after work today to prevent a disaster, any thoughts? Thanks!
     
  2. N0mad

    N0mad Well-Known Member

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    Do it now...
     
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  3. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    Depends on how much head space you have. Chico yeast strains aren't always "pukers", but when in doubt add a blow tube. Each strain of yeast is different, top cropping yeasts like Wyeast 1318 and Alt/Kolsch strains are the type of yeasts that really blow their top, even with a lot of head room.
     
  4. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, if you think you need them now, you'll regret it later
     
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  5. RAtkison

    RAtkison Member

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    Thanks for the input, won't be home for another 10 hours, hope it can hold off until then haha
     
  6. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    My ales are kept deep in the basement, down the stairs, past a couple of turns, through the laundry room, where my workbench is. One day I opened the basement door to go see how it was fermenting. I instantly smelled beer and yeast! Not good. It launched my airlock lid and bobble. There’s still a stain where it hit the bottom side of the workbench. But I’m sure yours will be okay! :D
     
  7. Beer_Pirate

    Beer_Pirate Active Member

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    I forgot about this since I've been using 04 and 05 mainly lately and just used K-97 in a beer that I didn't leave much headspace on. Guess who came home to an airlock full of yeast!
     
  8. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    They can be a real PITA. The problem is that the yeast flocculates up first before dropping to the bottom. As the yeasts flocs up, CO2 kicked out by the yeast still working gets trapped under the flocculated yeast, so the CO2 just pushes it through the airlock. I have tried everything to prevent this, but it's just the nature of some yeasts.

    Fermenting really cold helps, pitching a smaller amount of yeast helps somewhat too.
     
  9. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    More headspace is a great solution. ;)
     
  10. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    Even with a gallon and a half of headspace, I use a blowoff tube every time whether needed or not and it’s just as easy to fool with as a regular “s” airlock.
     
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  11. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I'm the same way, had too many blow outs to chance it
     
  12. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    The last 2 batches I made needed one after 5 or 6 batches not needing one.
     
  13. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    Can't remember the last time I used an airlock?
     
  14. Aub

    Aub Active Member

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    I just brewed a Belgian Dubbel using Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes pitched at 19 c increased temp by 1 degree per day, went beautifully until temp reached 25c, next morning I was welcomed by yeast oozing out all over the place. I've got a fair amount of headspace in a conical fermenter but it made no difference. I think I'm converted to using a blowoff tube from now on.
     
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  15. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    I just use Fermcap-S in the fermenter. Using 7 gallon Fermonsters leaves me 1 1/2 + gallons head space, but I don't like to clean up messes. I did learn recently that the Fermcap-S doesn't do the job when it gets too old. Can't find any info on the degradation rate. but it definitely fails to do the job after time.
     
  16. RAtkison

    RAtkison Member

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    Well it happened... LHBS was closed yesterday so I went to Lowe's, decided against buying anything there to make a blowoff tube since none of it was food safe and I didn't want to risk infection, so I decided to see how things went overnight. Woke up this morning with one bucket covered in yeast and the other buckets' airlock full of yeast. I cleaned up the mess and cleaned out the airlocks, they were still going good after I reinstalled them. Have decided now I am going to blowoff tube 100% as of this afternoon when I can go get the proper equipment. As for my current situation, I am expecting to see more of the same later this afternoon when I get home. Should I pick up an extra pack of yeast to split and pitch in the batches (assuming the other overflows today too)? This afternoon will be 48 hours since I initially pitched the yeast. Thanks in advance for your help!
     

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  17. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I’ve never pitched more yeast when I’ve had a blowout. I never failed to get full fermentation.

    Just an idea for you for a blowoff tube. It’s what I and many others do. Assuming you use the 3 piece airlock (lid, bobble, and base),remove the lid and the bobble, and put a hose on the tube of the base. Put the other end of the tube in a bucket of water. I got my tube from the LHBS, so I assume (though never checked) that it’s food safe. My bucket came from Walmart, and you don’t want to know what uses that bucket has seen while I’ve had it! I used to use sanitized water in he bucket, you know, because I worried. I just get that water straight from the tap now. I have never gotten an infection using that method before.
     
  18. RAtkison

    RAtkison Member

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    Thanks for the information, going to see what they recommend at the LHBS, most likely a blowoff tube attached to the 3 piece like you mentioned.

    The reason i'm concerned about needing to pitch more yeast is because when I cleaned the overflow off the top of the bucket this morning it was mostly yeast. Maybe there is enough yeast still in the beer to finish the fermenting but just wanted to make sure i'm doing it right.
     
  19. N0mad

    N0mad Well-Known Member

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    Your over thinking it... don't worry about the yeast it's going to vent into another vessel anyway... any good plastic tubing will work just hit it with some sanitizer... after all it's not going in the beer...

    I had to clean up a mess several months ago and now I ALWAYS do blow off tube(s) for the first week or so...
     
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  20. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    I had a blonde ale recently blowout the airlock 3 times. I just cleaned it and went about my day. Turned out to be a pretty good beer
     
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