From the HBD Archive
From: adiron!Email.Harlequin@uunet.UU.NET
Subject: Re: carboy caps & bottle rockets
Date: 1992-04-21 14:11:41 GMT

In HBD #868, wrote:

> Why would you want to use an orange cap instead of a stopper and airlock?
> Even if you use a blow-off tube, the diameter of the orange thing is too
> small (unless you like plugged tubes and carboy bombs).

I've had my share of ballistic carboy caps--okay, maybe more than my share. I
did several things.

First, I went out and got some tubing with an inner diameter equal to the outer
diameter of the carboy cap's central (larger) opening. This will give you
about double the cross section of the tubing-inside-the-opening arrangement.

Second, and more important, I made sure to filter my wort when putting it into
the carboy. Nothing fancy, just passed it through a kitchen strainer and into
a funnel that has a plastic screen in the bottom. This is particularly handy
when whole hops have been used. Even when in a boiling bag, some of the bracts
sneak out with the sole intent of clogging your blowoff tube. It takes a
little longer to get it into the carboy, but what gets into the carboy stays

The best solution is to do something discussed here recently. Let the break
material settle out a bit and rack the wort off the trub before fermentation
gets going. I did this for a barley wine and left behind a gallon(!) of break
material. I can only imagine the carboy cap fireworks that might have ensued
with that batch!

Since I've taken these steps, I've had no more bottle rockets and no more irate
telephone calls from my wife after finding hops on the ceiling. But I probably
won't be able to replicate that batch of "Calamity Amber". Such is life.

Yours in brewing,
Scott Barrett

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