From the HBD Archive
Subject: first real use of a blow-off
Date: 1992-05-22 20:27:00 GMT

Dear Brewers,

I've brewed a few batches before - some successful, and others that turn
out tasting like...well, I called one "Chicago Tunnel Water" - but I've
never really used a blow-off tube before. Now I should qualify that
a bit: I've installed the apparatus before, but the brew never really
needed it - I've either used a 5 gal. carboy for a 2 gal. batch, or
as was the case with the Propensity Lager I brewed earlier this year,
the kreausen never rose high enough to need a blow-off (I understand
that that was because I used honey, as called for by the recipe.?).
Now, however, I'm experiencing a bit of anxiety (I know, it's a home-
brewer's cardinal sin...) as I watch my latest ale (porter) vigorously
blow kreausen through the tube I normally use for siphoning at a rate
strong enough to sustain a deep sea diver (nitrogen narcosis be damned!)

So, dear illuminati, should I worry? Specifically, I'm concerned that
the tube I'm using might be too small in diameter to 1) handel the
pressure, and 2) get clogged from a) leaf hops (even though I strained
and sparged, I'm sure some got through.) and/or b) grain hulls which
were too small to strain. Thus far, it seems to be going well enough
but, considering that I only pitched the yeast this morning (Whitbread
dry - 2 pkgs) and the vigorous activity I'm getting this afternoon, I
worry (there's that word again...) about clogs and resultant "top-
popping" (?). Oh, and another thing: due to the fact that 1) it's
now summer, and 2) the temp. is presently hovering around 82F, and 3)
I have little to no way to control the temp. on my porch other than w/
a fan, I'm concerned (a better word, I think!) about the effects that
will have on the yeast activity (the little buggers/buggetts are
presently swimming through the wort with more determination and speed
that I had when I was swimming competitively in S. Fla.!!) certainly
with greater activity than I've ever seen with any of my previous
brews. Is this OK? Should I attend to my brew any differently?

Finally, thanks again to all - especially to Mike Tighe - for your
responses about my mead questions. My batch seems to be off to a
healthy start. More on that later..

Thanx in advance for your reassurances and guidance..


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