From the HBD Archive
From: Gary Trujillo <garyt@hpfcspm>
Subject: Blow-off method experiment
Date: 1989-01-21 00:44:44 GMT

In response to Algis R Korzonas:

> with-water gallon jug to act as an airlock) for a year now
> and have had only one explosion. The problem was that the
> blow-off tube had gotten clogged. I remedied the problem by

In four batches where I used the blow-off method I haven't encountered
any clogging problems. (I don't recall the size of tubing used.)
All my brews have been malt extract and liquid yeast. Is it possible
this is a significant variable in the exploding carboy phenomenon?

> I feel that using the blow-off method makes for a much "cleaner"
> tasting beer. If you smell the gunk that collects in the
> blow-off container you definately will realize that you don't
> want to drink that stuff. I have noticed that the exact same
> smell that is in the blow-off container is "missing" in the
> finished product - which I welcome. The krauesen contains fusel oils

I have experimented with this belief. My finding was that there is
definitely a difference in the flavor of beers fermented using the
blow-off method and the air-lock method. While I agree that the blow-off
by-product is rather repulsive the flavor imparted to the beer gave it
its unique character. If I recall correctly, fellow brewers could only
determine that there was a difference, but not that either was good or bad.

The experiment was conducted on a lager using two 1-gallon jugs. The beer
was racked after 4-6 weeks of initial fermentation to jugs with airlocks.
Thus, the gunk sat in the airlock sample for the 4-6 week period.

Gary Trujillo
HP, Ft. Collins, CO

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