From the HBD Archive
From: Jeff Miller <>
Subject: blow-off tubes, mashing temps
Date: 1989-01-23 16:08:23 GMT

I've been sitting by watching the conversations on blow-off tubes and I
thought it was finally time to throw in my two cents. I am a firm believer
in the blow off tube method. I think it is the only way to go when doing
a single stage fermenter which is what I almost always do. If your using
a double stage fermentation then I would think that you might be able to
remove the wort from the oils before they start to get absorbed back into
the beer.

I have never really had any headaches with the blow off method. I always
take a look at the fermenter on my way to the shower in the morning and
the one time things looked like they were stopping up I simply fixed it.
One of the guys I brew with regularly had a problem where his blow-off
tube blew off his fermenter but nothing nasty happened. A possible solution
for those concerned with carbouys blowing up might be to use a canadian
air lock. You can take the top off it and attach a hose around the outside.
I think this works better then trying to smash a tube into a one-hole stopper.

> What do the big brewers do? I don't recall A-B using hoses and scaled-up
> gallon jugs to collect their blowoff. Presumably, they use a closed
> fermentation system, with the resins falling back into the wort.

At Summit brewing they use a blow-off method. I would imagine that others
might be using a two stage fermentation process and could remove the beer
from the oils. Yet another concept is that some of these oils are intended
to be in their beers? I seem to get worse hangovers from commercial beer
then my beer and maybe it is because more oils are in the beer? Comments


> To get high body, you must mash low; to get thinner body, mash high.

Are you sure about this? I don't have a good memory and my books are at
home but I thought it was exactly opposite this. As I remember it the lower
temps cause the chains to get busted apart and the higher temps cause the
cains to be eaten from the ends. The longer the chains the more body.
I used to mash at higher temps and often had problems getting the iodine
to change. When I did a tripple decotion mash (starting as low as 90F) I
got complete conversion and a very light body brew. I'll have to check my
brewing books at home to see if I'm all wet and if Darryl was right.


Sorry John, if I were you I wouldn't use the screw top bottles. They are
a lot thinner and it would be a severe bummer if you started blowing up
bottles. As far as soft drink bottles there was an article in Zymurgy awhile
back that talked about using PET bottles. I could look it up if your

As far as Seattle, I don't know of any brewpubs but there is the Independent
Ale Brewery (Redhook) which might be nice.

Jeff Miller (

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