From the HBD Archive
From: rogerl@Think.COM
Subject: Blow Off, Grain Crushing Comments & a Lager Question
Date: 1989-01-24 14:48:51 GMT

First Thanks to Dick Dunn for catching my typing error.(so much for my
proof reading skills)

Re: Blow Off - I use this when I want to ensure a smoother finished
product. I too have noticed that there is a difference between using
it and not. The difference is neither good nor bad, as was mentioned
by Gary Trujillo. The end product is just different. And I haven't
notice a hang over difference either.(more controlled studies are
needed here) About the mechanism for blow off the 1/2" hose mentioned
by Aljis Korzonas is definitely a prudent measure. The 1988 Special
issue of Zymurgy has an article about how to modify one of those
orange plastic carboy caps to accommodate the larger hose. These
wonderful caps will also prevent your carboy from making a mess of
themselves. They don't fit so tight that internal pressure can't
force them off. I'd rather have the top come off than have the floor
washed with an IPA. These caps have other virtues which are beyond
the scope of this discussion. Also all this about putting the end of
the hose in water may be a bit of overkill. A guy by the name of
Pasteur, first name Lou, a few years back proved that bacteria can't
make its way up and around a bend in a tube. So to be safe I start
the primary with a fermentation lock until the microbeasties get
going. When I know there's a steady output of gas I swap over to the
hose. The hose just hangs down into a bucket. When things calm down
I usually rack into the secondary, lock it and have a brew. So far
I've not had a problem. Maybe I worry to little, but things seem to
be OK so far. Comments?

Re:Grain Crushing - I'm an occasional masher, and find the pre-crushed
method to be the handiest for me. I've tried the blender routine a
couple of time but found the grain got too crushed, no matter how
short I zizzed it for. I've been led to believe that to fine a crush
is not good either. Is there a "correct" level of crushing? Can it
only be accomplished by a grain mill? All the Books say this is so.
What does experience say?

First Time Lagering Questions - I started a batch using the Ireks Malt
extract and Brewer's Choice liquid yeast et cetera. I started the
yeast per directions, built the wort, pitched it and trundled primary
et al down cellar. I checked it this morning and found the water in
the lock all on the wrong side. My guess is that this is due to
continued cooling. Should I worry about infection? I suspect some
additional air has gotten into the fermenter. Anyone with experience
lagering have advice? I'm not really worried about it, just curious.
I mean really, it's only one batch.

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