From the HBD Archive
From: m14051@mwvm.mitre.org (John DeCarlo)
Subject: Primary Fermentation
Date: 1990-04-18 20:59:32 GMT

>From: <R_GELINA%UNHH.BITNET@MITVMA.MIT.EDU> (RUSSG)
>Subject: blow-off method
>
>I've been brewing using the open ferment (garbage can) method, with good
>results, but I'd like to try a closed ferment (is this the same as the
>blow-off?). Papazian says to pitch the yeast in the carbuoy, and then seal
>it with a water seal, but then where does the blow-off take place? If you
>did'nt seal it but put a blow-off tube instead, when *do* you seal it? Does
>the blow-off tube need a water seal (like the end of it underwater in a
>blow-off jar) too? You see I have a few questions; any help would be
>appreciated.
> Russ Gelinas

A closed ferment merely means that you keep a cover on the container
you ferment in, and the resulting fermentation by-products leave the
container by a usually-one-way method.

I used to ferment in an open 7 gallon plastic bucket. It had a lid,
but I didn't use it.

The next easiest step in my case was to drill a hole in the lid, insert
a rubber stopper and an air lock, and seal the fermenter. This keeps
airborne bacteria away from your fermenting beer, yet lets the
CO2 leave the container so that it doesn't blow up.

The "blow-off" method is to have a large tube coming out of your
fermenter into a bucket of water (so air doesn't go *into* the
fermenter). You fill the container up full (using a 5 gallon container
for a 5 gallon batch) and all the CO2 and scum and hops and such get
blown out of the fermenter. It is more dangerous if something clogs,
but can get rid of bitter tastes that would otherwise hang around
in your beer.

I prefer a large primary fermenter and a 5 gallon secondary, each
with airlocks.

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