As warm weather is approaching and wheat beer production increases, it might be prudent to revisit the blow-by or blow-off hose. During fermentation the production of a large amount of foam in the carboy (or bucket) increases as the temperature increases and the percentage of wheat albeit grain or extract is increased. Now I know there are a bunch of brewers getting ready to make wheat and wit beers for the summer festivities. So, save yourself the clean-up time and mess by using a blow-by hose in your carboy during the vigorous fermentation which occurs during the first three to five days.
A blow-by or blow-off hose is simply a 1 inch id hose which will snugly fit into the neck of the carboy with the other end in a bucket of water. This will allow the excess foam to run out the hose into the bucket of water rather than blowing the airlock off. When the fermentation begins to slow, replace the blow-by hose with an airlock.Now, folks who are fermenting in a bucket have to hope the airlock doesn't get clogged causing the lid to be blown off by an active fermentation. There really isn't a good way to use a blow-off hose on a bucket. Putting a hose in a lid grommet or a hose on the center of a three piece lock doesn't increase the diameter of the opening and can easily become clogged still resulting in vigorous fermentation blowing out the airlock or blowing off the lid.