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12

There are only a few reasons why this might happen. Suck-back due to temperature changes Evaporation Airlock is damaged Somebody is messing with it As it has been mentioned by others, s-locks are better at keeping liquid, but are nearly impossible to clean if you get a blow-out. Three-piece airlocks are easier to clean. I use mostly 3-piece, except for ...


11

Headspace in the carboy is nice to avoid this, but ultimately, a blow-off tube is the answer. By switching out the airlocks, you did the right thing, and ultimately, as long as you didn't let it sit exposed for a long period of time (in the realm of 20+ minutes), the likelihood of infection isn't high. Plus, the krausen (foamy stuff that sits on top of the ...


11

Not at all. Technically, you may be losing an absolutely, immeasurably tiny amount of alcohol, but it would have to vaporize from the beer, absorb or condense into whatever liquid is in your airlock and then vaporize out the other side. But practically speaking (which is what's really important) you'll never have to worry about this in an air-locked ...


10

You should absolutely dilute with water. If you use a higher concentration of star-san than what is listed on the bottle, it will no longer be at a "no-rinse" safety level, and may harm you or your yeast if it spills into your fermentor.


10

Assuming that your 1.004 was a typo, and you meant 1.040, you've gotten around 75% apparent attenuation, so the yeast are probably finished, and you should be able to bottle. Unfortunately, 26C is about 16C too warm for a lager, so you may have an odd tasting lager. It won't necessarily taste bad, but it won't match the style that you were attempting.


9

The best is when so much pressure builds up that the airlock is shot to the ceiling and your closet is splattered in fermentation goo. Solutions: use a 6.5 gallon carboy for 5 gallon batches -and/or- use a blow-off tube (examples here)


9

A sanitary piece of aluminum foil crimped over the top or even a plastic baggy with a rubber band on the outside (either use a new roll/box or pour some of your favorite high proof liquor on it just to be sure) should do the trick. Bacteria and wild yeast in the air typically move with air currents (cough/sneeze/fan/air vent...), but without any air ...


9

Look up Pasteur's goose-neck flask experiment. Passive environmental dust/contaminants wouldn't be able to get through a 3-piece airlock, no. More active actors (fruit-flies, spiders, ants, &c.) would; liquid would be an effective deterrent to them. As mentioned, gas exchange would be possible w/o liquid. During active fermentation, there's enough ...


8

It just means that air is escaping elsewhere, like around the bucket lid in one, two, or a few places, or from around the grommet around the airlock. If you've had many vigorous fermentations using your buckets (and I'm assuming buckets here--this isn't likely to happen with a carboy unless your stopper is too small), then there is a good chance there are ...


8

I use the first option for all my carboys and conical fermentors. I have not had a problem with evaporation or loss. Like your recommendation, I do use zip ties to secure the blow off tube to the bucket as well as using water with a diluted sanitizer solution in it. The second option would make me nervous as a vigorous primary may blow out all the water or ...


8

Stirring of the must during fermentation to off gas CO2 is a technique often used in commercial wine making. The stirring will not only release the co2 which is toxic to the yeast but it will also add oxygen which is essential for the growth phase. You can do this until the fermentation is about 50% complete because the yeast will consume the oxygen ...


8

Seconds are nothing. I remember a long time ago coming home to a carboy that blew it's bung one evening, must have been exposed for hours. It never got infected. As an example, think of how long your beer is exposed from the time it goes from your bucket/carboy to the bottling bucket, and into bottles, hopefully without infection (at that point though, ...


7

What you want in your airlock is something that will: Allow airflow only in the direction of lower pressure. This qualifies pretty much any liquid. Not have funk grow in it. This means something you could use to sanitize things, or anything with high alcohol content (eg, I use vodka sometimes). Not hurt your beer if it ends up getting sucked back down ...


7

You can use water, vodka or starsan. The purpose of the liquid in the airlock is to prevent gas transfer into the carboy, keeping out floating contaminants, like bacteria and wild yeast, and to also provide a deterrent for bugs like fruit flies. If you don't overfill the airlock, then there is no chance of suckback. But if you want to be cautious, then ...


7

It's fine. I assume the beer is still actively fermenting, in which case not only will freshly-produced CO₂ (somewhat) displace the O₂ in the headspace, but the yeast can still clean up any O₂ that does dissolve into the young beer. Many high-gravity beers actually forcibly inject O₂ during the early stages of fermentation to get a solid ferment. RDWHAHB.


6

It's behaving exactly as it should. Notice that the max-fill line is halfway up the tubes: that leaves plenty of room for the gas to fill one side without the other side overflowing with sanitizer.


6

The gasses escaping from the bucket (mostly CO2) push the liquid from one tube to the next. The liquid is pushed until the gas can float upwards through the liquid to the exit of the airlock. A similar thing happens in the 3 piece airlock, only is a little harder to see. The level of liquid inside the area under the cap is pushed downwards, until the gas ...


6

The yeast may still be working, and even if they aren't, CO2 may still be coming out of solution from temperature changes or agitation. Glass carboys are not meant to hold pressure, and they fail in a very dramatic and possibly dangerous way. Use an airlock for safety. A keg designed to hold pressure is a fine alternative. You can even keep it under ...


6

I personally use the starsan sanitizer that's left over from brewing that day, However, its just an extra precaution to kill anything that MAY get in the airlock. Vodka is the same principal, but relying on alcohol to do the killing. That being said, cheap vs expensive vodka doesn't matter in regards to airlocking. If it gets pulled into your brew there ...


6

Seal the beer off from oxygen as soon as possible. If you decide to use the airlock, use sanitized water only. If you have access to CO2, put a layer of the gas over your beer as soon as possible (then close it off). If you've achieved your desired final gravity and you don't need to let it sit in the fermenter any longer, you could also bottle it or keg it ...


6

Question 1 is hard to answer because its so dependent on the relative humidity and air flow of the room in question. I wouldn't assume an airlock with water would be safe for more than 4 weeks without checking on it or topping it off. Vodka is sometimes recommended as an airlock liquid, but I think its is a bad idea for long-term storage. Being roughly a ...


5

I have no idea if this would work, but if you were using a carboy couldn't you just stretch a balloon over the top and put a few small holes in it with a pin? I would think the hole would seal up, but open if there is enough pressure from the CO2 and allow the gas to escape without letting oxygen in. Obviously I have never tried this, but your question got ...


5

A healthy fermentation with a strong yeast will tend to produce a larger krausen. You're right about the strain of yeast being a big player, but the best thing you can do is increase your fermentor head space. In this case, the obvious answer is best: either use a larger carboy or smaller volume of wort. You can also get a little help by fermenting cooler ...


5

26C is about 79F. That is way too hot. I bet the brew finished while you were sleeping on the first night. Its ready to bottle, so go for it.


5

I think for option 2 to work you would need a pretty substantial diameter hose (I'm talking garden hose diameter or larger). From my experience with siphoning tubes, air bubbles usually have a very hard time getting around liquid in a narrow tube. Option 1 is used by a lot of brewers, as Peter indicated, so I would be more inclined to go this route. You ...


5

You want to get some brewery cleaner, like Oxiclean or PBW. Make up a solution with hot water, soak the airlock in that overnight and the gunk will detach itself from the sides and can be flushed out with clean water.


5

You should be just fine. Some breweries still practice open air fermentation and the practice of 100% airlocking your beer is relatively new. The water in the airlock will prevent bugs and oxygen from getting into your beer, without the water it would still be difficult for an environmental contaminant to get through the airlock. So unless a bug managed to ...


5

Looks like a vigorous fermentation to me. Consider switching to a blowoff tube for the primary. Its nothing bad, and I wouldn't worry about infection at this point, it will settle down in a few days to a week.


5

The only issue with the grommet falling in is possible contamination depending on if there were any organisms on it (probably) and how strong your ferment is - sounds like you're at low or high krausen so you should be ok. The larger your yeast population and stronger it is, the greater chance they'll outcompete anything that gets in there at this stage. You ...


5

If you didn't pitch yeast from an actively fermenting starter, 24 hours is a perfectly reasonable lag time. But if you really are seeing a thick kräusen atop your beer, it sounds like there's just a leak around the airlock. What are you fermenting in? A bucket with a lid gives plenty of opportunity for leaks around the edges. I'd be more concerned if it were ...



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