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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 ...


9

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

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

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 ...


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

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 ...


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

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 ...


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

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 ...


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 ...


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

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

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 ...


5

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 ...


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 ...


4

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 ...


4

Assuming you have a glass carboy for secondary, I recommend going to secondary right now. Since the primary fermentation is done and it's reached it's final gravity, there is no harm in starting secondary early, and you need to have some sort of airlock to prevent infection. Siphon into the carboy and you should be able to dig around through the yeast and ...


4

Welcome to the club! Almost every brewer I know has dropped something in the fermenter at some point. I say leave it there. It will cause no off flavors (if the rubber wasn't inert it wouldn't have been used on the fermenter). At this point you're more likely to cause problems by trying to remove it than if you just left it where it is.


4

The only way to be sure if it is fermenting is to check the gravity. If the airlock is not bubbling it could just mean the seal on the bucket lid (or stopper) is not sealed air-tight. It may also need more time before it kicks up. The only time I fermented wine, it was a much less active-looking fermentation than beer. I'd say wait a day or two, then ...


4

The inward pressure is caused by the temperature of the air in the carboy being colder than the air outside and/or increases in atmospheric pressure - both will cause the pressure inside the carboy to be less than the pressure outside. This doesn't indicate that there is anything wrong with your brew.


4

The other compounding factors are temperature changes and atmospheric pressure changes: as temperature changes the pressure inside the headspace will change, causing fewer if the temperature is lower or more bubbles if the temperature is higher to be released atmospheric pressure: changes in atmospheric pressure will cause more or less bubbles to be ...


3

Cutting the little cross-hatches off of a three-piece airlock will do nothing to harm the basic operation of the airlock. They work on air pressure. It is likely one of three things: Airlock has too much fluid in it, keeping the loose lock piece from moving up and down. It still works like this, just without the satisfying rattle. Airlock doesn't have ...


3

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 ...


3

I learned this the hard way, and you are correct; the cooling beer will create a vacuum and suck the air lock fluid into the carboy. What I do is put either a solid bung or a carboy cap on the carboy before crash cooling. I kind of prefer the cap because the vacuum won't pull it into the neck of the carboy, whereas there's a chance that could happen with a ...


3

Since fermentation is done, you don't need an airlock at all. I use a stopper to seal buckets, or some plastic wrap and a rubber band to seal carboys. Don't over think this! And even though the yeast will tend to drop out, there will still be plenty left for bottle conditioning. I've had no trouble bottling beers that have been lagering for months.


3

You absolutely do not need an airlock for secondary, assuming you wait til fermentation is done. I've sealed a carboy with a stopper many times for a secondary, although these days I usually use foil. If the beer is still outgassing, you will have a bit more dissolved CO2 in it, but not enough to worry about the carboy exploding. A keg also works really ...


3

Liquid in the airlock is required if you want an airtight seal. If you don't care about having an airtight seal, then you don't need liquid. By not having an airtight seal, you risk air getting into your fermentor and bring along things which you may not like (i.e. oxygen, bacteria, etc.). Now with the 3 piece, the risk is less because you at least have a ...



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