First time brewing a batch of ale and slightly concerned by a potential explosion!

Just walked past the fermenting bin and saw the lid is bulging out slightly, at a guess I'd say the gas isn't escaping. I opened the lid and let the gas escape before resealing, but obviously I'd prefer a more permanent solution.

Whats the best way to create an airlock?


2 Answers 2


For primary, all I usually do is just putting lid loosely on my tank. Without snapping it in place. Worked for me like a charm. Huge amounts of CO₂ will blanket against air pretty well. Just be advised that it is a risk. A little one, but one none the less. Make sure there is no way lid gets thrown off your tank by accident, no way dust to get blown inside, things like that. And try not to disturb CO₂ blanket by moving tank around.

If I know that fermentation will be slow, I use lid with a hole in it. I put it tightly on. I put a gauze (medical sterile one) in the hole, and cover it with a tinfoil. It's enough to release CO₂ and keep away bad guys. Less problems than with having liquid over my beer.

Most common advice is to use a lid with hole, and rubber cork with airlock in it, like this: Image from Wikipedia (source: Wikipedia)

You can do it, it will work, but I leave it for secondary. You can drill it yourself, you can (probably) buy already drilled. Fastest and not so expensive way is to buy lid, cork and lock together, you will know it will fit. I discourage drilling by your own as it is easy to get that wrong.

Oh, and don't put water there. Microorganisms like water and you don't like them next to your beer. Use vodka or something like this.

  • Thanks for that. I can get this specific airlock from a local store, issue is drilling the hole. Will see what I can find though!
    – AmenoB
    Sep 22, 2015 at 12:01
  • @ChrisBarsby Probably you can get additional lid with hole drilled already for less than $1 over the price of regular lid. If so, do it.
    – Mołot
    Sep 22, 2015 at 12:02
  • Also, I've left the lid sitting off slightly to let the gas escape, will it be okay for the full primary fermentation, and I can get the lid sorted with an airlock for the next brew?
    – AmenoB
    Sep 22, 2015 at 12:02
  • @ChrisBarsby That's what I do, even whilst I have lids with holes and airlocks available :) No problems so far, just make sure there is no dust or winds where your tank sits.
    – Mołot
    Sep 22, 2015 at 12:03
  • That being the case, I'll leave the lid sitting on top for now and get hold of a lid with a hole already drilled if anywhere in the UK has them, or find a drill from somewhere!
    – AmenoB
    Sep 22, 2015 at 12:04

Buy a drilled rubber bung and an airlock from a Home Brew Shop (like this one: http://www.brewbitz.com/demi-johns-buckets-airlocks/136-bubbler-airlock-with-1-gallon-rubber-bung-.html) and then drill a hole in the fermenting bin lid to match the diameter of the bottom of the bung (I think that mine was 16mm, but they may differ slightly... Make sure you measure yours before drilling!) - Then push the airlock into the centre of the bung, and the bung into the hole in the lid... Voila! Airlocked fermenting bin!

You can also buy lids with a hole already drilled for an airlock like this one: http://www.the-home-brew-shop.co.uk/acatalog/Brewferm-Fermenting-Bin-with-Airlock-and-Tap.html

  • Thanks for that. Unfortunately, I don't actually have a drill due to being at uni! I can however get one of the airlocks shown in the previous post from a local store, so will see if I can source a drill from somewhere :)
    – AmenoB
    Sep 22, 2015 at 12:00

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