I'm looking at these instructions - http://www.geterbrewed.com/craft-a-beer-instructions/ (I promise I'm not selling anything).
In section 13, it says something along the lines of "Add the hops after 10 days ... the hops are added by placing the tea bag into a cup of boiling water...then add the contents of the cup including the tea bags to the fermenter."
Now my primary fermentation vessel has a handy tap on the side so I never take the lid off to check gravity during my brews. I'll have to break the rules for these instructions which means air and germs will get into the wort. How much of a risk is this? How can I minimise the contamination? Why do we even have air locks if we are in the habit of removing bucket lids during fermentation?
I'm still a bit new to this but this basic question has always vexed me.