Hot answers tagged

13

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 vessel....


12

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 ...


12

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 ...


11

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 ...


10

Just clean it up and replace the airlock sanitizer fluid. If you have a second airlock just prep it and swap. If not just cover with sanitized foil while cleaning.


9

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 ...


8

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 ...


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, it'...


8

Looks just like yeast to me. If foam rushed into your airlock, this is really probable. Sugars are dissolved and you won't see them as a layer. I would replace the airlock with clean one - that way, you wouldn't have to worry what it actually is.


8

At what temperature did you eventually mashed? Not sure how it works out with BIAB, but adding grains to a regular mash (even less volume compared to BIAB), the temperature only drops a few °C's. My guess is that if you added the grains at 80°C, you mashed at around 76/77°C. This is way too high, but 72°C is also too high. Mash temps range from 62-70C°, ...


7

Water - it's cheap, it's always available, and does the job adequately. No need for anything else when something so simple works so well.


7

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 ...


7

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 50/...


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.


7

If fermenting in a corney keg you will never yield 5 gallons of finished beer. If 5 gallons finished beer is the goal use 6-6.5 carboys and brew 5.5-6 gallons of beer. Primary yeast cake easily takes 1/3 gallon, secondary can be a little less. Allow a good 1/2 gallon loss of dry hopping. Headspace is how you will limit blow off loss. If filling a corney ...


7

Generally speaking it is safer to remove, clean/sterilise and replace the airlock. It should only take 30 seconds and the vent hole can be covered with an inverted glass to prevent any accidental ingress. If you have a spare airlock (they are cheap enough) then you can prepare and replace the offending item almost instantly. One could possibly leave the bug ...


7

This is caused by a drop in temp before co2 is being produced. Just cap the fermenter in sanitized foil until you're past the lag phase, or cooled to fermentaion temp. Though a little bit of starsan won't hurt much, foil is better than an open airlock IMO. I don't put air locks on until the wort is at fermentaion temp. I also remove the airlock then foil ...


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

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

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 ...


5

Alcohol Losses from Entrainment in Carbon Dioxide Evolved during Fermentation H. W. Zimmermann, E. A. Rossi Jr. and E. Wick + Author Affiliations Research and Development, United Vintners, Asti, California Abstract Total losses of alcohol entrained in CO2 in laboratory experiments were shown to increase with: temperature of fermentation, alcohol level of ...


5

Totally normal. C02 is SLOWLY pushing the water to the opposite side of the lock. As fermentation starts to really kick in, you'll see much more movement and "bubbling" in the airlock.


5

It will probably be OK. The smaller the bore of the tube, the greater the tendency will be for any bubbles to push the liquid right out. You could just make a blow-off instead by submerging the venting end of the tube in a vessel full of water.


5

If you were getting beer/yeast coming out of your airlock, it seems safe to say your beer was fermenting, perhaps quite vigorously. It's not uncommon for a beer to ferment completely within a few days, so that signs of active fermentation will almost completely disappear. This may be what has happened. Or it could be that in replacing the airlock, you maybe ...


5

It usually happens with strong fermentation when the krausen clogs the airlock, it is then ejected with the pressure. If the fermentation was still active when you returned, the beer might not be contaminated due to gas escaping the container. What makes you think it is contaminated? Is there anything unusual floating on the surface? You can always add ...


4

As others have stated, airlock activity doesn't mean much. For what its worth I bottled a cream ale while secondary was still bubbling albeit at a rather slow clip. It had sat a week longer than recommended so I figured I was safe, turns out I was right. Brew tastes fantastic. buy a hydrometer and learn to use it, honestly its your best bet to ensure ...


4

Don't bother with an airlock at that point. Just put some foil over the opening and hold it on with a rubber band. There's nothing outgassing at that point so there's no need for an airlock.


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

No, I don't think the fill level on an airlock is going to prevent bubbling. Short answer, but I don't think there is more to it. Edit: I found time to respond in more detail. I experienced the same thing (no bubbling, but pressing on lid squeezes out bubbles) in two-gallon bucket fermenters, so I looked carefully at the airlocks to see if over- or under-...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible