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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Crappy NB bucket lid
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:14 PM   #1
dickproenneke
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Default Crappy NB bucket lid

I purchased a new bucket fermenter from NB a couple weeks ago. On Tuesday I put a 5 gallon batch of stout in the new bucket along with a 1L starter of wlp007. After 24 nothing. No airlock activity at all. 48hrs... more nothing. So I took a peek inside the bucket. Opening the lid very slightly, I was delighted to see a large krausen on top of my beer. So what gives? Why no airlock activity? Must be an ill-fitting bucket lid, huh? I know that during active fermentation my beer will be safe from the nastys getting into the bucket, but what about after its finished? Any harm in leaving the beer in there for the usual 4 weeks?

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Old 12-14-2012, 06:20 PM   #2
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Who cares if the airlock bubbles...It really means nothing. An airlock is just a vent, a valve to release excess co2, it's NOT a magical fermentation gauge. It doesn't tell you anything of value about your beer. It's not like "x blips/minute translates to y points dropped in gravity."

It could just as easily be bubbling or stop bubbling for that matter, due to changes in barometric pressure, temperature, or whether or not the cat or vacuum cleaner bumped into it, as it could be to because it's still fermenting.

Activity, action, bubbles, even krausen can be affected by the envoironment just as much as it being caused by the yeast...so going by that is NOT reliable.

In fact many folks with arthitis and other issues don't snap the lid down on their buckets anyway, and may folks just put tinfoil, plastic wrap, metal cookie sheets or even plexiglass sheets on top of the bucket instead. It's really not crucial to be tight.

An airlock is one of the most overated by new brewers, yet most superfluous piece of equiptment there is. Folks give it way too much importance. It's not a fermentation gauge, nor is it something mechanical that helps a beer ferment.

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Old 12-14-2012, 06:22 PM   #3
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Airlock activity is not an indicator of fermentation. Airlock activity is not an indicator of fermentation. Airlock activity is not an indicator of fermentation. Airlock activity is not an indicator of fermentation.

(Revvy was nice to you this time =P )

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Old 12-14-2012, 06:44 PM   #4
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New Lids can be hard to press down, in fact I have a rubber mallet I use to hammer them on. Over time they get easier to snap on.

Getting the lid off isn't so easy either.

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Old 12-14-2012, 06:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyNameIsPaul View Post
Airlock activity is not an indicator of fermentation. Airlock activity is not an indicator of fermentation. Airlock activity is not an indicator of fermentation. Airlock activity is not an indicator of fermentation.

(Revvy was nice to you this time =P )
Airlock activity is an indicator of fermentation, I don't care how big your font is. My lid has a gasket and a tight fit. The airlock bubbles are very reliable. If it's bubbling every second or two, I reliably know fermentation is indicated. Barametric pressure is hardly a factor relative to the production of CO2 in the fermentor. Lack of bubbles indicates either no fermentation or a loose fitting lid.
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frogmanx82 View Post
Airlock activity is an indicator of fermentation, I don't care how big your font is. My lid has a gasket and a tight fit. The airlock bubbles are very reliable. If it's bubbling every second or two, I reliably know fermentation is indicated. Barametric pressure is hardly a factor relative to the production of CO2 in the fermentor. Lack of bubbles indicates either no fermentation or a loose fitting lid.
Na. But we can agree to disagree.

ARLOCK ACTIVITY IS NOT NECESSARILY A SIGN OF FERMENTATION. +1
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:05 PM   #7
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I got it - the airlock is not a gauge of fermentation. Thanks for clearing that up for me fellas. My concern was more about the leaky lid after primary fermentation... I usually keep my beers in the bucket for at least 4 weeks before bottling; wouldn't'a leaky lid eventually expose the beer to oxygen and wild bugs during that time?

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Old 12-14-2012, 07:12 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by dickproenneke View Post
I got it - the airlock is not a gauge of fermentation. Thanks for clearing that up for me fellas. My concern was more about the leaky lid after primary fermentation... I usually keep my beers in the bucket for at least 4 weeks before bottling; wouldn't'a leaky lid eventually expose the beer to oxygen and wild bugs during that time?
You will be fine.

The lid, though not sealed well, will still keep things from falling into the beer (bugs, wild yeast, etc), and the natural layer of CO2 that was created by fermentation will keep the oxygen out.

As long as you don't keep opening the lid to make sure nothing is in there for the 4 weeks, you will have well protected beer.
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:57 PM   #9
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Thanks for the simple and thoughtful response to my question Kurt

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Old 12-15-2012, 12:04 AM   #10
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My guess is that the bucket was not sealed all the way. NB lids are generally airtight if sealed. If it didn't cause you physical pain to remove the lid, then the lid was not sealed all the way.

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