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Old 12-11-2012, 01:16 PM   #11
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Well since my first beer doesn't need to do a secondary fermentation, I have a free-carboy w/ airlock that's about to get used for a second batch, so we'll see which version of brewing I like best (I'm leaning towards the carboy since I like to see what's going on)

Once I get good enough and know that I'm doing a good job and haven't messed anything up, I'll probably be indifferent as to whether the the beer is fermenting in a bucket w/o airlock or in a carboy.

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Old 12-11-2012, 01:51 PM   #12
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Well since my first beer doesn't need to do a secondary fermentation
You'll find out very quickly on here that many of us do not transfer to secondary unless the beer is very big and needs to condition for a while.

Personally I love Yeast Voyeuring, that's why I usually ferment in glass carboys for small batches. For my bigger batches I ferment in 15gal Sanke's.

Good luck!
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:11 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by SudsyPaul
Well since my first beer doesn't need to do a secondary fermentation, I have a free-carboy w/ airlock that's about to get used for a second batch, so we'll see which version of brewing I like best (I'm leaning towards the carboy since I like to see what's going on)
The loose lid on the bucket is how I fermented many batches, but only left in there for 1 week. After that, I moved to a carboy and used an airlock since most of the heavy activity had subsided by that point.

These days I just leave in carboy with airlock for 3 weeks.
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:49 PM   #14
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I started out as Revvy described, with a "beer bucket" with a lid without a hole in it. As described, I just set the lid on top (NOT snapping it tightly on) and place a somewhat heavy object on top (I use an old phone book). This worked well when I was just getting started homebrewing, and I've even had to use it like this recently when I ran out of fermenters, but I don't like it. It's not a perfect seal, and theoretically, things can get in. I had a batch once where I found an earwig in my beer when I took the lid off, so it's definitely not a perfect system. However, it most certainly isn't going to result in an explosion and "painting your room with beer" (unless, of course, you snap the lid on tight).

Recently, I even asked the guy at the LHBS if they had any replacement lids with a hold already drilled in it for an airlock, and he told me no, they don't carry such things. All their lids have solid tops, no holes.

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Old 12-11-2012, 05:37 PM   #15
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I also believe that people get too carried away with airlocks. To me, it's just a valve.
I have not used an airlock in years. All my beers go straight to kegs within 7-14 days. JMO, airlocks are really designed for extended aging, certainly not initial fermentation / high kreusen.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:26 PM   #16
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It's not just that things might get in because it's a perfect seal, it's that it doesn't sound stable. With my fermenters, I can shake them up, carry them around, bump into them while drunk, shoot hockey pucks at them, and not worry about the lid falling off.

Given enough parallel universes and/or time, the if the lid isn't snapped on, it will come off, get dirty, and infect your beer.

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Old 12-11-2012, 06:29 PM   #17
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It's not just that things might get in because it's a perfect seal, it's that it doesn't sound stable. With my fermenters, I can shake them up, carry them around, bump into them while drunk, shoot hockey pucks at them, and not worry about the lid falling off.

Given enough parallel universes and/or time, the if the lid isn't snapped on, it will come off, get dirty, and infect your beer.
Tell that to the folks who've been using them for decades....Winemakers especially use them.


Guys, just because you folks aren't familiar with them, doesn't mean that folks don't use these things EVERYDAY.

I love how people feel the need to knock how these things "just don't work".....when they've been around forever.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:04 PM   #18
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I put a textbook on top of the lid, just to stop any bugs or whatever from getting in... and to remind myself to NOT peek at the beer (not easy)

The fermenting bucket is in the back of my basement's unfinished area, on an old desk. It won't have to move at all until I pour out the beer into the priming bucket It's also sitting on a towel, in case if an earthquake hits or something, it won't slide off the desk and ruin my day. My daughter is 4 months old, we have no pets and the wife doesn't go into the unfinished area (we also keep monsters and zombies back there, apparently) so it's perfectly safe where it's at.

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Old 12-11-2012, 07:04 PM   #19
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I'm not saying they don't work, but I do a lot of stupid things with beer. For me, after having at least one infected batch this year, it's important to limit the ways that my beer can be contaminated. I assume most other people on this forum are more careful than I am.

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Old 12-11-2012, 07:58 PM   #20
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50 some odd batches for me, every last one was in a bucket that had no airlock, with the lid just on there not snapped down. I peek ALL the time, I take gratuitous samples...ALL the time. Like daily from 1 week in usually. I have left a few fermenters like this for a month or so.

I have never once had an infected batch of beer (Cider, yes...and it was under...gasp...an AIRLOCK!), never once had bugs crawl/fly in, never once had oxidized beer.

All the dire warnings found here with cursory searches are just ridiculous, if you're not a slob and have decent sanitation, you're fine. It's probably like kids, they can fall down and not break themselves and are better off for it Now I just relax, brew in my loose lidded buckets, leave it there for a month on the yeast and enjoy delicious beer. And I only own one airlock because I figured I needed it initially

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