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Old 04-18-2009, 01:36 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by GoBrewers View Post
There is a layer of CO2 protecting your beer, but its not going to stay there without an airlock. If you only use foil, you're allowing the headspace to reach equilibrium with the surrounding atmosphere, meaning CO2 out, room air in. And oxidized beer.

An airlock is like 2 bucks. Why not use one?
Yeah, that's just incorrect. How exactly does O2 get in there, when CO2 is heavier? Perhaps the O2 just wants it more? CO2 is heavier than O2, which is why our beer has that lovely protective cushion.

I suppose my last ~20 batches of beer have all been oxidized? They've all been made using tinfoil in place of airlocks, so they must all taste like soggy cardboard. Crap, I guess I'd better dump this glass of Oatmeal Stout that I'm drinking!
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I would never use a dead mouse in my beer. It's much better to use live ones. You could probably just steep a dead one, but live ones must be mashed. Actually, smashed and mashed would be best.
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Old 04-18-2009, 01:48 AM   #12
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I regularly use, in order of frequency:

- tinfoil
- inverted half-pint jars
- a sheet of plexiglass (for bucket fermenters); get rid of those blasted lids.
- 3 piece airlocks

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Old 04-18-2009, 01:49 AM   #13
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My airlock collection is collecting dust in my cabinet. I use alum foil or just a lid that is not absolutely airtight. I think airlocks are a nice idea for a beer or wine that will spend a long time in secondary. For a typical beer that's out and done in a fortnight, I think the risk is minimal to nonexistent. I don't see many fruit flys around here, but i'll admit, they make me nervous.

Now having the solution in the airlock go back into the fermenter...that really sucks...hah...badumbump.

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Old 04-18-2009, 01:50 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by flyangler18 View Post
I regularly use, in order of frequency:

- tinfoil
- inverted half-pint jars
- a sheet of plexiglass (for bucket fermenters); get rid of those blasted lids.
- 3 piece airlocks
That is an exact depiction of my regular hat rotation.
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I would never use a dead mouse in my beer. It's much better to use live ones. You could probably just steep a dead one, but live ones must be mashed. Actually, smashed and mashed would be best.
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Old 04-18-2009, 01:56 AM   #15
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Long secondaries... yeah, I'd call an airlock at least close to necessary. But outside of that and fruit fly season, a bit of sanitized foil works just great.

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Old 04-18-2009, 02:01 AM   #16
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Ok...I'll go one further, sanitized tin foil?? I just assume fresh off the roll is pretty sanitary...no?

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Old 04-18-2009, 02:03 AM   #17
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Ok...I'll go one further, sanitized tin foil?? I just assume fresh off the roll is pretty sanitary...no?
In theory, yes. But kitchens aren't. Sanitize.
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Old 04-18-2009, 02:04 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilserbrewer View Post
Ok...I'll go one further, sanitized tin foil?? I just assume fresh off the roll is pretty sanitary...no?
Pretty sanitary? Probably.

Worth risking 5 gallons of beer on? No way. Spray that sheet with some Star San, and set your mind at ease.

ChshreCat: You are exactly right. I'll do tinfoil for extended primaries (successfully up to and including 10 weeks) but I don't for secondaries. Maybe I'm just paranoid, and granted I don't secondary often, but for secondary I'll use an airlock. Good catch.
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I would never use a dead mouse in my beer. It's much better to use live ones. You could probably just steep a dead one, but live ones must be mashed. Actually, smashed and mashed would be best.
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Old 04-18-2009, 02:34 AM   #19
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I see your point - beer doesn't spend enought time in the carboy for oxidation to be much of an issue. I did, however, lose a batch of wine to oxidization after I'd let the airlock dry out.

I know that CO2 is heavier than air, but I would argue that it doesn't take much to create enough of a disturbance to "splash" CO2 out of a carboy once fermentation has stopped - opening a nearby door, walking past, whatever. CO2 is heavy but it's not that heavy.

Like you said - I'm sure your beer turns out fine but after dumping that 6 gallons of wine I'm an airlock fan.

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Old 04-18-2009, 02:37 AM   #20
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Wine = ~6 months in fermentation.


Beer = ~6 weeks from kettle to glass.


Are we seeing a slight discrepancy here?

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I would never use a dead mouse in my beer. It's much better to use live ones. You could probably just steep a dead one, but live ones must be mashed. Actually, smashed and mashed would be best.
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