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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Is an airlock really necessary?

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Old 04-18-2009, 02:42 AM   #21
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Months are longer than weeks. Excellent point.

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Old 04-18-2009, 02:48 AM   #22
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Well, you got it half right.

The point wasn't that months > weeks, altough kudos to you for catching that subtle one.

The point was that tinfoil works just fine for beer, which only needs a few weeks in the fermenter to reach it's ideal flavor. Wine, on the other hand, takes many months or even years. While tinfoil will work fine for Home Brewing Beer which is the title of this forum and the subject of the original post, it might not be ideal for other things. If you really need 100% clarity, tinfoil is also not ideal for the following subjects not covered in this forum: Spacecraft Propulsion, Automobile Oil Changes, Guitar String Replacement, Homemade Cat Food, Digital Camera Lens Repair, Shoe Cobbling, etc...

Do I really need to continue, or is my point noted?

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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, 03:04 AM   #23
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Quote:
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

All my jars are the right way up. Anyone know where I can get some inverted ones?
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Old 04-18-2009, 03:06 AM   #24
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I just drew a sample of my Tripel that's been sitting in a carboy for 5, almost 6 weeks under foil (which is aluminum, not tin ) and it is fine. No sherry/cardboard from oxidation. I'll bottle tomorrow and expect it to be just fine for months to come.

There's been plenty of fruit flies in my apt during summer months, and none have gotten to my beer. Again, to each his own.

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Old 04-18-2009, 03:15 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laughing_Gnome_Invisible View Post
All my jars are the right way up. Anyone know where I can get some inverted ones?
Yes, but I'd hate to part with one of my lovely hats.

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Originally Posted by PseudoChef View Post
I just drew a sample of my Tripel that's been sitting in a carboy for 5, almost 6 weeks under foil (which is aluminum, not tin ) and it is fine. No sherry/cardboard from oxidation. I'll bottle tomorrow and expect it to be just fine for months to come.

There's been plenty of fruit flies in my apt during summer months, and none have gotten to my beer. Again, to each his own.
I was hoping you'd chime in here! PseudoChef is the guy who first convinced me that tinfoil (or aluminum foil! ) worked just as well as an airlock at keeping the bad bugs out. And just for you, tinfoil starter:

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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, 03:22 AM   #26
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Ever seen this?
http://www.sierranevada.com/beers/im...ootwindows.wmv

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Old 04-18-2009, 02:35 PM   #27
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ANTS! ANTS! ANTS!

A while back, I had a rather aggressive blow-off pop the air-lock off and spew brown suds all over the carboy. A quick restoration and clean-up didn't stop the army of ants that 'had the scent' and roamed all over the carboy for the next week until ferment was over. The airlock kept them out; I doubt that a foil cap would have. And the high-gravity ale turned out superbly.

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Old 04-18-2009, 03:00 PM   #28
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I don't really get this question. Certainly you can brew without many of the tools we use but with an airlock and bung/cap costing a couple bucks, why would you?

I buy airlocks and bungs for something like 79 cents each and they can be used for hundreds of batches of beer. We still use the same airlocks and bungs we bought 5 years ago when we started brewing. What would be the advantage to using foil?

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Old 04-18-2009, 03:57 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Nurmey View Post
I don't really get this question. Certainly you can brew without many of the tools we use but with an airlock and bung/cap costing a couple bucks, why would you?

I buy airlocks and bungs for something like 79 cents each and they can be used for hundreds of batches of beer. We still use the same airlocks and bungs we bought 5 years ago when we started brewing. What would be the advantage to using foil?
Less chance of blowoff or suckback, easier to remove and replace for taking samples. And probably less chance of infection since you're sanitizing a fresh (ie very clean) piece of foil for each batch.

The only advantage of the airlock + bung on a primary that I can see is that you can watch it bubble. That's enough for me to use them sometimes, but that's mostly aesthetic since I'm going to test for doneness with a hydrometer anyway.
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Old 04-18-2009, 04:38 PM   #30
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Well I may be a newbie but I work in the medical industry and have to deal with sanitizing various products that go under patients. We aren't dealing with natural cork anymore, the new man made rubbers and plastic can be cleaned effectively.. I'd go with the .79 cent airlock.. I do use tinfoil on some yeast starters as I don't have a airlock that wll fit properly..

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