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Old 05-08-2009, 01:58 AM   #1
Dougan
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Default S-shaped vs 3-piece airlock

It seems like in most pictures I see, everybody is using the 3 piece airlock, which is the only kind my LHBS had for the longest time. However, I like the S-shaped ones.

They are cheaper, less pieces to lose (lost piece of a 3-piece inside a primary one time) and, saving the best for last, they eliminate the concern for suckback.

So why does everybody have the 3-piece if they're more expensive and less useful? Is it because they are easier to clean? The only benefit I can imagine is that if you get wort in your airlock it's not a problem w/ the 3-piece.

Just curious.

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Old 05-08-2009, 02:12 AM   #2
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I'm used to the 3 piece and am just used to it. They're easy to clean and seem to handle even very vigorous fermentation. I do have an S-shaped one to try on my next secondary, was told it was easier to see action in, but I too am interested in any real advantage one way or the other.

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Old 05-08-2009, 02:15 AM   #3
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Advantages? Although I'm new to brewing I have some expertise in this area. The S airlock is more amusing to watch. It's that simple.

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Old 05-08-2009, 02:16 AM   #4
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I have both types, and they both do the exact same job. I have noticed that the 3-piece airlocks tend to evaporate quicker, so I guess the S-type airlocks save a bit of money in filler, although not what I would consider a significant amount.

I'm not sure why one is more expensive than the other at your LHBS. Austin Homebrew, Midwest Supplies, and MoreBeer all have both types for pretty much the same price. The biggest discrepancy is at Midwest where one is a whopping $0.25 more.

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Old 05-08-2009, 02:17 AM   #5
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Ditto (see first reply)

The three piece airlocks can handle much more vigorous action and at $.99 each they certainly won't break the bank.
I do use the S-locks on my secondaries if all of my others are in use. I use an S-lock on my starter flasks also(yes, I know I don't need a lock on them but I'm just contrary!).

WOW! Two posts in the time it took me to type this!

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Old 05-08-2009, 02:28 AM   #6
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I have perfectly valid reasons why I use 3-piece airlocks rather than the s-shaped ones.

They're what I've always used.

And I fear change.

but seriously. They work so I keep using 'em.

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Old 05-08-2009, 02:33 AM   #7
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I use the three piece airlock if there is a chance of blowoff. The S lock is a pain in the rear to clean if it gets anything in it.

S-locks work great for secondary and long term aging or conditioning.

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Old 05-08-2009, 03:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChshreCat View Post
I have perfectly valid reasons why I use 3-piece airlocks rather than the s-shaped ones.

They're what I've always used.

And I fear change.

but seriously. They work so I keep using 'em.
Same, except the other way around.

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I use the three piece airlock if there is a chance of blowoff. The S lock is a pain in the rear to clean if it gets anything in it.

S-locks work great for secondary and long term aging or conditioning.
I always just put a blowoff tube for the first 3-5 days or so, then switch to the airlock.

I like it being one piece too I gues.
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Old 05-08-2009, 06:45 AM   #9
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Lagers need the S when first bringing it down to temp.

I have a bunch of each, like em both.

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Old 05-08-2009, 11:28 AM   #10
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I have and use both, but see the s-type less and less in HB stores (my s-type are probably 10+ years old).
I agree, the 3-piece are easier to clean.

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